From the editor's desk: The difference between potential and skills

August 2019 News

This issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions includes our annual Local Manufacturing feature and it’s great to know that local security manufacturers are still going strong, even if the general manufacturing sector in the region is a bit shaky.

In the article by Brett van den Bosch, a number of manufacturers commented that they have no lack in finding people with potential to handle the work they require. We only spoke to three companies and others may have a different take on the matter, however, it is also clear that there is a vast difference between potential and skills.

Companies that are willing to invest in their people can take potential and turn it into real skills, but not all organisations are willing to take a long view in terms of employment. Given the state of the local economy one can understand their nervousness, but we must not forget that skills transfer, mentoring and internal career paths are critical. Eskom is a clear example of how ignoring that process leads to trouble. (Of course, there are many other factors involved in Eskom’s fall to clownhood.)

In South Africa, companies are in a position where they can’t rely on the state to provide a decent education to young job seekers (except perhaps the private school élite), so what can they do? They can refuse to hire unskilled people and end up paying a premium for skilled and experienced people, or they can use their experienced people to grow the next generation of skills.

Of course, money talks, while trust and confidence in the future talks even louder, so we seem to be in a catch-22 situation. What is the solution? The only known known is that the state will not play its role.

On a more positive note, this year’s Residential Estate Security Handbook is being sent out along with the August issue. As more and larger estates are springing up all over the country, the security of these estates has become more challenging than ever and the handbook will provide some insights into secure living.

We hope you enjoy the August issue as well as the Residential Estate Security Handbook. If you have any comments or criticisms, please feel free to let me know on


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