Connection Telecom managing director David Meintjes is one of South Africa’s most experienced telecommunications executives.
He served as financial director, commercial director, and CEO of the first commercial ISP in South Africa (UUNET SA) and helped to grow software development company Korbitec as COO.
His passion for the Internet market saw him join Connection Telecom as MD in 2009, where he helped to grow the company into South Africa’s market leader in cloud communications.
Meintjes said serving as managing director or CEO has many advantages, including working towards a shared vision with a great team and the satisfaction of achieving business milestones.
It also has challenges, like dealing with employees not pulling their weight, self-promoting individuals, and resistance to change in the fast-evolving IT market.
MyBroadband asked Meintjes about the best and worst days of his career, and what he is looking forward to in 2020.
What was the best day in your professional career?
It was the day when we broke even at Internet Africa, which was better known as UUNET – the first commercial ISP in South Africa.
What was the worst day in your professional career?
When our global parent company told me for the sixth time (we did not accede to the first five instructions) that we must cut staff because they are cutting staff. We again did not do it.
Why are you staying in South Africa?
I am a South African in blood. I love the diversity – and the challenges – of the country. We are all different yet all the same.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2020 as a business owner in South Africa?
I would love to see the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) managed properly, for growth to come back to the country, and for public servants to be held accountable for their actions. It will also be great to see the recovery of our country’s money that got stolen, and of course more rain.