Historically, social problems have been the domain of non-government organisations (NGO), but in post-democracy South Africa, the public sector took on a developmental role and put itself in the middle of addressing the issues confronting its citizens.
More recently, the social enterprise model has emerged. Entrepreneurs are creating businesses that both address these challenges, while also generating profit. Although the public, civil and private sectors are all involved, the prevailing expectation in our country is that the government should fix every social ill we face. This is impossible. Actually, we aren’t asking the right questions often enough. For example, who is responsible for what? Are they best suited to address the issue? Are there alternatives here or elsewhere? And, how do we collectively take the jump into the messy space of modelling, testing, and scaling the solutions that work?