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June 09 www. bus- ex. com 1 Somethingabout SouthAfrica This issue of Business Excellence Online puts the spotlight firmly on South Africa, but we make no apology for that. In the midst of a global economic downturn unparalleled in recent memory, business in South Africa is a beacon for the rest of the world. Corwyn Botha of Kaap Agri Operations, a supplier of just about everything for agriculture, is an unofficial but committed promoter for his country. " South Africa has largely been shielded from the world recession," he says. " Everywhere you look there is building activity, both in cities and in villages. There is a strong entrepreneurial atmosphere driving the country forward." South Africa's geography may be one advantage, but the 2010 World Cup is another. There's nothing like a major sports event to kick- start infrastructure projects- just ask London. In this issue we look closely at the contributions being made by two of South Africa's premier construction companies, Basil Read and Martin & East, not only in the construction of the stadiums themselves, but EDITORIAL Editor In Chief Martin Ashcroft mashcroft@ bus- ex. com Managing Editor Bud Sadler bsadler@ bus- ex. com Assistant Editor Jaclyn Beck jbeck@ bus- ex. com DESIGN Production/ Creative Director Zachary Smith zsmith@ bus- ex. com Production Designer Katelin Abbott kabbott@ bus- ex. com PUBLISHERS Business Directors Andy Kerr Andy Turner info@ bus- ex. com BUSINESS Director of Editorial Research Steven Warman swarman@ bus- ex. com Director of Sales Kevin Ellis kellis@ bus- ex. com Administration & Operations Alice Doran adoran@ bus- ex. com Subscriptions info@ bus- ex. com Infi nity Business Media Ltd Suite 22, St Francis House Queens Road Norwich, NR1 3PN UK Tel: + 44 ( 0) 203 137 7100 Fax: + 44 ( 0) 1603 666466 www. bus- ex. com Editor's letter Businessexcellence ACHIEVING also the roads and airport facilities that will speed spectators to the venues. When it comes to maintaining a competitive edge in manufacturing or services, innovation is always near the top of the list. Tile manufacturer Norcros South Africa is launching a new sealant and a fi ne- join porcelain grout, which it believes to be a world fi rst. AAT Composites has some of the most advanced technology in the world in composite seating components for the airline industry. " Companies that are strong are going to come out of this downturn better prepared, leaner and ready for when the economy picks up," says operations manager David Putterill. For the benefit of readers not based in South Africa, I recommend reading our four- part series on managing in a downturn, which contains some practical advice on the best way to prepare your business for the recovery, when it comes. As always, there is something for everyone in Business Excellence.