Having covered the Eastern Cape quite extensively, Andile is one of the journalists who have made telling the story of the province a priority. A frequent visitor to the province, he is a familiar face to business executives in the province. However, corruption and destructive greed threaten to derail progress towards social and economic transformation, Andile tells getnews.co.za editor Lunga Mtshizana.
Getnews: Can you tell us more about Andile Ntingi? Your early years, and your career to date?
Andile:I have been working in the media field for 10 years – two of these as a financial PR consultant and eight years as a business journalist. I was born in Cape Town, but my parents moved to Butterworth when I was four years old. I did all my schooling in Butterworth and then moved to Rhodes University in 1996 to study journalism and economics. I left Rhodes at the end of 1999 with an honours degree in economics. After leaving Rhodes, I had a one-year stint at the SABC in 2000, and then in 2001, I clinched an in-service training contract with Reuters News Agency as a financial reporter.
Getnews: Tell us about your current role. How long have you been in it? What is the organisation’s recipe for success?
Andile: I am currently the deputy business editor for City Press. I was recruited by City Press in 2006 as a senior business journalist and I was promoted to my current role in 2008. Our role as a news organisation is to inform, educate, and entertain the South African public for the good of the country. I think City Press is achieving these ideals, judging by the responses we get from our readers. They love our stories because they feel that we are making a difference in their lives.
Getnews: What do you think is the province’s best kept secret?
Andile:It’s people. From a human resources’ perspective, the Eastern Cape contributes a great deal to the South African economy. The province is not endowed with natural resources, but it is rich of talented and skilled people.
Getnews: If there is one thing you could do to improve the province, what would it be?
Andile:I would get rid of corruption and destructive greed. We are a poor province and our politicians need to be serious about delivering quality services.
Getnews: If you could name the province’s greatest failing, what would that be and why?
Getnews: If you could name one person across the socio-economic-political landscape who is the Eastern Cape’s best friend? Why?
Andile:Thabo Mbeki. As President of South Africa, he gave the province two advanced industrial development zones in East London and Port Elizabeth. The importance of his legacy will be felt in the next 50 to 100 years when these two cities will be among South Africa’s prominent manufacturing hubs. He also gave the province the Asgisa-EC, which is busy rebuilding the province’s shattered rural economy especially in Transkei.
Getnews: Where do you holiday in the province?
Andile:I don’t really holiday in the Eastern Cape, other than visiting my family in Butterworth. I occasionally visit my twin brother and friends in East London.
Getnews: Do you support an Eastern Cape musician? Who and Why?
Andile:I support a number of talented musicians from the Eastern Cape like Simphiwe Dana, the Bala brothers, and MXO, who hail from the province. I support them because they are excellent at what they do and they are also good ambassadors for the province.
Getnews: What would you say are the top three reasons for living in the province?
Andile:Whenever I visit the Eastern Cape, I see friendly people; a relaxed environment as opposed to the hussle and bustle of Johannesburg; and I also see a province that wants to be a winner. At some point, I will return to the Eastern Cape to enjoy the tranquil of the province.
Getnews: What do you think the province can do to improve its profile?
Andile:Eliminate corruption; improve service delivery and infrastructure; accelerate the development of industrial zones; and then sell the province aggressively to local and international investors.