Face to Face…

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with Build It general manager Gareth Hartley

Garreth Hartley
Garreth Hartley

Question: What do you like about Komani?
Answer: Definitely the people. The Komani community is special. The people are friendly, supportive and are always willing to go that extra mile for someone in need.
Q: What is your best memory of Komani?
A: I have so many fond memories of growing up in this small town. I am a proud Old Queenian and many of my greatest memories involve derby days against Dale, Selborne and Grey. Going into battle against these great opponents on The Rec are memories which will be with me forever. I cannot, however, choose a favourite memory because they are all such fond memories. I attended my 10-year reunion in April this year and that was definitely a weekend I will never forget.
Q: What is the worst impression that people in other towns have about Komani?
A: People from outside Komani sometimes have an impression that we live in a boring little town and that there is nothing to do. This, however, is not the case. Organisations in the town, such as Round Table, are forever organising events in order to raise funds for charity. These events are always really well supported and this makes for fun times.
Q: What do you think is the best man-made creation on earth?
A: Sport. Sport brings people together. The passion and camaraderie that sport brings out in people. A close second best creation would have to be beer… but luckily sport and beer go extremely well together.
Q: What would people find most surprising about your job?
A: People would be surprised at how diverse my job is. I manage Siyakha and Build It in Queenstown, as well as the Build Its in Whittlesea and King William’s Town. I also manage a bottle store and a bar in King. Although it seems like a big workload, we have wonderful staff and I, personally, would not be able to do my job without them. We go above and beyond for all of our customers.
Q: Which news story do you think has been the biggest so far in 2016?
A: There have been a few massive stories to hit our headlines in 2016 which have negatively affected our economy (such as Zuptagate). But I prefer to focus on positive headlines. I think one of the most progressive features of 2016 is to see that our democracy does, in fact, function effectively. Our past public protector, Thuli Madonsela, and her release of the state capture report must surely be one of the most positive events in recent South African history.
Q: What song would you play at a global radio station to make everyone happy?
A: Happy – Pharrell Williams. It is just a feel-good song.
Q: With all the negativity in the country, what do you think needs to happen to make South Africans happy?
A: Our economy needs to be stimulated so that we, as a country, can begin to climb out of this recessive pit that our corrupt “leaders” have dropped us into. Only after all the corruption has been weeded out, can we as South Africans build a new, stronger economy with no tolerance for corruption and theft.
Q: What are your thoughts on the current events happening around our country?
A: I am unhappy and worried about current events in our country. It is unacceptable that certain corrupt “leaders” are not held accountable for their actions. The moment our leaders begin to take productive steps to run the economy in a transparent, efficient and effective way is the moment many South Africans will regain hope in this great country.
Q: What best defines a manager to you?
A: A manager is a leader. It is someone who is willing to lead by example and who is willing to put in the hard work, whether it is mental or physical. A manager should never think they are better than anyone and should rather show a helping hand where need be. Lastly, a manager should possess sound morals and values and they should listen to and understand the needs of others.

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