EDITORS NOTE

Stay curious My three-year-old is teaching me that again. The sentiment is at the centre of my quest for knowledge, but it sometimes gets overshadowed by a need to tell my truth and not accept argument. We all do it. And it’s time to stop answering the, ‘Why?’ with, ‘Because.’ ‘Why?’ is curiosity at its most pure, most raw form. ‘Because,’ is cynical. In this issue, I asked why South African manufacturing is presumed dead. I went to the manufacturers that are still churning out export-quality goods and asked them why they’re still operating and, in most ...
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Stay curious My three-year-old is teaching me that again. The sentiment is at the centre of my quest for knowledge, but it sometimes gets overshadowed by a need to tell my truth and not accept argument. We all do it. And it’s time to stop answering the, ‘Why?’ with, ‘Because.’ ‘Why?’ is curiosity at its most pure, most raw form. ‘Because,’ is cynical. In this issue, I asked why South African manufacturing is presumed dead. I went to the manufacturers that are still churning out export-quality goods and asked them why they’re still operating and, in most cases, expanding. The overwhelming response? ‘Why not?’ Manufacturing is very close to my heart. My dad ran production on the LCV line at Ford Motor Company South Africa for many years, specialising in manpower deployment. Motor-vehicle manufacturing for the export market put me through school, so I refused to accept that South Africa’s capacity is dead. That line of questioning also led me down the rabbit hole of, ‘Why is China opening a car-manufacturing plant for a future capacity of 100 000 units per annum?’ The simple answer is that Chinese society has matured, and the highly educated kids coming out of university want ‘nice’ jobs and won’t settle for the factories. It’s a similar problem to what we have, but our poverty problems are much worse and our currency is weak enough to make our labour cheaper. So yes, it turns out that China is using us as a China. I also asked myself ‘Why are we putting food on the blockchain?’ when Tiana Cline pitched me the story, and, ‘Why is it important for websites to load faster?’ before talking to Snapt founders Doug and Dave about what their company does. And that is where I leave you, Dear Reader. I’m departing the magazine to go investigate more whys with my children, and maybe to find the answer to the ultimate ‘Why?’ It’s been a great ride, and I leave you in the capable hands of a committed Popular Mechanics team. Stay curious.show less