'If you want to take the system down, provide a better alternative at least. At heart I’m an engineer. I want to encourage people to fix things, not to raise false hopes.' Mteto Nyati knew years ago as a schoolboy in Mthatha, working behind the counter at his mother’s trading store, that he wanted to fix and build things. After completing his studies in Mechanical Engineering at Natal University, he turned down a Rhodes scholarship and headed for Johannesburg to take up a position at Afrox. He was the only black engineer and the sole advice he received from his superiors was ‘don’t mess up’. He didn’t. Today Nyati is one of South Africa’s top CEOs, having steered Microsoft South Africa and MTN South Africa out of troubled times. He is currently guiding the transition of Altron from a family business, started at the height of apartheid, into a high-performing international IT company with a social conscience.