Jakes de Kock of the The Fuelcard Company answers Barker's Dozen
02 August 2010
Jakes de Kock
BusinessCar's Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to another victim
1. What was your first job? Selling hot chocolate in the winter to passing kids on their way to school. I was 13 then. (We lived next to the school main entrance and I spotted a gap in the market.)
2. What was your first company car? A 2001 Volvo S40. I worked for a marketing agency at the time, managing the Volvo dealer account.
3. What did you listen to on your last car journey? Gorillaz - Plastic Beach. A great album!
4. What one thing do you wish you could do better? Play the piano. I used to take lessons as a kid but never took it seriously. I still have recurring dreams of my fingers gliding over the ivories, improvising in a jazz band.
5. What's your biggest achievement? Convincing my lovely English wife to marry this rough Afrikaner.
6. Who is your role model? My parents, Desmond Tutu and John Smit (Springbok captain). They all have certain leadership qualities that I strive to incorporate into my own management style.
7. What's the stupidest thing you've done? Drive from South Africa to Malawi in a 1975 VW Beetle. It was an adventure but with no road rescue service for over a thousand miles and no mobile phone coverage, it was a bit silly.
8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting? The proposed lorry road-user charge. Although it would increase costs for fleet businesses, it would address the problem of foreign hauliers paying low amounts of fuel tax abroad and so enjoying a competitive advantage over domestic hauliers.
9. What's in your garage? Old golf clubs, a Land Rover Freelander and an array of flat football and rugby balls.
10. What's the worst thing about your job? The coffee - it tastes like mud.
11. What one law would you make or change? Impose a road tax on foreign HGV drivers using UK roads. UK truck drivers have to pay a road tax in most other European countries, so why should foreign HGV drivers not pay the same tax here?
12. What keeps you awake at night? Nothing. I love my sleep - armageddon could erupt around me and I will still not wake up.
13. Who is your ideal celebrity date? Charlize Theron. Two South Africans living in foreign countries, making it against all odds (or at least one of us making it). We will have so much to discuss. As my wife may read this, her looks obviously have nothing to do with the fact that I see her as an ideal celebrity date.