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Your source for the latest news, expert insights and interviews.

21 September 2016

Vitol, Burgh to buy stake in SA's largest coal terminal

Rotterdam-based Vitol SA and Johannesburg-based Burgh Group Holdings have agreed to buy a stake in Africa’s largest coal terminal, Optimum Coal Terminal (OCT), from a mining company owned in part by the Gupta family. According to reports, Vitol and Burgh will acquire the terminal, which has a 7.6% stake in Richards Bay Coal Terminal, SA’s leading coal terminal with an annual capacity of 91 million tonnes, from Tegeta Exploration and Resources. Quinton van der Burgh (pictured), CEO of Burgh Group, said:

20 September 2016

Talent and diversity make finance strong: Dineo Molefe, CFO T-Systems

Dineo Molefe took on the role of chief financial officer of T-Systems at the beginning of May. She oversees both the Johannesburg and Cape Town teams, with 47 people and six direct reports looking to her for guidance. She strongly believes the secret to a solid and successful team is having exceptional and talented people. In her words, a varied skills base is also very important: “You have to have a diversity of skills and backgrounds. When you have people who all think the same that doesn’t help the team. Diversity of mindset is also important. And you need people who are self-starters.” CFO South Africa caught up with Dineo to find out how the first few months have been. How are you enjoying your new role? Have you encountered any challenges since you took office? What changes have you made, if any? “It was a bit of a hit and run to start! Within finance we have Controlling, Corporate Finance, Commercial, Procurement, and Legal. The role provides a good balance between being strategically focused and being involved in operations. Our finance team is embarking on a journey to transform itself and to be more of a business partner, so that we play our role in being an enabler to business and not a stumbling block.”

19 September 2016

European firms benefit from audit rotation, says former Heineken CFO

The introduction of mandatory audit firm rotation has worked out advantageously for European companies, says René Hooft Graafland, who recently stepped down as global CFO at the Dutch brewing giant Heineken. He says that benefits include lower audit fees, a more efficient audit plan and new insights, as the new audit team approaches the company with fresh eyes. “But I do believe the rotation period should be at least twelve years.”

17 September 2016

KPMG Africa Banking survey shows customers want more from their banks

KPMG has released its latest Africa Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey, which has revealed that customers are still unsatisfied about financial stability, and are seeking more from their banks than what they’re currently getting, especially as far as service, innovation and convenience are concerned. Pierre Fourie (pictured), KPMG Partner in Financial Services, says it is imperative to appreciate the individual customer. He said:

16 September 2016

Grandeur and great conversations during CFO Awards judges dinner

Conversation flowed and sumptuous food was enjoyed during a inspirational get-together of the panel of judges for the 2017 CFO Awards. One of the highlights of the evening was the judging panel welcoming Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, in their midst. Wiseman is South Africa's first black Chartered Accountant and an incredibly experienced boardroom expert. CFO SA Graham Fehrsen thanked him for adding even more gravitas and quality to the - already impressive - judging panel.

16 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Deloitte is your full-suite partner

"CFOs tend to think of the Deloitte business as providing audit, assurance and tax services, but we also have a strong human capital consulting business and a risk advisory business with a strong capacity around cyber, general risk management and forensics," says Kevin Black, Executive Partner for Clients & Industries at Deloitte South Africa, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

15 September 2016

Disrupt, or be disrupted - CFOs discuss digital transformation

“By show of hands, how many people in the room have begun a digital transformation project in the last 12 months?” CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen asked the crowd during his welcoming at the first Johannesburg breakfast event hosted by CFO South Africa on 15 September 2016. Virtually every attendant raised their hands. “So everybody is here to discover why it is not working or how to improve the ROI,” he joked to appreciative chuckles.

15 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Creditinfo is a data-driven solutions pioneer

"Credit bureaus have always played an important role within the financial sector providing information, solutions and services that ensure that creditors have the information and technology needed to make informed decisions." says Agata Szydlowska, Head of Financial Inclusion and CRB Awareness at Credit Info, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

14 September 2016

VBS Mutual Bank gives Pres Zuma a home loan

In order to repay state money spent on non-security upgrades to Nkandla, his private residence, President Jacob Zuma has taken out a home loan. According to a statement released by the president’s office, quoting spokesperson Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, private, black-owned, unlisted VBS Mutual Bank granted Zuma a home loan on standard terms, to repay the R7.81 million – an amount determined by the Treasury in June this year. The statement further noted that the lender was “one of the few financial institutions which offer home loans in respect of land owned by traditional authorities”. In its judgement on 31 March this year, the Constitutional Court ordered Treasury to determine the "reasonable amount" that Zuma should repay. "As a consequence, the reasonable percentage of the estimated costs of the five measures that the President would have to pay personally would be 87,94%. This percentage corresponds to R7,814,155 as at June 2009," the Treasury report read. The Constitutional Court ordered that Zuma must personally pay back the amount, and gave a deadline of 29 September. According to Treasury, the government has already received Zuma’s settlement payment.

14 September 2016

Public sector CFOs and CIOs are trying to embrace the future

From medical emergency drones, to self-driving vehicles to a Google Hangouts gathering of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa and the Dalai Lama in Tibet: technology makes amazing things possible, as long as we embrace it. During a breakfast event on 13 September 2016, the energetic futurist Craig Wing challenged, educated, inspired – and entertained – a group of CFOs and CIO from the public sector and asked them some hard questions about technology: “Do you see a threat or an opportunity?”

14 September 2016

The fastest ROI you can get - Document Management Automation

"Need to know what your staff or suppliers are doing with your money? Want a dramatic improvement in cashflow, debtors and creditors management? We will share ideas and tools to gain visibility, improve cash flow and dramatically reduce the risks of e-fraud," says ROI specialist Johan Potgieter of Business Harmony, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

12 September 2016

Jacques Lubbe appointed CFO at Katanga Mining Ltd

Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Katanga Mining Limited, which operates a major mine complex in the DRC, producing refined copper and cobalt, has appointed Jacques Lubbe (pictured) as CFO, effective 15 October 2016. Lubbe, CA (SA) and a 2014 Top 35-under-35 finalist, previously held the CFO position at Katanga between November 2013 and February 2015. Prior to this he held the CFO position at Mutanda Mining SARL, another company within the Glencore group. He rejoins the Company from Glencore, where he has been Asset Manager from March 2015 to now. Lubbe takes over from outgoing CFO Matthew Colwill, who will be leaving on 15 October to pursue other opportunities within the Glencore group. Colwill will, however, remain available to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

12 September 2016

Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation is a good thing, says Nkonki's Mitesh Patel

“It is simply staggering that of the 353 audit partners who sign off on the financial statements of all JSE-listed companies, only nine are Black African – that’s just 2.5%,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100% black-owned audit and advisory firm. “Given the transformation imperative within the broader South African corporate context and our profession as a whole, there can be no doubt that Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR) will assist in driving the transformation agenda.”

11 September 2016

Advocate Pansy Tlakula nominated as POPI Information Regulator

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) was signed into law by President Zuma in November 2013. Certain provisions of the Act relating to the appointment of the Information Regulator (responsible for monitoring compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of POPI) were made effective in April 2014. On 7 September 2016, the National Assembly voted in favour of the nomination of Advocate Pansy Tlakula (pictured) as Chairperson of the Information Regulator, as well as Advocate Lebogang Stroom and Johannes Weapond as full-time members, and Professor Tana Pistorius and Sizwe Snail as part-time members. Nikki Pennel, KPMG’s POPI specialist and attorney, said:

09 September 2016

Is your retirement scheme targeting good outcomes, asks Old Mutual's Andrew Davison?

Professional boxer and two-time world champion George Foreman once quipped: “The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, but at what income.” For every employee who dreams of a comfortable retirement one day, Foreman hit the nail squarely on the head with this statement. While the typical retirement age for South African employees is 65 years old, reaching this age is by no means a guarantee of a happy and financially secure retirement – even if you have been a member of your company’s retirement fund throughout your working life.

07 September 2016

SA economy expands by 3.3%, avoids recession

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) reported that the South African economy expanded by 3.3% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) and 0.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) during the second quarter of 2016, thereby avoiding a technical recession yesterday – to the joy and relief of many. During the first half of 2016, the South African economy was just 0.25% y-o-y larger. This comprised a 0.1% y-o-y contraction during the first quarter and a 0.6% y-o-y expansion during the April-June period. The positive y-o-y performance during Q2 was due to growth in manufacturing, construction, hospitality, transport, communication, finance, banking, real estate and government services, outweighing a contraction in activity associated with agriculture, forestry & fisheries, mining, and public utilities. The finance, real estate and business services sectors – collectively the largest industry, accounting for 20% of SA’s GDP – grew by 2.9% q-o-q and 2.2% y-o-y during the second quarter. During July, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said that it anticipated growth of 0% in the economy during 2016, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it projected a mere 0.1% growth for the calendar year. According to KPMG, the outlook for the second half of this year remains less than optimistic, and the likelihood of a sovereign ratings downgrade still looms.

06 September 2016

As a leader, are you a router or a firewall, asks Futurist Craig Wing

“Leaders are sometimes unable to act. They stand frozen with too much information. But in today’s world you need to be able to act fast. In the context of how quickly the world is moving, you cannot wait for new information and rest on your laurels. The next big thing will be for leaders to act on imperfect information,” says Craig Wing, partner at FutureWorld International, an organisation that helps corporates understand the emergent future and how technology will affect their businesses. Bursting with energy and ideas, Craig will be speaking at the upcoming public sector breakfast on 13 September, where he will talk about some of the game-changing technologies currently shaping our world, and how best to use these.

06 September 2016

Changing mindsets and looking to the future, a chat with Brigid Mosola, Walter Sisulu University CFO

“When I came on board the staff were demotivated and unproductive. There was no teamwork and they did not trust in each other. It was a disaster,” says Brigid Mosola, CFO of Walter Sisulu University (WSU). In this exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, Brigid, who has been CFO for around 18 months, and who was recently placed on a precautionary suspension by the University’s new Vice Chancellor pending charges, speaks candidly about the state of the university’s finance department, the challenges of restructuring and building staff morale, and making unpopular decisions.

04 September 2016

Famous Brands buys UK burger chain for R2.1 billion

Listed fast food giant Famous Brands, which owns fast food outlets Steers, Debonairs and Fish Aways, among others, has purchased Britain’s Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), founded in 2001 and currently the UK’s leading premium burger restaurant, for R2.1 billion (£120 million at the time). According to Famous Brands, it intends to double the burger chain’s 75 British stores over the next five years. Kevin Hedderwick (pictured), Famous Brands group adviser for M&A and previously CEO, said he sees GBK opening 10 to 15 new restaurants in Britain per year. He added that the company intends to expand further in Ireland, and also bring the gourmet burger concept to South Africa. The transaction remains subject to approval from the SA Reserve Bank, in terms of exchange-control regulations, although Famous Brands has said it will fund the purchase consideration with cash accumulated in its business operations, as well as short-term funding as required. It was agreed in the contract that GBK’s team would continue to manage the business, and that no personnel changes are likely to take place. The acquisition is rated according to the JSE Listings Requirements as a Category 2 transaction.

02 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Get your treasury system firing with TreasuryOne

"As the leading treasury system solution provider with more than 40 implementations, our expertise will help any CFO who needs cash visibility, automation of daily treasury activities, risk management and segregation of duties," says Rudolf Janse van Rensburg, a director at TreasuryOne, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

01 September 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Modernise your accounting processes with BlackLine

"BlackLine’s Finance Controls and Automation platform delivers a fresh approach that increases the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of the financial close and other period-end activity is what BlackLine calls ‘Continuous Accounting’," says Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer of BlackLine, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

30 August 2016

Christine Ramon special guest at Digital Transformation CFO Breakfast, 15 September 2016

Clever implementation of modern technology can bring massive benefits to companies and is often the difference between bust or boom. During CFO South Africa’s annual Digital Transformation Breakfast on 15 September 2016 (7h00) we tap into the incredible experience of CFOs Christine Ramon (AngloGold Ashanti) and Wayne Koonin (Omnia) to explore the risks and opportunities a tech savvy finance team can create.

29 August 2016

IBM's Leslie Moodley: CFOs can become performance accelerators through technological advancement

Technological advances are disrupting the status quo and creating huge turbulences. Businesses are converging and unforeseen competitors are emerging. It is all about creating disruption and staying ahead of the curve, which is rising at a rapid pace. And amid all this change, CFOs still need to create profits for their enterprises, writes Leslie Moodley, managing partner Global Business Services, IBM South Africa.

28 August 2016

Retail growth prospects look poor for Massmart

Massmart, operator of brands including Game, Makro, DionWired and Builders Warehouse, among others, is unlikely to see increased sales until consumer confidence and spending in South Africa picks up. Massmart recently posted group operating profit growth of 19.2% (to R791.9 million), on the back of an increase of 8.7% in sales (to R42 billion) for the first-half of the year. The company’s gross margins came in at 19.3%, compared to 18.9% in the previous period. The group is divided into four divisions: Massdiscounters, Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash. It’s the Massbuild division, which operates the Builders Warehouse retail arm, that is really feeling the squeeze. Massbuild grew total sales by 5.8%, while comparable sales grew by just 0.8% – worrying for a division that has historically performed very well. According to Massmart CEO Guy Hayward, (pictured) while Massmart intends to open 30 new stores in South Africa and another five in its African operations over the next two years, the remainder of 2016 won’t be easy.

27 August 2016

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta caps interest rate

Following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s (pictured) signing of a law capping the interest rates lenders can charge on loans, shares of Kenyan banks have plunged. According to reports, Kenyatta signed the law in sympathy with Kenyans frustrated by the cost of credit and poor savings rates. KCB Group Ltd., the country’s largest bank by assets, slumped the most, dropping to its lowest level since December 2012, while Cooperative Bank Ltd. plummeted the most on record. Equity Group Holdings Ltd., the market leader in terms of value, saw the biggest one-day decline in seven years. According to Bloomberg, after the stock market closed on Wednesday 24 August, Kenyatta announced that he’d agreed to changes to the Banking Act, requiring that lenders peg credit costs at 400 basis points above the benchmark central bank rate. The law also requires financial institutions to pay interest of a minimum of 70% of the CBR on deposits.

26 August 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: ManageIt has your procurement processes covered

“We can help professionals by centralising procurement, simplifying ordering, improving efficiency, reducing costs and securing pricing, sourcing and qualifying new suppliers with ease and managing BEE, contract and all other documents online,” says Brett Cunnington, marketing director of ManageIt, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

23 August 2016

Nombali Mbambo new CFO of Adapt IT

Nombali Mbambo has been appointed as an executive director and CFO of Adapt IT, effective 18 August 2016. Mbambo, a CA, completed her articles at Ernst & Young prior to joining Alexander Forbes as an accounting specialist. Thereafter, she joined the debt capital market team at ABSA Capital, later moving to the loan capital market team. Here she was responsible for originating, structuring and executing corporate loan facilities. From 2013 until she joined Adapt IT in March 2016 as CFO elect, Mbambo held the role of Finance Business Partner involved in strategic decision-making and financial management at Unilever. In her new role at Adapt IT, Mbambo’s responsibilities will include contributing to the strategic direction of Adapt IT, being accountable for the group’s finance function, involvement in mergers and acquisitions, funding and capital structuring and investor relations.

23 August 2016

Focus on value: an interview with IBM South Africa's new CFO Sandra Atkins-Sadler

“We have to shift the lens through which CFOs look at finance transformation and make it effective by focusing on value,” says Sandra Atkins-Sadler, who joined IBM South Africa as CFO earlier this year. “I think IBM can make a difference by continuing to invest in skills training and development of future CFOs. At the same time our business solutions will make a difference to the bottom line of current CFOs.”

22 August 2016

Data governance in times of POPI and cyber crime - Yolanda Smit, PBT Group

An increase in cyber attacks targeting businesses and legislative requirements like the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) have brought attention to the need for effective data governance, says Yolanda Smit, Strategic Business Intelligence Manager at PBT Group. At its heart, data governance focuses on driving enterprise data management practices to the next level of maturity, where data is being managed intentionally and not just as an afterthought. Data security and privacy management, data architecture management, data quality management, records management, business intelligence, and data operations management are all vital elements in this new discipline of management.

20 August 2016

New deal means possible black-controlled franchise stores for Kauai

In the hopes of introducing black-controlled franchise stores, Kleoss Capital Fund 1, a 100-percent-black-owned South African PE investment manager managed by Kleoss Capital, has acquired a minority stake in Real Foods, which owns the KAUAI, NÜ Health Café and Kohu brands. Hale Matsipa, Kleoss Capital CEO, has said that the company is excited about BEE transformation within Real Foods and believes there is potential to introduce black-controlled franchise stores within Kauai. Matsipa was quoted by Fin 24 as saying:

19 August 2016

Kumba Iron Ore comes out tops in EY's Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2016

EY has announced Kumba Iron Ore Ltd as the overall winner in its fifth annual Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards for 2016. The scope of the awards included the top 100 JSE-listed companies based on market capitalisation at 31 December 2015, and top state-owned entities, which were adjudicated by the College of Accounting at the University of Cape Town. Larissa Clark (pictured), Director Professional Practice Group of Accounting at EY, said:

16 August 2016

Samantha Louis newly appointed CIMA Director of Advocacy, London

After 17 years with CIMA in Africa, Samantha Louis (pictured) has taken up a post as the CIMA Director of Advocacy, based at the CIMA headquarters in London, effective 1 August. Louis will play an active role in CIMA as the primary spokesperson and internationally recognised authority for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and advancing the Global Management Accounting Principles (GMAPs). She will also be responsible for driving the adoption of the soon-to-be-released GMAPs self-assessment tool for business, which will leverage the world's first standard for management accounting (PAS 1919). Louis said of her move:

16 August 2016

Mentoring is an enabling activity, says Deloitte Consulting CFO Aneshree Naidoo

"Make it count. Everything I do should be positively impactful. I feel there should be a theme of constant improvement, whether that's for yourself, the business or the people around you," says Aneshree Naidoo, CFO at Deloitte Consulting. Aneshree believes strongly in the power of mentoring and peer-to-peer learning and encourages aspiring and seasoned professionals to snatch up every chance they get to grow their knowledge base and skills. "I've rolled out mentoring programmes in organisations I’ve been a part of. These programmes were initially afforded to women as part of specific diversity initiatives and then to all interested. I believe in inclusive mentoring." How did you come to pursue a career in the finance industry? "It's a simple story. I enjoyed Science and Maths at school. My career choice initially was to pursue chemical engineering. One holiday I had the opportunity to do vacation work at a well-known plant. On site, I didn't take to the daily wear of heavy boots, jumpsuits and goggles. I then tried vacation work at Ernst Young. I enjoyed it thoroughly – the client interaction, how numbers told a story. I learnt that I could use numbers to make really big, bold decisions – and I took to the corporate, professional attire. My passion for Accounting and Maths came together and I decided to become a chartered accountant." Who were or are your mentors? "I've had mentors within the group of companies I've worked for but not directly in the company I was employed at. At Avanade, I was fortunate to have a professional coach and mentor based in the UK. It is enabling to have a mentor. As you grow into various roles, you need somebody to playback ideas or challenges. I extracted value from mentoring experiences where my mentor was in a different role, industry or even company from me as the experience supplemented my skills." How important is it for leaders in the finance industry to meet peers? "It's essential. Personal interactions are energising, especially when you hear peers experiencing similar challenges to you. It's encouraging to learn of solutions that are working for others and even discover opportunities to partner in business. We’re getting better at connecting more in SA." What are your career goals? "My career goal centres on creating leadership capacity within our country. I'm driven by purposeful roles and I’m now more about supporting education, training and/or mentoring initiatives in our country rather than progressing the ‘corporate ladder’ or being defined by a job title. I am passionate about education, positively influencing it at a very early stage in a deep and significant way, enabling more South Africans to be brand ambassadors for our country and lifting SA’s global contributions." What do you most enjoy about working in finance? "I love the picture or story that gets created through numbers and that I have the ability to influence and create that story. I love that diverse people, complex processes, relationships and overall many moving parts come together in the form of financial results. I enjoy connecting these various moving parts to tell the financial story and propose and steer financial and operational excellence." What do you most enjoy about the CFO role? What do you dislike about it? "I enjoy the challenge of growing companies, especially in our current economic climate which presents new learning and evolving opportunities for business. I enjoy understanding business levers and driving change to improve business performance. There’s a new problem to solve every day. What I dislike most is when custodians of business allow self-interest to override sound business decisions. I have a fiduciary responsibility and a bigger purpose, so I challenge those behaviours." You joined Deloitte Consulting in March. What has it been like so far? "It's been going well. There are immediate operational finance topics I am steering across Africa and with the broader firm and I’ve gone through our budget and year-end process already. I’m learning about the broad array of professional services offered by Deloitte Consulting, not to mention the exciting M&A activities. I’m also the Lead Committee sponsor for Deloitte Women in Leadership Consulting, which is progressive." Prior to this you were at T-Systems South Africa. What did you achieve while there? "T-Systems is a large technology company. My notable achievements were bringing about marked efficiencies and increased effectiveness of the finance team. I strengthened team skills through hiring qualified professionals and introduced strong commercial themes of finance enabling business growth. Through innovative deal shaping and pricing, pro-active support for our internal and external customers and introducing a theme of ‘Finance gets Loud’, I brought about a cultural team change for the better. I am proud of the strong 2015 results posted, which included milestone profitability achievements. I also drove the M&A strategy. It was an exciting journey to unlock new revenue streams with different partners in the market." You are young and yet you've enjoyed great success in your career thus far. How does this make you feel, and what has been key to your success? "I'm proud, I'm excited and I’m mostly humbled. Success is not finite to me; it's continuous and evolving. I’m always energised to explore the next level. I constantly try to displace myself so I create space for new leadership capacity."

15 August 2016

dti: economic empowerment not just about wealth redistribution

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission, an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), will tomorrow be rolling out an awareness campaign on the B-BBEE Amendment Act of 2013, spreading this message: B-BBEE should aim to achieve growth, development and enterprise development and not only the redistribution of existing wealth. The B-BBEE Amendment Act was enacted to create the B-BBEE Commission to oversee and monitor the implementation of the act, as well as to deal with the contravention thereof, and investigate fronting practices. The information sessions, which will be held at the Daveyton Community Hall in Gauteng, are intended to raise awareness and educate communities on B-BBEE and its benefits. According to Busisiwe Ngwenya, the director responsible for compliance at the B-BBEE Commission, the rationale behind the campaign is to focus on creating an economy that can meet the needs of all economic citizens and their enterprises in a sustainable manner. Ngwenya said in a statement:

09 August 2016

Integrity is everything for a CFO, says Rendani Sadiki, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform CFO

“You have to be mindful of operating within the law at all times as a CFO in the public sector, because it’s your career on the line,” says Rendani Sadiki, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform CFO. “Colleagues may make requests that are outside the ambit of the law, but you have to explore the prescripts before you respond. You mustn’t just say no; you must bring a solution. That person might not be intentionally trying to break the law, they might just not be acquainted with those prescripts. So I rather try to advise them of their options.” The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is mandated to create and maintain equitable land dispensation and acts as a catalyst in rural development to ensure sustainable rural livelihoods, which it does through various programmes and initiatives. Rendani oversees strategic financial management within the Department – a mandate she says is quite broad. “As the financial strategist, I have to develop and implement financial strategies to manage limited resources at our disposal so that the department is able to deliver the services efficiently and effectively, and within budget.” She also oversees the governance of the Department.

08 August 2016

Kinfundi: Helping employees educate their families

Business is about people. Of course it’s about profit, processes, technology, and many other things too, but ultimately it’s about people. The end buyers in all value chains are people, and the energy that drives a business is people: employees, management, owners, stakeholders. These people have needs as well as worries. A big matter on the minds of many is their family, and within this, concerns about education. An innovation turn-key, tax-friendly employee benefit product, Kinfundi, hopes to change this.

03 August 2016

Wipro Partners and IDC give rural school learners access to technology

Leading global IT, consulting and business process services company Wipro has launched a three-year CSI project in partnership with South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to set up 29 computer labs across South Africa, benefiting 28,000 students from rural areas. Gavin Holme, Business Head, Wipro Africa, said the company is committed to building a sustainable economy in South Africa, and that Wipro will be providing a broad range of hardware, software, connectivity, education and programme management resources.

03 August 2016

Finance Indaba 2016: Operational excellence is Bytes Technology Group's game

“We focus on middle- and back-office operations and it’s all about wringing efficiencies out of these operations – automating as much as possible, saving on staff costs, reducing breaks due to reconciliation problems, etc," says Mark Neethling, the GM of Financial Services at Bytes Technology Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

02 August 2016

Balancing personalities is key to a strong team, says Graham McGregor, New GX Capital Holdings CFO

“The most unsettling thing for anyone is uncertainty,” says Graham McGregor, CFO of New GX Capital Holdings, a BEE investment holding company with interests in the environmental solutions, logistics, power and telecoms, and corporate finance advisory sectors. Sharing his experience, while in his previous position, of a merger that happened between two very different businesses under one umbrella company McGregor says keeping staff abreast of what was happening at all times was crucial: “Because if there’s a communication gap, people fill in the gap themselves.” He also learnt an important lesson:

30 July 2016

Beancounter CEO Marnus Broodryk a "Shark` on M-Net's new show

Marnus Broodryk (pictured), CEO of The Beancounter, an accounting firm currently disrupting SA’s finance industry with its innovative approach, has agreed to dig deep into his own pockets in order to give away big money on M-Net’s brand new reality show, Shark Tank South Africa, for which he has been chosen as a “Shark”. Based on the Emmy-award-winning US series, Shark Tank invites entrepreneurs with potentially lucrative products or business ideas to pitch their plans to the "Sharks” for consideration. If they like the idea, they may offer the entrepreneur a deal. Broodryk said:

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