Cape Town CFO Dinner reveals how great South Africa could be


Finance executives discussed how South African innovation and efficiency is the best in the world.

On a rainy, winter Cape Town night, a group of top finance executives gathered for a CFO Dinner, at Table Seven in Salt River.

CFO South Africa executive community director Georgina Guedes hosted a group of eight CFOs in a discussion on how to overcome the current challenges in the South African operating environment, and issues ranging from regulatory matters to staffing principles were interrogated.

The CFOs agreed that the loadshedding situation has been crippling South African business, with the extreme costs of diesel running into the millions, monthly, for some operators.

However, with the current reduction in loadshedding, the CFOs’ attention was turned to other pressing issues, including consumers stretched to breaking point by inflation and the high interest rate. One executive commented that food inflation at least should plateau in the short term.

Those attending the CFO Dinner were:

Burtie September, Curro CFO
Derick Truscott, SnapScan CFO 
Georgina Guedes, CFO South Africa executive community director
Kathryn Mason, Puma head of finance
Mary-Anne Musekiwa, Coronation Fund CFO
Morne van Tonder, Pragma CFO
Steven Kilfoil, In2Food CFO
Zaf Mahomed, Oceana Group CFO

Another dinner guest mentioned that the global supply chain issues have not entirely resolved after the pandemic, and that businesses that rely on any international suppliers are often left waiting while shipments are delayed.

Emigration was another issue causing complications for CFOs, as qualified staff leave for opportunities in other countries. It offered some comfort – if not a solution – that many countries on the African continent are experiencing a “brain drain” and the South African experience is not isolated.

The CFOs then shared stories of how they are adapting to and working around the current challenges, focusing on impressive tales of efficiency and innovation. Everyone in attendance was impressed by the solutions that South Africans are coming up with.

“Imagine how impressive we’d be if everything was going right!” one CFO said.

In addition to sharing work stories, the executives also got to know each other a little better. They discussed how they became CAs, and then CFOs, ranging from, “I always knew I wanted to be an accountant” to “I didn’t even know what articles were!”

They also shared their personal interests. Among the dinner guests were a couple of petrolheads, a surfer, a couple of soccer players, a lawn bowls player, an aspiring author and an electric guitarist. A couple of the CFOs even hatched plans to meet up for a match or a race.

After an evening of excellent conversation, collaboration and networking, and fine food and wine, the CFOs departed, knowing each other a little better, and certainly feeling a little more positive about resolving their operating challenges.

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