CFO Dinner discusses how to survive a tsunami of problems


Top CFOs agree that South Africans need to focus on the solution instead of lingering on the problems.

On 13 October, some of South Africa’s top CFOs gathered around a dinner table at The View at the Westcliff, overlooking the splendour of Johannesburg city. In awe of the beautiful expanse of the city’s jacarandas, the evening, which was hosted in partnership with Standard Bank CIB, took on a tone of optimism for the future of the country.

Over the delectable three-course meal, amid stories of shark cage diving, the CFOs explained that the country needs a “shark” to force people into action. “We can no longer be silent and watch as the surf breaks around us.”

Aware of the wave of challenges South Africans are currently facing, the CFOs revealed that the only way to change the tide was to focus on the small things they could do to change its direction. “We have a lot more agency than we believe,” one guest said. “We all think we’re victims that will drown in the wave, but actually we’re the solution.”

One of the biggest problems in the country currently is the high unemployment rate, attendees said. “If we want to change that, we need to look to the private sector, because it’s the biggest employer in South Africa – not the government.”

They shared stories of upskill programmes and job creation initiatives that their organisations are implementing in an attempt to solve this problem.

However, the CFOs agreed that the government also has a role to play in effecting change, and that it is up to leaders like themselves to push politicians to think about the long-term impact of the policies and decisions they make.

They all concluded that, in a country with very few good role models, it was up to leaders like themselves to set an example for and ignite a passion in the next generations.

Those in attendance were:

  • Caylynne Fourie, CFO South Africa managing editor
  • Clive Potter, Standard Bank head of coverage, South Africa
  • Deon Smith, Thungela Resources FD
  • Finhai Munzara, Africa Data Centres CFO
  • Georgina Guedes, CFO South Africa executive community director
  • Haroon Kalla, Amka Brands CFO
  • Ian Vorster, Fortress REIT CFO
  • Peter Kendzorra, Daimler Truck Southern Africa CFO
  • Ryan Licht, Bidcorp Food FD
  • Zen Dlamini, Standard Bank head of public sector client coverage

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