CFOs need to work for a higher purpose to survive the public sector


Public Sector CFOs have to deal with negative public perceptions, lack of resources and corruption.

Working as a CFO in any organisation is a demanding calling, but working as one the public sector, is a different ballgame altogether. Public Sector CFOs not only have to manage numbers, but also deal with negative public perceptions, lack of resources and corruption. 

Challenges in the sector
The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) oversees the design, implementation, assessments and certification of occupation qualifications, including trades, on the Occupational Qualifications Sub – Framework (OQSF). Innocent Gumbochuma is the CFO. 

Speaking at the Finance Indaba last week, he said that the biggest challenges for his organisation are bogus colleges and the misrepresentation of educational qualifications. Innocent revealed some of the methods people use to break the law.

“People have gone to great lengths of using our logo on qualifications to pass them off as being legitimate,” he said.  

“An incident occurred not so long ago, where an individual ran a fly-by-night institution, claiming that it was accredited by us. The sad part is, when people get fake qualifications, they end up unable to find work.”

SANParks manages 19 functional national parks in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa with a total area of just over 4 million hectares comprising 67 percent of the protected areas under state management. SANParks today, is recognised as a world leader in conservation and protected area management. 

Participating on the panel, SANParks CFO Dumisani Dlamini, spoke on the impact a country’s political state has on tourism. 

“Tourists look at many factors when choosing a holiday destination, whether it is the distance of the destination from their own country, the crime, and in South Africa, land grabs,” he says. “There were 7 million tourists that arrived in South Africa last year, and this figure has declined to 6, 6 million this year.”

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How CFOs deal with negative publicity 
QCTO has fortunately not generated any bad publicity, but deal more with public perception, in the sense that public look at the public sector as a place where corruption is rife. To deal with this, they have an open-door policy.

SANParks, recently had to deal with allegations of mal-administration, but for them, the best thing to do deal with negative publicly is to let it run itself out, and counter bad publicity with good publicity. 

The two gentlemen share the same sentiment when it comes to making their jobs as CFOs more fulfilling. Working for a higher purpose is more important than the bottom-line.

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