CHRO SA meets Busi Mtsweni, HR exec at ICASA

Busi Mtsweni, HR executive at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), says she consciously chose to have a career in people management unlike many people in the profession.

"I didn't want to work as a teacher or a nurse or anything along those lines because my mother was a nurse and it did not seem appealing to me," says Busi adding that she found HR appealing because it encompasses the full aspects of dealing with and managing people in a workplace - from employee wellbeing, regulating employees' conduct, throughout to employee development and empowerment, thereby ensuring a conducive environment for all to thrive.

(In the photo from left to right: Busi Mtsweni (ICASA) and Didi Sehume (Community manager CHRO South Africa))

Having attended the inaugural roundtable last month, Busi met with CHRO South Africa, the organisation that helps HR executives to boost their network, knowledge and careers through events, media and peer-to-peer advisory.

Busi says that biggest challenge has been in her current role overseeing the restructuring project at ICASA, immediately after her joining the organisation in 2014. This was a project that has been pending for the past eight years subsequent to the merge between the then South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). This execution of this project was initially met with resistance, due to the strong presence of the union and lack of buy-in from the employees. However, subsequent to lengthy deliberations and lots of relationship building with all stakeholders, the wheels of that project began turning in 2014, with its successful completion in March 2015.

Said Busi:

"Also, when I joined the organisation, amongst some of the biggest challenges was the absence of HR governance, in a culture of entitlement and free for all, wherein pertinent HR matters that affect employees' day to day lives were not in place nor regulated. Most HR policies were non-existent, whilst some were outdated - dating back to 2003 - and overtaken by the changes in the labour legislation, which in a way put the organisation at risk. HR policies and procedures had to be developed to ensure consistent treatment of employees. Policies serve as cross reference and is all about being transparent wherein everyone has access to such policies. It is no longer about who you are within the organisation, which in a way promotes fairness and equity."

"This, I must say was a mammoth task, that involved sleepless nights."