Life Healthcare’s GM of finance believes in authenticity

Asanda Myataza is a Bridgerton fan, and views mentoring in the workplace as essential.

Asanda Myataza is Life Healthcare’s general manager of group finance, reporting to CFO Pieter van der Westhuizen. As general manager, Asanda assists the group CFO with managing the company’s finances, including financial planning, adequate management of the financial risk of the company, record-keeping and financial reporting.

What excites Asanda, is the analysing of data in order to influence operational decision-making and strategy together with making strides in the digitisation of the finance function.

Asanda has had a passion for numbers since her Eastern Cape school days and articles seemed like a natural fit for her. “I registered for the training programme with SAICA with a dream of qualifying as a CA. Since qualifying as a CA in 2008, I have never looked back.”

She joined Life Healthcare in January 2021. Prior to joining Life Healthcare, she was a partner at PwC and previously an associate director of risk advisory services at PwC. She began her career as a trainee accountant at Grant Thornton Kessel Feinstein.

Asked about role models, Asanda mentioned that several people throughout her career inspired her and she admired them, but her mom is her biggest inspiration.

“My mom is a retired registered nurse and studied towards her postgraduate qualification while working full-time. It was about the same time when I started with my tertiary qualification. I also worked throughout most of my tertiary studies and through watching her do that, I believed that working and studying was not an insurmountable task. She is a believer that hard work will get you far in life and that motto motivated me and still motivates me.”

Asanda is encouraged by the ability to always develop and grow, both for herself as an individual and providing opportunities for her team to continuously develop and grow.

“In my view, continuous learning is critical in one’s professional career. I am passionate about the mentoring and coaching of others. I am motivated by ambitious, hardworking team members – they produce the best results.”

One of the team members who motivates her is Group CFO Pieter van der Westhuizen. “Pieter has a great work ethic and a keen willingness to impart knowledge of the business to myself and his team – I have found this not to be common in all leaders. He is authentic in all of his interactions with other people, whether it is with internal or external stakeholders.”

She believes that a good leader should be humble, authentic and emotional mature. And that is why her favourite quote is the Latin phrase Esse quam vederi by Cicero. It means: “To be, rather than to seem (to be).”

Asanda says that she has been quite fortunate in her career to have mentors and coaches who guided her and had her best interests at heart. “It is always challenging to be an ambitious female in corporate South Africa but I have been fortunate to develop and grow in the various roles that I have held.”

And yes, she foresees that her career will continue in finance and it is her ambition to become a CFO one day.

Asanda at home
She has a five-year-old daughter who keeps her busy and on her toes at home and Asanda tries to spend as much time with her as possible. “With my work schedule, time is precious and I love spending time with my daughter.”

She is also an avid reader and enjoys binge-watching series. “I binge-watched Season 2 of Bridgerton into the early hours of a Saturday morning when it came out. I do that with all of my favourite series,” Asanda says.

She is also quite adventurous: her bucket list is long and includes nail-biting activities such as bungee-jumping and flying in a hot-air balloon.