Refiloe Nkadimeng wants to have a positive impact on others

Her role as African Rainbow Capital CFO enables her to make that positive contribution to society.

In February, Refiloe Nkadimeng rejoined the working force of South Africa as the CFO of African Rainbow Capital (ARC) after a short break she took in 2019.

“It was the first time I took time off work, not because of maternity leave, but to just rest,” she says. 

Prior to her break, Refiloe served as the group FD of Thebe Investment Corporation, which led to her nomination for the 2018 CFO Awards. She has also served in various finance roles within the Royal Bafokeng Holdings group, including as FD. She started her career as a trainee accountant and audit manager at SizweNtsaluba VSP after receiving a B.Com accounting honours degree from the University of Witwatersrand. 

Having a positive impact

Refiloe explains that, given her background and the companies she has worked for in the past, ARC was a natural choice as it stands for what she believes in. “Whenever I am at work, I want to feel that my role has a positive impact on others. The work we do at ARC enables me to make that positive contribution to society and provides me with a sense of purpose.” 

She believes that ARC presents her with many opportunities to add value as CFO. “Perhaps first and foremost, it is key to understand the environment and value creation journey.” 

Secondly, as a listed holding company with investments in a number of start-ups, there is a significant requirement to ensure adequate financial reporting within ARC. “I see this as an immediate area to focus to lay the foundation,” Refiloe says.

Adjusting to the new environment 

Refiloe says that her team and colleagues have made it easy for her to adjust to the new working environment. “The culture in the organisation and the willingness of colleagues in the work environment to share information has made it easy to fit in. So far, I love the culture and enjoy the experience of being part of the ARC team.” 

Since the inception of lockdown, most of her team members have been working from home. “For me, it was tough at the beginning, but now that I have an established routine, I am accustomed to it,” she says. “We have been able to collaborate more as a team whilst working from home.” 

Refiloe’s team makes time for meetings and also have time for personal check-ins, which is usually overshadowed by other activities in the office. “I wish to preserve this culture when we go back, as it brings the team closer. Team members are aware of what everyone is busy with and are able to help each other to meet deadlines. Even after lockdown has eased, we are likely to keep to this rhythm.” 

She explains that, even though she misses in-person meetings, she thinks meeting via video links has worked well for ARC. “My only worry is burnout, as there is seldom time off. I hope that, with the easing of the lockdown, that trend subsides.”

Joining the Alexander Forbes board

Refiloe serves on the boards of various companies, including RH Bophelo and CMH Group. She has also recently been appointed to the Alexander Forbes board of directors. 

“The appointment is a great opportunity for me to learn and make a difference in one of the biggest and strategically important investments in our portfolio,” she says. “This gives me an opportunity to share the lessons learned over the years and it is also an opportunity for me, together with my fellow board members, to provide direction to the organisation for the benefit of all stakeholders.”