Top CFOs gather for dinner at the Saxon, set the world to rights

A CFO SA and Alteryx dinner delivered great insights into the country’s business landscape.

In a week when there are many ongoing challenges in both the local and global economic, political and environmental situations, a group of top CFOs still managed to hit a positive note at an exclusive dinner at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg.

The dinner, hosted by CFO South Africa in partnership with Alteryx, saw CFOs discussing how to set the world to rights over a delectable three-course meal and fine wines. The collective insights in the room gave the participants a sense of hope that South Africa’s problems are solvable, if business leaders put their minds to it.

Topics that came under the collective magnifying glass included whether all supplier price increases are the result of global supply chain issues, or in some cases represent opportunistic pricing by local businesses. The CFOs agreed that in many cases, they have a responsibility to absorb some price increases rather than pass them on to their consumers – but this is not sustainable.

Power supply issues were also a hot topic of discussion, with one CFO mentioning that they were converting many sites to solar, as the cost of running diesel generators through loadshedding is becoming prohibitive. The impact of rising fuel prices on all areas of business was also discussed.

Each CFO shared the story of how their business has weathered the past two years, despite the challenges. While all the CFOs admitted to experiencing significant business impact, they were also able to share how they met the challenges, and what they have learnt along the way.

The CFOs also touched on how their businesses are shaping up in the new world of work, reflecting that many employees in general are not keen to return permanently to the workplace. They agreed that while flexibility is important for workers, there is also a need to collaborate and communicate face to face. The enthusiastic discussion and story-sharing at the dinner was a true reflection of the benefits of this kind of in-person interaction.

While the topics under discussion were serious, the CFOs enjoyed the evening – the delicious food, the fine wine and definitely the exceptional company. They extended their thanks to CFO South Africa and Alteryx for an extraordinary evening, with great insights and promises of sustaining the new connections that were made.

Those in attendance were:

  • Boitumelo Mosako, DBSA CFO
  • Brian Chivere, CFO South Africa community manager
  • Deepa Sita, Tiger Brands group CFO
  • Fikile Mhlontlo, SAA interim CFO
  • Georgina Guedes, CFO South Africa content director
  • Georgios Bakolas, Alteryx strategic sales, MEA
  • Martin van der Walt, Sibanye Sillwater head of finance, SA Gold Operations
  • Punki Modise, Absa chief strategy and sustainability officer
  • Zaf Mahomed, Cell C CFO