Who will join the Public Sector CFOs of the Year this year?


Four nominees will be competing for the coveted Public Sector CFO of the Year Award at the 2022 CFO Awards.

In only 15 days, at the annual Oscars of the finance profession, one finance leader from the South African public sector will be crowned the Public Sector CFO of the Year. The recipient of this award is recognised for spearheading innovative programmes or making contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management within his or her organisation. The award stresses practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes strong ethics and improved public finance.

The four nominees in the running for this honour are:

One of these four CFOs will join the former Auditor-General of South Africa CFO, Bongi Ngoma, DTIC CFO Shabeer Khan, former eThekwini CFO Krish Kumar, former Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality group CFO Ramasela Ganda, former IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini, and SANParks CFO Dumisani Dlamini as a winner of the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award.

Former Public Sector CFOs of the Year
The first CFO to ever win the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award was SANParks CFO Dumisani Dlamini in 2016. Upon receiving the award, he said: “The public and private sectors need to join hands to lift our economy. Together, both sectors can make this country better. If we believe in this country, other people around the world will start believing in it too.”

In 2017, then group CFO of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Ramasela Ganda, received the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award, saying: “Being a CFO in the public sector is such a tough job. I’d like to dedicate this award to all public servants in our country that serve us diligently and with honesty.”

She explained that while we are all aware of the public servants who are making the front pages for the wrong reasons, we don’t know about the many who are risking their lives to say no to corruption every day. “Being a CFO in the public sector is not child’s play,” she said.

In 2018, then eThekwini CFO Krish Kumar won the Award. Krish had spent 38 years with the municipality, 19 of which he served as CFO. Upon receiving the award, he said: “They say tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

In a later interview, he also explained that he has learned to maintain a zero-tolerance approach towards fraud and corruption during his time in the role. “Our unqualified audit opinions bear testimony to this. There can’t be any issues around a CFO. If the CFO is corrupt, there is no hope. You need to be careful not to be captured. You can’t buy a good man or woman. It all comes down to your own value system. I can’t be a role model for my children if I get caught with my hands in the till. It is als about doing the right thing when nobody’s watching.”

He retired from his public service in 2021.

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In 2020, the Department of Trade Industry and Commerce CFO Shabeer Khan took home the Award. He also received the Compliance & Governance Award, and the Young CFO of the Year Award.

“Sometimes I think the public sector isn’t recognised for the work that is being done on a daily basis,” he said upon receiving the award. “Thank you to CFO South Africa for recognising the public sector, the CFOs who work in it, and most of all, the public servants.”

In 2019, then Industrial Development Corporation CFO Nonkululeko Dalmini won the award. She wasn’t able to attend however, and a colleague received it on her behalf.

In 2021, then CFO of the Auditor-General of South Africa Bongi Ngoma not only walked away with the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award, but became the first public sector CFO to win the CFO of the Year Award.

In a later interview with CFO South Africa she explained that she is deeply honoured to be recognised for this award, adding that it restores dignity to all the people who have chosen to be of service to the country. “It also affirms that good governance in the public sector is achievable, and demonstrates that an environment characterised by preventative controls and good risk management can exist. It is possible to provide excellent service to stakeholders, uphold the highest ethical standards and respect for public funds and the greater good.”

She invited all CFOs in the public sector to continue to aim for excellence in service of the people in building the nation, and to fuel a cohort characterised by ethical conduct and self-leadership.

Read more: Bongi Ngoma’s pursuit of excellence

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