Nolwazi Mamorare. The Finance Leader Difference Makers award is always a highly contested category, but in the end, the judges agreed on the impact this individual has despite many challenges continued to excel.
Making a difference through passionate education
As a true Difference Maker, Nolwazi Mamorare CA(SA), from the University of Johannesburg, is managing revenue of over R6 billion and has increased her employer’s reserves base from R1,65 billion in 2018 to R3,17 billion in 2023 to provide a solid and stable environment.
She achieved this through innovative revenue growth and cost reduction, whilst not cutting back on investments in infrastructure land and still providing incentives. Her impact on transforming lives through accessible education and her dedication to financial excellence make her a deserving winner in this category.
Nolwazi has been serving as the chief financial officer of the University of Johannesburg since 2018, but her journey with the university began in 2014 when she accepted the role of executive director, responsible for financial governance and revenue.
Throughout her career, she has held senior executive positions in various public and private sector organisations.
‘One of my notable accomplishments is leading a significant regulatory reform program in financial reporting and assurance for the Higher Education sector. While working at the Auditor-General South Africa, I successfully aligned the auditing and financial reporting practices of public higher education institutions with the requirements of the Public Audit Act.’
This involved extensive collaboration with vice-chancellors, principals, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and auditors in the sector.
‘Together, we developed a framework that promotes transparency and accountability in reporting while upholding the institutions’ academic freedom. Education has always been a passion of mine, and I have actively contributed to its impact on society.’
In the past, Nolwazi served as a SAICA-accredited training officer, and in her current role as CFO of UJ, she has been instrumental in driving institutional fundraising efforts.
‘Over the past five years, we have raised more than R3 billion in scholarship and research funding for the university. Throughout my journey, I have encountered both successes and challenges, but my dedication to education and financial stewardship has remained constant.’
Having come from a modest background, Nolwazi has personally experienced the transformative power of someone giving you an opportunity. ‘I now have the chance to do the same for others, and I firmly believe that this is the most sustainable approach to addressing societal poverty and challenges. I have learned that pursuing endeavours without meaningful purpose fails to bring me true peace of mind, and realising profits without a greater purpose is not where my true strengths lie.’
Nolwazi feels immensely humbled and grateful for the recognition bestowed upon her by SAICA. ‘I extend my gratitude not only to SAICA but also to the supportive partners within the SAICA community who collaborate with us to bring about positive change in the lives of our students.’
There are still many goals Nolwazi would like to achieve in her lifetime. ‘One of my primary ambitions is to continue making a meaningful difference in the field of education, particularly in ensuring equitable access to quality education for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds. I aim to contribute to the development of sustainable models that support educational institutions financially while prioritising the needs of marginalised communities.’
In today’s challenging climate, Nolwazi feels universities have become vulnerable targets for corruption, as witnessed in national, provincial, and local government entities. ‘It is imperative for our communities, including the SAICA community, to act as guardians of these invaluable national assets. We must staunchly defend them and make it unequivocally unacceptable for anyone to misuse or squander these resources. Failure to do so would have grave consequences for our nation’s future.’