Mava Shude CA(SA), the CFO of Langeberg Municipality, has had a remarkable journey. His story showcases the transformative power of seizing unexpected opportunities. From attending a SAICA camp to becoming a distinguished chartered accountant, Shude has embraced his role in the public sector with passion and determination.
But he did not choose to become a CA(SA): It happened by chance. In high school, he had taken science subjects. In Grade 11, when he heard that there was a SAICA camp planned for accounting students, he asked to be enrolled for accounting as an additional subject, just so that he could attend the camp.
His request was approved by the Department of Education and the principal was certain he would pass all his subjects, including the extra one he’d signed up for. He was also informed that he would not be allowed to drop any subjects during the remainder of his schooling. Because accounting and geography clashed, he would take classes for these subjects on alternate days.
‘This meant that I missed half a year of classes for both, but I still managed to complete matric and do well in all my subjects,’ Shude says. ‘After that, I got a call from Thuthuka, and I was awarded a bursary to do BCom Accounting at the University of the Western Cape. It was an offer I could not refuse.’
He recalls that achieving a work/life balance while at varsity was tough. The course was extremely demanding for a young man who was full of energy and wanted to enjoy life while also passing his exams. But he was a good student, and capable of being well-rounded.
He joined the Auditor-General of South Africa in 2014 as a trainee, completed his articles there, and was appointed as an assistant audit manager in 2017. Later that year he made a move to the private sector, joining an online retailer as the CFO.
Shude joined Langeberg Municipality in 2018. That same year he was nominated for SAICA’s Top-35-under-35 competition. He was motivated to join the municipality because it offered him the opportunity to work in a dynamic and challenging environment and the chance to make a meaningful impact on the local community. He soon moved up the ranks of the municipality from chief audit executive to CFO.
‘The former municipal manager, Soyisile Mokweni, was also a huge factor as he was one of the few who displayed intelligence, professionalism, and competence for me. To work with and learn from him was something I could not let go of,’ says Shude.
Langeberg Municipality is an area in the scenic Cape Winelands District. It is bordered by Breede Valley in the north and west and by the Overberg District in the south and east. As the CFO of the municipality, Shude plays a critical role in enabling the organisation to make a difference in the lives of its citizens. He is responsible for managing the municipality’s finances, including budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting.
‘My main goal is to improve the livelihood of the citizens of the Langeberg area. By ensuring that the municipality’s financial resources are properly allocated and managed, I help make it possible to deliver essential services such as public safety, infrastructure, and social services,’ he says. ‘I also play a key role in promoting transparency and accountability in the municipality’s financial affairs, ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively. The leadership and financial expertise that comes from being a CA(SA) is essential to Langeberg Municipality’s ability to fulfil its mission and make a positive impact on our community.’
Shude likes to have a lot of irons in the fire. He is chairperson of the Southern Region Public Sector Committee of SAICA, chairman of the Audit Committee of the Consolidated Retirement Fund, and a partner at Shumane Global Management Accounting Firm.
At SAICA, he represents the interests of the public sector within the accounting profession and is responsible for promoting the development and adoption of best practices in financial reporting, auditing, and governance, as well as for providing a forum for dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in the public sector. He also serves as the spokesperson for the Southern Region Public Sector Committee and is responsible for advocating for policies that promote transparency, accountability, and ethical behaviour in the public sector.
As the chairperson of the audit committee of the Consolidated Retirement Fund, he plays a critical role in overseeing the financial reporting and auditing processes of the fund. He’s also responsible for ensuring that financial statements are accurate, complete, and comply with relevant accounting standards and regulatory requirements.
‘I also oversee the fund’s internal controls and risk management processes, ensuring that they are effective and appropriate for the fund’s operations,’ he says. ‘Part of my role is to engage with external auditors and ensure their findings are appropriately addressed by management. Overall, I safeguard the financial integrity and accountability of the Consolidated Retirement Fund.’
As a partner at Shumane Global Management, he is responsible for managing and overseeing the firm’s operations and client relationships. He also has an ownership stake in the firm. ‘Developing and implementing strategies for growing the business, managing and mentoring staff, and maintaining strong relationships with clients are all part of what I do. I also take part in setting policies and standards, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, and maintaining the firm’s reputation and brand so that we can deliver high-quality services to clients.’
Shude himself remains deeply committed to his public sector work. Employing chartered accountants in the public sector, he maintains, strengthens financial governance, enhances compliance, improves financial management practices, and fosters trust and credibility. Their expertise contributes to effective resource allocation, informed decision-making, and the responsible stewardship of public funds, ultimately benefiting the government, taxpayers, and the public.
‘By working in the public sector, CAs(SA) can help to ensure that public resources are used effectively and efficiently, that financial reporting is accurate and transparent, and that there is proper oversight and governance of public institutions,’ Shude says.
‘We provide essential services to citizens, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and social services. Effective financial management is critical to ensuring that these services are adequately funded and delivered. By bringing our financial expertise and experience to the public sector, CAs(SA) can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending, ensure that public resources are used for their intended purposes, and promote transparency and accountability in public institutions.’
People like Shude, who work in the public sector, can make a significant difference in the lives of citizens and contribute to the overall development and growth of the country. It’s essential, he says, because financial rigour has the power to drive positive change.