“My fellow directors and I met as a board for the first time in October 2019. I am excited to be working with such exceptional board members and believe that together we represent an excellent balance of skills and experience that can help SAICA go from strength to strength.
Besides the governance review, one of the other major changes undergone by the Institute over the 2019 financial year was a review of the SAICA strategy. The time in which the Institute finds itself – characterised by the rapidly shifting nature of business, changing member needs, and an increased expectation for professional member bodies to play a more active social and economic role – means that we have had to relook how SAICA is positioned in order to best respond to all of these changes. The strategy comprised six pillars: ensuring the accountancy profession remains relevant; delivering member value; growth and transformation, thought leadership, making a quantifiable social contribution and supporting the sustainability of the profession.”
– Tsakani Maluleke: Chairman
Ms Tsakani Maluleke CA(SA)
Deputy Auditor-General at the Auditor-General of South Africa (non-executive Board Chairman) and Chairman of SAICA Board
As Deputy Auditor-General and Accounting Officer of the Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa, Tsakani Maluleke is the first woman to hold this executive position in the organisation’s 103-year history. She is a respected business leader with a wealth of governance experience gained through participation on numerous corporate boards and strategic committees. And now, added to these influential roles in society, she also proudly holds the title of Chairman of SAICA’s new board.
When she first chose to work for the Office of the Auditor-General and was subsequently appointed as the Deputy Auditor-general, her (now late) father’s words to her that he was proud of the person she had become and respected her choice. It is a moment that is very dear to her heart.
Being an inspirational and results-driven leader, she has over 20 years of experience in the private and public sectors, spanning diverse areas including auditing, consulting, corporate advisory, development finance, investment management, and skills development.
Tsakani prefers to be addressed with the title of CHAIRMAN, for the title refers to the role rather than the individual.
‘I am privileged that members of SAICA saw it fit to have me participate on the Board. I see this role as yet another valuable opportunity for me to serve the profession and society. Indeed, my passion for serving the profession and society has informed many of my career choices and has certainly allowed me to grow as a leader,’ says Tsakani.
‘The key imperatives that SAICA must attend to are stipulated in the priorities that the Board recently confirmed and communicated to members. These are member value, relevance and reputation, growth and transformation, and internal efficiencies. Of these, the most urgent is to enhance our relevance and reputation through communicating and elevating the many good things that the profession and its members do to contribute to society. We must take a strong stance on ethical conduct and act when people do wrong. We must continue to ensure that our qualification is consistently associated with the relevant technical and leadership competencies. Being and being seen to be ethical, capable professionals is our licence to operate in society,” she says.
‘The profession must focus on ensuring that it actively pursues its central mandate, that of acting in the public interest. To my mind, that is about ensuring that we use our privilege to act not in the interest of narrow, short-term gains, but to shift the pendulum towards making business choices that are informed by what is good for broader society. These are the more difficult choices. CAs(SA) have to rise to the challenge of informing and supporting better choices on the allocation of resources such that we reduce inequality and reduce the adverse impact of our activities on the planet and communities. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact across the globe has highlighted that we have to make better choices as humanity.’
She believes female leaders bring a different set of leadership competencies and attributes that can complement their male counterparts.
‘I would encourage my fellow female CAs(SA) to rise to the challenge of providing the world with the brand of leadership that it so sorely needs. One need only look at the different countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to be reminded that with the world becoming more uncertain and ambiguous, there is a strong need for leaders that courageously take decisive action, lean into their human instinct and lead with empathy, and inspire and inform through effective communication that is clear, honest and compassionate. These are all strengths that women often demonstrate.
Tsakani describes herself as an open book and enjoys quality time with her close-knit family. And being a huge fan of Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton, she loves watching tennis and motor racing.
Mr Johan du Toit SC
BProc, LLB (UFS), LLM(Corporate Law) (cum laude) (UJ)
The advertisement for filling SAICA’s positions invited candidates with an absolute dedication to governance of the highest order. This was an aspiration Johan could, and did, associate himself with fully. He feels privileged and grateful for having been given the opportunity to join SAICA’s board in the pursuit of this goal.
He has extensive experience advising governors on their legal duties and the principles of King IVTM. He has written several journal publications on governance, one of which suggesting civil liability for certain state-capturers based on them being shadow directors. Johan is co-author of Shareholder Actions, a book comprehensively stating the law in England and South Africa on directors’ duties and shareholders’ rights. He regularly interacts with CAs providing calculations of loss or business valuation required in litigation.
One of his proudest career achievements is becoming a barrister in England and Wales. It involves a ceremony where one is ‘called’ to the Bar by one of the Inns of Court in London. He was admitted as the 400th member in the 400th year of the existence of such Inns, being the Middle Temple.
‘As a practising senior advocate, having practised law my entire adult life, I am dedicated to assisting in bringing about phase II of the governance reform project, particularly in relation to the disciplinary process. Not only registered auditors but all accountants form a bulwark against corruption. Integrity can be maintained by complying with the law and by appropriate disciplinary steps if a transgression arises,’ says Johan.
Johan is a member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa and that in the UK; a non-executive director of Imisebe Yethemba, an NPO serving the Alexandra community; and a non-executive director of Seraphim Financial Services (Pty) Ltd.
He states – tongue in cheek − that what he enjoys most about his career are the holidays. On a more serious note, he says he enjoys the ability to share integrated knowledge acquired over 43 years of practice with newcomers to the profession.
For Johan being an ethical citizen means to ‘walk the talk’ and comply with all rules and regulations however trivial they might appear, and paying taxes and fines promptly.
‘South Africa will not become a better place for everyone unless we move towards a situation where nobody goes to bed hungry; among all the options of kick-starting the flailing economy I would put policy certainty on top,’ says Johan.
He and his wife are avid walkers and enjoy travelling. He enjoys dabbling with photography and is besotted with Scandinavian crime novels.
Ms Yasmin Forbes
MBA, Chartered Director (CD(SA)), Information Technology Executive and Business Consultant
Yasmin Forbes is a savvy technology industry executive with over 35 years’ extensive professional expertise and a significant executive leadership track record.
Before starting her own business, Yasmin worked with technology multinationals such as WordPerfect Corp, Novell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Oracle, predominately in strategy, sales, technical and business development, after a successful career in leveraging technology as being an enabler for achieving business objectives working with teams across multiple geographies addressing business efficiencies and improving the bottom line. Yasmin coaches executives/directors on being tech-savvy in an environment where the cloud, big data, mobile, social media and the Internet of Things are changing the way businesses operate and how modern societies work.
What she enjoys most about her career is her ability to apply her learnings within the technology and governance sphere, coupled with her openness to life-long learning and collaboration with others.
Her combination of hands-on and executive experience positions her perfectly to provide substantial value as a SAICA board member, particularly relating to addressing current economic and social challenges. She is excited and looks forward to contributing towards the interests of SAICA and the chartered accountancy profession stating that she fully supports the direction of SAICA’s strategy moving forward as per decisions and discussions with the Board under the leadership of our chair, Ms Tsakani Maluleke.
‘The reason for pursuing a chartered directorship was the ability to not only maintain my independence as a director but also share my skills and experience to the benefit of the board of SAICA,’ says Yasmin.
Her thoughts on the future CA(SA)? ‘The ability to operate in a virtual world coupled with the testament to how CAs can truly Learn, Unlearn and Relearn (The Future of CA2025) to be relevant knowledge-based workers in a virtual world with the adoption of a non-silo environment.’
Yasmin believes that the characteristics of a great leader are compassion, empathy, relevance, and being a good listener.
She says it is a challenging time for all right now – it calls for the collective to show compassion, be mindful and respectful of others.
’Let us stand strong as a nation and believe that the collective leadership is dealing with all aspects. However, let us also be mindful of the opportunity to have our say by participating in various surveys and comment as made available to us as citizens.’
Professor Ilse Lubbe CA(SA)
Associate Professor, College of Accounting, University of Cape Town
Ilse has been involved in the education of accounting professionals for more than 20 years and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with her research focus on accounting education. She has been the lead author of the textbook Financial Accounting: IFRS Principles. Her publications, participation in panel discussions and presentations at conferences have contributed to her international profile.
‘Being involved in the education of young people is great, particularly when you get an opportunity to witness and share in their achievements and successes. I also enjoy the research component of academe, for example, I lead an Ethics in Education collaborative research group,’ says Ilse. She was responsible for the planning and development of the curriculum for the new Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Accounting at UCT that was launched in 2015. She was the project leader of the UCT team that supported the University of Zululand with their journey to receiving SAICA accreditation and sharing their joy when that was achieved was amazing.
Being part of SAICA’s board is a huge honour for her and she says she is excited and optimistic about what they can achieve.
‘The main priority for me is to ensure that the education of professional accountants remains relevant for South Africa and globally. I further wish to improve the commitment of all SAICA members regarding ethics. Accountants need to be accountable. We need to emphasise personal and ethical values, improve the education and competencies of employees at all levels, and hold people responsible for their actions.
‘Currently the curriculum of professional accountants has as its main focus the accounting, management, auditing and taxation of profit-driven corporate entities. There is a huge blind spot: non-profit, small entrepreneurial entities and public sector entities are mostly ignored. The issue is not what is currently covered in the curriculum but rather what is missing,’ she says.
‘For the education of professional accountants to remain relevant for South Africa and globally, the curriculum needs to include information technology and business-decision knowledge. This includes the frameworks and principles that are relevant to different types of entities, as well as the challenges associated with social and environmental accountability. To be accountable, responsible and valued, the accountant of the future needs to have strong technical and technological capabilities and apply strong ethical principles.
She is a firm believer that personal and ethical values start at the top – often referred to as the ‘tone at the top’ and ‘lead by example’: ‘Organisations that have an ethical policy and procedures document that is not respected and adhered to by leaders and senior management may as well have no policy at all. Leaders and top management should lead by example as the first port of call. For example, if the policy requires the attendance of an ethics workshop, it does not mean that senior managers or partners may be exempt from attending on account of their seniority,’ says Ilse.
In her spare time, you will find Ilse taking long drives where she can unapologetically blare her favourite music from yesteryear. She loves spending time with her family, enjoys chocolate, and was once an avid sportswoman, especially on the hockey field.
Professor Monica Singer CA(SA)
ConsenSys AG-South Africa Lead for ConsenSys
Monica Singer’s first job after finishing her articles was to join SAICA in the technical department where she spent eight happy years as technical director developing the standards of accounting and auditing for the profession before moving to Washington DC to work at the World Bank in Washington DC.
‘SAICA was my first love and has always been close to my heart. It feels like my life has come full circle and now after 25 years I come back as a board member,’ says Monica.
Monica Singer was the first CEO of South Africa’s Central Securities Depository (CSD), Strate (Pty) Ltd, which she set up in 1998. Strate performs the back-office functions for all the stock exchanges in South Africa and for money market instruments. In August 2017 Monica resigned as the CEO of Strate and all related board positions so she could concentrate on bringing blockchain technology to all relevant industries.
One of Monica’s proudest career achievements is the day that the World Economic Forum announced that South African financial markets were in the Top 3 in the world due to the efficiencies that the stock exchange and Strate − the company she had created and run for 20 years − had implemented. South Africa was also among the top countries for compliance with accounting and auditing standards.
‘I felt that my contribution to standard-setting had influenced this outcome too. Sadly, we have now dropped from the top, and this is why we need to take action,’ says Monica.
Monica has been recognised over the last 20 years with many awards, the most notable being the first winner of the Conscious Company award in 2017.
In October 2017, she was appointed as South Africa Lead for ConsenSys. ConsenSys is assembling the tools needed to build and scale a world where distributed applications enable a new class of frictionless, global commerce with inclusion for all.
In 2018, Monica was appointed as one of the patrons of the Corporate Governance Framework Research Institute in South Africa. In June 2018, she was appointed board member of the Global Legal Identifier Foundation based in Switzerland and in May 2019 she was appointed Professor of Practice in the School of Accounting at the University of Johannesburg. In May 2019, Monica was also appointed to represent ConsenSys on the Accounting Blockchain Coalition (ABC) board. ABC is defining market practices in accounting, auditing and tax for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies, including blockchain.
Besides being passionate about working in areas where she can help combat corruption, she loves travelling, cooking and exercising.
‘So, when I am not in front of a computer working, I am either at the gym or in the kitchen making something really nice!’
Ms Patricia Stock CA(SA)
Registered Auditor, CEO at AfricaRAS
Patricia is currently the CEO of AfricaRAS group and has diverse governance experience gained from her non-executive and executive directorship roles. She served on the boards of entities such as the Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority and Ripple Reading and she is currently a board observer-member of the Mining Investment Company. Additionally, she served on various audit committees both as a member and as the chairman (currently as chairman of Council for the Built Environment’s Audit Committee). Patricia has more than 15 years’ experience in the accounting and auditing profession. Additionally, she led strategic business units and teams in challenging and diverse environments. Prior to that, she was an audit partner and head of transformation for BDO South Africa.
Patricia Stock sees her new role as part of SAICA’s board as a wonderful opportunity to plough back to the profession. She is set for the challenge to contribute to bringing the necessary change to meet the SAICA’s key stakeholders’ needs.
She has gained expertise in audit quality assistance from her various audit and audit quality assurance roles at the Auditor-General of South Africa. She further served some years at the IRBA Committee for Auditing Standards’ Public Sector Standing Committee. In the light of the new and revised quality management standards that the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is currently working, her view is that ‘Audit quality is a result of the firm’s culture and a way of doing things, which is informed by a collective of individual behaviours. What you tolerate in your operational and governance processes will determine the results and impact of your work. Qualified auditors know the best frameworks, standards, etc, which is what they audit against; thus, it is not the knowledge gap but rather the implementation and the matter of auditors doing what they know is best,’ says Patricia.
Patricia is passionate about contributing to the development of professional skills in Africa and empowering other women and young girls. As such seeing her former trainees and mentees successful in various leadership roles, they currently fulfil brings her much fulfilment. Her motto is ‘Grow as I grow’. ‘I have a conviction that the best way to grow in any area of my life is through imparting my knowledge onto others or organisations that I become part of, which also requires me to continuously self-develop to continue to make a meaningful contribution,” says Patricia.
For Patricia being an ethical citizen means ‘doing things in a way that you can thank God for it and its outcome’.
Patricia is a proud wife and mother of four delightful children. In her spare time, she enjoys motivational speaking, travel, cooking and dancing. She embraces reading as part of her continuous self and career development as she believes that ‘Once you stop learning, you start dying’ (Albert Einstein).
Mr Jacobus (Kobus) Swanepoel CA(SA)
Lecturer, Business Consultant, President of SAICA
Kobus Swanepoel is the president of the SAICA National Council and has served as a director of the Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund Board. He is a member of the Initial Professional Development Committee and is actively involved in professional development at different levels. Kobus was appointed as a SAICA board member in July 2016.
Being an academic for 25 years and having served for more than 10 years on various committees of SAICA on a regional front, Kobus states that he has seen major changes through the years in the profession. What excited him most to date was the introduction of the APC a few years ago, where he was involved with the implementation of it and was a team leader for three years.
‘The change to assess professional competence and pervasive skills truly incorporates market expectations that a CA(SA) must be able to see beyond the numbers and technical issues and add value to business. Being involved with the ITC as marker, umpire and reviewer, as well as later serving on the IPD committee, I can vouch for the rigour and integrity of the ITC as the first step into the profession. The move beyond the initial two assessments to continuous learning through CPD requirements and offerings by SAICA completes the cycle,’ says Kobus.
Making a difference in the lives of people, especially young people, and helping to shape their futures is a privilege and therefore every candidate that qualify as a new CA and has attended his class remains special to Kobus.
Being a lecturer in Financial Management with the link to strategy and sustainability ensures that current affairs are part of the education of students. ‘The fact that these subject areas are embedded in the real world makes it exiting to teach beyond the theory. I am privileged to consult and perform business valuations for a variety of clients. This completes the business cycle as everything that happens affects the value of business. Taking this as case studies / discussions to class brings the market to the students,’ he says.
Kobus encourages more members to become actively involved in the profession, as he states that only a small percentage of members know what is happening regarding initiatives by SAICA.
‘What we found is that an engaged member also becomes part of solutions and problem-solving. Members that are properly informed help to build a positive brand.’
In his spare time, Kobus plays golf and loves fishing. To get rid of his frustrations and keep his sanity he enjoys doing some woodwork and steelwork. This, he says, helps with being creative.
Ms Refilwe Matenche CA(SA)
Education Consultant and President of the African Women’s Movement
Refilwe Matenche’s passion for gender equality led her to be the founder and president of the non-profit organisation for women professionals, the African Women’s Movement (AWM) with a presence outside South Africa. For her outstanding contribution towards women-empowering initiatives, she was a SAICA Top 35-under-35 finalist in 2018.
‘As the president of the African Women’s Movement, it really brings me joy seeing people succeed and get ahead using the platform. I truly believe that deliberately contributing to the advancement of women towards equal economic opportunities is my calling and it is something that I love doing,’ says Refilwe.
‘Gender equality is one of the seventeen United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5) that calls for equal rights and opportunity for women and girls. This is integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development, and the chartered accountancy is no exception.’
Refilwe has over five years’ teaching experience as a former lecturer in the Department of Taxation and Auditing at the University of South Africa (Unisa). Her teaching experience has inspired her to venture into education consulting with the objective of exploring the best educational techniques and technologies for post-school education and training – especially in light of the learning challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Refilwe has governance experience as the chairperson of the Health and Welfare Sector Education Training Authority under the Department of Higher Education and Training and as an interim council member of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA).
‘One of the proudest moments of my career came when the Institute of Directors South Africa (IODSA) conducted a board appraisal where my leadership skills as a chairperson were ranked at 5,3 out of 6,’ she says.
About being a board member of SAICA, she says: ‘To be identified by my peers as being capable to occupy this new role has been truly humbling and I do not take the opportunity for granted. I feel honoured to serve with such esteemed and knowledgeable individuals from whom I have in a short time already learnt so much.’
Refilwe is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society resulting from her outstanding performance at the University of Witwatersrand as part of the top 15% in the institution.
To further satisfy her urge for teaching and learning, Refilwe and her sister, an attorney, started an edutainment channel on YouTube called ‘Sisters On Life’. Through this channel, they seek to create a peer mentorship platform for aspirational professionals to learn from each other.
She describes the common thread in her life experiences as an inclination for learning and teaching − in that order. ‘It may therefore not come as a surprise that I love reading, especially self-help books, and travelling. This allows me to expand my thinking outside my comfort zone, broaden my perspective, and experience different cultures as well as alternative ways of doing things,’ she says.
Mr Bonolo Ramokhele CA(SA)
Executive Chairperson at Differentia (Pty) Ltd
Bonolo graduated from Wits University and completed his articles at Deloitte and Touche. His awards include the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Alumni and he was a SAICA Top 35-under-35 finalist in 2014. He is the founder and Executive Chairperson of the Differentia group of companies and is the Treasurer General of the Black Business Council. He is also a successful entrepreneur.
Bonolo sees his election as a board member as a responsibility of national importance and an opportunity to ensure that the profession takes paradigm-shifting decisions when it comes to leadership in the country and transformation of the profession and the landscape of the country.
‘The main objective is to ensure the name of the profession regains its former glory and ensuring SAICA works for members. The second objective is to play a role as a collective in ensuring that the race to having the profession reflect the demographics of the country is accelerated especially ensuring there’s gender equity in all aspects of the profession in the long term, says Bonolo.
‘As a business leader and entrepreneur, I love starting businesses, chasing opportunities and empowering people, be it through employment opportunities or partnerships. Being part of the leadership of the largest organised business federation in the country, the Black Business Council, gives one a glimpse of policy decisions at the highest level of the country’s leadership and interacting with legislation that can impact businesses and society at large,’ he says.
‘We can boost SMMEs by ensuring they have access to capital and markets to sell their goods and services. Every economy that has done well has done it off the strong base of a robust SMME sector. We also need to address the ownership patterns of the economy and ensure it reflects the demographics of the country as it’s not sustainable to have a significant part of the population not economically active,’ says Bonolo.
His board experience includes City of Johannesburg’s City Power and the South African Post Office. He is the former chairman of the audit committees at CJC TVET College and sits on the board of the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance which is responsible for training all teachers in Gauteng, as well as being chairman of the finance committees at Gauteng CET College. He was appointed by the Deputy President to sit on the board of the South African National Aids Council Trust and is the Treasurer General of the top organised business organisation in the country, the Black Business Council.
For a bit of relaxation, he enjoys running marathons and producing hip hop beats. That is if he gets the time.
Ms Babalwa Bekwa
BCom Hons, MBA,
Head of Programme Office at Discovery Health
Up until Babalwa Bekwa’s matric year, she had set her sights on being a chartered accountant along with most of her friends in high school. But after attending two university open days and stepping into a few server rooms and computer labs, her decision was completely swayed.
Today, Babalwa has 16 years’ IT experience and currently heads up the strategic project office at Discovery. Her interests lie in IT transformation, platforms and digital innovation.
Her core skills centred on IT innovation, digital strategy and organisational transformation management, digitisation strategy implementation, including mobile application design, product innovation, digital marketing strategy and social media. She is passionate about guiding organisations on the strategic leverage that technology provides and people change management strategies.
‘I am duty-bound, acting independently, to bring all that I am in terms of skills and experience to add value and provide leadership to ensure SAICA’s mission and strategy delivers value to all members and its stakeholders at large. One of the ways that SAICA can harness this is through meaningful member engagement, building trust with all organs in our ecosystem and maturing digital platforms for the young future leaders yet to join the South African workforce. I hope to see this being achieved at SAICA with me having contributed wholeheartedly,’ says Babalwa about her new role as a board member of SAICA.
Babalwa serves as a non-executive director on the Caliba group board and in her current role sits at Exco management level. Her digital strategy experience spans several years in banking, the public sector, and telecommunications, with the most recent being in health insurance. She is a proponent of sound business strategy and defends the value of accounting in protecting business integrity and practical financial governance.
On advising business leaders on implementing an effective digital strategy for their business or companies, she says one should ensure to use all relevant tools to gain an understanding of the customer by ‘listening’ and surveying your base properly so you deliver on what matters to them.
‘Employ a friction-free design approach to every single customer experience and journey. Don’t just automate old processes; they come laden with old habits. Lastly, be data-driven, always measure and be ruthless about culling products or services based on customer feedback received,’ she adds.
She advises CAs(SA) to ensure they are equipped for their future role by learning a technological skill and engaging technology creatively, for example analytics and blogging, or learning a programming language.
‘The more you know about the technology value chain, the more inputs and relevance into the future of the future world where the jobs we have may not be as relevant,’ she advises.
And if you’d like to jack up your tech skills, Babalwa recommends reading, among others, Platform Revolution, Sprint, Machine, Platform, Crowd and Growing Greatness.
She enjoys a good book (audiobooks too), spending time with her family, gardening, and has started knitting again.