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SPECIAL REPORT: REAL EMPOWERMENT

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Career highlights

I started at Deloitte in 1988 and became the first black female partner and subsequently Chairman at Deloitte Southern Africa. I am also a former first woman president of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), a body dedicated to nurturing emerging black accountants.

Academic involvement

My commitment to academic excellence and skills development for younger members of society prompted me to want to serve on the board of the University of Pretoria where I am Chair of the Council and I am also on the board of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The Allay Gray foundation’s mission is really such an imperative one as what they aim to do is promote job creation by funding the education and training of university students. The programme has also recently extended its reach to provide funding to promising learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete their secondary schooling at leading institutions.

Board work

During my term as ABASA president, I helped launch the Nkuhlu Subvention Fund which subsidises salaries of black chartered accountants who lecture at previously disadvantaged universities, thus encouraging them to pursue a profession in academia.

I am a member of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative which strives to be the world’s most inclusive voluntary initiative to promote responsible corporate citizenship. The Compact’s vision is to ensure that business plays its essential part in achieving the United Nations objective of a more sustainable and inclusive global economy and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

I am also the Chairman and Trustee of the WDB Trust – a woman-centred socio-economic development programme targeting poor women by empowering them through access to reliable financial services, appropriate business skills, technical support, and information and communication technology training.

Currently I also serve as director and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Public Investment Commissioners with assets under management of R660 billion (US$ 93 billion). The Public Investment Commissioners are a non-banking financial intermediary responsible for the investment of social security and trust funds, but more particularly for the investment of public sector pension and provident funds.

I am also a member of the Money Laundering Advisory Council, the Standing Committee for the Revision of the Banks Act, 1990 and the NEPAD Business Foundation.

Until recently, I was one of the four Vice-presidents of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) which represents the interests of business people, employers and professional persons in South Africa. BUSA aims to ensure that organised business plays a constructive role, within the context of the country’s economic growth, development and transformation goals, in achieving an environment in which businesses of all sizes and in all sectors can thrive, expand and be competitive both nationally and internationally.

I previously led the Black Business Council Economic Research Unit and was also a member of the Presidential Working Group which, inter alia, provided policy input to government’s macro-economic framework.

I was also a member of the financial sector working group responsible for the formulation of the Financial Sector Transformation Charter which established the framework and principles upon which Black Economic Empowerment will be implemented in the financial services sector.

I am the founder and past council member of The Business Women’s Association, the organisation which recognises and promotes the status of women in business and professional environments.

Professional career

My professional career started in Umtata at W.L. Nkuhlu & Co in association with Hoek & Wiehahn. I then joined Deloitte & Touche in 1988 and became a partner in the Financial Institutions Services Team. I was the first black woman to be appointed as a partner by one of the Big Five accounting firms in South Africa, the first black woman to be appointed to the board and the first black woman to be appointed Chairman of one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Some Awards

  • 2002/2003 Top 300 Empowerment Publication Awards – Top black Business Personalities of the year
  • 2004 Business Woman of the Year – Nedbank and Business Women’s Association.
  • 2005 Top 300 Empowerment Publication Awards – Top black Business Personalities of the year
  • 2005 OWIT (Organisation of Women in International Trade – USA) International Woman of the Year
  • International Women’s Forum (SA)/Financial Mail – recognised as one of 50 of South Africa’s Most Influential Women
  • June 2007 International Achievement Award – National Association of Black Accountants USA (NABA)

Unwinding

I de-stress by reading books on philosophy, particularly those dealing with what makes a good society. I go to gym, attend church and play golf.

Futhi Mtoba CA(SA), BCompt (Hons), BA (Econ) (Hons), also has a HDip in Banking Law, and is chairman of Deloitte Southern Africa.