Speaker Bio’s

Innovation in Action

Dr. Alistair Mokoena

Dr. Alistair Mokoena is the Country Director for Google South Africa. He is a qualified Chartered Marketer with 25 years corporate experience. He was previously a Brand Manager at Unilever, Senior Brand Manager at Tiger Brands, Marketing Manager SABMiller, Marketing Director at Mondelez and Absa bank respectively.

In addition to marketing leadership roles, Dr Mokoena was previously Managing Director of FCB Advertising Agency and Group Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy South Africa, where he presided over Ogilvy’s record-setting award wins. He has received many industry awards over the years including the Global Brands’ Best Advertising and Marketing Leader in South Africa in 2019.

Dr Mokoena previously served on a number of marketing and advertising industry bodies in the following capacities: Deputy Chairman of the Association for Communication and Advertising, Chairman of the Integrated Advertising Bureau, member of the Advertising Regulatory Board’s Final Appeal Committee, founding member of the Johannesburg Business School’s International Advisory Board, and member of the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Intelligent Systems’ Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the North West University Business School.

Dr Mokoena is an Extraordinary Professor of Practice at the North-West University Business School, an external examiner for Botho University in Botswana, a postgraduate supervisor at Vega School and a Council member at the University of Johannesburg. He has published articles in academic journals, contributed book chapters, reviewed several books and delivered papers at international academic conferences.

He coaches young professionals, mentors SMMEs and is a regular guest speaker at international business schools and at industry events. He is passionate about social justice and equal opportunity for all.

His academic qualifications include BCom, LLB, Management Development Programme (MDP), Executive Development Programme (EDP), MBA and PhD in Business Administration.

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Dr Lindsay Petersen

Dr Lindsay Petersen is the Chief Operations Officer of Mediclinic Precise, formerly known as Artisan Biomed, specialising in the application of genomics technologies in precision medicine, including next-generation sequencing (NGS), microarray, real-time PCR platforms and bioinformatics solutions.

Petersen is a qualified and multi-skilled ‘total industry solution’ with 14 years of experience in routine diagnostics operations, diagnostic lab design, using state-of-the-art interdisciplinary technologies, and managing a diverse specialist ‘omics’ team.

Her strong passion for skills transfer saw her manage the sampling and genomics component of a global multi-disciplinary cancer research project funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), United States, where she provided scientific expertise, content, and training across several African countries.

Lindsay is driven to grow and create more awareness around an ‘omics’ approach and its application in precision medicine across Southern Africa.

She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology obtained at the University of Cape Town and studied her BSc majors in Biochemistry and Microbiology. She was a recipient of an NRF Equity Doctoral Scholarship and the Mamphela Ramphele/Chevening Scholarship, which included one year of research in the Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford University.

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Ms Sihle Mdluli

Sihle is the New Business Development Executive at African Rainbow Minerals(ARM). Her key focus is to grow the ARM’s current portfolio and to diversify into new commodities that will be in demand in the future through commercialisation of new technologies.

Sihle joined ARM from Bushveld Minerals, a vertically integrated vanadium producer through its mining and energy businesses. At Bushveld, she was the Director of Strategy and Corporate Services.

Prior to joining Bushveld Minerals, Sihle was a Director/Partner and Operations Transformation leader at Deloitte Africa’s Strategy and Operations practice. She assisted her clients in defining and executing on their strategies and in improving their cost per output unit in a sustainable manner - whilst ensuring robust stakeholder engagement to enable lasting socio-economic impact in the communities where they operate. She joined Deloitte in 2010 and prior to that she worked for De Beers where she accumulated over six years’ experience in mining; in plant operations, general management and diamond sales.

She holds a BSc Engineering degree in Metallurgy and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand. Sihle believes that her life’s work is doing well by doing good – and this is a motto she lives by.

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Mining: A new partnership for growth

Dr Glen Nwaila

Prof Glen Nwaila is the Director of the Wits Mining Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), having joined Wits six years ago. Before joining Wits, he worked in the mining and consulting industries for 12 years where he led teams of mining professionals and led audits in the mineral resources and extractive metallurgy.

Glen is also a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University in Sweden under the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. He currently serves as one of the 35 IGC Legacy Fund's Board Members and on the South African Journal of Geology editorial board.

Having worked in surface and underground mining operations, Glen’s work focuses on developing technology and skills to enable the 21st Century digital transformation and sustainable mining model, risk analysis and management in mining projects and mineral prospectivity mapping within the geometallurgy realm. Prof. Nwaila has received several awards, including the South Africa Rising Star award and the Science Oscar Awards with his team at Wits, awarded by the NSTF-South32 under the “Data for Research” theme.

He is a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa.

He completed his PhD with Magna Cum Laude at the Würzburg University in Germany, MSc in Chemical Engineering (with merit) at the University of Cape Town and an Honours degree in Geology from the University of Johannesburg.

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Tourism, Digital and Creative Economy

Dr Madeleine de Cock Buning

Prof Madeleine de Cock Buning is Vice President for Public Policy EMEA at Netflix. Madeleine works with her team to ensure Netflix continues to play an active role in supporting governments across the region in their efforts to promote and champion the creative industries as a catalyst for innovation, jobs and creativity.

Madeleine is also professor of Copyright and Media Law at the University of Utrecht Faculty of Law, chaired professor of Digital Politics, Economy and Societies at the European University Institute in Florence and Chair of the Advisory Board at the European Digital Media Observatory. Previously, Madeleine was Chair of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on disinformation (2018), chair of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (2016 & 2017) and President of the Board of Commissioners at the Dutch Media Authority (2009-2019).

She was Honorary Judge of the Court of Appeal in The Hague (2010-2020) and was a panellist of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, United Nations (2001-2018).

Madeleine received the Royal Distinction, Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Minister Patricia de Lille

Patricia de Lille was appointed as the Minister of Tourism by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2023.

De Lille is a seasoned politician and public servant having has served in all three spheres of government since South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994. She has been fighting injustice for more than 45 years and was part of the team which led the constitutional negotiations and the team which drafted South Africa’s Constitution.

She is the only South African female politician to start her own political parties and win seats in all three spheres of government. De Lille achieved this feat twice, in 2003 with the Independent Democrats and in 2019 with the GOOD Movement.

De Lille served as the Mayor of Cape Town between 2011 and 2018 where accountability and clean governance were the cornerstones of her term.

De Lille served as the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) from June 2019 to March 2023 where she drove the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan, repurposing government’s assets for greater socio-economic value, clamping down on corruption and ensuring that public land and public buildings were used for public good.

In her role as the Minister of Tourism, De Lille will focus efforts on destination marketing, increasing air access and visitor numbers to South Africa and efforts to increase the number of jobs created by the sector.

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Mr Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa. Tshifhiwa is a strategic, versatile, and innovative marketing, tourism, communications, and business executive. His experience spans two decades, with a track record of visionary leadership, strategic project development and execution, travel and tourism events management and communications.

In the over 20 years, since his first foray into the world of work, Tshifhiwa has worked for various companies in the tourism value chain including South African Tourism, Myriad Marketing, FEDHASA, Rennies Travel, SARS, and others. He has also consulted for various companies. Tshifhiwa serves on several boards in the tourism space including the global Board of Advisors for The Sigmund Project, which supports innovation and collaboration in tourism across the globe. Tshifhiwa has positioned himself as a thought leader and advocate for the South African tourism sector. He is an ambassador for tourism development in South Africa and Africa. He regularly writes, debates and comments on tourism development and growth in South Africa.

He has been a panel member in several discussions about how the South African tourism sector can leverage innovation and technology to boost the hospitality industry.

“Digital innovation in terms of tourism is very important, if you look at the last ten years for example, we have seen transition from paper check-ins at airports to the use of smartphones to board a flight. We need to figure out how to create symbiosis between technology advancements and the traditional roles in the sector. This includes training hospitality staff to be ready for jobs of the future.”

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Ms Sandiso Sibisi

Sandiso Sibisi, is an innovator and entrepreneur, with over 13 years’ experience in technology consulting. She is the former Head of Open Innovation (Africa) at Accenture and has led tech implementations, data strategy, cost reductions assignments in the Consumer Goods and Financial Services sector.

She is the founder of COOi Studios, an innovation lab for corporations. In just three years she has exponentially grown the company in revenue year on year, servicing JSE and NYSE listed companies in financial services, resources, healthcare and consumer goods.

Amongst other accolades she is a Sustainable Development Goals ambassador, Mzansi’s 100 Inspiring and Aspiring Leaders, a Play Your Part Ambassador with Brand South Africa, an Inspiring Fifty Women in Tech and a Mandela Washington Fellow.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Information Systems (Honours) from Wits University and has a Certificate of Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD Business School. Sandiso is currently a Masters of Management- Innovation Studies candidate at Wits University.

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Agriculture: new products and markets

Dr Sifiso Ntombela

Sifiso Ntombela is an agricultural economist specialising in international trade and markets. He currently works for the National Agricultural Marketing Council as the Chief Economist, responsible for trade research and advisory to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

Dr Ntombela is an elected Vice-President for the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Wits School of Governance and a regular commentator on agriculture and food economics on radio and tv. He is a columnist for Fin24 and Farmers’ Weekly.

In 2022, Ntombela is the coordinator of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan and also serve in the Agriculture and Rural Development Group of the National Planning Commission. He is a former director at the Public Enterprises Department where he led strategic partnerships portfolio.

Mr Jacques de Vos

Jacques de Vos is the CEO and founder of Mezzanine, now a subsidiary of the Vodacom Group. His mandate is to lead this ever-growing organisation in delivering digital transformation across the African continent where more than 25 Mezzanine projects are currently active in 12 African countries. His vision for the company is to establish a platform business with unique insight and a formidable track record in the agricultural, healthcare, education and social services environments thus assisting enterprises and individuals in benefiting from the digital dividend throughout Africa.

Jacques’ expertise in bringing together public, private and not-for-profit implementation partners to drive impact in critical agricultural and healthcare areas has meant the transformation of an estimated 65 million lives. These lives belong to last mile users, who have limited access to technology due to their geographic and economic isolation. His skill in driving co-created partnerships and innovation in Africa have not only helped countries like Kenya and Tanzania leapfrog into the fourth industrial revolution, but have safeguarded the beneficiaries and recipients of these last mile solutions.

He travels the African continent extensively to personally work with governments and enterprises in need of fully managed solutions that can facilitate change among the typical problems of states and companies today. He is regularly called upon by world forums in agriculture, healthcare, aid and social services and ICT industries to advise and consult on ways in which to use technology to improve the lives of last mile users.

Armed with a Master’s Degree from Stellenbosch University in Bio-Medical Engineering and an additional two years of lecturing in computer science system design, Jacques is committed to finding innovative mobile-enabled solutions that deliver sustainable social impact.

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Solving the electricity crisis

Dr Miriam Altman

Dr. Miriam Altman is a recognised thought leader, strategist and economist. She has deep experience in economic policy research, and, unusually, also at the coal face of major transformation initiatives. She is currently lead drafter of the South African Government’s National Infrastructure Plan 2050.

Miriam is Director of Altman Advisory where she supports governments and companies in their economic and commercial strategies. To date, this has involved African market development in e-commerce, education technology, electrical hardware, tourism and communications. Previously she served as Chief of Strategy at Telkom (2013-2016), crafting and orchestrating its turnaround.

Miriam was a Commissioner in the National Planning Commission (2010-2011) in the SA Presidency. As an Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) from 2002 – 2013, her flagship was the HSRC Evidence Based Employment Scenarios that convened top leaders from business, labour, government and academia to find concrete solutions to SA’s extreme unemployment challenge.

She is a Professor of 4IR Practice in the Dept of Economics, University of Johannesburg. Miriam has economics degrees from McGill University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester. Her publications and blog can be found at www.miriamaltman.com

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Mr Shameel Joosub

Shameel joined Vodacom in 1994 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer at Vodacom Group Limited, a position he has held since 2012.

He has extensive telco experience having operated at a senior level in various companies across the group for the last 22 years, including Managing Director at Vodacom South Africa and Chief Executive Officer at Vodafone Spain.

Shameel holds board positions at Vodacom Group Ltd, Safaricom Plc, Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications S.A.E and a number of subsidiary boards across the group. He also sits on the board of Business Leadership South Africa. He was appointed to the Vodafone Group Exco in April 2020.

He holds an Honours degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa, an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and an Advanced Management Program Certificate from Harvard University.

Ms Nolitha Fakude

Nolitha Fakude is the Chairman of Anglo American’s Management Board in South Africa as well as the Group Director responsible for South Africa on Anglo American plc’s Group Management Committee (GMC). Nolitha sits on the Anglo American Platinum Board as a Non-Executive Director and previously served on the Board of Anglo American plc from 2017 to 2019. Nolitha brings to Anglo American significant management experience gained in various functional leadership roles across the oil and energy, chemicals, financial services and retail industries.

Nolitha has worked in and held senior executive positions in various industries and sectors including retail, financial services, mining and oil and gas. Until 2016, Nolitha served as an Executive Director at Sasol Limited and Executive Vice President (EVP) of Strategy and Sustainability.

Nolitha was the President of the Black Management Forum from 2003 to 2006 and its Managing Director between 2000 and 2003. She now serves as a member of the Council of Elders, and is a respected authority on transformation and empowerment in South Africa.

Currently, Nolitha serves as the President of the Minerals Council of South Africa (MINCOSA), Non-Executive Director of the JSE Limited and Vice President of the International Woman’s Forum South Africa. She is a Patron of Guild Cottage Home for Girls.

Her previous board roles include serving as Deputy Chair and Lead Independent Director of Datacentrix Holdings Limited, Chairperson of Sasol Mining and as a Non-Executive Director of Harmony Gold Mines, Woolworths Holdings and Discovery Holdings, amongst others.

Her accolades include The 2004 Most Influential Businesswoman by Financial Mail, Impala Platinum Young Entrepreneur Award and the National Honour by the Golden Key Society of the University of Johannesburg.

Nolitha has led from the front and has not been shy to tackle the tough issues that the mining sector and Minerals Council have to deal with. She is playing a pathfinding leadership role in encouraging structural reform in government to unlock the real inclusive growth potential of the mining sector.

Nolitha is an author of a book titled, “Boardroom Dancing – Transformation stories from a Corporate Activist,” published in 2019.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Fort Hare and completed the Senior Executive Programme at Harvard Business School in the US.

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The Just Energy Transition in South Africa

Minister Barbara Creecy

Barbara Creecy is the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of the Republic of South Africa since 30 May 2019. In November 2019, she was also elected as the President of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Ms Creecy is one of the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) and currently serves as a member of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee.

Ms Creecy was one of the longest serving Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. She joined the legislature in 1994, and until 2004, served in different portfolios including Deputy Chief Whip as well as Chairperson of the Social Development and Education Committees.

2004 – 2009 Member of the Executive Council for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

2009 – 2014 Member of the Executive Council for Education.

2014 – 2019 Member of the Executive Council for Finance.

Minister Creecy holds an Honours Degree in Political Science from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London.

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Mr Rudi Dicks

Rudi Dicks is the Head of the Project Management Office (PMO) in the Private Office of the President. He is responsible for supporting the implementation of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) as well as unblocking regulatory challenges that impact on employment an economic growth. He jointly leads Operation Vulindlela, which has been established as a joint initiative between the Presidency and National Treasury to accelerate structural reforms.

In his previous role, he was an Outcomes Facilitator at the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), responsible for monitoring the performance of economic and infrastructure outcomes and supporting various economic interventions across government. In this role he established the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) that is currently applied to assess the impact of legislation on society and the economy.

He also formally served as the Executive Director of the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), the research arm of COSATU from 2008 to 2013. Before 2008, he worked at COSATU and its affiliates, in various capacities since 1994.

Rudi has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Economic Principles as well as a Master of Science (MSc) Finance from the University of London. He also has a Management Advanced Programme qualification from the WITS Business School.

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Ms Priscillah Mabelane

Ms Priscillah Mabelane is Executive Vice President, Energy Business, based in Johannesburg, South Africa and is responsible for advancing Sasol’s vision to lead the Energy Transition in Southern Africa towards becoming an anchor global supplier of green hydrogen by 2030, unlocking South Africa’s potential to be a global green hydrogen player.

Priscillah is also responsible for the upstream and downstream gas activities as well as distribution, marketing and sales of liquid fuels in Southern Africa. She is leading strategy formulation for the Energy Business which will support and steer a stakeholder-centric approach in spurring sustainable growth. In addition, she is responsible for securing new gas supply and delivering renewable energy solutions to support Sasol’s climate change roadmap efforts.

She was appointed to Sasol’s Group Executive Committee in September 2020 when she joined from BP Southern Africa (BPSA), where she was Chief Executive Officer. Directly prior she was Retail Operations Director for BP UK’s retail business and preceding this she was BPSA’s Chief Financial Officer for four years.

Priscillah has broad international leadership experience and a solid corporate track record of successfully leading and enabling transformation in large functions and operations in both United Kingdom and South Africa. She has served as Non-Executive Director on the Board of South Africa-based Standard Bank Group Limited and Vodacom (Pty) Ltd.

She holds a BCom, (Hons), CA (SA) from the University of Natal, South Africa and an Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School, Boston.

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Investing in South Africa

Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Mmamoloko "Nkhensani" Kubayi is the Minister of Human Settlements and a Member of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. She is the Co-Chairperson of Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development (ESEID) cluster in Cabinet, a member of the National Executive Committee and the National Working Committee of the African National Congress (ANC). Currently, she also serves as the Chairperson of the ANC’s Economic Transformation sub-committee.

Before her current role, she served as a Minister in five portfolios: Tourism, Science and Technology, Communications and Energy. She also acted as a Minister of Health at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kubayi started her career as a Community Developer in the non-governmental sector and subsequently joined the financial sector at First National Bank as a Skills Development Specialist. Later, she worked in the Business Banking Division at Nedbank.

She joined the public sector as a Skills Development Facilitator at the National Health Laboratory Services. She was then recruited to become a director in the Office of the then Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She later became the Parliamentary Advisor to then-Deputy President of South Africa, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe.

As a leader, Kubayi served as Chairperson of the Transport Portfolio Committee at the City of Johannesburg council. In 2009, she became a Member of Parliament, assuming several roles, including Acting Deputy Chief Whip of African National Congress and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Johannesburg (formerly Vista University), a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management from Damelin College, a Masters Degree in Public and Development Management from the University of the Witwatersrand, and completed a Programme for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. She is currently pursuing her PhD in state-owned enterprises and corporate governance at the University of Johannesburg.

Kubayi served a full term in 2019 as a member of the Global Artificial Intelligence Council established by the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As part of the Council, she and other global leaders provided strategic guidance to the international community on priorities for Artificial Intelligence, machine learning governance, cooperation, and shaping global policy development. In 2020, Kubayi joined other global leaders as a member of the Forum's Global Future Council on Sustainable Tourism - a multi-stakeholder knowledge network tasked to advance innovative thinking for a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.

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Ms Emrie Brown

Emrie Brown is a seasoned investment banker whose career in Investment Banking started in 1997 in Structured Finance.

She began her career with RMB in 2001 as a transactor and became head of Leveraged Finance in 2006. In 2009 she moved to Cape Town to head up the Western Cape investment banking team. She relocated to Johannesburg after being appointed as co-head of the Investment Banking Division in July 2015.

Diversity and inclusion in financial services and growing the number of females in managerial positions in the bank are two of Emrie’s many passions. When she is not hard at work growing RMB’s Banking business, she enjoys traveling to the bush, and having good food and wine with friends and family.

In May 2022 Emrie was appointed as CEO-designate at RMB and effectively took over as chief executive on 1 October 2022.

Emrie obtained a B.Com Accounting degree in 1990 at the University of Pretoria and completed her Honours degree the following year at what used to be called Rand Afrikaans University. Emrie qualified Cum Laude as a Chartered Accountant (SA) in 1994.

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Capital markets: facilitating investment in SA and providing access to capital

Mr Andile Mazwai

Mr Andile Moncobo Mazwai is the chairman of Bidvest Bank and serves on the board of Alex Forbes.

Mr Mazwai founded his stockbroking career with Mazwai & Co Securities which bought into Barnard Jacobs Mellet (BJM). As CEO, he led BJM to South Africa’s number one stockbroking firm with seats on the London and New York stock exchanges. He ultimately sold BJM to First National Bank.

His past non-executive positions have included chair of the JSE Limited’s investment committee and its regulatory oversight committee.

He has a BCom (Hons), CSb(SA)

Mr Kabelo Rikhotso

Mr Rikhotso is a seasoned executive, investment manager, business builder and a risk manager with a career spanning over 18 years within the financial services sector.

Prior to joining the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) as its Chief Investment Officer (CIO), he was an Executive and Fund Manager at Visio Fund Management (July 2020 to April 2022). Mr Rikhotso is a dynamic leader who pioneered the first black-owned investment firm to acquire minority equity stakes in asset management companies. He was a founder CEO and Executive Director of Royal Investment Managers (Mar 2016 to Dec 2019). The business flourished into a respectable investment holding entity of four affiliates with assets under management of more than R80bn.

In addition to his technical investment skills, he has gained extensive legal, governance and board experience by serving as a director on Boards of Visio Fund Management, Ethos Private Equity, Sesfikile Capital, Royal Investment Managers and Balondolozi. Mr Rikhotso served as the former Head of Portfolio Management at Investment Solutions (now Alexforbes Investments) for nearly a decade. He managed over R250bn in retirement, medical aid and retail funds across different asset classes and investment products. His career highlight at Alexforbes was winning a Raging Bull award for the Income Fund.

Mr Rikhotso began his career at MCubed Asset Management (now Momentum Outcome Based Solutions), where he was a research analyst and a portfolio manager. He honed his risk management skills at the National Treasury in the Assets & Liabilities Directorate before returning to the private sector.

Mr Rikhotso’s qualifications include: BSc (Mathematical, Physical & Statistical Sciences) from the University of Cape Town, BCom Honours (Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management) from UCT, M.Com (Financial Economics) at the University of Johannesburg and Chartered Financial Analyst from the CFA Institute in the US.

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Mr Peter Attard Montalto

Peter Attard Montalto is a Managing Director of South African consultancy and research firm Intellidex, which partners with local and foreign investors, companies, governments and international organisations to drive investment and reforms for faster growth.

Peter looks after Intellidex’s political economy, policy reforms, capital markets and Just Energy Transition areas of research and advisory. He particularly works with organised business, and local and foreign c-suite and boards on complex issues where financing, policy and politics intersect. Peter is supported by an expanding team in Intellidex’s Sandton offices.

He has been analysing South Africa for 17 years and is a well-known, respected advisor on its economy, politics, policy and markets. He has a broad experience covering other emerging markets over his career including Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Peter is an expert in the political economy of reform and infrastructure, and the intersection of politics and financing, in particular related to climate, SOEs and energy.

He was previously in banking at Japanese bank Nomura and before at Lehman Brothers. Peter studied economics and mathematics at St John’s College in the University of Cambridge. He is a Trustee of the largest South African early childhood development infrastructure charity, Breadline Africa.

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Ms Mandisa Zavala

Mandisa Zavala is an experienced finance professional with a strong background in Portfolio Management and Asset allocation strategy. she began her career in investment management. Her industry experience spans across both single and multi-management, having started her professional career at Allan Gray as an investment consultant.

Her multi-management experience began at Boutique Investment partners, when she served as a Portfolio manager and Currency-risk strategist, helping manage over R45bn in retail and pension fund assets. She also held the role of co-Head of Manager Research, where she helped oversee the manager research division, along with the CIO.

Currently, Mandisa is the Head of Asset Allocation at Alexander Forbes, responsible for formulating the Asset Allocation house view for the business and its clients. She is also a member of the Investment Committee (IC), where they are responsible for managing over R400bn in pension fund assets. Her role sees her spearheading a robust process that translates macroeconomic analysis into asset allocation and risk management decisions.

The investment team’s strategic thinking and ability to identify opportunities and risks in complex market environments have earned them various industry awards in both traditional and non-traditional investment portfolios.

She has an Honours degree in Economics from Rhodes University.

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Manufacturing: deepening supply chains and building regional value chains

Mr Grant Pattison

Grant Pattison graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BSc Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current), and spent the first part of his career in the Anglo American Group training as an engineer and manager. After a brief consulting career, he ended up in Retail for 17 years where he rose to the position of CEO Massmart. He also served as CEO Edcon, where he led the final transformation of the group and then the sale of the Edcon assets, Edgars and Jet.

Since his retail career, he has been working in the renewable energy space, first assisting NRG and then Heliogen to establish a presence in the South African market.

He currently serves in non-executive roles in the private sector and as Deputy Chairman of the Localisation Support Fund.

Digital opportunities in SA: stories from the tech ecosystem

Mr Hardy Pemhiwa

Hardy Pemhiwa is the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Cassava Technologies. Hardy also serves as the Group Managing Director of the Econet Group, the parent company of Cassava Technologies.

Founded by Strive Masiyiwa, the Econet Group is one of the pioneers of the telecommunications revolution in Africa, now operating through Econet Wireless, its mobile telephony business and Cassava Technologies.

Cassava Technologies is Africa’s leading integrated technology company providing digital infrastructure and digital services across 31 Countries in Africa, Middle East, Europe, USA and Latin America.

Hardy is a seasoned board-level practitioner with 25 years of senior management experience in banking & finance, ICT and infrastructure development.

He holds engineering and business degrees from Queen Mary College (University of London) and from the Edinburgh Business School.

Mr Nihmal Marrie

Nihmal Marrie is a Managing Director & Partner at BCG and leads the digital practice in Johannesburg.

He has extensive end-to-end digital transformation experience, with a demonstrated track record of building successful, and high impact digital teams.

He has led the successful development of several new digital ventures and has a strong focus on the financial services, energy and telecommunication industries.

Mr Sitho Mdlalose

Sitho Mdlalose is currently Chief Executive Officer of Vodacom South Africa, a role he has held since 1 July 2022 after a successful tenure as Managing Director of Vodacom Tanzania from November 2021.

Sitho is an established business leader with over 20 years’ experience in finance, consulting, and management in both emerging and developed markets.

He started his early career in audit consulting prior to joining Vodafone Group and later Vodacom Group where he held various positions that include Chief Finance Officer for International Business, Interim Group Chief Finance Officer, and Finance Director for Vodacom South Africa, before being appointed to MD, Vodacom Tanzania in 2021. Sitho has remarkable personal presence and an exceptional track record of growing businesses and delivering strategic transformation.

He is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and a Harvard Business School Senior Executive Programme graduate.

Ms Amrote Abdella

As the General Manager for AWS, Amrote Abdella leads Amazon’s Cloud Commercial business for Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining Amazon, Amrote was the Regional Director of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, spearheading Microsoft’s investments across the continent.

Earlier in her career, Amrote worked with the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. She also served as a Financial Analyst at the World Bank in Washington, DC.

In 2017, Amrote was named one of Africa’s Top 100 Young Business Leaders, ranking 12th out of 100 leaders under 40 who are playing a major role in driving the continent’s economic development. In 2019, she appeared on the same list, this time ranking 10th. In 2018 and 2019, she was also recognised by Jeune Afrique as one of the top 50 influential leaders shaping digital evolution and supporting start-ups in the African continent.

Amrote holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Development from the Heller School at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College in North Carolina.

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Ms Nyari Samushonga

Nyari Samushonga is the CEO of WeThinkCode, a South African tech academy that operates in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. As an entrepreneur and tech executive, Nyari is passionate about seeing Africa take its place as a maker of cutting edge technology.

In her role as CEO of WeThinkCode, she has driven effective initiatives to scale the impact of the organisation. These include doubling the recruitment capacity, launching a home-grown curriculum that caters to the South African market, and accelerating the recruitment of women students to the point of parity within the academy. WeThinkCode recently launched a collaboration with TVET colleges that will see this world class digital training delivered throughout the country through partnerships with the public education system.

A Chartered Accountant, Nyari has previously operated as the Managing Director of ThoughtWorks Africa, a subsidiary of the global software development consultancy, and a Manager in Deloitte’s audit and assurance division operating in both Harare and New York.

Infrastructure: investment opportunities

Mr Reginald Demana

Reginald Lavhelesani Demana is the CEO of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), a position he took up at the start of 2023. He is already making significant strides in directing the narrative of the now 25-year-old roads agency, to remain agile and responsive to the needs of the South African road user, by prioritising infrastructure development as a catalyst for economic recovery.

Mr Demana was formerly a Divisional Executive at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited (IDC), a state-owned development finance institution, where he was responsible for a portfolio that covers mining, metals, infrastructure and energy.

He is a trained engineer and has more than 20 years’ working experience, including in investment banking. During this time, he played a leading role in numerous major transformational transactions in the sector.

His scale of expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, structuring of BEE deals, capital raising and general strategic corporate finance. He was also previously the CEO of a JSE Main Board listed coal mining and trading company.

Mr Demana began his professional career as a mining engineering trainee with Anglo American Platinum and then as a mine health and safety inspector with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (formerly Department of Minerals and Energy).

He holds a BSc. in Mining Engineering from Wits University and a MSc. in Mining Engineering (with distinction) from Exeter University.

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Mr Sandile Hlophe

Sandile is an experienced business transformation, strategy execution and transaction advisory Partner at EY. He is a member of the Africa Region Leadership team and the Market Segment Leader (MSL) for the Government & Infrastructure (G&I) industry segment.

His role integrates the EY Service Lines of Consulting, Assurance, Tax, Strategy and Transactions to go-to market as one firm; providing differentiated solutions to the government and infrastructure sector entities across Africa; including State Owned Companies, Government Departments, Cities, Development Finance Institutions and Central Banks.

Sandile specialises in key account executive leadership, client service delivery executive oversight and enabling engagement delivery alignment with the c-suite and the board of directors.

He leads key accounts in the energy (including oil, gas and renewables), rail, ports, pipelines and development finance sectors.

Prior to the MSL role, Sandile was the Managing Partner leading the Strategy and Transactions Service Line across Africa at EY; which team advised capital markets leaders and c-suite executives on market entry strategies and the capital agenda with regards to raising capital, investing capital, preserving capital and optimising capital. He led various M&A transaction and capital raising engagements during his tenure in the Strategy and Transactions team.

Sandile has over 26 years professional experience encompassing business transformation, business process improvement, strategy development and implementation, organisational design, change management, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, risk management, internal controls, governance, digital transformation, operational and financial restructuring.

He is a Chartered Accountant, South Africa CA(SA); holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Accountancy and a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

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Ms Portia Derby

Ms Portia Derby is the current Group Chief Executive of Transnet SOC Ltd, appointed February 2020. She has occupied senior positions in the South African government during a period of major economic reform. Portia is the former Director-General of Public Enterprises (2005-2009) responsible for Corporate Strategy and Structure of the Investment Portfolio (2004-2005) and former Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Trade and Industry (2002).

Portia’s career in government started at the National Institute for Economic Policy, as a financial researcher where she played an integral role in working on the quantification of the Reconstruction and Development Programme.

Portia previously served as a non-executive director of Metair Investments and Safcol.

She has also worked in the private sector as an Executive Director: Clients Africa at Aurecon, an international engineering and infrastructure advisory company.

Portia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (majoring in Economics and Geology), an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Natal, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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Local growth strategies – a provincial focus

Ms Tanya Cohen

Tanya Cohen is a seasoned business leader and policy negotiator, focused on outcomes that advance South Africa’s social and economic prosperity. Cohen convenes the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI), a Presidentially endorsed government and business intermediary that works with sectors to unlock constraints to achieve inclusive growth and employment opportunities.

Cohen is the former CEO of Business Unity South Africa, where she left an indelible mark through adopting an institutional and collaborative approach with other social partners. During her tenure, she played a leading role for business on social compacts such as the Presidential Jobs Summit Framework Agreement. She is an astute convenor, with an agile, solutions orientated approach to solving business sector challenges.

Cohen is a Commissioner of the National Planning Commission. Previously, she served as chair of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Governing Body and as a commissioner at the Commission for Employment Equity.

She is driven by a deep commitment to the country’s development and believes that this can be realised by harnessing the immense potential and generosity of South Africans.

She is an attorney, and holds a BA, LLM, LLM (Laws) – all obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Premier Zamani Saul

Dr Zamani Saul has been inaugurated as Premier of the Sixth Administration of the Northern Cape Government after the African National Congress (ANC) achieved success in the 2019 General Elections. Dr Saul brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and has grown and progressed through the structures of the congress movement from Congress of South African Students, South African Student Congress, ANCYL to branch, regional and provincial leadership positions in the ANC.

Early in his career he worked as a Candidate Attorney and progressed to work as the Regional Head of Social Security, Head of Ministry and Municipal Manager. Dr Saul possesses a combination of both theoretical and practical knowledge of public administration.

Dr Saul got involved in political activism at a very early age with the Petrusville Youth Congress and later with the Petrusville Civic Movement. As COSAS leader in the late 1980s and early 1990s he represented COSAS in the National Education Coordinating Committee. In 1992, he was trained and employed as a paralegal by Petrusville Advice Centre specialising in the protection of farm workers against illegal farm evictions. During the same period he was elected as the first ANC branch secretary in Petrusville after the unbanning of the political party.

He served in the SACP Western Cape Provincial Ideology Committee from 1994-1996 and simultaneously served as the chairperson of the UWC SACP branch. He served in the Pixley ka Seme REC and the Regional Working Committee. He was elected to the ANC PEC in 1998, as an additional member and was also appointed as Head of Political Education. In 2004, he was elected as the ANC Deputy Provincial Secretary and in 2008 as the ANC Provincial Secretary. He is currently serving as the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC and as a result, serves as the ex-officio member of the ANC National Executive Committee.

He holds a Doctor of Laws in Public Law and Jurisprudence (UWC) and is currently working on his second Doctorate. He also holds two Masters Degrees (LLM and Masters in Development Studies), B. Proc Degree (UWC) as well as a NQF level Certificate in Social Theory (Wits University).

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