Press Statements

Johannesburg, South Africa; 12 March 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) has noted the decision taken by the South African Reserve Bank (the Reserve Bank) to put VBS Mutual Bank (VBS) under curatorship.  The curatorship process should not have been the first method of intervention in assisting the bank with its liquidity challenges. The BMF is of the view that the Reserve Bank and National Treasury should use this process as an opportunity to move faster and address a sharp observation of the joint committees – the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and the Standing Committee on Finance – concerning transformation in the financial services sector.

Amongst others, the parliamentary committees observed that “the main banks in South Africa function in a globalised financial system and that there are imperatives for the country to meet the requirements of global standards on the financial sector set by multilateral institutions in which South Africa participates. However, the committees believe that National Treasury and government in general shape policies and Bills too much on the basis of these standards and too little on the specific requirements of the country. Some of these standards could serve to undermine the goals of economic and social transformation in the country and exacerbate race, class, gender and other inequalities.”

The BMF will seek to engage with the management, shareholders, relevant key stakeholders of VBS as well as those from Treasury to get the full details and context on this matter and decision taken.

The BMF hopes that the outcome of the consultations with the relevant parties concerned will get VBS back to a fully operational Board and Executive to a sound footing. The BMF urges that the VBS commercial licensing application processbe expedited to ensure that they do notwait the normal 12 – 18 months review period.

Johannesburg, South Africa

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is the foremost organisation in the development of managerial leadership and advancement of socio-economic transformation in South Africa is proud of the appointment of Zweli Manyathi as Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Personal and Business Banking (PBB) at Standard Bank. Manyathi was previously the PBB CEO for Africa regions.

“The BMF is encouraged by the transformation journey taken by Sim Tshabalala since he took over as sole CEO of the bank. Manyathi’s appointment is a clear demonstration of what the BMF expects from all black executives in advancing the transformation agenda in the corporates they lead. Standard Bank has exhibited their seriousness about succession planning and respect for black talent and leadership. We need to continue to build a critical mass of black executives of Manyathi’s caliber,” commented the BMF President Mncane Mthunzi.

Manyathi’s appointment is a step in the right direction especially against the backdrop of setbacks on transformation of executive teams of major companies within the financial services sector. The BMF further welcomes the appointment as it has identified the financial services sector as one of the least transformed sectors in the country. 

“Manyathi is an eminent role model to black professionals. This appointment inspires us as black professionals that we have a future in these companies and that our talents can propel us to achieve greater heights,” concluded Mthunzi.

The BMF extends itswell wishes to Manyathi and pledges its unwavering support to him and his business.

Johannesburg, South Africa   Source:

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is at the forefront of advocating and lobbying for transformation in Corporate South Africa is pleased with the appointment of Mary Vilakazi as the Group Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Director of the Firstrand Group. Ms Vilakazi’s extensive background and experience in financial services and insurance positioned her as the best choice to take over the role of COO. 

"We are pleased and excited about Ms Vilakazi’s appointment. It is very gratifying and refreshing to us to see that there are still companies who regard transformation as a business imperative and continue to make concerted and deliberate efforts in ensuring that they advance transformation where it matters most, at executive level. Firstrand has demonstrated their respect and appreciation for black talent and leadership,"  said the BMF President, Mncane Mthunzi.

The BMF believes and advocates for the breaking of artificial glass ceilings in Corporate South Africa. Breaking of these glass ceilings through appointments such as that of Ms Vilakazi will ensure that there is a critical mass of black people in leadership positions within companies and other areas of our society. “The black people whose acceleration and advancement we advocate for is on the basis of merit and it is precisely because of their merit that we are engaging in this struggle,” continued Mthunzi

The Black Management Forum extends itswell wishes to Ms Vilakazi and pledges its unwavering support to her as she ascends in her new role later thisyear..

Johannesburg, South Africa – 15 February 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) congratulates the newly elected President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa as the 5th president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa. 

“The BMF would like to pledge its unwavering support to our newly elected president and his government. We have full confidence and trust in the leadership of President Ramaphosa. We wish to remind him of the dire economic challenges that the country is faced with, such as the economic downgrades, high unemployment and dwindling foreign and domestic investment. The country has lost ground. We need to roll up our sleeves and rebuild South Africa,”
the BMF President Mncane Mthunzi commented.

 “The BMF will be partnering with the President and his government in turning around the fortunes of our fellow compatriots. Transformation should now be a business imperative and be given priority in normalising our society. South Africa has to meet the challenge of building a truly inclusive economy that will address the injustices of the past,” Mthunzi continued. 

The BMF urges all South Africans to give support to the new president. We should all make an effort to be more patriotic and sympathetic to changing the lives of our fellow countrymen so that they can live in a country they deserve.

Johannesburg, South Africa – 6 February 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) congratulates Mr Fani Titi on his appointment as a joint Chief Executive Officer of Investec Limited (Investec). Mr Titi is a competent business leader with proven business acumen which he has displayed over the years in his diverse and remarkable rise in corporate South Africa. The BMF has no doubt that he will add significant value in his capacity as the joint CEO and will be at the forefront of driving transformation at Investec.

Mncane Mthunzi, the President of the BMF says, “the BMF applauds Investec for making a contribution in driving transformation at executive level. Mr Titi’s appointment highlights the benefits of converting a non-executive director to an executive director in a company. As a current non-executive director at Investec, Mr Titi is already well versed in all aspects of the company. The conversion makes sense for companies to leverage high performing and thought-leadership that already exists within its board and use non-executives as a talent pool to fill vacancies at executive levels. The conversion of non-executive directors to executive directors will accelerate black talent and help top management in organisations to reflect the demographics of our society. “

“Whilst we applaud Mr Titi’s appointment, the BMF is opposed to the joint CEO arrangement that Investec has opted for. We are against such an arrangement as it does not add any value to the bottom line. It also adds unnecessary additional costs as two people are being paid to drive a single bottom line. We hope that Mr Titi will be the sole CEO in the foreseeable future. As the BMF we pledge our support to Mr Titi as he takes Investec to greater heights and drives to achieving transformation at Investec,” concluded Mthunzi