Johannesburg, South Africa: 19 March 2019

The Black Management Forum (BMF) is concerned with the rushed and guarded manner of the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS’s) Commissioner recruitment process. Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has re-appointed Mark Kingon as acting Commissioner of SARS for an additional 90 days in light of a recruitment process that is not as transparent as it ought to have been. It remains unclear to the general public as to who the shortlisted candidates are and when and where interviews will be or are taking place.

It is worrying that this is the case because the SARS Commission of Inquiry chair, retired judge Robert Nugent, in his interim report of the inquiry into SARS, urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new Commissioner urgently and that he should, however, follow "an open and transparent process that is subject to critical appraisal, but without compromising the urgency of the appointment." What was supposed to be an open interview session is now seemingly detached from the public and if the report of the Sunday Times article written by Asha Speckman is anything to go by, this process lacks the legitimacy it deserves due to the following reasons:

  1. The lack of women representation on the short list is unprogressive and fails to acknowledge the importance of practicing gender parity especially in a position that has mostly been dominated by men. SARS has never had a female Commissioner in democratic South Africa. This male-dominated culture of appointing males in this position is patriarchal as it completely disregards the importance of equal gender representation in key leadership positions such as that of SARS Commissioner. Continuously overlooking competent and suitably qualified women that could occupy this key post exacerbates and normalises patriarchal practices that are continually exonerated and perpetuated in the workplace.

Johannesburg, South Africa: 15 March 2019

The Black Management Forum (BMF) welcomes Edcon’s decision to appoint Mr. Mncane Mthunzi as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Coming at such a critical time of the Group - when most organisations would have opted for the ‘familiar’ and the more of the same - Edcon’s decision, in the Group’s own words, affirms Mr. Mthunzi’s “wealth of experience and an illustrious career as a Corporate Executive and Director in a variety of business sectors, which includes transport, industrial products, information technology and Government.”

“This appointment serves as a touchstone of value at a time when some in our society appear to cast doubts over the moral compass and competence of Black Executives in South Africa” says the BMF President, Mr. Andile Nomlala. The BMF, steeped in its tradition of personal modesty in accomplishment, seldom celebrates its own members. Let alone any of its Presidents, past or present.

The forum strongly believes that many Black Executives and Professionals are individuals of talent and competence who would, in a normal society, succeed without the very policies that the BMF advocates for. However South Africa is not a normal society as far as race and gender equity is concerned, particularly in Corporate South Africa. “Mr. Mncane Mthunzi is no stranger to this abnormal corporate environment, he is a committed change agent; an effective business leader and a courageous advocate for transformation with enormous personal energy” said Mr. Nomlala.

The BMF wishes Mr. Mncane Mthunzi well in his new portfolio and congratulates the Edcon Group for its foresight and commitment to transformation.

Johannesburg, South Africa: 14 March 2019

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) is delighted with the appointment of Ms. Mpumi Madisa as the CEO Designate of the Bidvest Group. Ms. Madisa’s long journey and extensive experience within the Group positioned her as the best choice for this role.

“We are pleased about Ms. Madisa’s appointment. We acknowledge the deliberate efforts made by Bidvest to recognize and promote black talent within their business. It is our hope that they will continue to make concerted and deliberate efforts in ensuring that they advance transformation where it matters most, at executive level in consistence with our BMF position” said the BMF President, Andile Nomlala.

 “The BMF is further encouraged by the Bidvest Group’s commitment in advancing black female professionals, indeed in so doing they are demonstrating their seriousness about not only succession planning but also gender diversity within the executive management team. In addition, we are pleased by Bidvest’s efforts of developing the black talent within to take over the business in the long-term. This is a move that’s highly commendable and we would like to make a plea as the BMF to all other companies to follow this great example” Nomlala continued.

The BMF extends its well wishes to Ms. Madisa and pledges its unwavering support to her as she’s in the preparatory process to ascend into her new role.

Johannesburg, South Africa: 28 February 2019

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is at the forefront of advocating and lobbying for transformation within Corporate South Africa is pleased with the appointment of Ms. Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala to her new role as the Managing Director for De Beers Group Managed Operations. Ms Zikalala’ s extensive background and experience in mining and more especially within De Beers positioned her as the best choice for this role.

“We are delighted about Ms Zikalala’s appointment. It is very encouraging to see a deliberate move from De Beers to not only promote and advance black talent but also noting the support that will be provided to her by a head of operations. It is our hope that De Beers will continue to make concerted and deliberate efforts in ensuring that they advance transformation where it matters and mostly at the executive level,” said the BMF President, Andile Nomlala.

 “The BMF is further encouraged by De Beers efforts to transform the business whilst consolidating its operations. By so doing they are demonstrating their seriousness about succession planning and respect for black talent and leadership” Nomlala continued.

The BMF extends itswell wishes to Ms Zikalala and pledges its unwavering support to her as she ascends into her new role.

Johannesburg, South Africa: 19 February 2019

The Black Management Forum (BMF) has noted with disappointment the utterances attributed to ANC NEC Member Mr. Senzo Mchunu about the failure of Eskom being pinned on Black Managers as reported by the City Press on Sunday, 17 February 2019. The BMF acknowledges that the utility over the years has been engulfed by a gross failure in corporate governance and ethical leadership.

“It is actually astonishing that Politicians are now putting blame on Black Managers, yet we have learnt from the State Capture commission the fervent pressure politicians have been putting on professionals to do wrong things. It is reach of an ANC NEC member to blame professionals when he knows that his organization for a couple of years now has been deploying questionable characters to Boards of SOC’s, that in turn appoint Non-Matriculants to Executive positions” …Nomlala said.

As BMF we wont stand on any pulpit and defend Black Professionals who have abated State Capture. BMF is on record calling for those Professionals who succumbed to the pressure of Politicians to be charged and be brought to book. “Even though we blame the environment they operated under, but we can’t justify their own moral standing. There is no excuse to justify unethical behavior” Nomlala continued.

Instead of the Political Leadership to start doing a self-introspection and ask themselves what role they have played in this mess, they are busy perpetuating the narrative that Black Professionals are incompetent thieves that can’t be trusted with positions of responsibility.  A phenomenon that is now starting to have unintended consequences of reversing transformation gains in SOC’s, by appointing retirement age White Executives, at the expense of competent women and youthful Black Professionals.  

We note with sadness that in the last couple of years, the Political leadership have compromised the image of Black Professionals by appointing incompetent individuals under the disguise of Radical Economic Transformation and yet we know very well their intention was to use playable individuals who have no professional integrity to loot. “As BMF we are issuing a stern warning to the political leadership of the day that this time around we will not tolerate the sidelining of competent Black Professionals, particularly, Women and Youthful Managers under the blemish of being responsibly for the state capture and corruption.

We are calling on qualified professionals to be given space to showcase their talent and skills. This is not the time for finger-pointing. This is the time for all relevant stakeholders to put their heads together and solve the Eskom crisis and the economic quagmire we find ourselves in.

- END –