Press Statements

(A Talk by
Dr. Mosibudi Mangena 
at the
Black Management Forum Gala Dinner on
13 October 2017,

Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

I have been asked to speak on the theme of your conference, which also doubles as the theme of this Gala Dinner, namely, The South Africa We Deserve. From the letter of invitation, it is clear that the BMF is far from being happy with the South Africa we live in presently; that we deserve better than this; that our levels of poverty are painful and unjustifiable and that we deserve to be better led.

Being a middle income country that we are, generously endowed with mineral wealth as we are, blessed with a geography that allows for different kinds of plant and animal husbandry and blessed with a fairly well-developed road, air, sea, electricity and water infrastructure, as we are, we should not be in this position.

Indeed, we should not be, and all of us should hang our heads in shame. We have failed the vast majority of our people who had thought that their heroic deeds that defeated racist settler-colonialism heralded a new era of hope, opportunities and progress. But alas, 23 years later, we are not even stagnant, we are not marching on the spot, but are in reverse gear towards the abyss and possible ruin. There is consternation on the part of many in the country, some in our midst are scratching their heads, wondering how we arrived at this point.  


Johannesburg, 12 September 2017

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is at the forefront of advocating and lobbying for transformation in Corporate South Africa, would like to congratulate Mr. Sim Tshabalala on being announced as the sole Chief Executive of Standard Bank. 

“We are pleased and excited about this announcement. Standard Bank has shown that they regard transformation as a business imperative and are making concerted and deliberate efforts in ensuring that the transformation gains are not reversed. This demonstrates the bank’s seriousness about succession planning and respect for black talent and leadership” says BMF President Mr. Mncane Mthunzi.

“Tshabalala is an eminent role model to most Black professionals. He continues to inspire many people across racial and business spectrum. The financial services industry and our country is blessed to have a business leader of Tshabalala's calibre,” continued Mthunzi

The BMF trusts that this announcement will mark an end to the joint CEO appointments phenomena that we have come to see. These joint CEO arrangements are never in the best interest of companies as they demonstrate a lack of succession planning; an overburden of the payroll with excessive executive pay and lacks accountability as two people are responsible for a single bottom line.

Tshabalala’s announcement further highlights the significance of black management control, which gives him access to control the levers of power to effect decisions that can benefit the majority of the citizens of this country. “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 engaging in this struggle.” concluded Mthunzi

The Black Management Forum extends its well wishes to Mr. Tshabalala and pledges its unwavering support to him as he takes Standard Bank to greater heights. 

- ENDS –

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Johannesburg, South Africa; 10 August 2017

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is the foremost organisation in the development of managerial leadership and advancement for socio-economic transformation in South Africa is elated with the appointments of Saks Ntombela as the Hollard Insurance Group (Hollard) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Vuyani Jarana as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of South African Airways (SAA).

“We would like to applaud the progressive and exemplary appointments made by Hollard and SAA. It is gratifying 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 the transformation gains they have achieved as a company are not reversed,” says BMF President, Mncane Mthunzi.

The appointments of Ntombela and Jarana go a long way in dispelling the lack of black skilled professionals myth that Corporate South Africa continues to use as an excuse for not appointing black executives in these critical positions. “Hollard has demonstrated their seriousness about succession planning and respect for black talent and leadership. Ntombela’s appointment inspires us as black professionals that we have a future in these companies and that our talents can achieve greater heights,” Mthunzi added.

“Jarana’s appointment further dispels the phenomena that we have witnessed where black CEOs are replaced by white CEOs in companies led by our own black Chairpersons. Jarana’s appointment is motivating to us as SAA has not relied on cadre deployment but has appointed a competent and professional executive to lead and turn around the parastatal,” Mthunzi continued.

The Black Management Forum extends its well-wishes to Mr Ntombela and Mr Jarana and pledges its unwavering support to them and their businesses. Mr Ntombela will assume the role on 1 October 2017.

The state of transformation in corporate South Africa will be the focus of a gala dinner to be held on Friday next week by the Black Management Forum.

Johannesburg, South Africa – 26 May 2017

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) which is at the forefront of transformation within Corporate South Africa met with ABSA Group CEO, Ms. Maria Ramos and some her executives on Thursday, 25 May 2017. The meeting follows the walkout of black professionals at ABSA Capital’s staff meeting after Phakamani Hadebe was overlooked for a promotion to head the CIB business. The BMF sought to understand the circumstances surrounding Hadebe’s resignation and to discuss the broader lack of transformation at ABSA. As the BMF, we have been very intentional in our focus on the composition of executive teams and company boards with regards to gender and race as we believe that gate-keeping is sponsored from the very top, leading to transformation being undermined and ultimately reversed as is the case at ABSA currently.

At the meeting, the BMF highlighted its grave concerns with regards to:

  1. Dismal Board and EXCO representation of Black Executives, and the general lack of transformation in senior teams managing key ABSA business units.
  2. The concentration of business power in the hands of a single executive, Mr. David Hodnestt’s who, in addition to his ‘double-hat’ roles as Deputy Group CE and CEO of SA Business Operations, is now - even if temporal - a Head of CIB and a Head of Retail and Business Banking. We asked if ABSA had no other executives to fill these roles and whether SARB is comfortable with Mr. Hodnestt’s many roles that clearly pose salient risks.
  3. The growing trend in Corporate South Africa’s apparent preference of foreign nationals over South African nationals and black South African nationals in particular, even on businesses that derive a large part of their earnings in South Africa.