Johannesburg, South Africa; 11 June 2018

On Friday, 8 June 2018, the Black Management Forum (the BMF) hosted its Annual Corporate Update Gala Dinner. The Corporate Update Gala Dinner is a platform for the organisation to celebrate its existence and relevance as well as to engage and share its progress with the private and public sectors. The Dinner was attended by over 700 high profile guests from the private and public sector. The programme was directed with poise and grace by CNBC Africa anchor Nozipho Mbanjwa. Bongi Mvuyana and her band provided the entertainment which had guests on their feet and singing along to golden oldies. 

This year, the Dinner was celebrated under the theme: Ethical Leadership as a Catalyst for Transformation and Inclusive Economic Growth. The keynote address was delivered by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan. “The process of transformation is not easy; it is a contested terrain. Transformation requires leaders to take a stand at the frontline of the contest,” said Minister Gordhan.

In his welcoming remarks, the BMF President Mncane Mthunzi stressed the importance of ethical leadership especially at this current stage in our country. “We need ethical leadership to be anchored in transformation and in unlocking inclusivity to drive a growing economy. We need a leadership that protects the dignity of all its people, including those that with it. We need a leadership that loves its people and that puts them first,” commented Mthunzi.

The main sponsors of the BMF, 3Sixty Financial Services Group Chief Executive Officer, Khandani Msibi and Standard Bank Group Chief Executive Sim Tshabalala also addressed the guests. They spoke to the theme as well as the relevance of their relationship and partnership with the BMF.

The BMF Managing Director, Thabile Wonci presented the corporate update. The corporate update is a channel used by the organisation to share its’ highlights, progress and work completed in the previous financial year. The update is also a platform for corporate sponsors and members to see where their financial and non-financial support and partnership have gone to.

Alongside the corporate update, the BMF bestowed the BMF Black Excellence Leadership Awards on South Africans whom it recognises for their business acumen and outstanding leadership and professionalism in their respective industries.  The recipients of the 2018 BMF Black Excellence Leadership Awards were Deputy Auditor-General, Tsakani Ratsela, Economic Freedom Fighter National Chairperson, Adv Dali Mpofu and retired Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke. 

Ms Ratsela received the award for being a visionary leader, a transformation agent and personifying excellence.  Her commitment to ethics and good governance resonates with the BMF’s position on corporate governance and ethics. She is a shining example of a BMF type of leader.

Adv Dali Mpofu was bestowed the award as his excellence matches the BMF’s expectation of black leaders. He was recognised for being a consistent professional and for the embodiment of excellence in the legal fraternity.

Former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke received the BMF’s highest honour, the BMF Presidential Award. The BMF honoured Justice Moseneke for his accomplished and impeccable career. His professional conduct, thorough execution of his responsibilities and his dedication to serving South Africa’s democracy in a variety of ways have been a source of inspiration to the BMF, many black professionals and the rest of society.

The BMF is proud to be associated with the awardees who committed their unwavering support to the organisation as the BMF continues to advocate for socio-economic transformation and the development of managerial leadership.

Johannesburg, South Africa; 5 June 2018 

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) will celebrate its existence and relevance by hosting its Annual Corporate Update Gala Dinner on Friday, 8 June 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The BMF continues to be fully committed to the pursuit of excellence in all spheres of business. It is for this reason that the organisation continues to host the Corporate Update Gala Dinner, a platform for it to celebrate, engage and share its progress with Corporate South Africa, State-owned Enterprises and Government. The Gala Dinner is a major networking event on the South African business calendar, bringing together up to 800 high profile guests from the private and the public sector. It is also a social gathering that enables the development of a positive economic state. The evening is thematically driven, to focus our minds on current matters engulfing our country and interpreted through the prism of the BMF. The keynote address will be delivered by the Honourable Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.

Alongside the corporate update that will be delivered, the BMF bestows Black Excellence Leadership Awards on South Africans in recognition of their business acumen and outstanding leadership and professionalism in their industries. In the past two years, the following have been the recipients of these awards: Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Sipho Nkosi, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, Nolitha Fakude and Tembinkosi Bonakele. This year, three outstanding South Africans will once again be recognised. The names of the 2018 Awardees will be announced at the Gala Dinner.

This year the Corporate Update Dinner will be celebrated under the theme Ethical Leadership as A Catalyst for Transformation and Inclusive Economic Growth.  The BMF is a product and architect of transformation. However, thematically speaking in the context of this chosen theme, transformation needs to be fast-tracked and accelerated at a higher pace in our country. This high paced palpitation cannot be achieved without leadership; therefore, a certain kind of leadership is needed to usher in the much-needed transformation. With the advent of deep-seated corruption both in the private and public sectors and society in general, this leadership needs to be of a certain quality. Therefore, this leadership that is needed must be ethical in its temperament and construct. Ethical in its thought and application, ethical in its compassion in understanding the intricacies of transformation and sensitive to the realities of institutional racism. Ethical in executing justice, fairness and equity. This will lead to shaping a new society whose outcomes will be shared and celebrated as a national pride.  

Unquestionably, everything begins and ends with leadership. The greater the challenges at a leadership level, the greater the societal challenges, therefore, we need ethical leadership to be anchored in transformation and unlocking inclusivity to drive a growing economy. A leadership that protects the dignity of all involved, including those that differ with it. The soul of leadership must return, for South Africa deserves a leadership that is consumed by its development and ensures success. 

Johannesburg, South Africa; 19 April 2018

It is with great excitement to receive the news that the late former President of the Black Management Forum (the BMF), Dr Lot Ndlovu, will be bestowed with the National Order of Baobab in Silver by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday, 28 April 2018. We welcome this great gesture and extend our heartfelt gratitude to the President for this deserved recognition. 

“Bra Lot, as he was affectionately known, has contributed immensely to the socio-economic transformation landscape of our society. He was a pioneer and keystone architect of transformation ideas and policies which have hugely shifted the needle in bringing about change towards normalcy in our country. He was a patriot who leveraged the BMF as an institution and enviable brand to advocate for transformation and advancement of our people. He has taught us that leadership that is based on values does not sacrifice transformation,” commented the BMF President Mncane Mthunzi.

“Bra Lot was an unsurpassed role model with an enormously successful and inspiring corporate and business career. He personified excellence and thought leadership which is anchored on meritocracy. He has energised us to an extent of being controversial and unpopular in advancing the prospects of black professionals in taking control of levers of power and influence in our economy, both in corporate and state,” continued Mthunzi

The BMF and the Ndlovu family are grateful that Bra Lot is finally recognised for hisfar reaching andmodest contribution that he made in the betterment of a South Africa that is non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous which pursues fairness, equity and justice. 

Johannesburg, South Africa; 6 April 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) welcomes the judgement on Mr Mark Lamberti, the Group CEO of Imperial Holdings Limited and a Board Member at Eskom SOC, which was delivered by Judge Pieter Meyer at the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.

The BMF welcomes the ruling as it seeks to restore and protect the dignity of the plaintiff, Ms Adila Chowan, a highly qualified and experienced black female executive. The comments that are attributed by Mr Lamberti have absolutely no place in South Africa as they seek to drag our country backwards and are reminiscent of our brutal past. Race and gender discrimination in the workplace that is perpetuated by those in positions of authority should have no place in our business society.

Business plays a critical and significant role in our society. We cannot let the scourge of racial and gender discrimination be left unattended. The extreme masculinity that was shown by Mr Lamberti and his all-white executive team when Ms Chowan raised her discomfort at the comments made by him must be condemned in its strongest sense. This behaviour needs to stop. Power and influence must not be used to suppress career progression of qualified black female executives.

The violation and discrimination of women in corporate South Africa leaves a lot to be desired. The objectification of black women in the workplace cannot be addressed solely by policies but by a responsible company leadership attitude and corporate systems that see black women executives as equal players in business and the companies they work for.

The BMF calls on the Eskom board, in particular the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan to remove Mr Lamberti as a board member of Eskom. By extension, we also call on the board of Imperial Holdings Limited to remove Mr Lamberti as its Group CEO. It is inconceivable to have Mr Lamberti sit on any board or position of authority when he holds such discriminatory views against black women executives. Lastly, the BMF calls for the amendment of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, Section 69(8), ‘disqualification to be a director of a company’, to include all offences under the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998, the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000.

Johannesburg, South Africa; 3 April 2018

The Black Management Forum (the BMF) mourns the sad passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Mam’ Winnie, as she was affectionately called, was a struggle icon who played a phenomenal role in striving for freedom in South Africa. She was a champion freedom fighter; a heroine.

The BMF will remember Mam’ Winnie for her courageous and selfless leadership having defied repressive laws especially those associated with patriarchy.

Mam’ Winnie was a fore-bearer for gender equality and was dedicated to women emancipation and empowerment. She was an inspiration to many women across the country who had to head up their families when their male relatives were incarcerated.

The ideals that Mam’ Winnie lived and fought for are equivalent to the mandate of the BMF of influencing socio-economic transformation in South Africa, in pursuit of socio-economic justice, fairness and equity. In 2007, the BMF bestowed on Mam’ Winnie a “Lifetime Achievement” award for exemplary leadership and bravery in leading the country to freedom and democracy.

Mam’ Winnie may be gone but she will never be forgotten.

The role she played in fighting for freedom and democracy will forever be engraved in our hearts.