The African Professional Issue 34

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Evolve Deloitte challenges the way things are done and shapes the market with innovative digital solutions that transform our clients’ businesses. Š 2019. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.815628/kea








EY - SA Professional Services Firm of the Year


Bob van Bebber & Boogertman + Partners Feature

12 Thiru Pillay - Big 4 Professional of the Year 14 Valter Adao - Commendation for Digital Professional of the Year 15 Lifetime Achievement Award - PWC’s Hein Boegman 17 David Hertz & Werksmans Feature 21 Lifetime Achievement Award - Wilfred Ngubane 23 Lifetime Achievement Award - Clifford Livingstone 24 Lifetime Achievement Award - Isaac Shongwe 26 Woman Professional of the Year - Webber Wentzel’s Z. Ntshona 30 Lifetime Achievement Award - Charles Israelite 31 CLM Young Professional of the Year - Lyle Malander 32 Digital Industry Professional - Sqwidnet’s Phathizwe Malinga 35 WSP - Engineering Firm of the Year 38 Bashier Adam - Accounting Professional of the Year 39 Ayisha Ramasike - Commendation for Woman Professional of the Year 41 Zizipho Nyanga - Management Professional of the Year 42 Morne van der Merwe - Law Firm’s Professional of the Year 43 Aaron Mthimunye & SNG Grant Thornton Feature


THE WINNERS AT SAPSA AWARDS 2019 Engineering firm of the year – WSP Construction sector firm of the year – Turner and Townsend Architecture firm of the year – Boogertman + Partners Engineering professional of the year – Eduard Vorster (Aurecon) Construction sector professional of the year – Eben Saayman (DNA) Architecture professional of the year – Bob Van Bebber (Boogertman) Engineering young professional of the year – Jeshika Ramchund (Bosch) Construction sector young professional of the year – Shershen Naidoo (Bentel Associates International)


rofessionals from various organisations gathered at a gala dinner in Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 14 March 2019 to honour the best amongst them. The South African Professional Services Awards sponsored by Sanlam were being hosted for the fourth time after a rigorous process of determining winners through strict criteria. Bob Van Bebber of Boogertman + Partners was crowned SA’s Best Professional while EY took home the Best Professional Services Firm Award. There were winners in different fields drawn from two main categories namely the built environment and commerce law and management. “These awards are important as they give visibility to disciplines that are desperately needed in this country. They also reward entities for performing well in important areas such as transformation, customer service, contribution to the community and commitment to ethical best practice,” said Sipho Mncwabe, Regional General Manager – Sanlam Gauteng Region. Janette Minnaar, the chair of the adjudication panel explained how the winners were determined. “They were judged based on a host of attributes including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources. We also conferred a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving recipients who had served their professions faithfully for many years,” said Minnaar. The full list of winners is as follows:

Law firm of the year – Werksmans Big 4 firm of the year – EY Accounting firm of the year – SNG Grant Thornton Consulting firm of the year – Bosch Capital Consulting/management professional of the year – Zizipho Nyanga (Masisizane) Law professional of the year – Morne van der Merwe (Baker Mckenzie) Big 4 professional of the year – Thiru Pillay (Deloitte) Accounting professional of the year – Bashier Adam (Nexia SAB&T) Woman professional of the year – Ziyanda Ntshona (Webber Wentzel) Commerce, Law and Management young professional of the year – Lyle Malander (Malander Inc) Digital Industry Firm of the Year – Adapt IT Digital Industry Professional of the Year – Brian Richardson (Wizzit) Overall SA Professional Services Firm of the Year – EY Overall SA Professional of the Year – Bob van Bebber (Boogertman + Partners) Lifetime Achievement Awards Penuell Maduna (Bowmans), David Hertz (Werksmans), Hein Boegman (PWC), Clifford Livingstone (PKF Octagon), Wilfred Ngubane (Ngubane & Co), Isaac Shongwe (Letsema), David Green (Proafrica) Charles Israelite (SIPP) and Peter Rich (Peter Rich Architects) Special commendations Pierre Olivier (Hatch Africa), Aaron Mthimunye (SNG Grant Thornton) Siphosetu Plata (Akweni) Ayisha Ramasike (Nexia SAB&T) Guy Steenekamp (LYT Architecture) Keith Skinner (Turner and Townsend) and Valter Adao (Deloitte) KC ROTTOK Managing Editor

Publisher: The Proud African Professional (Pty) Limited Reg. Number: 2010/012428/07 P.O. BOX 4935, Randburg, 2125 Republic of South Africa Tel: 067 044 5225 Director: Carol Malonza – Twitter: @mueni8 Managing Editor: KC Rottok – Twitter: @africanpros Publishing Executive: Mzukona Mantshontsho Photography: Mzu Nhlabati Design: Kelele Communication Website: Drutech Media Advertising Enquiries: To subscribe or contribute an article, email us at All rights reserved. Excerpts may be used as long as this magazine is credited as the source. Longer versions of our content may only be used with the written permission of the Publisher. Neither the publisher nor the editor accept responsibility for any information from edition writers or contributors. Whilst we have taken care in preparing this publication, the publisher/ editor does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The editor retains the right to edit all contributions. Advertisers are responsible for their material. © The African Professional / The Expatriate SA: ISSN 2218 – 757X.

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EY is a global leader in professional services, delivering client services across four service lines: Assurance, Tax, Advisory and Transaction Advisory Services. They were judged to be the best Big 4 as well as the SA Professional Services Firm of the Year. The judges remarked

that the company received the awards in part because they were the highest ranking professional services firm in the Top Employer rankings. Furthermore, the firm has been noticeably absent from the news of audit failures that have dominated the headlines in the past year. EY received the overall award for having

ticked the most boxes in the criteria including a strong showing in business growth, technical excellence and adherence to ethical business practices. Part of the information considered for the Awards process was the interview with the Managing Partner Ajen Sita held for the which is filed below.

What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the position of EY Africa Managing Partner?


It is a tremendous responsibility I must say, as it means delivering against the firm’s strategic goals at a time of uncertainty and ever-changing operating landscape – particularly since the audit profession has come under the spotlight in recent times in South Africa. I am always asking myself and my team how we can continue to uphold the EY reputation and brand while making life better for our clients, our employees and the communities we serve. Since Africa has the youngest population on the globe, we are lucky at EY to have a diverse workforce that includes a large number of graduates from universities from across the continent who are dynamic and are eager to be part of Africa’s growth story. Conversations with these bright young minds challenge me to keep current, relevant and certainly looking forward to creating a work environment that allows them to give expression to their personal ambitions and aspirations. What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term? The role is a performance-based position and that means helping EY compete better. It means helping EY transform digitally in the 4th Industrial Revolution. The profession has recently been struggling with negative trust sentiments and being under public scrutiny and my role is to bring that confidence back to the market. In 2008 EY set a new standard in the professional services industry when it integrated all its country practices across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). Across Africa, EY has an integrated operating model in 33 countries which enables the firm to bring a truly borderless approach to clients, as well as provide additional growth and development opportunities

for all staff who are at the heart of the profession and the firm’s success. Africa is a passion and focus for me and I believe it continues to claim its position as an emerging market with significant potential. I have led the integration of EY across Africa which is today the most integrated professional services firm in Africa.

enabling employees to take charge of their careers at EY and enabling them to proactively develop plans to build on their capabilities and skills.

As a strong believer in Africa’s potential, in 2011, I commissioned EY’s first highly acclaimed Africa Attractiveness Survey which seeks to understand the trends, FDi and the relative attractiveness of the various African markets. This annual survey has since become a benchmark in the industry. To this end, I’m a regular commentator at conferences and in the media on investing in Africa.

I have seen happy days at EY and some less happier ones. The lows would be the negative behavior we have seen from some in the profession that has sadly affected everyone else in the profession. The highs for me would be EY taking this as an opportunity to do well to counter these negative sentiments.

What makes you tick or keeps you awake at night with respect to your position? I am excited about our business as we have experienced tremendous growth over the years. I am inspired by developing and delivering on our mandate of building a better working world for all. I am passionate about investing in new solutions that will allow us to continue to transform our clients’ businesses and leading them into the 4th Industrial Revolution. How do you take part in mentoring others? We have formal and informal mentorship programmes at EY. I enjoy creating learning and coaching opportunities for our staff at every opportunity I get through our daily interactions. I am a firm believer in using practical experiences to bring everybody on board and promoting the EY culture. I am big on our staff creating their own career plans. We have created a new technology platform that allows for quarterly goalsetting for each employee, and that also allows the employee to see how they are tracking against all the goals they set themselves. This is a powerful tool for

If you had to relate a couple of experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your working career?

What accolades have you and your organisation received recently? EY won the SAPSA Big 4 Firm of the Year - 2017. We have done exceptionally well at the Gender Mainstream Awards with 32% women ownership at EY and 40% women in leadership. In my time as CEO, EY Africa was awarded the prestigious ‘Top Employer’ recognition in eight countries, namely: Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. EY South Africa also took 2nd position in overall Top 10 rankings for Top Employers South Africa, while taking 1st position in industry ranking for the Professional Services category. How has the firm fared in terms of achieving its business growth objectives? We have doubled our growth rates; we have beat our competitors in our target segments. We have 25 countries that have been fully integrated into a single business. Through what means does the organisation ensure that the firm

maintains high level of ethics and integrity? Our organisation is founded on ethics and integrity. We have systems and policies in place that enforce independence, ethical behaviour and high-quality work. Outside of the rules and policies, we have created a culture of doing things right. We have a culture of walking away from business relationships that do not serve the firm or threaten to put the firm’s reputation at risk. We have an EY Transparency Report that details what we are doing and how we are governed. Is transformation considered a key objective at the firm, and if so, how is it attended to? My other passion lies in the transformation of the accounting and auditing profession. This is demonstrated through my role as Chairman of the Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund which is the body driving the race and gender transformation of the accounting profession in South Africa. In my time as Head of Assurance, EY achieved the number one position in the final qualifying exam for Chartered Accountants in South Africa for four out of five years. During this period, the gap between the pass rates of white and black candidates was substantially minimised.

• We identify women-owned businesses with revenues of R2 – 5 million that have been in existence for 2 – 3 years that we offer coaching, and business enterprise support to for a period of 18 months. Over 400 businesses have benefitted from our Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme to date. • We have the EY NextGen programme where we identify high school learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to be exposed to the EY culture and activities that provide life and leadership skills. These girls receive support from grade 10 to 12 and become part of the NextGen alumni after high school, which facilitates ongoing interaction with and support from the NextGen

community as they prepare to enter the world of work. How does the firm ensure that professionalism and good customer service are upheld? We have a robust review mechanism where we track our professionalism and customer service against our clients’ identified expectations. At the time of the final assessment, we assess how we have been rated and, where necessary, conduct an independent brand assessment to ensure that there are no gaps.


Kindly highlight some recent contributions by the firm to the community and to the relevant professions your professionals are a part of. • We assist learners who have to write supplementary examinations to enrol for their B.Com degrees • We have awarded R10 million worth of bursaries, followed by employment at EY after graduation.

Dear fellow South African professionals, Thank you for the honour of our South African Professional Services Awards. After 35 years it is rewarding to receive recognition from our clients and partners. We have been privileged to design the stadium where South Africa scored the first goal of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the hotels and amusement parks where we relax with our families and meet for conferences, the spaces where we work and grow business, manufacture and distribute the goods that keep the economy moving, the campuses for inspiring students and the residential masterplans where we live, take our kids to school and spend time with friends and family. Our belief in the future has fuelled our investment in bursaries, student design awards for excellence and sponsoring leading international architects to lecture and workshop with masters students locally. It has also been the driver in our support of the Green Building Council South Africa, and as a Gold Founding member, we have over 25 projects that have received Green Star Ratings. However, as we celebrate our past, our focus is again on the future. A future in which new models for housing, new types of business and industry and modern infrastructure models based on air traffic and alternate fuels will expand our current concepts of architectural design. To help us answer these future challenges we have launched a collaborative research-based and experimental design studio called FuturePart. A space where we can ask ourselves questions, consider alternative solutions and test new processes and materials. We invite anyone interested in the future of the built environment to participate. Visit to explore our research proposals and our design challenges and add your insights. Alternatively, contact us with a design brief that demands solutions that build a sustainable future for all Africans.

Signed Bob van Bebber Winner Professional of the Year - Architecture Class, Overall Professional of the Year Winner 2019 and the Booogertman and Partners team, Winner Firm of the Year - Architecture Class 2019

Cape Town | Stellenbosch | Durban | Johannesburg | Nairobi | Pretoria Architecture | Interior Design | Urban Design | Graphic Design | Digital T: +27 11 790 1600 Mail: |

Meaning in the Making


Boogertman+Partners are proud to have been chosen as the Firm of the Year – Architecture 2018/2019 in the recent South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA) 2019 Awards announced at a gala dinner in the Monte Casino Ballroom, Johannesburg. “This award means a great deal to us” says Richard Wilkins, a company director. “To be recognized by our peers and the industry for the hard work and committed service we put in to our work

makes it easier to excel even further” Further accolades for leadership skills were handed out to one of the directors of the firm, Bob van Bebber. Celebrating his 21st year at Boogertman+Partners this year, the award for Professional of the Year –Architecture 2018/2019 was topped off with further recognition as the Overall Professional of the Year 2018/2019. A wonderful acknowledgement of his individual dedication to architecture

and contribution to South African business. “Boogertman+Partners is the largest architectural practice in Africa and ranked 106th in the world by the BD WA Top 100 Survey. With offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Durban and Kenya we aim to extend this level of professionalism, with our teams and partners, in all of our future projects and growth territories. Thank you to the whole

Boogertman+Partners team, our clients and the other winners EY/Werksmans for whom we did buildings, and also all the professionals who contributed to our success. These awards send a message to all those in the construction industry to ‘stay in the ring’ in these turbulent times,” said Bob van Bebber. Prior to the Awards, The South African Professional Services Academy spoke to Senior Director at Boogertman + Partners Bob van Bebber about his personal and professional journey. What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the position of Senior Partner?

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We have a relatively flat structure as an organisation. As much as I might be senior in terms of shareholding, my role is to help everybody in my team put their right foot forward, help the practice to have the right passion for doing the right things, delivering great and quality work consistently, on time and on budget. We have a team of around 250 people, so there is no way that one person can look after every design, my role is to encourage my team to deliver the best, so do the other team leaders. What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term? What is important is driving the passion and doing the right thing for the practice, be it for our clients, our peers or the architectural fraternity. Whatever solution we give, it should be because we believe in it, we shouldn’t give solutions we don’t believe in. We need to be able to sell the product we deliver, if we believe in the product, then we have done great. How would you describe your management and leadership styles? I take responsibility for the final product and the service delivered by my team at the end of the day. My leadership style has to be collaborative, have the

hard conversations and weigh up the options, win or lose some of the battles as it a team effort that must be done considering time and affordability. Mine is to get our team members to express themselves as much as they can given what we need to achieve, give our team players space and intervene and direct the conceptual process. What makes you tick or keeps you awake at night with respect to your position? The opportunity to make a difference and have a positive impact on the Built Environment. I love the opportunity of changing the experiences of end-users of our projects. Whether it’s a big or small project, one is always fascinated by going back to a project you delivered and seeing how people are using it, it is a therapeutic experience in a sense. For instance, when we went back to the Soccer City stadium, it was so rewarding to see how the crowds were enjoying the game in a new stadium with world class facilities which we had made possible. I am at times concerned about the different levels of passion – we don’t judge people by the hours they spend on the job, but by the quality of work delivered, within budget and on time. The shrinking economy is a concern with Statistics South Africa having said we are in a technical recession, work is not always there, at times some of our professionals are reluctant to travel to the various destinations where we find work – particularly in the rest of the African continent, but we need that work to sustain our practice. How do you take part in mentoring others? With the industry we are in, we don’t have a formalised mentorship programme – our junior professionals learn on the job, from conceptualisation, we give them the questions and they must find the solutions, we will intervene so that our deadlines and quality are always met. This is one way of seeing how great our

candidates are, by giving them practical experience. If you had to relate a couple of experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your working career? My highs would be The Soccer City Stadium, the BMW project, the MTN 14th Avenue head office project, the Discovery Head Office, and The Marc mixed use in Sandton - no one of these projects is more important than the other. The lows would be the the legal battles we have had to fight in the industry. The other low would be when people’s value systems are in conflict with the end goal. With being a successful practice, you also have battles within to find the best solutions, this needs a level of compromise and understanding to go with the winning solution to make everyone look great. What accolades have you and your organisation received recently? • Winners of the Architectural Category in the Steel Awards 2018 for the Discovery Head Office. • We are shortlisted for an award for a school we did in Nairobi Kenya. • We won an Interior Design Award for the WSP Group Head Office, and • I have been a judge at the World Architecture Festival. this has been a great space to hone my skills and adjudicate my peers on the World stage. How has the firm fared in terms of achieving its business growth objectives? Despite our founding member Henk Boogertman having left the practice eight years ago, we have grown exponentially over the years. Our relationships in the industry have grown, we will hopefully continue to grow our market, and


hopefully we will not affected by the brain drain from our industry. Through what means does the organisation ensure that the firm maintains high level of ethics and integrity? Ethical behaviour and integrity are conveyed to our staff constantly and vigilantly. We have our one-on-one conversations on how we engage with our suppliers, stakeholders, clients and our employees internally.

a continuous process to try and match the demographics of the country. We have bursaries available to designated groups and when they complete their studies they get to work with us. We also have a Design Scholarship for Africa, where the criteria is design excellence, and there is no obligation to work at our practice. Gender equity in terms of representation within a male dominated industry is improving over time and we have no gender pay gaps.

Is transformation considered a key objective at the firm, and if so, how is it attended to?

Kindly highlight some recent contributions by the firm to the community and to the relevant professions your professionals are a part of.

Transformation is massively important. We are a BBBEE Level 4 company in terms of our scorecard but we know we have to do better. We hire candidates from designated groups in

School learners have an opportunity to come and spend time at our practice to job shadow. We also have one of our architects giving a talk to Grade 1 and 2 learners about drawing and art. We

offer a lecture platform together with the Graduate School of Architecture to international and local experts in the industry to share their experiences and the state of architecture in the country and the rest of the world. We are also always busy with some pro bono work to give back to impoverished communities. One of the projects is an early learning centre and clinic near Hartebeespoort Dam which is in the planning stage, and another for a community centre in Devland. How does the firm ensure that professionalism and good customer service are upheld? Constant contact is important with our clients and contractors. Maintaining a sense of control is vital and having the right people in the right places on right jobs helps us to ensure we deliver exceptional work all the time.



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The South African Professional Services Academy (SAPSA) spoke to Managing Director of the Consulting business at Deloitte Africa Thiru Pillay in August 2018 about his personal, professional and entrepreneurial journey. He was

judged to be the Big 4 professional of the year at the SAPSA Awards held in early 2019. Tell us your brief history; academic, professional to your role TODAY

I was born and raised in Shallcross, which is right next to Chatsworth in Durban. Although I was raised in a very modest context, my parents and grandmother instilled a great sense of self-belief and hard work at an early

age. I had early exposure to leadership and responsibilities when I became the head boy in both primary and high school. I became Vice-Chairman of the house committee of my residence at the University of Witwatersrand in 1990, the year I enrolled for a Mechanical Engineering degree. I was one of four Indians in a residence of about 400 boys – and got to live diversity – as for the first time I was living with the real diversity of our country. Things got too hectic when I became a member of the Student Representative Council, and I failed my third year of studies and got excluded. I got a job as a Technician for an Eskom power station in a small town in Mpumalanga called Rietkuil. I was in a low-level role in overalls and safety shoes– it was a great learning experience and an awakening to the real world. It was also a unique glimpse into the economy and how things work. To be accepted back to university after the exclusion was a mission. I was lucky to secure 30-minutes with then Deputy-Vice Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, who allowed me back into the Engineering Faculty. This changed my life and I am very grateful to him for that. I completed my studies while contracting as an independent contractor to Eskom. The contractor position funded my studies. In 1997, I became the founder and leader with three other partners of an operations improvement consulting business, Khulisa Management and Engineering. This is where I developed my business management and consulting skills and where I got to test myself as an entrepreneur. I worked with clients across industries on projects in areas like operations improvement, plant asset management, process re-engineering and strategy. Having started with a six-page business plan, we grew an amazing team, positioning and culture over four years. We were a pioneering 100% black owned consulting firm. We eventually sold the company to Deloitte

with whom we had developed a good business relationship. What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the position of MD of Consulting at Deloitte Africa? Deloitte is one of the world’s leading professional services organisations. It is a tremendous responsibility and great privilege to serve the firm and work alongside our executive committee (Exco) and my colleagues in Consulting and the broader firm. I have found the role enormously rewarding from both a local and global perspective. I value the relationships, the energy and the people and culture. It is a special place. I have been running the Consulting practice for the past six years across our 14 country member firm. I have also had Exco responsibility for our Corporate Finance business until May 2018. I have had a unique exposure to doing business in Africa as we drove our integration to become one firm. It has also been hugely rewarding to serve on the Global Consulting Executive and to have served a stint as Chief Innovation Officer. Prior to my current role, I built and ran our Strategy and Operations practice over six years, establishing what is now the leading business in this segment in the market. How do you take part in mentoring others? This is key to building a strong culture and organisation. People give me a lot of energy and purpose. I think that coaching and mentorship are the ideal leadership models in our context. My interactions with my leadership team are often mentorship discussions. I also make time for conversations with colleagues and team members. We have had structured mentorship programmes over the years and continue to do so. I have found these extremely fulfilling; watching leaders grow. Deloitte has a great culture of mentorship and people development.

If you had to relate a couple of experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your working career?

Highs: • Being the founding member of a consulting business in 1997 was a defining moment. This was a leap of faith that kicked off my career in business and consulting and established a spirit of entrepreneurship and self-belief as a leader. I know that I can do it. • Being made a Partner at Deloitte at the age of 29. • Building our Strategy & Operations practice at Deloitte from a small group to a meaningful business that was able to compete with the mainstream players. Subsequent leaders have taken that business to even greater heights. • Leading client teams and delivering client impact is always hugely fulfilling. It is enormously validating to experience impact with clients. You also learn from your clients. • Playing a role in the establishment of Deloitte Capital into a leading Mergers and Acquisition practice in the industry and its early success.

Lows: • Losing a major deal that we have worked hard on is always disappointing. • Dealing with poor leadership behaviour. • Missing your budget or plan. While you can be resilient, it is not a good thing for the team spirit and can knock business momentum.



The South African Professional Services Academy (SAPSA) spoke to Chief Digital Officer Valter Domingos Adao at Deloitte who received special commendation from the SAPSA Awards judges. 14

What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the position of Chief Digital Officer? Unlike many other businesses, “Becoming Digital” meant developing the skills, services and products to guide our clients through this new Digital Era but at the same time, also transforming our business to become “Digital Inside”. My path into the world of Digital commenced three years ago. At the time, I was leading Monitor Deloitte in Africa, Deloitte’s premier Strategy, Innovation and Economics practice – and was then asked to build and scale our “business of the future” – which was Deloitte Africa’s entry into the Digital Domain. This was the scaling of Deloitte Digital. At the time, most organisations saw digital as an app of some sort, a social media tool or marketing channel. We saw the gap to build

a business transformation or a business re-imagination capability that assisted our clients to remain relevant and thrive into the future, by leveraging digital technology, and digital thinking. Essentially assisting them to re-imagine their businesses to be more productive, client engaging and innovative. What accolades have you received recently?

externally. A few notable ones include: • Receiving Deloitte Africa’s CEO Impact Award • Being invited to join Singularity University as a faculty member • Recipient of the Constellation Transformation 150 award, which recognises the top 150 global executives leading digital business transformation efforts.

I have received numerous accolades, both internally, within Deloitte, and

Helping clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy through a new type of thinking and a different mindset. We are The New Lawyers.




In recognition of his many years serving the accounting profession, the SA Professional Services Academy conferred upon PWC Africa’s outgoing CEO a lifetime achievement award.

PROFILE Hein is a household name in both the accounting and mining industries having led the PwC Africa Mining and then the Southern Africa and Africa Wide Firm for the last 15 years. It is noteworthy that he has earned the respect and confidence of his 400 partners at PwC Africa who elected him to the position of Chief Executive Officer for Africa some four

years ago. He is one of those natural leaders whom people automatically want to elect to take charge. Be it from his early days at school in South Africa, to university where he served as a student leader or as a compulsory conscript in the military where he was trained and was deployed as an officer. Hein joined Price Waterhouse in 1984, moving around the PwC network to jobs in New York, London and Spain before being admitted as a partner in 1992, six years before it merged with Coopers & Lybrand to become PwC. Hein was also elected by the 10,000 partners globally to serve on the PwC

Global Board who governs PwC’s 270,000 people across some 150 countries. His leadership style is collaborative and is well known for his passion to manage through gender balanced teams, often publically stating that more balanced teams make better decisions. It is also refreshing that, while many leaders only prioritise revenue and business growth, it is values and behaviour that keep Hein awake at night. This is admirable at a time when the local accounting profession is facing a reputation crisis.


by the end of your term?

What inspired you to become a chartered accountant?

“At a firm like PwC, reputation is everything – and upholding that under my watch is what keeps me awake at night. We have been reminded of this in the harshness with which you get punished if society loses trust in you. Secondly, an integrated, cloud-based platform that is a cost effective and efficient backbone for our business. As part of our digital transformation strategy, we embarked on a series of projects, such as implementing Google, Oracle Cloud, Salesforce and Workday. Technology enables us to be connected, agile and innovative in engaging the market, supporting our people, and collaborating to offer the best of our collective thinking in a seamless way.”

“I don’t come from a family of chartered accountants – my father, in fact, was a naval officer and a military pilot. A cousin of mine inspired me to become a CA. From a young age, I knew that the CA qualification is broad based and will give you global access.” What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with your current position in the organisation? “It is a humbling experience to be elected by one’s 400 partners across Africa to serve in such an influential role. They are effectively putting their trust in you. Serving as Africa CEO of one of the Big – Four has been a great honour and a challenge and opportunity very few get.” 18531_SAPSA_Ad_138x210_FA.pdf



How would you describe your management and leadership style? “As I reflect on my career progression, can think of countless examples of

11:09 I

What would you like to have achieved


DOING THE ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARILY WELL Werksmans Attorneys: Proud winner of SAPSA Law Firm of the Year David Hertz, Chairman: Proud recipient of SAPSA Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Commercial Law That is the Werksmans way.

Keep us close The Corporate & Commercial Law Firm A member of the LEX Africa Alliance

people who inspired and shaped me. At the age of 27, I left the shores of Africa for the first time to go to PwC New York for two years – it was a huge experience, both professionally and personally. It probably was an inflection point in my career; understanding for the first time what it is like to interact globally. I was pleasantly surprised that as South African professionals we could compete with the rest of the world. I came back more experienced, but certainly wiser in the ways of life – and that has served me well in the 30 years since my return. I would describe my leadership style as ‘inclusive’. Diversity and inclusion are close to my heart and I truly believe that diverse leadership teams make more balanced decisions. I have been very fortunate to be given many opportunities to hone my skills. I have always believed that, if I have some level of personal relationship with someone, I stand a much better chance of getting the best out of them, while leveraging their particular skills sets.”



In recognition of his many years serving the legal profession, the SA Professional Services Academy conferred upon Werksmans Chairman David Hertz a lifetime achievement award at a gala dinner held in March 2019.

matter and this has had a major impact on client retention and growth. What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term?

Businesses like Werksmans run the risk of becoming corporatised, the result What does it mean to you that being a cold, unpleasant and toxic David Hertz has been with Werksmans your colleagues have entrusted you work environment. What I have tried Attorneys since 1989. He was appointed with the Chairman position in the to achieve is to create an environment with a sense of belonging. We make as a Director in 1993 and currently organisation? it our business to know everyone. It’s serves as the firm’s Chairman – a role he has held since 2015. Prior to this, he was I thought they had lost their minds and not just words, but part of our DNA to the firm’s Head of Litigation & Dispute was terrified at the magnitude of the ensure universal respect. People tend Resolution. David is experienced in all task which had been entrusted to me. I to unfortunately gravitate to those who fields of commercial litigation and has had to lead a firm with more than 400 are like them. I am striving to create an environment without barriers been involved in many high-profile where we all embrace diversity and precedent-setting matters with “My position, to me, is more as a source of strength. There is a focus on contractual disputes than a job… it is a way of no ‘them’ and “us”. I would love and adversarial proceedings to lead the first demographically arising out of mergers and life. There is one standard representative major law firm in acquisitions, corporate failures, to be maintained: excellence this country. I strive each day to management buy-outs and takeexceeding every expectation. break down the barriers which overs and flotations / listings. The lawyers that are most separate us. We are nurturing He regularly represents clients immense talent in consequence involved in complex multiparty, successful are the ones that of which fact this dream is in the multijurisdictional litigation; give their all, who go above process of becoming a reality, particularly matters involving and beyond, delivering the thereby securing Werksmans’ simultaneous civil, criminal and impossible……” future for the next century and administrative proceedings. beyond. David’s expertise extends to arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution. David people. Our professionals are specialists How would you describe your features prominently as a leading and brilliant at what they do. They didn’t management and leadership style? lawyer in numerous independently- need to be micro-managed, enabling me conducted ratings of the legal profession to focus on strategic imperatives and There are no barriers to entry to my both locally and internationally. He is macro issues. I’ve had the unconditional office; I can be and am interrupted consistently ranked as a tier 1 lawyer in support of the entire Werksmans family continuously. My leadership style is dispute resolution by Chambers Global from inception and have focused on inclusive and transparent. and included in the elite “Leading building relationships both internally Lawyers” list by Legal 500. He is further and externally. I’ve sought to create an What makes you tick or keeps you recognised for his work in commercial integrated and constructive working awake at night with respect to your litigation by the International Who’s environment where everyone matters. position? Who Legal and The International Who’s It is in essence, a large family unit. We Who of Commercial Litigators amongst have succeeded beyond my wildest My position, to me, is more than a job… other legal and business publications. expectations, a fact which is evident it is a way of life. There is one standard from our low attrition rate as compared to be maintained: excellence exceeding to our peers. Although we are one of the every expectation. The lawyers that are INTERVIEW RESPONSES major firms in the country, Werksmans most successful are the ones that give What inspired you to join the has sought to differentiate itself by their all, who go above and beyond, offering “leaner and meaner” effective delivering the impossible. Profession? teams. It is not the Werksmans Way to It was my mother’s genius. As one of fill boardrooms with lawyers when one How have you taken part in mentoring three siblings growing up, our mother or two will achieve the optimal result others? found our strengths and nurtured for our client on a cost-effective basis. them. She directed me towards an Werksmans’ professional pyramid has, Mentorship is an integral part of what environment where I could use the skills in effect, been inverted with direct I do. I coach, nurture and teach. It is I had developed in debating and public involvement of directors on every extremely rewarding.



speaking. I didn’t wake up one day with a desire to defend the injustices of the World, but I recognized the skills and ability to engage with others, develop arguments and strategize to achieve optimal outcomes that set me on a path to becoming an attorney.

If you had to relate a couple of experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your working career? The highs are the successes we have achieved. There they are many. The probono work we did near Thabazimbi to preserve a national heritage site, where people’s lives and beliefs mattered, the pro-bono work we did for Ludwick Mamabolo entrenching his Comrades Marathon victory, means as much as the multi-million rand judgments and multi-billion rand transactions we secure and complete each week. What notable accolades have you and your organisation achieved? • Werksmans achieved Gold Status at Deloitte’s Best Company Survey in 2017, • Werksmans is ranked across 16 practice areas and 30 of our Directors are individually ranked as leading lawyers at the Chambers Global 2018, • LEX AFRICA is ranked in tier 1 in the Legal Networks category, Chambers Global 2018, • Werksmans has been ranked in 12 practice areas and notably in tier 1 for its excellence in Dispute Resolution. We have four lawyers who are proudly included in the elite list of Leading Lawyers. Richard Roothman has been included for Banking & Finance (newly ranked); David hertz and Des Williams are once again included for Dispute Resolution; and Ernest Mazansky, once again for Tax. 34 of our lawyers were recommended in various practice areas, at the Legal 500 2018, and • In a first for the firm, Werksmans attorneys won an award at the 4th Annual Pro Bono Awards in 2017. The award was presented to Naledi Motsiri, a Senior Associate in the ProBono Team, for her tireless

work in staffing and assisting clients in the ProBono.Org Labour Law Clinic. How has the firm fared in terms of achieving its business growth? We have met and exceeded our growth targets this year. This mainly because of the strength and depth of our multifaceted investigations. Through what means does the organisation ensure that the firm maintains high levels of ethics and integrity? Setting examples from the top and ensuring we only appoint the right people who live by our values. Highlight some recent contributions by the firm to the community and to the relevant profession your professionals are part of. Our signature project is the Werksmans Consumer Law Clinic, run in conjunction with Afrika Tikkun, in Diepsloot. The law clinic is the only one of its kind in the Diepsloot area and provides legal advice on general issues that affect the consumer, including consumer protection under the Consumer Protection Act & National

Credit Act, access to services including social grants and identity documents, advice on the understanding of contracts and property related queries. We partner with legal clearing house ProBono.Org, with whom Werksmans has worked closely for the past five years and has a Director serving on the organisation’s board. Our attorneys exclusively staff the Werksmans Consumer Law Clinic, held weekly at ProBono.Org’s Braamfontein offices. We volunteer at the ProBono.Org housing law clinic on a bi-monthly basis and the ProBono.Org Environment Advice Line. Werksmans participates in the special themed clinics run by ProBono.Org including the Women’s Day Law Clinic and Housing Information Day. Werksmans maintains a database of over 50 reputable organisations involved in reputable causes to whom we offer ad hoc legal support. We have assisted in establishing countless organisations, dealing with issues such as relief for victims of landmines, education, mentoring youth, fundraising for victims of domestic abuse & sexual violence and establishing of water wells and environmental awareness. We have for several years pledged financial support for CHOC and The Smile Foundation amongst others.


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NGUBANE & Co. Chartered Accountants was established in 1995 as an accounting and auditing firm. Its service offerings have since grown to include financial advisory, forensic investigations, business and IT consulting. This black owned multidisciplinary professional services firm is driven by commitment to deliver best services, with every member of the firm committed to a career and lifestyle of discipline, balance, continual learning and goal orientation. The South African Professional Services Academy spoke to Founder at Ngubane & Co. Chartered Accountants, Bhekabantu

Wilfred Ngubane, about his personal, professional and entrepreneurial journey. He subsequently received a lifetime achievement award at the SAPSA Awards held in March 2019.

INTERVIEW RESPONSES: What inspired you to join this profession? At the time when I started school at Msinga, where I was born, the community standard of measure of being educated was the level where one was able to write and read letters written to

distant relatives, more particularly those local men who worked in Johannesburg. This is the service that we provided to the community with great joy since we got exposed to all the breaking news and some confidential information. Looking back, I always realise how lucky one was to pursue schooling beyond that standard of measure, up to a high school level. I was introduced to bookkeeping by my ex high school mate who was working as a trainee work study officer for a motor assemblies’ firm. Looking at the advertised pay packages of accountants in the newspapers gave me further motivation factor to pursue the career.

A definite high is the over 250 employees we have since we started Ngubane & Co. in 1995. The lows for me would be between 2005 and 2006 when we lost four directors in the firm. That was a big blow but such is life. The greatest beauty of time is that it heals.


What does the role of Founder mean to you in the organisation? 22

I am priviledged and humbled by the role we play in availing training opportunities and indirectly creating employment to young and aspiring black professionals who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. It is encouraging to see people providing for themselves and for others. What would you like your legacy to be at retirement? My wish is for the firm to continue growing and become a firm which, when future generations look at it, will be proud to think or read of the background of the forefathers who built it. One would like to have a firm that leaves a kind of similar impression you get when you look at and read about the pyramids of Egypt. How would you describe your management and leadership styles? My role is to create an environment where people will prosper. I have a complementary leadership where

our professionals are supported, be it administratively or strategically to achieve our company goals and objectives which focus around building a sustainable business. What makes you tick or keeps you awake at night with respect to your position? Everyday is a new day for me, literally. Whilst we have short, medium, and longterm plans, I believe in working hard today to ensure you are in business the next day. I always compare our nature of business to the life of a bird, which even if there is so much fruit on one tree at a specific time, it can never take the fruits away for storage. Similarly, every year we have challenges and we need to be on the pulse to get work given the challenges in our economy. We must be at the forefront of any socio-economic changes. We are faced with diminished quality of professionalism in our space and we need to figure out ways to get the best out of people. If you had to relate a couple of experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your working career?

I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this lifetime achievement award. I am grateful for the resilience of our firm together with its people which has resulted in this recognition. I therefore receive this on behalf of everybody who has worked for Ngubane & Company in the past and present. I thank the judges for their work to come to this conclusion which I presume was a difficult one because I know there were probably many others who were just as deserving of this honour. I also thank our competitors; the audit firms with which we think we are in competition but in truth we complement each other because we have common clients. I thank you for the times when we have joint hands with you to bid for clients together and the times we have bid against you and you beat us and we learn to be stronger and the times we bid against you and won because it means we have learnt. I want to specifically thank Desmond Msomi, Banda Mwelase and Felicia Nomsuka with whom we have weathered the storms the longest. I want to thank my family, my three daughters and my son and most importantly my young beautiful wife. After 23 years of Ngubane & Co., they are still willing to share me with the firm. In closing, I would like to let you know there comes a time when you realise that in the journey that you’re walking, it is not money that matters but it is people that matter. I am happy that I made a small positive contribution to the human capital development of South Africa and of Africa as a whole. Once again thank you very much.



PKF OCTAGON is one of South Africa’s leading Chartered Accountants and Business Advisory Service providers delivering innovative financial solutions and needed support to their clients’ current and future business issues. Managing Partner Clifford Livingstone received a lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Gala Dinner event of the SA Professional Services Academy.

CLIFFORD’S PROFILE Clifford Livingstone did his Bachelor of Accounting degree on a part-time basis at the University of Witwatersrand and graduated in 1980 whilst working for Eliasov Wolf & Partners. Pursuing studies part time impacted significantly on his training, growth and development

at Bloch Schaffer and then Herbert & Trakman where he was a Partner. When he tracks his movement and changes throughout his career, he recognises that the changes were all important in crafting the individual he is today. In 1981 he started the accounting business with eight partners, hence the name Octagon. The firm is now PKF Octagon having joined PKF International, a global family of legally independent firms consisting of over 400 offices, operating in 150 countries across five regions.

ROLE AND LEADERSHIP STYLE “The PKF Octagon brand is built on a profound sense of good reputation and I feel a deep sense of privilege to have been entrusted with this very important role,” Clifford said in an interview with

SAPSA. “This appointment also means I can serve and guide other professionals aspiring to rise through the ranks.” He went on to describe his leadership style as informal and casual. “I have an opendoor policy and I am freely available. My leadership is based on being firm and finding a level of comfort that harvests honest and open relationships.”

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH “I appreciate SAPSA’s recognition of my 38 years in the audit profession. My gratitude to my partners at PKF Octagon, our team, my wife, children and grandchildren who over the years have given me the encouragement and the backing to be where I am today,” Clifford said on receiving the award.



Isaac Shongwe is Chairman and Founder of Letsema, South Africa’s oldest blackowned management consultancy. Since 1996, Letsema has sought to marry excellence in business with leveraging their expertise to help make South African society a better place. It was this drive to make a difference that drove Isaac into the business world. He has noted how difficult it is to create change if you do not have the resources to do so. His career, and the hard-won success Isaac has earned along the way, has been characterised by this arc of creating positive change. Isaac founded Letsema after working for Barlow Rand and Monitor, a global consulting firm. An independent thinker and South Africa’s second ever

black Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Isaac has always emphasized that the only way to do business is with excellence and integrity.

Outstanding journey Isaac’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur, and founding Letsema, began in the streets of Alexandra township in northern Johannesburg when he was a teenager. Forced to fend for himself, Isaac’s first entrepreneurial venture was to sell apples, and later nuts, at local soccer games. He would later enlist others to help him in exchange for a share of the profits, then encouraged those same people to sell their own boxes of apples. This was where Isaac’s style of participative leadership was honed.

Over the course of his career, beyond founding Letsema, Isaac has served as CEO of Barloworld Logistics Africa and a director at Barloworld Limited. He is the Deputy Chair of the Wits University Council and founder of the African Leadership Initiative and Young African Leadership Initiative, which emphasizes values-based African leadership. In accepting the award, Isaac said he was incredibly honoured to receive this award, and joked that being only in his fifties, he hoped the award did not mean his career was about to reach his end.



The South African Professional Services Academy spoke to Webber Wentzel Equity Partner Ziyanda Ntshona about her personal and entrepreneurial journey at the firm. She was judged by the SAPSA adjudicators to be the Woman Professional of the Year 2018 given her demonstration of outstanding leadership attributes and contribution to both her profession and the community. What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the

position of Equity Partner at Webber Wentzel I was appointed an equity partner at Webber Wentzel in 2013, after eight years with the firm. It was very gratifying to be recognised as an equity partner by some of the best legal minds in South Africa, this being an endorsement of my legal skills and leadership abilities. My appointment to the Board of Webber Wentzel in 2016 was another triumph for me and continues to be a source

of pride and motivation. The Board comprises 14 members, of whom seven are elected by the partnership, and I was appointed following nomination by the partnership. It was an affirmation that the partnership recognised my leadership abilities and could place its trust in me to form part of the leadership team responsible for the firm’s strategic direction. Furthermore, as a black woman, it underscored the firm’s commitment to having a diverse leadership group, and I feel honoured to be a part of that important body.

What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term? One of my core objectives is to realise an increase in the level of representation and participation of black women in the equity partnership. Raising numbers is simple; the challenge and measure of success lies in getting the value and quality recognised.

the job training. The team members are assured of receiving the necessary support and guidance where needed but I emphasise that they should take the quantum leap themselves. I strive for balance between support and supervision on the one hand, and independence and intellectual freedom on the other. With maturity I have recognised that it is important to manage this balance – because it is likely the needs will differ from individual to individual.

Have you had any challenges as a woman professional that you think differ from your male counterparts? How have you tackled them? I once walked into a reception area, dressed to the nines and ready for negotiations, the receptionist ran to the door and informed me that there were no jobs. Rather than let that deflate me, I walked into the boardroom in a deliberate and confident manner, with a resolve not to permit anything to undermine my performance.

I believe it is particularly important that the entire firm, including its leadership, should be a diverse universe; diverse My leadership style is outcomes based. in gender, race and history. Ours is a Flexibility is key and a necessary skill beautiful but complex society and it when leading people. The millennial I have often entered a boardroom where will take a multi-dimensional, diverse generation values a more balanced I was the only woman, and the only leadership team to lead the firm to the lifestyle, and I encourage working in a black woman, and I had to look past the next level. Therefore, I see my role as manner that suits the team, provided presumptions of incompetence and give being an engine for accelerated change client targets and deliverables are met. the other participants time to acclimate to me, as a lawyer. I get a kick in the composition and culture of the leadership team, so that it “Two of my career highs come to out of seeing perceptions of me change - where my counterparts reflects the new South Africa and, mind. One is the first time I led and start to realise (and you can see even more importantly, results in a completed a multi-billion Rand that moment in their faces) that I team that can continue effectively transaction on behalf of a client. have a lot to offer and am a worthy and successfully to identify and Another is when I was appointed to opponent. After a few of these respond to the challenges and opportunities in South Africa. the Board of Ubuntu Pathways, an experiences, my reputation now NGO established in my hometown, precedes me, and such occurrences have become rare. One of Webber Wentzel’s hallmark Port Elizabeth…” values is excellence. I would like to If you had to relate to a couple of play a role in the continuance and growth of this value, both in the South I am always open in communicating, as experiences, what would be the highs and what would be the lows of your African context and in the wider African this is vital for flexibility to work. working career? context. My ambition is for the firm’s reputation for excellence to be further Key to my leadership style is both recognised in sub-Saharan Africa, to collaborating and listening. Sometimes Two of my career highs come to mind. strengthen our ability to compete with as a leader one may become removed One is the first time I led and completed large international law firms in our from what is happening on the ground, a multi-billion Rand transaction on chosen jurisdictions, and to be the law and constantly listening and engaging behalf of a client. Another is when I firm of choice in key strategic areas in can lead to inclusive leadership. was appointed to the Board of Ubuntu Through passion, you connect, and Pathways, an NGO established in my sub-Saharan Africa. I seek to use my passion to create an hometown, Port Elizabeth. Ubuntu How would you describe your enabling environment where we best Pathways assists the underserved and serve the client and ensure the success disadvantaged, and uplifts lives, from management and leadership styles? cradle to career. This relationship has of the firm. provided me with an organic and Whilst fostering a collaborative spirit, I value and encourage independence. Finally, I remain authentic and stay strong link to my hometown, and an Well-founded independence comes true to myself. A leader must have a opportunity to use my legal skills in from confidence and the knowledge that heart and compassion. By example, this a selfless way to benefit the common one is equipped with the requisite skills becomes a learned behaviour and gives good. to succeed. Thus, I seek to empower my others permission to lead their own My career low has been the slow pace team through a combination of strong teams in the same way. of transformation. I am hopeful that professional skills and provision of on


with the transformation action plan that the firm is currently implementing - where I have had a role - the pace of transformation will increase, as transformation is a moral, economic and social imperative. What accolades have you and your organisation received recently? • I was recently (2018) recognised as a legal expert in the fields of Corporate, Commercial and M&A Law by The Legal 500. • I co-led the team that assisted Absa Bank Limited in its acquisition of banks in nine jurisdictions from Barclays Bank plc. This transaction was awarded “Deal of the Year” by DealMakers in 2013. • In the Chambers and Partners 2018 rankings, Webber Wentzel received 56 individual rankings, up from 53 the previous year. The firm also attained the highest number of practice area and individual

rankings of all law firms operating in SA – over one-third of Webber Wentzel’s partners were ranked by Chambers. • In the annual update of rankings produced by The Legal 500, which has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world for 30 years, Webber Wentzel had the highest number of individuals listed, and more Tier 1 rankings than any other firm ranked in South Africa. • Another of the world’s leading guides to law firms, the ILFR1000, gave Webber Wentzel a Tier 1 ranking across the board for legal services in 2018, a position the firm has maintained for four consecutive years. • In the DealMakers awards, Webber Wentzel clinched Legal Adviser of the Year 2017 for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) by deal value in the South Africa, Africa, BEE and unlisted deals categories. The firm was also involved in the 2017


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DealMakers Private Equity and M&A Deals of the Year. In the 2017 Merger market and Thomson Reuters league table for South Africa, Webber Wentzel was placed first for M&A by volume and value in South Africa. In the 2018 Private Equity Africa Awards, Webber Wentzel won Local Legal Advisor of the Year, and the competition and regulatory and IP teams won Team of the Year awards at the African Legal Awards. Forty-six Webber Wentzel attorneys were included in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in South Africa. Webber Wentzel also achieved the Law Firm of the Year award for both Corporate Law and Mining in 2018. Webber Wentzel was awarded the exclusive Top Employers South Africa 2018 certification. This had nothing to do with law and everything to do with the culture of the firm. It was the firm’s fifth certification from Top Employers.

What glass ceiling? At Webber Wentzel there’s no ceiling on success. 56% of our market-leading legal and tax advisers and 50% of our leadership team are women. Our outlook on gender equity is clear.



STRENGTH, INTEGRITY, PASSION (SIP) PROJECT MANAGERS have been leaders in the field of Construction Project Management in South Africa. SIP employs highly skilled project managers from a broad range of professional disciplines with experience across a wide range of sectors. The South African Professional Services Academy conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award on SIP’s co-founder Charles Israelite in March 2019.

ISRAELITE’S PROFILE Charles Israelite co-founded SIP in 1977. Graduating with a BSc Building Management in 1972, Israelite worked for a building contractor before moving onto a multi-disciplinary firm of consultants. In 1977, his initial project was with the Sun City Hotel.

He was President of the Association of Construction Management Professionals (ACMP) for seven years. He is also a councillor on the South African Council for the Construction and Project Management Professions and through them, was elected as councillor on the Council for the Built Environment (CBE). In addition, Israelite is Chairman of PROCSA (Professional Consultants Services Agreement Committee). This Committee provides the basis for the Terms of Engagement of professionals within the Construction industry. Through his leadership, SIP has been involved with several projects that have won SAPOA Awards.

HIGHS AND LOWS When asked what were the highs and the lows of his career, Israelite had this to say:

“I believe that one of the watershed projects that we undertook was the Lost City Project in Sun City. The intensity of involvement from all parties was essential in ensuring the successful and timeous completion of a project that in today’s value would be over R5 billion delivered in 36 months. The only lows of my time at SIP would be when we had to restructure and downsize the organization due to lack of continuity of work.”

ACCEPTANCE REMARKS “I wish to thank all our clients who have shown faith in the value add that project management has brought to our industry. On behalf of everyone at SIP, I accept this award. It is truly an honour and we shall cherish it for the remainder of our existence,” Israelite said on accepting the award.



The MALANDER GROUP is a group of professional services firms comprising of a team of chartered accountants and financial experts (Malander Advisory), recruitment professionals (Malander Placements) and digital solution specialists (Malander Digital). The Group Founder Lyle Malander was judged to be the winner of the Young Professional of the Year in the Commerce, Law and Management category.

LYLE MALANDER PROFILE Lyle was featured in The Entrepreneur magazine in October 2018. They described him thus: At just 30 years, Lyle Malander is not merely a trendy businessman but a trailblazer whose ambitions are fuelled by making a difference and creating a

legacy. The co-founder and director of the Malander Group of companies’ core focus is providing professional advisory and resource solutions to various large and listed entities. Lyle is proud to say that in 2,5 years the Malander businesses have derived revenue in excess of R40 million. His hard work and arduous hours have turned his dreams into reality.

HIGHS AND LOWS “I’ll start with the lows, in the infancy stages of the business, I remember a time when we had just completed a client project and had a staff complement of three people, we had no pipeline business, no new projects or clients lined up,” Lyle told “We had neglected to focus on the future and our only focus was on delivering the project at hand. This was one of my lowest moments and I was incredibly

nervous. This drove us to continuously focus on business development and enhancing our customer experience. That made me see the importance of forward planning.” In terms of highs, Lyle said that the Group has many and he believes they should celebrate and acknowledge little achievements. He mentioned delivering successfully on a project and securing a new engagement.

ACCEPTANCE REMARKS “This is by no means an individual award, it is the culmination of a team effort. I want to thank my team at the Malander Group for their dedication, hard work and unwavering commitment. I wish to thank our clients and my family for their continuous support.”



SQWIDNET is the premier network provider for the Internet of Things in South Africa. It is based on the SIGFOX standard, which enables a multitude of low-cost, low-power devices to monitor or respond to events in the environment and to exchange data with each other and with operators and users – all to make life easier, safer, more convenient, and more streamlined.

It is always an honour to be trusted, and the validation that comes with it. To me, it means to remain humble enough to be able to serve my colleagues in the way that they hope I will, rather than to become drunk with power and no results. We are a start-up, and only results will get us out of the gates, so it also means that I am accountable for results.

We interviewed Managing Director Phathizwe Malinga, a worthy finalist for the Digital Industry Professional of the Year at the SAPSA Awards 2019.

What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term as CSO?

Tell us about your role Today! I’ve been in Software Development, mainly as a project manager and head, for almost 20 years. I spent time in the telecoms industry working on billing systems, then have spent the last 10 years in healthcare creating and growing their hospital management system. Today, I find myself heading up the solutions space for SqwidNet, a fairly new startup focussed on providing South Africa’s first nationwide IoT network. What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with your position?

I would like for SqwidNet, in the longterm, to be known as the company that makes IoT simple. As such, I would like to produce simple solutions that enable our customers and end users to benefit fully from being IoT users, in a way that gives South Africa a better quality of life. How would you describe your management and leadership styles? I am a servant, first and foremost. My upbringing, my background and even my name allow for me to claim this as my raison d’être. And then, I am forceful, opinionated, demanding and fair. Leadership in my opinion, is a response to a need for someone to step up. Standing up doesn’t make you a leader.

Remember what you stood up for, and doing that work unapologetically, is how I’d like to be seen. What makes you tick or keeps you awake at night with respect to your position as CSO? Simplicity. How do we keep our solutions simple? For our customers, for our users, and most importantly for the people that will have to scale and maintain IoT in South Africa, our staff. And once we get it right, how do we repeat success in an ever changing world? How do you take part in mentoring others? Mentoring can be both an explicit activity and an inherent part of how one works. I subscribe to the latter. I believe in mentoring in the work, elbow deep, immersed in complexity. When I answer “how” questions, I like to be standing in the mess. There is a book called Superbosses by Sidney Finkelstein that contains the ideals I aspire towards. In terms of explicit mentoring, I work with MBA students at the GSB, and I now intend to get back to my mentoring high school scholars work through the Alexander Education Committee.

Proud winner of Engineering Firm of the Year, 2019 SAPSA Awards

We believe we can. And we have demonstrated our commitment to a sustainable, transformed South Africa by achieving Level 1 B-BBEE status. We are a diverse people business, proud to be working for a wide variety of clients. We are committed to building an inclusive culture that respects and maximizes the contribution of all our employees. We also believe in our responsibility to transform our profession and uplift our communities by developing talent and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to join our business.




Thumbs up from Dr. Terence Milne - WSP Director in the Transport & Infrastructure sector.

WSP was judged to be the Best Engineering Firm at the SAPSA Awards and received the accolade at the 2019 gala dinner held at Montecasino Ball Room in March.

ABOUT WSP WSP is a globally recognized engineering professional services firm with a combined 130-year history. Its roots are in companies founded in the United

States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia, Nordics and Canada. The company employs approximately 48 000 people globally.

expertise and access to world-class global capability ensures that clients receive innovative solutions from passionate people.

In Africa, WSP has operated for over 50 years, growing organically and through acquisition to become one of the leading engineering and environmental consultancies on the continent. Indepth understanding of local markets, combined with excellent local technical


Mathieu du Plooy, Managing Director, WSP in Africa said: “We are elated and honoured to have received this accolade. In addition to winning the overall

category award, we are also exceptionally proud that three engineers from our ranks received individual recognition and commendation – Jabulile Nhlapo and Vishaan Ramnarian in the Young Professional of the Year category and Vishaal Lutchman in the Professional of the Year category.” “As a firm, we pride ourselves on offering premier consultancy services to public and private sector clients across the built and natural environments – and ensuring we attract and retain top talent. This accolade reinforces market recognition of our unwavering commitment in both regards,” added du Plooy.

PROJECT WINS AND AWARDS The judges considered participation in projects by the company and Awards won during the period under review.


Notably, WSP was involved in the development of a desalination plant in Cape Town. Located at the V&A Waterfront, this desalination plant forms part of a series of emergency water supply projects the City of Cape Town Municipality is implementing to supplement critically low water resource levels in the district. Quality Filtration Systems (QFS), along with Osmoflo, were awarded the work as the main contractor – to build, own and operate the plant, as well as to decommission the plant at the end of the contract term. WSP tendered as sub-consultants to QFS, where the company provided design engineering and site supervision services. According to Marthinus Retief, Principal Associate: Coastal, at WSP Maritime Africa: “Given the state of emergency of the water crisis in the region, this was a rapid execution, top priority project for all parties involved.” Retief confirmed that the project was awarded to QFS in January 2018. WSP,

as sub-consultants, immediately started working on the designs, drawings and specifications for the plant’s ancillary components. Practical completion of these components was reached within two months and the plant is currently finalising overall commissioning.

Engineering (SAICE) Awards that were presented during the gala dinner. WSP was appointed as the mechanical consulting engineer on this project for heating, HVAC design, building management systems (BMS), as well as energy monitoring systems (EMS).

WSP in Africa was honoured that two projects received multiple awards – including Overall winner - at the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) Steel Awards 2018. The Sun Arena at Time Square in Menlyn Maine received the following accolades at the 2018 Awards ceremony; Overall winner, ASTPM Tubular Category winner, Commercial Category winner.

WSP in Africa were proud to have been involved in the 2018 Winning Projects in the Corporate Head Office, Industrial and Rural Development categories of the SAPOA Property Development Awards for Innovative Excellence, as announced on 21 June 2018: Corporate Head Office – PWC Tower, Industrial Development – BMW Midrand campus and Rural Development – Bambanani Junction Retail Development.

Owned by Sun International, the Sun Arena is now the biggest live entertainment venue in Pretoria, Gauteng. The purpose of the arena was to create a multi-faceted events and performance space of international standard, where some of the biggest music concerts in South Africa will be held. Appointed as the Structural and Civil Engineers for this project, the team of engineers from WSP in Africa worked closely with the entire project team from the start of the project to conceive the best structure and decide on the appropriate materials for the arena.


Shoprite Checkers Cilmor Distribution Centre received the 2018 accolades in two categories, including the Safintra Factory and Warehouse Category and the Global Roofing Solutions Metal Cladding Category. WSP was appointed for the full project scope (stage 1-6) for the following services: Structural design of warehouse floors and super structures; HVAC, Wet Services, Electrical, Smoke Detection, Vertical Transportation, Fire (CFD Modelling only), Bulk Fuel Storage, Refrigeration and Insulation. In October 2018, the PwC Tower received the prestigious Environmental Engineering Project accolade for the 2018 South African Institute of Civil

How has the firm fared in terms of achieving its business growth objectives? We have done all the fundamentals correctly, they may be changing, but we are growing in various forms, culture and transformation. I am very positive about how we have grown and did it. We have been merging, globally, we have had an upward trend, and that is great. We have solid clients, solid capability and projects that are robust globally supported by many great partners in the built environment that makes for award winning projects. We attract great talent and retain them which is fundament to grow and remain relevant. Through what means does the organisation ensure that the firm maintains high level of ethics and integrity? Communication is very important and a significant component of being a success. Always have agenda free conversations, figure out what is right and will work for all the stakeholders, do an analysis of

Vishaal Lutchman (left, WSP Director of Transport) and Kyle Nesbitt (right, WSP Principal Associate Engineer)

who will get hurt and who won’t. As an individual, I have a fundamental value system at work, at home with my kids, that helps me engage with everyone I interact with. Awareness is key in what you do and impact others, be present, that will enable integrity, honesty and ethical conduct. One has to balance the cognitive and the emotions.

makes us best placed to show the world how to transform live peacefully. Our journey of change is difficult but we will rise above many developed economies, which I do not believe have the social and economic fundamentals in place at this time.

Is transformation considered a key objective at the firm, and if so, how is it attended to?

Kindly highlight some recent contributions by the firm to the community and to the relevant professions your professionals are a part of.

Yes, and on that topic, we are continuously transforming in the market place, technology, and people with new worldviews. For me it is how we transform our minds, how do we embrace the World going forward, we need to understand what is happening in South Africa, the continent, and the rest of the World. The World around us is changing daily, I love how as professionals we transform our behavior to make these changes work for us as communities and the provision of infrastructure solutions. In South Africa, I believe that our cultural diversity

We have an active bursary programme for tertiary education in engineering and science and offer support to several organisations that promote mathematics and science, as well as careers in engineering and environmental science, in high schools. For example, we are fully behind and support Engineers without Borders. We have a global exchange program allowing global exposure to teams across the world. We have a thorough task-force mandatory report that outlines how WSP does business, how we budget to travel to the communities where we are working,

how we engage the community around where we are working, what will be delivered, how, and when. We volunteer this information to our clients, so they know the WSP way How does the firm ensure that professionalism and good customer service are upheld? We have professionals that lead the business. We have business integrity and ethics that underpins the company culture. We do work for professional clients that are able to appreciate the value we bring to them. We work with the best partner firms to deliver the best value, which allows us to ensure a continued professional service. Our staff and leadership are the most professional in the market. About our customers, we have implemented a CRM approach to ensure that we remain close to and relevant to client. The CRM approach enables us to position and ensure that we have a proactive approach in developing solutions needed by our clients.




Bashier Adam, CEO of Nexia SAB&T, was judged to be the Accounting Professional of the Year at the SAPSA Awards and received the accolade at the 2019 gala dinner held at Montecasino Ball Room in March.

ABOUT NEXIA SAB&T Nexia SAB&T, one of the leading black owned audit firms and advisory in South Africa and part of the 9th largest international auditing firm network, has been providing Accounting, Audit and Consulting services since the birth of South Africa’s democracy in 1994. In March 1998, we became one of the first black owned firms in South Africa to join an international association, SC

International, which merged with Nexia International in 2006 to become Nexia International. Nexia International is a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms, which helps to meet the business and financial needs of organisations and individuals with an international outlook. Nexia SAB&T is the lead firm of Nexia International in South Africa and plays a leadership role in developing the network in Sub Saharan Africa. As of the 1st of March 2017, Nexia SAB&T and Indyebo Consulting merged in a move that will see both firms become one of the most influential, black empowered audit, accounting and consulting firms in South Africa. The

business will continue to trade under the Nexia SAB&T brand, to emphasise its ties to the 9th largest international network in the sector, Nexia International.

SAPSA AWARD The judges had this to say about Bashier Adam at the SAPSA Awards: “Bashier leads a company that has been nominated for a corporate citizenship award, been recognised by PMR and scooped a Top Women Award. The judges were impressed by his profile which includes leading the growth story of the firm from “a leaky garage” to an affiliation to a highly regarded international network. Bashier leads by

example taking part in such initiatives as CEO SleepOut and the relaunch of ABASA. As previously stated, the success of the firm during this year and the recent past can largely be accredited to its founding CEO and for that Bashier deserves recognition.” “Thank you very much to the judges and sponsors for this Award,” Bashier said at the gala dinner. “It is an honour to be standing here in front of the CEOs of the many professional services firms represented here tonight. In six weeks’ time our firm turns 25 years old and to be receiving some recognition as we do that is really special. On behalf of everyone at Nexia SAB&T, we appreciate this accolade.” In a past interview with SAprofessionals. com that was considered by the judges in their deliberations, Bashier explained with clarity his vision for the organisation: “I think we are going to leave behind a legacy for future generations. If we look at what we have done historically, we have been game-changers at every turn. When I first qualified, I said we are going

to promote young auditors. When we formed the firm, I said we are going to knock directly at the door of the auditor general and other arms of government for work. We were one of the first black firms to do that directly, not under the auspices of collective institutions of black professionals. We were the first to list on the JSE out of a professional practice when many of our colleagues were of the opinion that this could not be done. We were the first black firm to be part of an international network. I always say when asked about our de-listing, tongue in cheek, “we did it because no one had ever done it.” I think you have to set an example of breaking barriers. One of the biggest advantages of having gone through the whole listing and delisting journey in our own right is the insight we can bring to our clients who are contemplating similar journeys. Another thing we must never lose is the ability to teach and develop people; that is without doubt the single biggest comfort I have in my life. The best thing about this profession is probably the ability to watch people grow. I hope that aspect remains part of the firm when the time comes for me to go.”

HERSTORY IN THE MAKING A significant part of what impressed the judges was the firms recent “We are HERstory in the making” campaign. The launch coincided with Bashier Adam signing the organisation’s endorsement of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, reaffirming the company’s ongoing commitment to transformation and equal opportunity. Since inception, the company has actively supported equal opportunities for women, and provided a work environment that nurtures local talent. The result is female employees now account for 61% of the firm’s staff contingency, and most are in key decision-making roles. In comparison, despite comprising 51% of the South African population, only 32% of managerial roles in SA are filled by women. ‘We are HERstory’ is the culmination of Nexia SAB&T’s 25 years of commitment to gender empowerment and coincides with the firm’s 25th anniversary. The campaign highlights personal success stories of several female employees including company board and EXCO chairperson, Ndumi Medupe. “Having grown up in the villages, I know that once you empower a woman, you empower the whole village,” commented Medupe at the campaign launch. “Gender equality, transformation and addressing income inequality are the lifeline of any business that is sustainable,” she added. “Meeting government objectives has never been a challenge for us. We’ve done it easily since day one,” explained Adam. “The principles of fairness in business created a fibre and a structure in our organisation that was conducive to transformation. We have a genuine commitment to addressing social inequality because we believe there is strength in diversity.” Nexia SAB&T’s Ayisha Ramasike with Sanlam’s Sipho Mncwabe.


AYISHA RAMASIKE – SPECIAL COMMENDATION FOR WOMAN PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR By Mzukona Mantshontsho Ayisha has experience in external, internal audit, risk management and consulting. Her experience is mostly in the public sector although she has done work in the private sector. She has been with Nexia SAB&T since January 2018 and was previously Director and CEO designate at Rakoma & Associates, a firm where she completed her articles and gained vast knowledge from the exposure to different types of projects. She has 19 years of experience of which

12 years thereof are within the auditing profession. She worked at the AGSA for a period of two years and was part of an organization that continually strove to enhance public confidence. She also worked in a financial position at a global leading industrial company, where she had exposure to other countries within Africa. Joining Nexia SAB&T has given her exposure to a firm that is growing and

making inroads into various markets that have previously been exclusively for the Big Four firms. The diversity of the firms adds to its success as all demographics are represented and opportunities to learn and grow are endless. Ayisha received Special Commendation from the SAPSA Award judges at the 2019 Gala Dinner in the Woman Professional of the Year category.




The MASISIZANE FUND is a nonprofit organisation. The fund is an Old Mutual initiative that was established in 2007. The fund is meant to give hope and dignity to the people of South Africa including those living in villages and rural areas, particularly the disadvantaged and marginalized, to put food on their tables – helping them to create sustained businesses, and not just be consumers. The Masisizane Fund provides enterprise development to small, medium and micro enterprises through two core channels: Development Finance and Business Support. The Fund has won recognition from various quarters including the Governance Cluster Award, African

Leaders Change Awards and from SIFE South Africa. Much of the success of the organisation can be attributed to its CEO Zizipho Nyanga (nee Mqwala). She was judged to be the Management Professional of the Year at the 2019 SAPSA Awards.

PROFILE After graduation, Zizipho joined EY as a trainee and later qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She had a stint as Financial Manager at Kagiso Media, started her own business and worked at EY as a Senior Manager and at the IDC as a Deal Maker before taking up her current role at Masisizane Fund.

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH “I stand here on the shoulders of the many women in this audience as the first woman recipient of an Award tonight. I also stand on the shoulders of my late parents; I thank them for instilling in me the values of resilience, courage, bravery, humility and the love of personal development from a very young age. I also thank my husband Mzungawi for being my cheerleader and a significant support structure in my life. I am very passionate about making a difference in people’s lives through entrepreneurship particularly empowering women and bringing back the dignity of black people in rural areas. The work we do in the rural finance space is often a thankless job. Thank you to SAPSA and Sanlam for the recognition.”



Morné van der Merwe, Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office and head of its Corporate and M&A Practice Group was judged to be the Professional of the Year in the Law Class at the SAPSA Awards 2019.

PROFILE Morné completed his articles with Werksmans, where he stayed for 18 years. By the time he left to join Baker McKenzie in 2012, he was part of the Werksmans executive team. He was very involved in the merger between Werksmans and the Cape Town based firm, Jan S de Villiers.



Under Morné’s leadership, Baker Mckenzie celebrated some key accolades during the period under review. In September 2018 the firm won the International Law Firm of the Year Award at Legal Week’s African Legal Awards ceremony for the second year in a row. In September 2018 the firm was awarded Bronze status in The South African Workplace Equality Index 2018, the only law firm to be tiered. The Index is South Africa’s first LGBT+ Index.

In the last financial year, the global firm announced record revenues of $2.9 billion and they have seen a significant increase in Africa-related revenues.

“Leading the market in terms of our LGBT+ strategy is something we are very proud of and something we plan to build on in the coming years,” Morné says.

“This is demonstrated by increased Africa related billings, matter appointments, panel wins, RFPs received, and referral requests both from and to our African Relationship Firms. The Johannesburg office revenue has grown by an average of 30% year-on-year from Financial Year 2013 to Financial Year 2018. We launched in May 2012 with 31 lawyers and staff, we have since grown to more than 100 lawyers and staff,” he stated.



Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL) and SNG Grant Thornton announced in July 2018 that discussions between the separate member firms in South Africa regarding integration with SNG Grant Thornton had been concluded. As announced in February 2018, GTIL began “a process to fully integrate the existing Grant Thornton SA member firms into SNG so there is only one truly

representative South African national professional services firm under the brand name SNG Grant Thornton.” Grant Thornton Durban and Grant Thornton Pretoria integrated with SNG Grant Thornton. The new merged SNG Grant Thornton entity is now larger than the previous South Africa federation, with over 1,000 professionals across 13 offices generating annual revenue of over ZAR750 million.

This exciting development not only creates a significant, empowered and truly African firm with a global reach, but the significant pool of talent also reflects the view that black economic empowerment is not a mere obligation but a key business imperative. The South African Professional Services Academy spoke to MD: Assurance at SNG Grant Thornton Aaron Mthimunye about his personal and professional

journey thus far. He was given a special commendation for the Accounting Professional of the Year and SNG Grant Thornton won Accounting Firm of the Year at the 2019 SAPSA Awards. What does it mean to you that your colleagues have entrusted you with the position of MD: Assurance? Support from family and colleagues eased me into the position. I had to find myself and be able to take others with me on the journey to help me with the challenging times ahead. What would you like to have achieved by the end of your term? The position is performance driven. About 70% of the work is from the public sector and 30% is from the private sector and we aim to balance this out. Furthermore, we continue to create a platform where all professionals,

regardless of race or gender can exhibit their talents without fear, favour, or prejudice. How would you describe your management and leadership styles? I am all about giving people the opportunities like I was given an opportunity, trusting them, and walking the mile with them. My leadership is open and engaging and encouraging staff not to be afraid to fail. What accolades have you and your organisation received recently? SNG won numerous awards as one of the fastest growing firms for several years. We continuously produce the highest number of black chartered accountants. How has the firm fared in terms of achieving its business growth objectives?

The business has grown substantially over the years and we have just merged with Grant Thornton. This merger is exciting in that it will also allow us to make significant in-roads and penetration into the private sector. Kindly highlight some recent contributions by the firm to the community and to the relevant professions your professionals are a part of. SNG Grant Thornton supports the SAICA Thuthuka Programme with fulltime bursaries and we buy text-books for those recipients. We have adopted a couple of schools and have those learners come to SNG Grant Thornton for job shadowing purposes. We support lecturers and tutors at the Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape to guide learners who are interested in our profession.


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