Transformation in the NJMPF: Growing your own timber
onginkosi Mkhize was appointed as CEO/Principal Officer of the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Municipal Pension/Provident Funds (NJMPF) in July 2019. He is the first black CEO/ Principal Officer of the NJMPF and his appointment, barely six months before the onset of Covid-19, was indeed a baptism of fire. However, Mr. Mkhize is no stranger to leading and building value through innovative and creative thinking and he excels in decision making within the pension funds sector. Over an 11-year period he worked steadily through the ranks at the NJMPF, serving as a manager, Chief Financial Officer and now CEO. Mr.Mkhize completed his South African Institute of Chartered Accounts (SAICA) articles at the office of the Auditor General, and it was there that he gained invaluable experience in compliance and statutory requirements including auditing and accounting in the public sector. Beside his academic credentials, he holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a post graduate diploma in Investment Management and Banking from University of KwaZulu-Natal. His vision for the NJMPF under the converging economy and rapid development of technologies - is advanced technology facilities, lower administration fees and speedier conduction of business. With an illustrious track record in the pension fund industry of over 79 years, and ably led by Bonginkosi Mkhize, the NJMPF, has actively joined the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Ironically 2020 (a fresh start to a new decade) was hailed with a great deal of enthusiasm at the end of 2019. It was even dubbed “20 plenty”. However, Covid-19 brought with it fear, sorrow and uncertainty and changed the world as we knew it. How did the KwaZulu-Natal Joint
Municipal Pension Funds respond to the pandemic? Under the steady guidance of the CEO, the NJMPF responded timeously to the outbreak and promptly created regular Lockdown Update circulars
containing relevant information and facts pertaining to the virus that were distributed to its members. The Fund also produced a video wherein Bonginkosi Mkhize addressed stakeholders to allay fears of global investment meltdowns and to assure members that the Fund was working diligently to continue processing contributions, paying claims and looking after the investment portfolios. In an attempt to keep its members safe and help fight the spread of the virus, the Fund also created an NJMPF Covid-19 survival kit, consisting of facemasks, sanitisers, sanitiser foot pumps and bottled water which were donated to all 55 municipalities in KwaZulu- Natal. This distribution of the survival kits reflects how NJMPF is giving back to its members and assisting them during these turbulent times - the Fund was not silenced by the global pandemic.