In the face of power outages, policy uncertainty, geopolitical blunders, and a long list of economic setbacks, South Africa’s ability to position itself as an appealing investment destination is critical. On Thursday, August 31, a group of prominent business leaders, including Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) CEO Leila Fourie and Thungela Resources CEO July Ndlovu, will convene for a roundtable discussion to unveil the private sector’s roadmap to restore investor confidence in the country.
The event, which is part of News24’s On The Record Summit, will take place at the Kyalami International Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, and will feature seven panel discussions in which leaders from various sectors will share insights and plans for revitalising South Africa’s economy. The summit, which debuted in September of the previous year, has established itself as a prestigious thought leadership platform for influential figures from business, politics, sports, and civil society.
Advocate Andrea Johnson, head of the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate, Stormers head coach John Dobson, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, Dion Chang, founder of Flux Trends, and Anton Harber, director of Campaign for Free Expression will all be in attendance.
Following a significant pledge by major South African corporations, including Nedbank, Thungela, and the JSE, to assist the government in addressing the country’s energy, logistics, and security challenges, the discussion will be especially pertinent. This business-led intervention could be the key to the economy’s recovery. It does, however, leave many questions unanswered. Can this pledge truly revive the economy, and what other recovery strategies does corporate SA have in mind?
The panel will be moderated by Sikonathi Mantshantsha, a News24 writer-at-large and former Eskom spokesperson, and will include Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership SA (BLSA), and Mike Brown, CEO of Nedbank. Brown, South Africa’s longest-serving banking CEO, has been in charge of Nedbank since 2010, and his retirement is imminent. He is also the BLSA’s deputy chairperson and a director of the Banking Association of South Africa. Brown has previously expressed concern about the impact of the electricity crisis and SA’s greylisting on the country’s investment status.
July Ndlovu, CEO of Thungela Resources, has over 30 years of mining experience. Thungela, South Africa’s largest export coal miner, was recently spun out of Anglo American and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Ndlovu has expressed concerns about the impact of Transnet’s deteriorating rail performance on the company’s asset portfolio.
Leila Fourie, the JSE’s CEO since October 2019, has a diverse background in capital markets, payment systems, consulting, investment banking, and retail banking. Her previous experience includes senior executive positions and directorships in global portfolios, as well as local and national boards. Fourie recently hinted at the JSE’s consideration of launching a market for renewable energy certificates.
Since July 2019, Busisiwe Mavuso, the CEO of BLSA, has led the influential business forum. Mavuso is well-versed in advocating for South Africa’s economic growth, having previously served as the BLSA’s chief operations officer and as the former managing director of the Black Management Forum. She raised the risk of the country falling off the radar of international investors at a News24 summit last year.
The future of South Africa’s economy is of concern to all of us, and the insights provided by Brown, Ndlovu, Fourie, Mavuso, and other respected South African leaders will undoubtedly shed light on the path forward. Attending the On The Record Summit in Johannesburg promises to be a pivotal opportunity for anyone invested in South Africa’s prosperity as the country seeks new perspectives and innovative strategies.