Introduction by CEO | Meet one of our new directors - Sikkie Kajee, FCIS | Members on the Move | Branch News | Annual Report Awards 2012 | Students in the Spotlight | Key dates 2013

 



  Stephen Sadie
  Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the fourth edition of 2012.

We started in 1956 with the Annual Report Awards and it is now 56 years later and the Annual Reports Awards are still going strong. A key difference with our Annual Report Awards is that our awards follow the JSE categories – the top 40, mid caps, small caps, Alt X and fledgling. The other categories are state entities, NGOs, regional companies and unlisted companies. Other awards merely take the top 100 companies or a similar broad category.

We try and compare apples with apples, because you can’t evaluate the big companies against the smaller ones, which do not have the same resources. We ensure there is also space for the smaller companies and organisations to win.

With the transition to integrated reporting, some companies are entering the awards as a means to compare their reporting with their peers’ and to see where they can improve.

The greater emphasis on corporate reporting has seen the role of the company secretary become a more important role within business. One of the key contributions of King III to the governance agenda is broadening the emphasis from accountability to shareholders to accountability to all stakeholders. This impacts directly on company reporting as a communications tool beyond investors to all the company’s stakeholders, including employees and suppliers.

The King III Report clearly outlines the role of a company secretary and states that the board should be assisted by a competent, qualified and experienced company secretary. The Companies Act also has a section describing how the board should be guided by a company secretary who is experienced and knowledgeable in the law, with the result that the status of company secretaries has been given a boost in the last few years.

Given the focus on corporate governance at board level, the company secretary is the key person who is tasked with being the custodian of corporate governance, bearing in mind that some directors are non-executive directors and turn to the company secretary for guidance.

Likewise, the role of CSSA as a professional body with an internationally recognised qualification has become more sought after by companies and company secretaries wanting to stay abreast of the latest corporate governance issues. Membership ensures remaining at the forefront of global developments and best practice in governance.

There is a need to strengthen corporate governance across the board in South Africa, whether it is in a small company, large corporate, sporting body, government department, state-owned company or NGO.

People are starting to talk the language of corporate governance, not only directors of companies, but ordinary people in the street and there has never been a greater need to have professionals who are trained in corporate governance.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our members, students and all our readers a wonderful festive season.

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   Sikkie Kajee, FCIS

Meet Sikkie Kajee

Kindly provide a little background on yourself?
I was born and raised in Durban. All my studying has been part time through Unisa (BCompt and Hons BCompt), UKZN (MBA) and other professional institutions (FCIS, CIA, Professional Accountant (SA), AGA(SA)). After serving articles, I left the accounting and consulting profession for about 10 years working as an internal auditor at Agricor, Agribank and Transnet. I spent the last 13 years in the consulting profession primarily in corporate governance and internal audit. I recently established my own independent consultancy and also serve as a non-executive director.

Can you describe briefly what your current job entails?
On the consultancy side, I focus primarily on corporate governance issues – translating the law and codes into practical solutions for businesses. On the non-executive role, it is probably the same as my consultancy, save that it all happens in real time.

What do enjoy about your career? What are your greatest challenges from day to day?
The most enjoyable thing about my career is the people I have met and worked with over the years. In my new role, the greatest challenge is finding new and interesting work.

Why did you choose the CSSA qualification/how has the course contributed to your career?
I only did CSSA in 2009 after 28 years of work. I chose to do this course to prove to myself that my knowledge was still current.

Why would you recommend the qualification to others?
I believe that CSSA is the best combination of law and commerce out there. Other qualifications tend to focus on one or the other, but CSSA brings this together in a unique way. I would also recommend that members do a MBA or mini-MBA (mostly referred to as management development programmes) to round off their knowledge of the world of business.

What is your view on the role of the Chartered Secretary in the work place of today?
I believe that the Chartered Secretary should be the guardian of good corporate governance in the boardroom and organisation, in addition to his/her role as board advisor, compliance officer and corporate administrator.

Any inspirational quotations for fellow members and students?
Be the change you want to see – Mahatma Gandhi.

How do you enjoy spending your leisure time?
I enjoy reading – especially business, economic and history.

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  John Mandy

 

Meet John Mandy

Kindly provide a little background on yourself?
After matriculating at Pretoria Boys High School I started articles with a small firm in Pretoria in 1964 and attended extramural classes at Pretoria University where I graduated in 1971 with a BComm Accounting. I passed CTA at Unisa in early 1972 and the CA Board Exam later in 1972 while working for Arthur Andersen & Co. Subsequently I worked for Stock & Stocks in both South Africa and Namibia and joined the Namibian Stock Exchange in March 2003 as CEO. I am stepping down as CEO at the end of 2012 and retiring in May 2013.

Can you describe briefly what your current job entails?
I am the CEO of the Namibian Stock Exchange and a lot of time is spent on compliance with the Companies Act of 2004 (effective from November 2010) and the Listings Requirements of both the JSE and the NSX.

What do enjoy about your career? What are your greatest challenges from day to day?
My career has been exciting and varied – article clerk for five years straight out of school; a stint as a financial trainee at Chrysler SA; working for Arthur Andersen; property development at Stocks, including the organisation of the 1995 Miss Universe competition in Namibia; CEO of a listed company in Namibia; and CEO of the NSX – varied but all based on the training as a CA – I wrote the corporate governance module of ICSA while at the NSX and was accepted as a Fellow on graduation.

Why did you choose the CSSA qualification/how has the course contributed to your career?
With King II being accepted as the norm for listed companies I felt I needed to upgrade my skills and this helped me in understanding the 2004 Companies Act after which I prepared and presented as CPD training to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia.

Why would you recommend the qualification to others?
Understanding the mechanics of the Company Secretary and working with Board members, particularly those that don’t have the financial and legal background is the most rewarding part of the qualification. I am lucky to have a good working relationship with a number of leading attorneys in Namibia and am often consulted on the finer points to the law.

What is your view on the role of the Chartered Secretary in the work place of today?
It is vital that the company secretary knows the finer details, which the qualification ensures, but too often the Board sees the Company Secretary as the provider of refreshments and the preparer of the Board pack rather than a powerful knowledgeable resource.

Any inspirational anecdotes for fellow members and students?
I qualified for membership nearly 30 years after becoming a Chartered Accountant and it added to my skill base – you are never too old to learn!

How do you enjoy spending your leisure time?
I am enjoying our grandchildren growing up and spending the quality time I missed when our children were growing up and I was climbing the corporate ladder.

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  Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile,
  MSc Corporate Governance,
  ACIS

Botswana

Meet Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile

Kindly provide a little background on yourself?
I hold an MSc (Corporate Governance) from the London South Bank University (UK), I am a graduate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK) and an Associate of Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (ACIS). I started my career in 2001 as a graduate from the University of Botswana (BA Social Sciences, Economics and Environmental Science) at the Registrar of Companies in Gaborone, Botswana, where I gained a wealth of experience in compliance and governance issues of companies. I was fully involved in the drafting and full implementation of the current Botswana Companies Act and its Regulations as the secretary of the drafting committee. I also hold a certificate in Intellectual Property from the World International Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and a trained trainer in Strategy and the Balance Scorecard. Currently, I am the Managing Director of Wise Leadership Proprietary Limited, a company I founded in 2010.

For two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), I have facilitated a Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants company secretarial workshop organised for their CPD programme. In 2011, I organised a corporate governance workshop themed “Women in the Boardroom, the unwritten rules”. The objective of the workshop was aimed at appreciating the role that women in Botswana play in the boardroom. I plan to host more workshops in the future in an endeavour to contribute towards building a firm foundation of corporate governance in Botswana.

Can you describe briefly what your current job entails?
As the Managing Director of Wise Leadership Proprietary Limited, I direct the day-to-day operations of the company. We offer services in the field of company secretarial and corporate governance. Since its inception, Wise Leadership Proprietary Limited has offered advisory services to SMMEs with regard to compliance and is continuously gaining recognition with large companies. The company has become a one-stop complete company secretarial and governance solution centre. Pioneered by experts in the field, it is strategically placed to fill the professional gap between SMMEs and large companies.

What do enjoy about your career? What are your greatest challenges from day to day?
More often than not, I am inspired my giving dynamic advisory services to my customers. Thus, I always have to be up to date with the latest information so that I give them the best advisory service. I am challenged by the fact that there is still so much to do in Botswana in terms of corporate governance and each day has its own challenges. There is an eagerness to learn and this keeps me on my toes.

Why did you choose the CSSA qualification/how has the course contributed to your career?
I chose CSSA because of the way my career path started. After graduating with my first degree, my first job was at the Registrar of Companies where I grew to understand and implement company law. I then developed interest in furthering a career in this field and I came across CSSA. The course has tremendously contributed towards my career as now this is the field of my speciality. CSSA is a qualification that is so broad and has prepared me to fit into any major role in a company. It gave me insight into the many aspects of a company at one go.

Why would you recommend the qualification to others?
This is a much broader qualification than other professional qualifications. It prepares one to be quite open-minded and gives a holistic approach to legal and administration matters at a much higher level. The course takes you a step higher than any other course that I know of.

What is your view on the role of the Chartered Secretary in the work place of today?
The role of the Chartered Secretary has increasingly become very important in the work place of today. The Chartered Secretary acts as a sounding board for the board of directors and the shareholders. This role has become more in demand as the dynamics of running a company have grown for any company that wants to be recognised in the global business world.

Any inspirational anecdotes for fellow members and students?
With CSSA, the sky is the limit. I would like to advise them to embrace the course or the qualification and always endeavour to learn more. CSSA is also good in the sense that there is continuous development of one’s career through the information that that we are given on an almost daily basis. The key is to embrace it and always ensure that you are up to date with the latest developments as this will catapult you to the next level. I discover something new that I can do with CSSA every day.

How do you enjoy spending your leisure time?
If I am not at work, I am at church. I also try as much as possible to spend quality time with my family. I am also a writer and the mere thought of sharing with others what inspires me, encourages me to go on.

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Mervyn King; Christina Teixeira, CFO and Mike Upton, CEO from Group 5 Ltd. Group 5 was the overall winner Zubair Wadee, Director of PwC; convenor of judges
Carina Wessels, President CSSA welcomes guests Prof Mervyn King delivers his keynote address
Comedian, Nik Rabinowitz has the crowd in stitches Sandton Sun Hotel
Group 5 Ltd wins the overall award Gold Fields Ltd - Winner, Top 40
Basil Read Holdings - Merit award, Small Cap Nedbank Ltd - Merit award, Top 40
Chemical Specialities Ltd - Winner, AltX
Illovo Sugar - Merit, Mid Cap
Merafe Resources - Winner, Small Cap Royal Swaziland Sugar - Winner, Regional company
Liberty Holdings Ltd - Winner, Mid Cap One of the judges - Helen Starke (left) presents an award to Cotlands for winner in the NGO category
Claude Shibaya, CFO BDFM presents an award to Transnet Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium - Winner, Fledgling

The Annual Report Awards took place at the Sandton Sun Hotel on 15 November. The ceremony recognises the importance of good governance and reporting in the face of a rapidly changing business world and each year is well attended by companies from across various sectors. Entry offers companies an opportunity to appraise their reports against international best practice and for peer-to-peer comparison. The highly regarded awards are the longest standing awards in the country and have recognised excellence in corporate reporting across a number of categories since 1956. In addition to JSE-listed companies, state entities and NGOs also participate. Further, the awards are open to companies and organisations in SADC countries. This event is undoubtedly becoming a firm favourite on the calendars of Southern African companies as more and more businesses recognise the importance and significance of the ceremony.

Well-known comedian and MC for the evening, Nik Rabinowitz, had the crowd laughing at the top of their voices. A top-quality act, he effortlessly pulled the evening together and had a cheeky chirp for all the usual suspects.

The highlight of the evening was the keynote address by Professor Mervyn King.

The winners in the various categories are as follows:

 

Overall Winner: Group 5 Ltd

Top 40

Winner: Goldfields Ltd
Merit award: Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd
Merit award: Nedbank Limited

Mid Cap

Winner: Liberty
 Holdings Ltd
Merit award: Sappi Ltd
Merit award: Illovo Sugar Ltd

Small Cap

Winner: Merafe Resources
Merit award: Basil Read Holdings Ltd
Merit award: Hudaco Industries Ltd

Fledgling

Winner:
Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium

AltX

Winner: Chemical Specialities Ltd
Merit award: Silverbridge Ltd

Sustainability

Winner: Woolworths Holdings

Regional company

Winner: Royal Swaziland Sugar Corp
Merit award: Nedbank Swaziland

State entities

Winner: Transnet
Merit award: Eskom

NGO

Winner: Cotlands
Merit award: CANSA
Merit award: SAICA

Unlisted

Winner: Homechoice

 

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  Herman Schutte

Meet Herman Schutte

Kindly provide a little background on yourself?
I obtained my Baccalaureus degree in Law and Psychology in 2009 and my LLB degree in 2011 through the North West University, Potchefstroom campus. I then decided to further my studies at CSSA, I obtained exemption to write the board exam. I passed the four board exams, and obtained my GradICSA and FCIBM membership in 2012. I did a course in managing a turnaround and corporate renewal at Wits Business School in 2012. Currently, I am a student of CSSA. I enrolled for Financial Accounting I, for extra credits and to enable me to understand the financial side of business. The aim is to study towards Financial Accounting III. I am currently employed at an attorneys firm in Pretoria.

Can you describe briefly what your current job entails?
The main driving force of the firm that I am currently working for is collections on a big scale; I am involved in the collections process, as well as managing the tracing department. I write legal opinions for clients together with the drafting of Memoranda of Understanding. I am also part of a team starting with business rescue under Chapter 6 of the New Companies Act.

What do enjoy about your career? What are your greatest challenges from day to day?
My main focus at this stage is business rescue; this is a fairly new concept for South Africa that historically had a liquidation mindset. I enjoy this as this is a big challenge because of the various disciplines involved in business rescue including legal, financial, business process and compliance. I enjoy the fact that in business rescue you can have a turnaround mindset, and the two important aspects for me is that this preserves jobs and has a positive effect on the economy. My main focus is to become a Chartered Secretary, but I feel that I want to complete my current focus to obtain experience in a variety of disciplines before I pursue a career as a Chartered Secretary.

Why did you choose the CSSA qualification/how has the course contributed to your career?
I chose to write the board exam because of the diversity of the content in the syllabus; this has helped me in the sense that I am able to understand the financial, business and compliance side of an entity.

What is your view on the role of the Chartered Secretary in the work place of today?
With all the new legislation, and probably with more to come, compliance will become even more important in the future. My view is that the Chartered Secretary is the backbone of any company, and that this responsibility will increase in future.

Any inspirational anecdotes for fellow members and students?
Personally I focus on being humble, this gets you respect, and you get a lot out of people with respect. My motto in life is to never be afraid to put in something extra.

How do you enjoy spending your leisure time?
I go to the gym three times a week, I play golf, go fishing, go quad biking, and snorkelling when I go to the coast, basically any outdoor activity with my fiancée.



  Weji Takudzwa Jani


Meet Weji Takudzwa Jani

Kindly provide a little background on yourself ?
I am a young man aged 23, born and raised in Zimbabwe. I commenced the CSSA programme at Botswana Institute of Accountancy and went on to complete the board level at the Institute of Development Management.

I aspire to be an investment professional; hence I am currently pursuing the CFA charter. I am working as accounts manager at a private company that specialises in interest audit and debt collection.

Can you describe briefly what your current job entails?
As accounts manager, it is very important that I stay abreast of changes in markets and technologies to be able to analyse accounts and reinvigorate them.

What do enjoy about your career? What are your greatest challenges from day to day?
What I enjoy mostly about my career is following trends in marketing, technology and their specific industries in order to create and maintain business accounts for a variety of clients.

My greatest challenge would be staying on top of my game. In today‘s world, technologies evolve quicker than we can imagine. As soon as you think you have mastered a way of doing things, a new and better version or technology is released. Therefore in order to stay on top of the game, I have to keep on learning new technologies.

Why did you choose the CSSA qualification/how has the course contributed to your career?
I chose the CSSA qualification because the programme structure encompasses a very broad spectrum of modules, hence adequately preparing an individual for the everyday challenges of the corporate world.

Why would you recommend the qualification to others?
It’s a qualification that opens doors to a lot of opportunities, and the sky is the limit, as to what one can do after obtaining the CSSA qualification.

What is your view on the role of the Chartered Secretary in the work place of today?
The role of a Chartered Secretary today is both challenging and exciting, as one has to keep abreast of the ever-changing legislative and regulatory requirements as well as stay at the forefront of governance issues.

Any inspirational anecdotes for fellow members and students?
If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't! If you want to win, but think you can't, it’s almost a cinch you won't. If you think you'll lose, you're lost; for out in the world we find that success begins with a fellow's will; it’s all in the state of the mind.

How do you enjoy spending your leisure time?
Social networking, playing basketball, visiting friends and spending time with loved ones.


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Applicable for the May 2013 examinations:

Annual registration closing date is 28 February
Enrolment closing date is 31 March
Deregistration date is 12 April
Examination dates is 20 May to 24 May
Results release 12 July
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This is the fourth edition of the Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa eZine 2012. Should you have any suggestions or specific information you would like included in future editions, please revert to Janine Kusters, membership and marketing manager, Janine@icsa.co.za