NEWS & ANALYSIS

It is an honour to be nominated BUSA president – Sipho Pityana

Businessman to replace Jabu Mabuza, whose two terms in office will come to an end at AGM

Pityana honoured to be nominated as Business Unity South Africa president

12 June 2018

Sipho Pityana, founder and chairman of Izingwe Capital, comments as follows on the announcement today of his nomination as president of Business Unity South Africa:

It’s an honour to be asked to serve the unified voice of business at such a critical time in our struggle for transformative inclusive economic growth, at the same time as we position our country to be a successful participant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

South Africa is at an economic crossroads, with a new government leadership that has set an encouraging ethical tone, cracking down on the corruption of the past while simultaneously clearly recognising the crucial role business can play in ensuring a new phase of inclusive growth and development – and is also well aware of the very real social challenges that need to be addressed as we do so.

Working collectively with labour, civil society, government and other stakeholders is essential to ensure we take full advantage of these opportunities.

BUSA has sound policies and plans in place, developed under the guidance of my predecessor, Jabu Mabuza and his team. I intend to ensure we expand these where necessary in four particular areas:

Driving the agenda for transformative inclusive economic growth.

Successfully positioning our country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Championing a social partnership for ethical leadership with integrity.

Promoting social compacts that enable socio-economic advances for our highly fractious society.

We live in an era of social compacting, and it is essential that we bolster Nedlac as a forum for engaging on economic transformation policy and optimizing collaborative opportunities.

The further unification of business will be an important part of ensuring this happens, to ensure we speak and act with one voice.

Pityana says he is “particularly passionate about the 4th Industrial Revolution”, and intends to ensure South Africa and Africa take full advantage of the opportunities that exist -- and ensure we do everything possible to mitigate its potentially negative social impacts.

With the first three economic revolutions, Africa was effectively a follower. Large parts of South Africa, particularly disadvantaged and marginalized communities, were left far behind. We cannot let that happen this time round,” he said.

As a country, we urgently need to address how we adapt our policies and plans to leapfrog our development trajectory and catch up with the developed economies – and where possible, get ahead. The digital era is the future economy. With it comes the Internet of Things, the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence, and this stands to impact our entire way of life and the world of work.

This requires urgent interventions – including President Cyril Ramaphosa’s council on the 4th industrial revolution – and the strategic use of multilateral forums such as BRICS if we are to get ahead of the game.”

BUSA statement:

Sipho Pityana nominated to take over as Business Unity South Africa president at upcoming AGM

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) – the apex business organisation in South Africa – is pleased to confirm that Sipho Pityana has been unanimously nominated for election as president, with effect from the AGM scheduled for Tuesday June 26 2018. Pityana is set to succeed businessman Jabu Mabuza, whose two terms in office will come to an end at the AGM. Martin Kingston has been nominated to serve a second term as vice president. A new BUSA board, elected by members, will be ratified at the June AGM.

BUSA is the principal representative of business at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), where the historic National Minimum Wage and labour relations stability agreements were reached, with labour, community, business and the government working in unison. 

Mabuza said: “I am confident that I leave BUSA in a stronger state, with business having found a credible voice anchored by constructive engagement with all social partners to achieve our common objectives. It is critical for business to adopt a proactive and unified stance as it seeks to unlock value in the economy and address poverty, inequality and unemployment. I congratulate the incoming board under the leadership Sipho.” 

It’s an honour to be asked to serve the unified voice of business at such a critical time in our struggle for transformative inclusive economic growth, as we position our country to be a successful participant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Pityana.

Pityana, the founder and chairman of Izingwe Capital, a successful black economic empowerment group, and Kingston were nominated unopposed. Pityana is one of five captains of industry and business heavyweights who are new additions to the BUSA board, set to assume office officially at the AGM.

The new board members include: Absa CEO Maria Ramos, Busi Mavuso (Business Leadership SA), Deidre Penfold (Chemical & Allied Industries Association) and Joe Mwase (Small Business Institute). Respected business leaders Cas Coovadia (Banking Association SA), Christopher Campbell (Consulting Engineers SA), Vusi Khumalo (SACCI), Stavros Nicolaou (Aspen), Gwarega Mangozhe (Consumer Goods Council SA) and Roger Baxter, of the Minerals Council SA (previously Chamber of Mines), have all been supported for re-election on to the board. BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen remains an ex-officio member of the board, together with Kaizer Moyane, who continues to serve as the Nedlac business convener.

The alternative directors to be appointed and re-appointed are: Christo Botes (SBI), Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba (Discovery), Maurice Radebe (Sasol), Isaac Ramputa (Batseta), Alan Mukoki (SACCI), Tebele Makhetha (BLSA), John Purchase (Agbiz), Lerato Mosiah (Health Funders Association), Mmatṧatṧi Ramawela (Tourism Business Council SA), Nico Vermeulen (National Automotive Association SA).

Each of BUSA’s membership categories – unisectoral, corporate, professional and chambers – participated in the election of and will be represented on the new board.

The new board brings an excellent mix of expertise and reflects the diversity of the BUSA membership, which includes representatives of large and small businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. I have no doubt they will continue the good work of previous boards,” says Cohen.

During his tenure, Mabuza oversaw BUSA’s incorporation into a not-for-profit company and aligned its governance to the Companies Act. Mabuza and Kingston were key drivers of the Approach to Black Economic Transformation for Inclusive Growth, which is the foundation of BUSA’s work and the first comprehensive position by organised business on transformation.

BUSA has a sound strategic plan in place, developed under the guidance of my soon-to-be predecessor, Mabuza and his team. I intend to ensure we emphasise these, where necessary, in driving the agenda for transformative inclusive growth; positioning our country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and championing a social partnership for ethical leadership with integrity that enable tangible socio-economic advances for our fractured society,” says Pityana. 

Issued by Sipho Pityana, President-elect of Business Unity South Africa, 12 June 2018