President: the Congress of the People & Former Premier of the Free State.
Mosiuoa Lekota is a South African politician who currently serves as the President and Leader of the Congress of the People since 16 December 2008. President Lekota has served as the premier of the Free State, the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and Minister of Defence. He is fluent in six of the 11 official languages.
Prof Francis Petersen
Vice Chancellor, UFS
Prof Francis William Petersen is the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State since 1 April 2017. He has formerly been Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town; Dean: Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town; Executive Head: Strategy at Anglo American Platinum; Executive Vice-President: Research & Development at Mintek; and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology). He obtained the degrees BEng (Chem), MEng (Metal), and PhD (Eng) at Stellenbosch University, and completed a short course on Financial Skills for Executive Management with IIR Training. He is also a regular reviewer and serves on the editorial boards of various international journals.
MD VanBroc Group & Klipkouers Podcast
Jacques Basson is the founder and MD of UK based Facilities Management group VanBroc, with offices in London and Austin, Texas. After attaining his Honours Degree in Business Management at the University of the Free State, a corporate career starts after being selected for The Coca-Cola Companies’ Managerial Development Programme, Kusile. VanBroc Facilities is born on the eve of the financial crisis of 2008, providing commercial cleaning services for London companies. January 2016 sees the launch of his business podcast, Klipkouers, interviewing local and internationally based Afrikaner Entrepreneurs. Its primary objective – the extraction and sharing of practical business advice in order to stimulate and support South African Entrepreneurship and job creation. Previous senior corporate roles include Export Manager Africa for Parmalat, Head of Sales for Luxottica UK and Country Manager UK, Ireland and South Africa for Polaroid Eyewear.
Mr Dingani has attained a vast experience of sales and marketing, spending over 18 years in the liquor industry. He has acquired a Diploma in Marketing Management, his a Group CEO of Mphohadi Business Venture – MBV Group (Pty) Ltd which deals with Construction, Logistics, Property & Investment, Security, Agriculture & Game Farm and Brick Plant. He is the Director at Betcrete and also the president of Goldfields Chamber of Business.
The New Entrepreneur
Angus Peterson’s involvement in music earned him a good name amongst musicians and fans, and his outstanding talent, on the other hand, won him a first prize in the Shell Road to Fame Semi-professional category. Angus is also a recording artist with three jazz albums to his name, with some of his music exposed on several radio stations and online channels. Over the years the author has grown an undying passion for business, a growing inspiration for innovation and inherent drive to motivate people. It is for this reason that he nurtured the little entrepreneur inside of him when he started to sell small items for profit. When his entrepreneurial spirit was more developed he acted by starting his very first music promotional company, a steep learning curve that brought him to a level where he established an entertainment company in mid-2014. In March 2016 I registered my own Tourism Consulting Enterprise and started my journey as Entrepreneur. Angus Peterson’s passion and quest to be at the forefront of change drove him to a decision to dedicate more time to uplift people, especially Start-up Entrepreneurs and the subsequent aspirant fraternity who lost courage and hope.
Ms. Annah Lelimo is the founder and Managing Director of Thabong Bakery. Her education includes National Diploma in Chemical Engineering from University of Johannesburg, diploma in Project Management with Damelin and a certificate in management development from Milpark. She has also been part of Women Entrepreneurs Coaching programme by SEDA, the Women in Power Programme by Duke CE and BMF and was one of the candidates for the DTI’s Corporate Governance Development Programme conducted by the Institute of Directors In Southern Africa. Ms. Lelimo started her career with AECI Pty (Ltd) in 1996 and moved to Blade Technologies as a process engineer. She later worked for Fastrac Consultants in Nelspruit as a project manager on a consultation basis until 2006 and is currently working full time on her business. After many years of being part of business women development programmes, she became chairperson of South African Women Entrepreneur’s Network (SAWEN) for Free State Province until its closure in June 2016 & was also a Director of Black Management Forum 2014 – 2016.
Palesa Pretty Rantsoareng
Palesa Rantsoareng is a dynamic entrepreneur and leader with highly developed skills in strategy development and implementation, operational management, financial management, project management, as well as developing and leading teams. She has 18 years diverse management experience and has been responsible for successfully growing a number of organizations within hospitality, travel and tourism, construction and recently diverse property portfolio which includes real estate and student accommodation. An ex-teacher for 10 years, founder and owner of Khanya cleaning, hygiene and gardening services from 1999 -2012, Rantsoareng Hotel group (RHG) – President Hotel ,Ilanga Estate, Kloof Lodge, Welkom Inn and Welkom hotel. Shareholder and Executive Director of Ruwacon, one of the biggest construction companies in South Africa. Palesa was Board Member of the Free State Services Seta, Free State Cricket Board and is now Board Member of Free State Tourism and Free State skills Development Council.
Enterprise Observatory of SA & Rural Urban Integration Consultants.
Johannes Wessels is Director and CEO of the Enterprise Observatory of SA, a dedicated not-for-profit research company. EOSA was established to house the IP of Johannes and fellow director Daan Toerien (an erstwhile Vice President of the CSIR). EOSA conducts quantitative and qualitative research on available entrepreneurial space. Johannes is also CEO of Rural Urban Integration Consultants cc that has conducted work for the European Union Commission, DfID, German development agencies and UNOPS. This work in the main dealt with regional and local economic development as well as fiscal decentralisation and urban development. He was previously Regional Director of the Urban Foundation for the Free State and Northern Cape and also an Assistant to the Editor at Volksblad.
Dr. Ina Gouws
Senior Lecturer: Governance & Political Transformation
Dr Ina Gouws is a Senior Lecturer for Governance and Political Transformation at the University of the Free State. She has been an academic for 16 years and is an alumni of the North-West University. Her research focus is Democratisation as well as South African Politics. She has been involved in various research projects focusing on Water Governance and was a contributor for the EISA Election Update during the 2011 Local Government Elections. She is also a political commentator on local radio and TV channels.
Prov. Manager: SME Sector at ABSA Bank
Nthako Thaele is the Provincial Manager: SME Sector at ABSA Bank, Central Region. With 22 years banking experience, Nthako served the sector in different leadership roles in the Free State, Northern Cape and North West Provinces. His experience is backed by sector qualifications that include an Associates Diploma with the Institute of Bankers and National Diploma in Banking at the Central University of Technology. He recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma with the University of Cape Town specializing in Management Practice and currently in his first year Master in Business Administration at the University of the Free State. Since 2015, his portfolio has been expanded to include the “ABSA Enterprise and Supplier Development” and he firmly believes that small business is BIG business.
Editor - Volksblad
Charles Smith is news editor of Netwerk24 in the Free State and Northern Cape. He started in 1989 as a reporter with Volksblad Newspaper and has covered crime, politics and elections in Parliament and in the USA, where he covered the election of pres. Barack Obama. He is also a weekend farmer on a family farm that’s been in the Smith family for five generations.
General Manager at Kalagadi Manganese
Wonder Zwane is the General Manager of Kalagadi Manganese. He is also the Chairperson of the Northern Cape Mine Managers Association. He holds a National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Mining Engineering, from University of Johannesburg. Currently completing his studies towards MBL (Masters of Business Leadership) with UNISA SBL (School of Business). Being on his 25th year in the mining industry, his career spans across various commodities, which include gold, platinum, manganese among others, having worked with or for companies that include Harmony, ARMgold, AngloGold and Shaft Sinkers.
Entrepreneur of the year
Achievements: President – Thaba Patchoa Community Development Forum (NGO), has won the Regional Business Achievers Awards (BWA) in 2011 in the category: Social Entrepreneur for community upliftment. Playing a pivotal role in joint programme /venture in the training and education field in consultation with consulting group from Netherlands and ITO -Focus, SA. PRISMA Investment Corporation (PTY)Ltd was formed as a result of ongoing business development in my personal capacity – have been appointed by the University of the Free State (School of Business and HD- Holdings to mentor 16 agricultural students on the Entrepreneur Development Programme). Opened an incubation Centre for entrepreneurs, the result of a long consultation process with TRANSNET to utilize empty buildings. Will open in the next 2 months. Has been nominated Free State Female Farmer of the Year 2016.
COGTA Management Consultant
Management Consultant and currently Special Advisor to the Free State Department of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs; supporting municipalities with management strategy; corporate governance; performance management; policy development; labour relations; organizational development and training & development. Executive Director: Corporate Services (2004-2011); General Manager: Human Resources and acting Head: Human Settlements & Property, at the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. Spend 8 years as manager at Telkom SOE; 1st as Regional Affirmative Action head (1994-1997); and then head of Operations (1997-2003). Deputy-Mayor of Bloemfontein (1995 to 1998). He has been instrumental in various processes of leading the development and implementation of strategy and transformation in various institutions. Has extensive knowledge in the implementation of Supply Chain Management having been a member of the (BAC) of the Mangaung Municipality for several years and of the South African WAR Museum since 2014. Studied Business and Leadership at the UFS (BML); Executive Management (USB) and African Leadership with WITS and the NEPAD Foundation.
Prof Johan van Zyl
Dept. Economics UFS
I obtained my B.Com. Marketing (cum laude 1980), B.Com. Marketing Honours (1981), M.Com (1984) and D.Com (1988) degrees at the University of the Free State. The topic of my doctoral thesis was: “The role of marketing productivity and the effect of it on manufacturing firms in South Africa”. I specialise in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, primarily on post-graduate and MBA level. My areas of expertise is the drawing up of business plans, marketing plans, strategic environmental plans, tourism sector plans, service delivery plans and turn-around strategy plans. I also focus on entrepreneurial development and community service. I am involved in running entrepreneurial mentorship programs in underprivileged areas, entrepreneurial training with current and new entrepreneurs in the Unit for Entrepreneurship and am busy developing a Social Return on Investment model using the Entrepreneurial development programmes at the Unit for Entrepreneurship.
Dr Jack Armour
Operational Manager, Free State Agriculture
Dr Jack Armour is an Agricultural Economist graduate from the University of the Free State. He was awarded the best Masters Theses award in 2002 by the Agricultural Economic Association of SA (AEASA) and Academic Honours Colours at the UFS for a Cum Laude M.Sc. Agric thesis. Dr Armours’ post graduate research was based on quantifying the economics of irrigated crops subjected to soil- and water- quality constraints. He completed post graduate courses in Geo-hydro-chemistry and Pollution, Mathematical Programming and Environmental Impact Assessment; has presented Internationally – at the Xth World Water Congress (Australia 2000), was a best poster finalist at the 2003 XVV International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference, and won the 2012 AEASA best poster paper titled: A Virtual market System: Reducing Transactions Costs to Bridge the Economic Divide. He has been working at Agri- Free State, a provincial affiliate of AgriSA, since 2008 as operations manager on the portfolios of Land Reform, Municipal Liaison, Infrastructure, Resource Conservation and Farm Management.