Professor Thuli Madonsela
Thuli Madonsela is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a lifelong activist on social justice, constitutionalism, human rights, good governance and the rule of law. Named one of TIME100 influential people, in 2014 and Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2016, Thuli Madonsela is one of the drafters of South Africa’s Constitution and co-architect of several laws that have sought to illuminate South Africa’s democracy. Thuli Madonsela was South Africa’s Public Protector for 7 years and Co-architect and Founding Chairperson of the African Ombudsman Research Centre. She has a global reputation for integrity and fearlessness in enforcing accountability and justice in the exercise of public power and use of public resources. Currently resident at Harvard University as an Advanced Leadership Fellow. She holds a chair in Social Justice at the Stellenbosch University faculty of Law. She is a Paul Harris Fellow, Tallberg Global Leader, and the recipient of Transparency International’s Integrity Award, the German Africa Prize and the Commonwealth Lawyers Truth and Justice Award, among her innumerable accolades.
Executive Secretary Casac
Lawson Naidoo, a veteran activist, is the Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), a public interest organisation committed to the principles of progressive constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law. He is a regular media commentator on constitutional and legal matters. He has worked as a strategic political consultant focusing on the spheres of anti-corruption and good governance. During 2007-08 he served as the Deputy Secretary of the Presidential Enquiry into the fitness of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to hold office. He previously held the position of Special Advisor to the Speaker of the National Assembly from 1994 to 1999. He was based at the then exiled-ANC offices in London from 1987 to 1992.
Peter Storey is a retired Methodist minister known around the world for forthright preaching and teaching. As a young minister he was chaplain to Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island. He served in Johannesburg’s Central Methodist Mission for 22 years. As a bishop, he was a leader of both the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the South African Council of Churches in the anti-apartheid struggle. Later President Mandela invited him to help appoint the nation’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. After retirement he was a Distinguished Professor at Duke University Divinity School for seven years. Following this, he established the new Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg and served as Chairperson of its Governing Council.
Founder of Minderz
Boitumelo (Tumi) Menyatswe is the Founder of MINDERZ and Ecosystem Manager for Silicon Cape. Silicon Cape is a non-profit, community-driven initiative that supports and catalyzes the creation of a vibrant, sustainable tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa by facilitating connections and providing resources for entrepreneurs and innovators to build and grow successful technology-enabled companies. In addition to running her own tech-startup and being an active participant in the creation of a framework for a resilient digital economy in South Africa, she also advocates for inclusion and diversity by volunteering at GirlHype, an organization aimed at increasing the pipeline of women and girls in STEM. In September 2017, Inspiring Fifty in cooperation with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and #cocreateSA listed her as one of the top fifty (50) most “Inspiring South African Women” working in the different spheres of technology and innovation. Mercedes Benz also listed her as one of the top 5 innovators to “look out for”.
Founder & CEO Pimp My Book
Mpodumo is the CEO of Pimp My Book, a company he founded in 2006. Pimp My Book makes academic materials more affordable and accessible to students by providing a platform where students can buy and sell used textbooks. The company has grown from his university dormitory room to the largest used textbook chain in South Africa and the third largest academic bookstore in the country. Mpodumo holds both an accounting degree and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. Mpodumo has received a number of awards including the 2017 Innovator of the Year at the Sanlam Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. He is passionate about using entrepreneurship and innovation to solve some of society’s major problems.
Founder & MD 88 Business Collective (PTY) Ltd
Antoinette started her entrepreneurial journey in 2004 after leaving McKinsey and Company with the aim to positively influence how business is done in Africa. She started her first business, Afrofusion Advertising in her mother’s lounge with R200 and a laptop. Over the past thirteen years, she gained extensive experience in accessing new markets by taking her business to Uganda, Kenya and servicing clients in Nigeria. She is passionate about the entrepreneurial space across the continent and shares her expertise by mentoring emerging entrepreneurs. She was a featured mentor on SABC1s Making Moves. She launched the 88 Business Collective in 2016 and focuses on accelerating Female Founders utilizing her Growth Through Collaboration methodology.
Sweep South cleaning Services
Aisha R. Pandor is co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, Africa’s first online platform for booking, managing and paying for home cleaning services. Aisha is one of very few black female tech startup CEOs both in South Africa and internationally, and has led SweepSouth to become one of the fastest-growing startups in the country. Venture-backed, SweepSouth became the first South African startup to be accepted into the prestigious 500 Startups accelerator in Silicon Valley. Aisha completed her PhD in Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town. Following her studies, she went on to work as a management consultant before launching SweepSouth, Aisha was recognized by the World Economic Forum in 2017 as one 6 African female breakthrough innovators.
The World Economic Forum named Darlene Menzies one of six Top Female Tech Breakthrough Entrepreneurs in Africa for 2017. She is a technology innovator and serial entrepreneur with 15 years’ corporate IT experience with ABSA Bank and ICT outsource giant BCX. Since leaving corporate employment in 2001, she has established several successful technology businesses and has firsthand experience in what it takes to start and grow a successful enterprise. She is a public speaker, a media spokesperson and recognised expert on the SME sector.
Editor Business Insider
Helena Wasserman is editor of Business Insider South Africa. She has worked in South African financial journalism for more than twenty years, in various roles in digital, radio and printed media. Among other positions, Wasserman served as business editor of Die Burger, and news editor of Finweek. She also worked as a communication consultant for Coronation Fund Managers, and as a researcher for an economic consultancy. Wasserman received a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch.
Lester Kiewit has been plying his trade as a broadcast journalist for close on a decade. He began in radio, and joined the wild world of television in 2008. He has forged a reputation as a tough, brave reporter, with a well-developed visual sense. Born and raised in Cape Town, Lester takes great pleasure in exploring his home town, walking through the CBD, visiting and researching historical buildings and learning more about the city’s indigenous history.
Head of Economic Research Old Mutual
Johann Els is responsible for all areas of macro-economic research. This includes analysis of the global economy – specifically those economies that impact on South Africa, namely the US, Europe and China. He is also tasked with detailed research of all South African economic variables. Specific focus areas include the rand, inflation, interest rates and fiscal matters. Economic research is done with one thing in mind: What is the impact on the different asset classes and thus the investment decisions?
After graduating at the University of Stellenbosch, where he studied courtesy of a South African Reserve Bank (SARB) bursary, Johann joined the SARB’s Economics Department. Following a period as an economics lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, he joined Trust Bank (one of the constituent banks of today’s ABSA Bank) as an economist.
Editor Business Day
Tim is former Editor of Business Day and continues to write for the Tiso Blackstar stable as Senior Editor. He began his journalism career on Dome newspaper, the official student newspaper of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, whose production schedule was largely dependent on the availability of beer. He graduated to the last outpost, The Natal Witness, which was fuelled by tea, but was subsequently lured to the coffee-infused domain of Business Day. On Business Day, he was political correspondent, finance editor, London correspondent and editor at large, among a variety of other posts. It was probably the coffee.
Small Business Insight
Stephen Timm is a South African journalist and researcher who has been writing on small business and entrepreneurship in South Africa, Brazil, Chile, India, and Malaysia since 2003. He has written on small business for a number of South African newspapers, including Business Day and Mail & Guardian, and magazines, including Entrepreneur SA and Financial Mail. He is currently the editor of South African tech startups website Ventureburn. In recent years he has also completed research reports and policy briefs for a number of organisations, including Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and the Centre of Development and Enterprise.
Tax & Corporate finance advisor RAFT Consulting
Afzal Khan is a tax and corporate finance advisor at RAFT Consulting, a 13-year old small practice. He is also the Vice Chairman of the SAICA National Board and the National Chairman of the SAICA Small and Medium Practices Committee. Afzal also serves on the Southern Region Tax Committee and sits on the editorial panel of a tax publication known as the Tax Archive.
Tim Harris is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wesgro, the official tourism, trade & investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Previously he served as Director of Trade & Investment in the Mayor’s office of the City of Cape Town where he established a new department to help make the city more open to investment.