12 June 2018

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 three particular areas: 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.

Note to editors

  • Sipho Mila Pityana is a businessman with extensive local and international experience across various sectors of the economy.
  • His involvement spans small business and large listed corporations, empowerment businesses as well as mainstream enterprises and SOCs. This is primarily as a result of his role in founding his cross-sectoral empowerment business, Izingwe, and having served on several boards over the past 15 years — including companies listed on international stock exchanges such as New York, London and Ghana, as well as the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).
  • Pityana has also served on non-listed boards. Although most of these have been in a non-executive role, he also has held executive directorships. In most of these he has occupied leadership roles including chairing the boards and important committees such as remuneration, nominations and sustainability.
  • In addition to extensive experience in the private sector, he has had similar exposure in various leadership roles in the public sector. These include roles such as Director General in Mandela and Mbeki governments in the Departments of Labour and Foreign Affairs respectively.
  • He has also managed and restructured two state social security and insurance entities during his tenure: the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COIDA).
  • He has served on numerous business associations including the Black Business Executive Circle, Black Management Forum, and Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and is a member of the Community of Chairmen in the World Economic Forum, among others.
  • Pityana, a strong champion of social dialogue, was one of the founders of Nedlac and the CCMA in his capacity as Director-General of Labour, and served on the Millennium Labour Council as well as being one of the founding trustees of the Business Trust.
  • He has a strong sense of civic duty, which led him to found and be convener of the Save South Africa campaign. He also previously chaired the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC).
  • A former chairperson of the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), he is currently Chairperson of Council of the University of Cape Town.
  • He holds a BA (Honours) from Essex University, a Master of Science from London University and a Doctor of Technology (honoris causa) from Vaal University of Technology.