BUSA CEO resigns as organisations takes new direction

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni is moving on to pursue other interest after an interesting three years at the helm of the business lobby group.

BUSA announced today that its board has accepted the resignation of Majokweni who assumed the BUSA position in 2011.

Majokweni took over during a tumultuous time for BUSA. Her tenure began as black business pulled out of BUSA to form the Black Business Council (BBC). This placed her in a somewhat precarious position with the BBC arguing that BUSA exited to advance white business interests at the expense of emerging black business.

Majokweni who succeeded Jerry Vilakazi took the blows well and largely became the face of the counter argument that South Africa needs racially united business lobby group and that BUSA was the ideal platform. She became the face of BUSA as former President, Futhi Mthoba disappeared into the background towards end of her tenure. The BUSA drive gained momentum with the swearing in of a new board under the presidency of black business doyen Jabu Mabuza. The Mabuza board came with a largely black complexion which then neutralised the BBC attack. The BUSA/BBC tiff has since dwindled and there appears to be growing cooperation between the two groups.

The announcement of Majokweni’s resignation yesterday is somehow curious though in linking Majokweni’s departure to a new direction.

The announcement did say that Majokweni is leaving to pursue other interests, having spearheaded a restructuring of the organisation over the past 3 years. “This included registering as a “Not for Profit Company” under the Companies Act, the appointment of a new Board and implementation of new governance structures.”

In that context, the Board has considered a revised strategy for BUSA, focussing on  policy issues that are pertinent to the broader South African business sector. The Board agreed that the organisation has to adopt an amended operational model in order to implement this strategy in the interests of all its stakeholders.”

The Board has embarked upon a process to appoint a new CEO. In the interim, Fergus Marupen, who has been assisting the BUSA President, Jabu Mabuza, will act as Chief Operating Officer to oversee the ongoing day-to-day operations of BUSA. Ms Majokweni will continue to act as CEO until28 February 2014 and will be available to provide support to BUSA thereafter to ensure an orderly handover.”

The BUSA Board remains confident about the critical role the organisation plays in its engagements with government and other stakeholders, including its partners at Nedlac. The Board is clear that, as the representative of organised business in South Africa, it must continue to reposition itself to ensure that it delivers on its vision and mandate to act as a unified voice of business, serving to keep business interests at the heart of South Africa’s economic and socio-economic policy.”

The Board would like to express its appreciation to Ms Majokweni for the contribution that she has made during her tenure.”

Majokweni joined BUSA from entrepreneurial ventures. She had started her own consultancy, L’Avant Group, in 2006. Her consultancy specialized in tourism & location marketing and customer experience optimisation consulting.

Prior to this, she served as the CEO of the Sandton Convention Centre, owned by the Tsogo Sun Group, from 2003 to 2006.

In her early career, Majokweni was one of the first post-1994 economic representatives to be posted abroad by the Department of Trade & Industry. In her 6 years at the DTI, she served in Hong Kong (1996 – 1999) and Washington DC (2000 – 2002). DTI’s mission was to position and market South Africa as a viable and competitive investment destination to a group of influential international stakeholders, including leading multinationals (like GE and and GM),  multilateral organisations, business associations, media and government.

Majokweni, 45, holds a B.Com (Hons) in Economics from the University of Transkei. She has undergone executive development training at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, and at the IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.

news@ujuh.co.za

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