The Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) appointed Andile Khumalo as the organisation’s 11th President during its annual cnvention held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre over the weekend.
Khumalo is the Chief Financial Officer of MSG Afrika Investment Holdings and also serves on several boards including the Takeover Regulations Panel. Khumalo replaces Lwazi Bam as President. Bam is the CEO designate at Deloitte Southern Africa.
One of ABASA’s longest supporters, Old Mutual announced that they will be sponsoring the organisation to the tune of R2.5 million to help it build capacity, particularly the appointment of a full time CEO. The sponsorship will be over a period of three years.
Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chairman of the recently merged SizweNtsalubaGobodo was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her service in helping transform the profession. The merged entity also received a special recognition award as a de facto 5th biggest auditing firm in South Africa.
The incoming President, Khumalo said one of his main objectives is in making sure that there are enough prospective African Chartered Accountants in the pipeline. “We cannot hope to materially increase the number of black CA’s if we struggle to improve the throughput of Africans from first year admission to passing at CTA level to finally sitting for Qualifying Examinations. Initiatives like the Nkuhlu Subvention Fund, aimed at getting more ‘former Black’ universities accredited by SAICA are key.
Abasa also needs to play its role in the development and advancement of black business at large”, he said. “Our members need to roll up their sleeves and serve if we are to attain our goal of transforming the profession, and we are looking at ways and means to mobilise more post-qualified CA’s, black and white, to be more vigilant in playing their part because transformation is a universal business imperative not an exclusive prerogative of Blacks only”. Khumalo added.
In 2011 ABASA conducted its first transformation survey aimed at assessing the effectiveness of transformation within the accounting firms. Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela and Economist and Iraj Abedian were speakers at the event. Madonsela’s speech emphasised the role played by Chartered Accountants in curbing corruption and promoting values of good corporate governance. She added that most of the complaints that her office receives in terms of corruption are picked up by accountants. “A true testament that the buck often truly stops with you accountants”, she said.
Abedian for his part focused on how South Africa needs to give attention to the most important drivers of economic growth. He identified these as building vibrant urban cities and taking our education seriously, among others. Abedian said South Africa suffers more from the challenge of ‘unemployability’ than unemployment as most candidates, including graduates, were unemployable as they were not adequately skilled. He termed our current education system ‘a betrayal of national interest’.
Among ABASA’s highlights in 2011 was the progress made on the University of Limpopo’s application to SAICA for accreditation, as part of the Nkuhlu Subvention Fund. The initiative aims to help previously disadvantaged universities become accredited by SAICA.