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Opportunity Issue 96

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  • Investors
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  • Africa
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  • Mining
Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector.

LAUREATE LEADER

LAUREATE LEADER EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS BA (University of South Africa) 1990 MA (Thames Valley University) 1993 MA (University of London) 1994 MBA (California Coast University) 2006 CAREER HISTORY 2015–Current Palama Group Chairman 2008–2015 Netcare Chairman 2006–2011 Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) Chief Executive Officer 2004–2005 Black Management Forum (BMF) Managing Director 2001–2003 South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Executive Director (Commerce & Industry) 1999–2001 Public Service Commission Commissioner 1997–1999 Department of Home Affairs Chief Director: Strategic Planning and Service Delivery and Director: Transformation 1996–1997 Department of Public Service and Administration Deputy Director: Affirmative Action NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORSHIPS (listed companies and state-owned entities) 2015–Current Palama Investments Founding partner and Chairman 2012–Current Sibanye-Stillwater Ltd Director and Chairman of the Social and Ethics Committee; member of Nominations and Governance Committee 2011–Current Blue Label Telecoms Director member of Audit and Risk Committee; Chairman of Social and Ethics Committee 2008–2015 Netcare Limited Chairman of the board and chair of Nominations Committee 2011–2015 Goliath Gold Limited Director, Chairman of social and ethics as well as Chairman of Remuneration Committee, served on Audit and Risk Committee 2012–2016 Saatchi & Saatchi SA Director 2012–2015 State IT Agency Chairman 2011–2014 Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency Chairman 2008–2012 Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Served as a nonexecutive director 2008–2009 SANParks Director and Chairman of Human Resources Committee 2006–2015 Mpumalanga Gambling Board Board Chairman Vilakazi is also a director and shareholder of Access Healthcare, Palama Industrial, ExecuPrime Holdings and Kendon Medical Supplies. of a Presidential Commission of Enquiry to investigate racism in the private sector. Although many agreed with us, government was not supportive of the proposal. Some took it as very extreme and thought it would be divisive and undermine cohesion. I still think it was a missed opportunity. Perhaps in hindsight, we should have consulted widely before going to parliament. While we were taking a very strong public criticism of the private sector, under the leadership of Fakude, we were constantly meeting with CEOs of JSE-listed companies, offering solutions and helping them to identify and resolve equity hurdles to the point of providing potential candidates for their consideration. I believe the Mbeki era had correctly diagnosed the socioeconomic challenges of our country. We focused on the minimalist approach of acquisition of minority shares in white-owned and managed businesses. After a presentation at the Union Buildings, President Mbeki asked us what was wrong with us. We looked at him in confusion. He then asked why we were fighting to buy 10% in a white-owned business instead of starting our own business that we would own 100% of. Those words have always stayed with me. Please tell us about your time as CEO of BUSA in 2006. Coming from the BMF and stepping into the BUSA CEO office was a transition. After fighting for transformation and representing the interest of black business, I found myself at the helm of both black and white business. I was clear from day one that I would pursue the transformation agenda, even as CEO of business-at-large. The challenge was always uniting the interests and priorities of black and white business, as well as that of small and big business. I have always said that I will write a book about my time at BUSA because it represented to a large extent the melting pot of our rainbow nation. BUSA membership grew during my tenure and we established several high-level business partnerships and collaborations with other businesses in various countries. During a China/Africa meeting in Beijing with the African head of states, we were the only organisation given a speaking slot, where Patrick Motsepe as BUSA President spoke on behalf of the continent. The relationship with government was at a strong point even though we differed on many issues that undermined investments and increased the cost of doing business. In 2009, you were appointed by the State President to the Presidential Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council. What is your current view of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE)? Do you believe it has been successful? BBBEE has opened opportunities for some of us who were at the right place at the right time. I believe we were wrong to think it would be the sole policy instrument for socio- 10 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

LAUREATE LEADER economic transformation. By its nature, BBBEE is cooperative. Companies choose their partner, which has resulted in two extremes; some companies chose high-profile political leaders or associates of the ruling elite while others brought the phenomenon of fronting. There are many successes to be celebrated, especially the early day post-apartheid transactions. Companies like WIPHOLD, Nozala, African Rainbow Minerals and a few others are shining examples. The National Planning Commission was formed in 2010 to develop a long-term strategic vision for South Africa. In your opinion, has South Africa become the country that was envisioned a decade ago? Why? No. Most of the assumptions used in developing the National Development Plan (NDP) have fallen by the wayside. I think the NDP became a political public relations exercise and did not inform most policy decisions and implementation by government. Even under President Ramaphosa, who was with us from the beginning of the development of the NDP, I see very little about the NDP. _____________ __ _ _ Enabling policy environment where government is unwavering about its expectations from all social partners brings about socio-economic change ___ __ ___ __ _ __ You have played a critical role in shaping major public policies in South Africa. What is the most needed policy that our country needs right now? Good governance will restore trust and confidence which are essential for investment, social cohesion and stability. Later on, I think corporate greed highjacked BBBEE. Banking, accounting and law firms introduced sophisticated structures that benefitted them more than they did the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partners. If we calculate the total debt by BEE partners and interest accruing to these institutions, we can see the depth of the challenge. Government could have done more using procurement to advance economic transformation. Examples: we did not create black-owned companies using the 2010 infrastructure spend. Similarly, we missed the opportunity to create black industrialists in the Independent Power Producers (IPP), especially in the first round. BEE is limited by a lack of enablers at implementation. Covid-19 highlighted the great disparities in our socioeconomic reality. How do we fix this disparity? We should confront the legacies of apartheid spatial development. It will take bold leadership. It is doable. Many countries in the East have done it. Speeches don’t create wealth. Hard work does. Enabling policy environment where government is unwavering about its expectations from all social partners brings about socioeconomic change. Our current policy trajectory is a sustaining one. It keeps those in poverty alive and in control so that they do not present a threat to the haves. For the past two decades, we have avoided confronting individuals and companies who accumulated wealth from apartheid policies. Some of us have been calling for a Sovereign Wealth Fund to help address poverty and inequality, yet it is not happening. In the meanwhile, we see continuous depletion of our natural resources that are not infinite. Will we pass any benefit from our natural resources to the next generation? I doubt it. You are an Independent Non-Executive of Sibanye-Stillwater. Why has large-scale investment in the South African mining sector languished? Policy uncertainty is a major concern to investors. Instability of the ruling party is not helpful. Investors take populist threats too www.opportunityonline.co.za | 11

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