The final line-up of speakers at the fifth edition of The Directors Event, presented in association with the annual Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards, the Institute of Directors (IodSA), and futured by BCX, has been announced. The Chairman’s Report will be delivered by Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, the executive chairperson of Sigma Capital, while South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will deliver the keynote speech.

The Directors Event attracts an audience of senior management and C-level executives and is aptly referred to as ‘SA’s biggest board meeting,’ where industry leaders unpack major issues affecting the country’s economy via three moderated panel discussions:

Youth employment and entrepreneurship – Securing SA’s future – moderated by Thabiso Tema

According to a mid-2018 report by Stats SA, more than half of SA’s population is female (about 29,4 million), and more than a third of our total population of 57,7 million citizens are young people between 15 to 34 years of age. When one considers South Africa’s high unemployment rates, our youth are the most affected as they continue to struggle with access to education, availability of jobs, and insufficient skills training, amongst other pressures.

Panellists include Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville (CEO, Youth Employment Service), Gcina Mtengwane (Lecturer, University of the Free State), Lebogang Ramodike (CEO, Big Brands Media Limited), Darlington Shaka Phala (HR Executive: Talent Management, Nedbank Limited), and Liesel Köstlich (Executive Manager: Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development, Services SETA).

Digital transformation – Developing South Africa’s economy through inclusive technology innovation – moderated by Andile Khumalo

The fourth industrial revolution has been knocking on our door for quite some time with countries such as the US, UK and Sweden pioneering the digitisation of work environments, workforce skills, and technological infrastructure to benefit each country’s socioeconomic and cultural environments. With South Africa currently housing 75% of the continent’s largest companies it becomes imperative to lead the continent towards economic breakthrough by ensuring that we are on par with global competitors when it comes to the digital optimisation of industries. There are many technologies at our disposal that, if used correctly, would make an incredible contribution towards achieving seamless processes and functionalities between systems, customers, company stakeholders and employees in order to create an efficiently connected and inclusive business environment.Panellists include Prof Brian Armstrong (Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, Wits), Vish Rajpal (Chief of IT Solutions, BCX),Garth Williams (Research Specialist: Intelligence, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)), Tembinkosi Bonakele (Commissioner, Competition Commission South Africa), and Nyari Samushonga (Managing Director, WeThinkCode).

SA’s politics and the economy – What to expect post-elections 2019 – moderated by Siki Mgabadeli

According to Trending Economics, South Africa advanced a seasonally adjusted annualized 1.4 percent on-quarter in the three months to December 2018, following an upwardly revised 2.6 percent growth in the previous period. Given this – and that the JSE has just experienced its best first quarter in 12 years in 2019 – there is certainly room to believe that SA is well poised for a positive economic turnaround if some of our structural impediments to economic growth are unlocked post-election. President Cyril Ramaphosa previously touched on the World Bank’s recent findings that ranked South Africa as number 82 of 190 high-performing economies, projecting a 1.3% growth in 2019. Sharing his view that our goal should be to open up the economy for all South Africans, to be able to enter the Top 50 mark in the next three years – the President emphasised the creation of a healthier environment for young South African entrepreneurs and small enterprises as critical in the development of our economy.

Panellists include Prof André Duvenhage (Political Science Professor, North-West University), Tshediso Matona (Secretary of Planning, National Planning Commission), Irvin Jim (General Secretary, National Union Metal Workers SA), Isaah Mhlanga (Chief Economist, Alexander Forbes Investments), and Cas Coovadia (Managing Director, Banking Association of South Africa).

The Directors Event will be taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 28 June 2019, from 08h00 to 15h00.

Tickets can be purchased at R2,950 ex VAT each via www.thedirectorsevent.co.za, or email Melissa De Agrela deagrelam@tisoblackstar.co.za