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Black Management Forum (BMF) 2014 Conference

“20 years into democracy – What is holding our economic transformation back?”

The third annual BMF Conference took place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October at the Sandton Convention Centre. Deloitte was the knowledge sponsor again, this year on the topic: “20 years into democracy – What is holding our economic transformation back?”

The third annual BMF Conference took place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October at the Sandton Convention Centre. Deloitte was the knowledge sponsor again, this year on the topic: “20 years into democracy – What is holding our economic transformation back?” This is following the successful knowledge sponsorship of last year’s conference on the topic: "Can good governance increase trust amongst government, civil society, labour and business?”

The BMF conference is structured as follows; the first day is a learning day dedicated solely to building knowledge amongst the delegates, the second day is the big debate where all political parties are invited to debate around the conference theme and on the last day is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) followed by the Achievement Awards Gala Dinner.

Deloitte facilitated a full learning day on the first day of the conference where Audit Partner, Bonga Nyembe was the programme director. The firm supports and owns the content delivered during this day, which is put together by a task team who dedicate their time an effort in packaging the content such that it will be exciting to the delegates. As the facilitator of the learning day, Deloitte has the responsibility of inviting all participants; the keynote address, facilitators and speakers.

We had the pleasure of Minister Mildred Oliphant to give the keynote address as the Minister of Labour on her view of the countries strides towards economic transformation. This drew significant media attention and reignited the relationship between government and the BMF. We take pride in having facilitated this process as a firm.

This was followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Deloitte alumnus, South African Airways (SAA) Non-Executive Director (NED) and PowerFM radio personality, Andile Khumalo. The panel featured; ANC Treasurer General – Dr. Zweli Mkhize, founding member and president of the SA Women in Construction Association, Independent NED of Truworths and CEO of Motheo Construction Dr. Thandi Ndlovu, NED of Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments (OMIGPI) and NAMPAK as well as CEO of Motseng Investment Holdings – Ipeleng Mkhari and NED of Grindrod, Denel Chairperson, Director at Clover, Independent NED at CIPLA MEDPRO and Rockwell Diamonds as well as Executive Chairman of Zungu Investment Holdings – Sandile Zungu. Bold statements were made by each of the panelists nd the conclusion seemed that black individuals need a change in strategy around the topic of transformation and start thinking along the lines of industrialisation.

Delegates then had the opportunity to attend one of three breakaway sessions facilitated by Deloitte subject matter experts with the following topics:

1.       “Our youth, our future – Unleashing the transformative power of education and skills development” by Delia Ndlovu & Thabang Magare

2.       “Gender in the workplace – Is there fair representation?” by Manqoba Zungu, Linda Seroka & Thembi Manyike

3.       “Adopting a holistic approach to addressing what is holding South Africa’s economic transformation back” by Lungelo Nomvalo & Shadi Chauke

The knowledge sponsorship was valued at R1.5 million worth the time and resources, and subsequently earned us Anchor sponsorship status. David Graham ran a powerful Twitter campaign and led the various conversations on twitter and the conference hash tag #BMFConf2014 was trending in South Africa by 10:30 on the first day - Tuesday, 30 September.

On the third day of the conference we had the pleasure of hosting key stakeholders with a vested interest around the topic of transformation at the BMF Achievement Awards Dinner. The purpose of the dinner was to award companies and individuals who are playing an integral role in their respective companies to drive transformation, and unfortunately for the second year in a row – the award for the most progressive company was not awarded as the BMF felt that they were yet to see a company that was worthy of that status.

As one of the Anchor Sponsors, alongside Mercedes Benz, our CEO, Lwazi Bam delivered an impactful sponsors remark inviting the BMF to hold Deloitte accountable if at any point they felt that we were regressing in terms of our transformation efforts to which the audience applauded. Many other powerful statements were made by our CEO which significantly impressed the audience. Some of the Deloitte attendees at the dinner include; Dave Wilson and Thiru Pillay to name a few.

All in all the conference was outstanding, setting the bar even higher from last year’s conference – elevating the Deloitte brand and placing us at the top amongst our competitors, as a firm that is committed to sustainable transformation.

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