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The Directors Event

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The Directors Event

MMI Holdings is a proud sponsor of The Directors Event, South Africa’s biggest board meeting

South Africa’s Biggest Board Meeting - 8 June 2018 - Sandton Convention Centre

The 4th annual Directors Event, SA’s biggest board meeting, convened to discuss matters of national importance through a series of hard-hitting round table discussions.

The slogan “Thuma Mina” (#send me), which was adopted earlier this year by president Cyril Ramaphosa, was the overriding theme at The Directors Event 2018. Branded as SA’s biggest board meeting, the event was presented by the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies and JSE-listed MMI Holdings, in partnership with the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Mancosa and Greymatter & Finch.

The conference was a platform for dialogue and debate about the challenges facing the country, technology solutions to grow a more inclusive economy, ways to alleviate unemployment and promote entrepreneurship as well as the impact of politics on the economy.

Ramaphosa is intent on putting the economy back on a positive trajectory and curbing corruption at state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Business has responded positively with a #CountUsIn approach. However, though sentiment is more positive than it was in 2017, the economy is not out of the woods yet and significant challenges still lie ahead, delegates heard.

New boards at SOEs are focused on restoring governance, but there remains uncertainty about government’s intention to expropriate land without compensation, and unemployment figures are still alarmingly high. The president earlier this year launched the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative, which aims to provide more than 1m young South Africans with paid work experience. MMI Holdings and Tiso Blackstar contributed R450,000 and a percentage of ticket sales from The Directors Event to the YES initiative.

“The YES initiative is incredibly grateful to both MMI Holdings and Tiso Blackstar for this donation, which will be enormously helpful in assisting us to build quality infrastructure in our drive to provide SA youth with paid work experience,” says Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES.


Business Times editor Ron Derby said SA has failed to provide investors with policy certainty. The country has a small window of opportunity for recovery, but this relies on government’s ability to return fiscal stability to SOEs and on certainty about the mining charter, economic growth and policy solutions for the health and education sectors.

Deputy CEO of MMI Holdings and CEO of Momentum Investments, Jeanette Marais, said it is just as much the responsibility of the private sector as of the public sector to pitch in. Inclusive growth will be achieved only if practical solutions are found to enable job creation, drive investment, improve educational outcomes, upskill workers for a new digital world and speed up real transformation.

Delivering the chairman’s report, Business Leadership SA chair Jabu Mabuza said SA’s biggest problem is low economic growth, which has manifested itself in a lack of investment, a scarcity of jobs and a skills shortage. Businesses, he said, don’t operate in isolation, and it is the responsibility of all to ensure a more equitable society.

Minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene said reducing costs in the ICT sector by half could increase GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points a year and create 200,000 jobs over the next decade. He said government needs to deliver on reforms if it is to rebuild confidence in it, attract investment and create jobs. Furthermore, SA needs to upskill its people to meet the needs of business in the fourth industrial revolution and to allow more people to enter the labour market.

The first panel discussion of the event focused on how technology could be used to promote inclusive growth in SA, while the second considered youth employment and entrepreneurship. The final panel discussion was about SA politics and the economy, including where the country is now and where it is headed.

The big take-out: Despite there being a more positive political outlook, delegates at the 2018 Directors Event heard that SA is not yet out of the woods, though the country is responding to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” (#send me) slogan.

Dear Mr President #ThumaMina #CountUsIn

Learn more about 2018's Biggest Board Meeting.

The Directors Event 2017

The Directors Event is cementing its place on the country’s business calendar, with more than 200 business leaders attending the discussions at the Sandton Convention Centre on 9 June 2017.

The Directors Event invites industry experts to unpack three topics of national importance and discuss solutions in a public forum, moderated by highly-respected media personalities. Issues debated in the panel discussion format include the challenges being faced to protect South Africa’s economy, the risks of increasing geopolitical uncertainty, and youth education and unemployment.

Click here for a summary of the 2017 discussions. (Size: 6mb)

The Directors Event 2016

The Directors Event 2016 took place on Friday, 8 April 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event discussed several of the country’s most pressing issues such as innovation, healthcare, education and global competitiveness, in an effort to find sustainable and workable solutions. MMI was proud to be a partner in this meaningful exchange.

Click here for a summary of the discussions.

Watch the 2016 highlights video


Maureen Letlaka
Email: Maureen.Letlaka@mmiholdings.co.za
Marcia Minnaar
Email: minnaarm@tisoblackstar.co.za
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