Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Youth employment, entrepreneurship and the use of technology to promote inclusive growth will be hot topics of discussion at The Directors Event, SA’s biggest board meeting.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event is presented by the Sunday Times in association with JSE-listed financial services group MMI Holdings, the holding company for a diverse portfolio of companies including Momentum and Metropolitan.

As SA’s best-selling weekend newspaper — and part of Tiso Blackstar’s media stable — the Sunday Times delivers a highly focused discussion programme, which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 “board member” delegates.

Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor, and chairperson of the ANC subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana will present the perspectives of the government during their round-table discussions.

Chief marketing officer of MMI Holdings Nontokozo Madonsela says: “Through our portfolio of companies, as well as our investments in communities, MMI serves a broad range of people and businesses in our society. We are therefore intensely aware of the role we must play in improving the lives of all South Africans. We are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges.

“We are saying count us in. The Directors Event discussions go to the heart of the issues we face as a nation. We believe this platform creates a space where constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors can take place with the aim of putting forward concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the socioeconomic conditions of our country”.

The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and nonprofit organisations that are serious about turning SA’s socioeconomic crisis around.

Three round-table discussions will be presented on the following topics:

• How can we use technology to promote inclusive growth in SA?

Aki Anastasiou will moderate a conversation on the application of technology in promoting inclusive growth in SA. Technology not only has the potential to unlock SA’s economic growth but, importantly, also allows for inclusive growth through large-scale infrastructural advancements that place ICT at their core. Inclusive growth is about more than just breaking the cycle of poverty: it’s about creating opportunities for those in lower socio-economic sectors to generate wealth.

Anastasiou will be joined by: Barbara Mallinson (founder and CEO of Obami), Timothy Willis (chief financial officer of Aerobotics), Kubayi-Ngubane, Suveer Ramdhani (chief development officer at Seacom) and Duduzile Mkhwanazi (CEO of Project Isizwe).

• Youth employment and entrepreneurship – creating jobs for the future

A staggering 67.4% of youth under the age of 25 are unemployed, adding to a total of more than 14.6-million jobless people in the country. And while more than 700,000 matriculants will graduate in 2018, more than half of them have no job prospects available.

Ayabonga Cawe will be moderating a discussion on youth employment and entrepreneurship, and will be joined by: Naadiya Moosajee (co-founder of WomHub), Zachariah George (co-founder and chief investment officer of Startupbootcamp Africa), Naledi Pandor, Jayshree Naidoo (CEO of the Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Design Institute) and Prof Barry Dwolatzky (director of the Jo’burg Centre for Software Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand).

• South African politics and the economy: where do we stand now, and where are we headed?

Much has changed since Cyril Ramaphosa emerged as the new leader of the ANC in late 2017, and was then sworn in as President of the Republic in February. But where do we stand now, and where are we headed with these changes in South African politics, and what effect can we expect on the economy?

Siki Mgabadeli will discuss these issues alongside Ralph Mathekga (political analyst), Thabi Leoka (economic strategist), Busisiwe Mavuso (chief operations officer of Business Leadership SA), Enoch Godongwana (chairperson of the ANC subcommittee on economic transformation) and Peter Major (director of mining at Cadiz Corporate Solutions).

Hillie Meyer (group CEO of MMI Holdings) will deliver the opening remarks, while Dr Jabu Mabuza (chairperson of Business Leadership SA) will deliver the chairman’s report.

Dan Moyane (head of group communications and CSI at MMI Holdings) is the MC for The Directors Event.

The Directors Event keynote speaker will be announced in coming weeks. Keynote speakers from previous years have included high-profile business leaders such as Caroline Galvan (lead economist and editor of the Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (former deputy finance minister).

The Directors Event — @DirectorsEvent #TDE2018 — takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre on June 8.

To view the 2018 agenda and speaker profiles, or to book tickets, visit www.thedirectorsevent.co.za

The Directors Event, brought to you by MMI Holdings, is supported by partners Mancosa, the Institute of Directors, and Greymatter & Finch.