Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH
Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH

There has been positive reaction on social media to the appointment of Fundi Sithebe as CEO of the new racing operator, 4Racing, which was announced at the official launch of the brand on Champions Day at Turffontein last Saturday.

“I am very excited to have been presented with this opportunity and I look forward to engaging with all the stakeholders as 4Racing proceeds with the vital transformation and rebuilding of the SA horse racing industry,” Sithebe said.

Several posts on the Sporting Post website welcomed her appointment, which will take effect on June 1.

One blogger stated: “4Racing has got itself the best person for the job. Things can only get better and better.” Another — in reference to Sithebe’s experience in the aviation industry — said: “Excellent choice, well done pilot. Now to see action on the runway — get your team together for the take off.”

Sithebe holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Midrand University and a postgraduate diploma in management (business administration) from Wits Business School.

She started her career as a management consultant at Deloitte, focusing on the areas of strategy and operations in organisational strategic projects. She was part of the for FNB expansion team that crafted a way forward for the bank and was responsible for the successful establishment of operations in Africa.

Sithebe was COO of Airports Company SA from December 2017 until her departure on April 30 2021, responsible for integration and seamless operations across the network of nine airports. In addition, she led the commercial division, which is mainly responsible for nonaeronautical revenue. Her passion for the aviation industry was fuelled in 2003 when she obtained her private pilot’s licence.

Chair Mxolisi Zwane said he was delighted to welcome Sithebe into her new portfolio at 4Racing. “While her recent background has been in the aviation industry, Fundi has an excellent track record in the business world and has the ability to help restore SA horse racing to its former glory. She understands the vision we have for the racing industry.” 

Sithebe added: “I was very pleased with the news of the approval of the transaction from the Competition Commission. Now focus will be on attaining all the necessary licensing from the gambling boards. There is still plenty of work to be done, but 4Racing is optimistic that the necessary pieces will start falling into place.”

A key objective of 4Racing in the short term is the digital transformation of the industry as it seeks to elevate SA racing, not only to improve the experience for existing participants but to attract a whole new audience. 

Plans are being drawn up for large-scale investment. Special attention is being paid to ensuring products and services are easier for partners to carry and deliver to their customers, while 4Racing also aims to build on existing international partnerships to maximise revenue opportunities and improve the showcasing and broadcasting of SA’s world-class racing product locally and abroad.

4Racing will engage extensively with the government to create a platform from which to build a better understanding of horse racing and to gain the state’s support as it seeks to rebuild the industry from the bottom up.

4Racing took over the sponsorship of Champions Day to launch the 4Racing brand to the wider industry, while simultaneously bolstering prize money for the day’s seven feature races.

VAAL SELECTIONS

1st Race: (4) Chief Rafeef (1) Barneys Pride (3) Cavalier King (11) Safe Passage

2nd Race: No Selection

3rd Race: (9) Duke Of Sussex (11) Groomedtowin (4) Silly Fella (6) Passing Shot

4th Race: (5) Zulu War Cry (14) Woman Of Substance (2) Cape Diamond (1) Miss Venezuela

5th Race: (8) Humble Tune (6) Oyster King (3) Imperial Master (2) Have A Go Jo

6th Race: (7) Apollo Robbins (1) Dr Doolittle (2) Destinys Game (6) Set The Standard

7th Race: (9) Herstel (10) Godswood (7) South East (3) Chief Of State

8th Race: (6) Kwite A Trip (4) Saviour (7) Marengo (2) Ace Of Spades

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