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The Directors Event, the biggest board meeting in SA, took place on June 24 and featured an exceptional line-up of experts who discussed the economy, equality, food security and more.

This digital conference — watch the recording above — comprised three moderated panel discussions with a focus on reigniting the spirit of ubuntu; members of the public sector, business, academia and NGOs discussed and debated the shortest and most effective paths to SA’s socioeconomic recovery. 

The topics for the panel discussions were:

Fixing the economy to improve livelihoods, moderated by Gugulethu Mfuphi, which looked at how businesses can step up to deliver effective social impact on the path to post-Covid socioeconomic recovery.

The panel included:

  • Nontobeko Hlela — Researcher for SA Office, Tricontinental Institute for Social Research 
  • Azar Jammine — Chief economist, Econometrix 
  • Eustace Mashimbye — CEO, Proudly SA 
  • Hendrik Malan — CEO, Frost & Sullivan Africa 
  • John Dludlu — CEO, Small Business Institute 
  • Jan Bouwer — Chief of digital platform solutions, BCX

Feeding the nation, moderated by Uveka Rangappa, which tackled how to mitigate climate change, manage water resources, execute a just energy transition and support agriculture to ensure no person goes to bed hungry.

The panel included:

  • Jaisheila Rajput — Founder and CEO, Tomorrow Matters Now (TOMA-Now) 
  • Andy Du Plessis — MD, Food Forward SA 
  • Prof Imraan Valodia — Pro-vice-chancellor: climate, sustainability and inequality, University of the Witwatersrand 
  • Prof Mark Swilling — Co-director, Centre for Sustainability Transitions at University of Stellenbosch 
  • Prof Francois Engelbrecht — Director and professor of climatology, Global Change Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

New ways of tackling inequality, moderated by Nompumelelo Runji, which focused on how public and private sectors can work together to raise SA beyond being classed among the “fragile five” emerging economies.

The panel included:

  • Phelisa Nkomo — Development economist and chair, Oxfam SA 
  • Prof Murray Leibbrandt — Chair in poverty and inequality research at the National Research Foundation and director of Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit at UCT 
  • Precious Zikhali – Poverty Economist, World Bank
  • Sizwe Pamla — Spokesperson, Cosatu
  • Busisiwe Memela-Khambula — CEO, SA Social Security Agency (Sassa)
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