University of Limpopo - Citation

By Dr Reuel J. Khoza (Chairman of Nedbank Group Limited, Aka Capital  and author of several books including Let Africa Lead and Attuned Leadership) to “Nedbank Group Technology Leaders”  I  26 April 2017

Born of humble parentage and brought up in a typical African ‘extended’ family context, Dr Khoza’s youthful years predisposed him to various challenges which prepared him well to face more robust challenges later on in his life. His upbringing was engendered in the Afro-centric ethics that espoused a strong value-system and he ascribes this to both his parents and grandparents. This inculcated in him a deep sense and an appreciation of African ethos which are premised around hard work and the ubuntu principle.

Dr Khoza’s professional career stemmed from very humble beginnings where he did menial jobs for various concerns during school vacations throughout his formative years. His first full-time job was that of a Junior Lecturer/Research Officer at the then University of the North. He moved to the private sector in the mid 70s where he began his illustrious journey that gave him exposure and vast experience in marketing research, brand management and consultancy. His abilities, efficiency and professional prowess earned him a scholarship to study in England in 1978 where he advanced his skills in market research, advertising and sales promotions among other areas of study.

His initial foray into corporate governance unfolded in 1983 in response to an invitation to join the Standard Bank’s Advisory Board. This was followed by an appointment to the Stannic Board in 1984 which was rapidly followed by appointments to the Boards of Munich Reinsurance, S C Johnson, IBM South Africa, and later on Norwich Life, Standard Bank Investment Corporation, Liberty Life Group, Servgro International and many others. His Board governance exposure and experience portrays an in exhaustive list of active roles including the following:

Previous chairmanships of:
Eskom Holdings Limited; Tolcon; South African Student Internship Foundation Corridor Development Corp; Vodac; Sun Air; Creda Press; Glaxo-Smith Kline and Polokwane International Airport. In addition, he is a wealthy source of managerial knowledge derived from his tenacious involvement with various corporate companies as evidenced by the numerous previous directorships and Associations he has held. Dr Khoza is currently Fellow and President of the Institute of Directors, Chairman of the NEPAD Business Foundation, Member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel of RSA and Member of the Honorary International Investment Council of Nigeria.

Current chairmanships: Dr Khoza’s chairmanship currently includes;

  • Nedbank Ltd. & Nedbank Group Ltd.
  • Murray & Roberts Cementation
  • Aka Capital (Pty) Ltd. & Aka Resources
  • NEPAD Business Foundation
  • Akani Leisure (Pty) Ltd.
  • Corobrik (Pty) Ltd.

Current directorships are as follows:

  • Protea Hospitality Ltd.
  • Gold Reef Resorts Ltd.
  • Nampak Ltd.
  • Old Mutual Pic
  • Sasol Oil Ltd.

Several awards form part of Dr Khoza’s accolades list;

1997: Presidential Achievers Award: Black Management Forum (BMF)
2000: Excellence in Business Management Award: University of the North
2001: Leadership in Practice Award: UNISA – School of Business Leadership
2004: Pioneers of Economic Empowerment: Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals
2006: Thought Leadership Award: Black Management Forum
2006: NERSA Chairperson’s Award: National Energy Regulator of South Africa
2007: Distinguished Business Leadership Award: Association of SADC Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Leadership roles in professional and other organizations
Dr Khoza has been and is still a member of and serving in leadership roles in various organizations and associations such as the Black Management Forum (BMF), an organization dedicated to the development and upward mobility of black managers mainly in corporate South Africa. Sequent to his appointment to various directorships in the mid nineteen eighties, he joined the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Southern Africa in order to enhance his understanding of corporate governance. In 2001 he was elected President of the same organisation, and was privileged to succeed Basil Hersov, whose only predecessor in the then 45 years history of the Institute was Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo-American Corporation fame. In his capacity as president, Khoza became a key member of the King II Committee on Corporate Governance, as convenor of the sub-committee on Integrated Sustainability Reporting.

He became the founding Chairman and Principal Fund-raiser of South African Students Internship Foundation (SASIF), an organization established to help South African black graduates who studied and qualified abroad with the assistance of international agencies in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The project placed over 600 candidates in corporate and professional jobs. Furthermore, he is a founding and the current Chairman of the NEPAD Business Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation. Its core objective is to render real the economic programme of NEPAD, thus helping to actualize the African Renaissance Vision.

Upon his appointment as Chairman of Eskom in March 1997, Dr Khoza was charged with the responsibility of transforming an apartheid-structured management into business leadership relevant to the new democratic framework.  He transformed the organization into being truly representative of South Africa without destroying the diversity of talent present at the time i.e. retaining professionalism and expertise. Colleagues at Eskom accepted the tenets of this model and its underlying philosophy, ultimately reflecting the character of a team and the creation of a virtuous circle. The essential motive force to bring this about was clearly [value-based] leadership imbued in Dr Khoza. His other cardinal objective was to expand Eskom’s business operations throughout Africa in support of the African Renaissance. By the end of 2004, Eskom was operating in over 30 African countries in the form of management contracts and joint ventures with host country utilities.

In his role as Eskom Chairman, he also served as Executive Committee member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In the build-up to and during the World Summit on Sustainable Development, he served as Deputy Chairman of the Business Action for Sustainable Development. This was a project-specific task force formed jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to ensure active international business participation in the summit. Side-by-side with chairing the Eskom Holding’s board, he headed and ran a private equity-cum-investment holdings company, Aka Capital. The company has investments in various industries, including information technology, leisure and tourism and brick making.  Such is the case now too as he concurrently chairs Nedbank Group and Aka Capital, the latter in an executive capacity.

Dr Khoza’s biography is also enriched and colorant with several published articles in magazines on business strategy, leadership and marketing, as well as a monograph titled Ubuntu-Botho-Vumunhu-Vhuthu, on African Humanism. His experience at Eskom is the genesis of this portfolio of work and the fountainhead of two publications allied to his academic work, namely The Power of Governance, co-authored with Eskom’s company secretary, Mohamed Adam and published at the beginning of 2005, Let Africa Lead, published later in the same year, and Attuned Leadership in 2011.

Khoza’s painstaking qualifications include B.A. (History, Psychology and Xitsonga), and B.A. Honours in Psychology (University of the North, now Limpopo); M.A. in Marketing Management (University of Lancaster, England);  Engineering (Business) Doctorate, University of Warwick, England; Doctor of Laws honoris causa, Rhodes University;  Programme for Management Development (PMD), Harvard Business School;  International Programme for Board Members (IPBM), IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. Reuel Khoza was Professor Extraordinaire, University of Stellenbosch Business School and is Visiting Professor, Rhodes Investec Business School.
Current Chairmanships include:
Aka Capital (Pty) Ltd and Aka Capital Holdings.
Nedbank Ltd and Nedbank Group Ltd.

Old Mutual Plc
Nampak ltd
Protea Hospitality Ltd
Sasol Oil (Pty) Ltd