Incoming BLSA head is smarter than I am – Bonang Mohale

While the board of Business Leadership SA expressed enough confidence in outgoing CEO Bonang Mohale to ask that he stay in his position beyond the initially agreed period, the outgoing CEO believes his successor, Busisiwe Mavuso, is better suited for the job in every way that counts.

Mohale said on Monday that he would be leaving BLSA. On Tuesday he told Fin24 that Mavuso – the current COO of BLSA – would be taking over from him officially at the beginning of July.

BLSA is an organisation of CEOs of private and listed companies established in 1960.

Mohale told Fin24 that he agreed to serve as CEO of BLSA for a year. He said the board asked him to stay on near the end of the initially agreed term of contract, to which he reluctantly agreed.

Head hunted

"I took an early retirement from Shell where I was group CEO and chair for eight-and-a-half years. BLSA asked me to become the CEO. I took it on condition that I do it for one year and one year only. I was asked to put a high calibre team in place, and I did just that," said Mohale.

Mohale said Mavuso was head hunted from the Black Management Forum for two years. He said she agreed to join him at BLSA with the understanding that she would take over from him through an appointment of the board.

Mohale told Fin24 that Mavuso had already been working closely with him ahead of his exit and would be able to hit the ground running at BLSA.

"Sis' Busisiwe is younger, cleverer, much more hard working and tempered better than Bonang Mohale," he said.

Mohale said he was proud of the work he had done at BLSA in a short space of time, adding that the organisation played a vital role in restoring trust and accountability in the relationship between business and the state.

Defeating state capture

"We succeeded in defeating and rooting out state capture. There is a lot of work to be done but I believe we have made huge progress. She will need to continue the good work of ensuring that all of us ultimately succeed in eradicating the legacy of apartheid," Mohale said.

He said, while challenges were many, that he was altogether optimistic about the future of South Africa's economy as well as its society.

"We are the only country in the world that instituted four critical commissions of inquiry (into state capture, former NPA boss Nomgcobo Jiba, the Public Investment Corporation and the South African Revenue Service).

"We are probably the only country in the world talking this openly and honestly about our challenges, including serial challenges of high unemployment, which lead to increasing levels of poverty and inequality," said Mohale.

Mohale said he planned to find a farm to retire to, saying that he would "not be waiting for of land expropriation without compensation" before doing so.

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