Alumnus Profile: Zolile Moyo

Posted on May 30, 2023

Business magnate and CEO Sizwe Nxasana, who founded Future Schools, a private school for underprivileged children, has inspired University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus Zolile Moyo to also steer change in communities one day.

Moyo, a chief audit executive at the South African Human Rights Commission, has reaped the rewards of quality education and hopes to give back by sharing his internal auditing knowledge and skillsets at schools. “I would like to teach internal auditing in order to help transform the internal auditing profession and also market this field. Internal auditing is still not known and understood by most people, and it should be our role as practicing auditors to promote it at high school level,” says Moyo who has been working as an internal auditor for the past 16 years.

Read more about his career, ambitions and what fuels him below.

Q: Please share the details of your studies, mentioning the qualification/s you completed at UP? What motivated you during your studies, and how you overcame any challenges you encountered?

A: I completed the Master of Philosophy in Internal Auditing degree at UP. My goals were my main source of inspiration during my studies – one being attaining my MPhil as it was going to advance my career, assisting me to be efficient and effective in my work. Completing this qualification was not easy, because I had to juggle work and family responsibilities at a time when I also contracted COVID-19 during the course. My determination and dedication kept me going. My lecturer, Dr Blanche Steyn, also played a very critical role by motiving and ensuring that I was always on par with course content and academic demands.

Q: Briefly summarise your professional career, including your highlights/milestones and current position.

A: I am currently a chief audit executive for the South African Human Rights Commission, where I am responsible for advising the Commission on its strategic planning, implementation and reporting. In my role, I oversee the assessment of adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls around governance, risk management, financial and operation controls, as well as information technology controls.

I have been working as an internal auditor for the past 16 years both in the public and private sector. I have spent some years auditing in the telecommunication and information technology industry, as well as the banking and petroleum industries.

Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?

A: The MPhil in Internal Auditing has helped me to understand that as an internal auditor, you need to be able to add value to the organisation by helping with forecasting. This means that you are not just an independent assurance provider, but also a trusted business advisor. To do this, you need to have greater insight into the business to secure your space in executive positions. The research component of the MPhil helped me to conduct research during audits and also improved my audit report writing skills.

Q: Can you single out a special mentor/trusted advisor who played an indispensable role in your life/studies/career?

A: When I completed my articles training, I immediately joined the internal auditing field, and I met Mr Gregory Paulse who was my manager at the time. He helped me with the transition from external auditing to internal auditing. I worked with him for about seven years at T-Systems South African and we have since become good friends. When he completed his MPhil in Internal Auditing, he encouraged me to also enrol. I can say that I have literally been following in his footsteps and I can’t thank him enough for his guidance. It is because of him that I enjoy internal auditing so much.

Q: Given your academic experience at UP, what advice can you pass on to current students?

A: If internal auditing is your passion, I recommend that you do the MPhil in Internal Auditing degree at UP because it is recognised by the global Institute of Internal Auditing (IIA) in the African region. It is not an easy qualification to complete, but well worth it as it covers both the theoretical aspect and practical side of internal auditing.

Q: What really inspires and motivates you?

A: I am inspired by people who are passionate about what they do and are willing to go the extra mile to help others achieve their goals. This motivates me to do more when I can see that I am making a positive impact on someone’s life or making a positive change in the organisation so that it can achieve set targets.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the foundation of a successful career?

A: One needs to have a clear career plan, and consistently work on achieving it. It is important to also review your long-term goals regularly, in order to reassess and adjust the plan of action if necessary.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about your chosen career path?

A: I like internal auditing so much because it is very exciting and broad. It is a rotational type of work because it is diverse, requires some research in order to understand the business better, provides independent assurance and good advice. It is made up of governance, risk management, compliance and internal controls in finance, operations and information technology.

Q: Which business/trade-related or career-related publications (magazines/newspapers/blogs, etc.) do you enjoy reading?

A: I like to read Legal brief, ITWeb, Daily Maverick, and Sunday Times business news.

Q: If you could have a face-to-face meeting with an inspiring person – in any domain – who sets an example in transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?

A: I am very inspired by Mr Sizwe Nxasana, who is the current CEO and founder of Sifiso Learning Group and also former CEO of First Rand Group. Mr Nxasana established a private school for underprivileged children called Future Schools as part of his efforts to bridge the education inequality gap. If I was granted an opportunity to meet with him, I would discuss the vision he has for the Future Schools, and how it will help the children acquire the much-needed quality education that will set them up for success in society. I am a staunch advocate for education because I believe that it can alleviate poverty in our country and contribute to our social and economic development. Children are our future and if we can all take intentional remedial action to enable their success, we can have a better future.

Q: What are your professional/business/personal aspirations?

A: I would like to contribute to the community by sharing the knowledge I have gained in internal auditing by teaching children at school and university level on a part-time basis. In the long term, I would like to teach internal auditing in order to help transform the internal auditing profession and also market this field. Internal auditing is still not known and understood by most people, and it should be our role as practicing auditors to promote it at high school level.

My personal aspirations are to start a business in the food and beverages industry, which can assist school children who are underprivileged.

Q: As a UP and EMS alumni, what makes you proud to be associated with the University?

A: UP is highly recognised as one of the top universities in Africa. I am proud of the fact that the MPhil in Internal Auditing qualification from UP is accredited by the global Institute of Internal Auditors, a leader in standards, certification, education, research, and technical guidance within the internal audit profession throughout the world.

Q: What are your hopes and aspirations for Africa and its people for the rest of this decade and beyond?

A: I hope and wish that Africa will prosper and be better again. I would like to see all the African leaders being able to work together for the development and improvement of this continent, and not for their own individual interests and self-enrichment.

I wish to see the human rights of our people, such as food, security, and socioeconomic rights recognised and improved by our leaders by being more accountable for their own actions.

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