MCom alumnus appointed as presidential special investment envoy

Posted on May 21, 2018

Phumzile Langeni, Executive Chairperson of Afropulse Group and an alumnus of UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, was selected and appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to be a member of the four-person team to assist in raising R1,4 trillion foreign direct investment for South Africa.

The team, consisting of Ms Langeni along with Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Jacko Maree, the sitting Chairperson of Liberty Holdings and former CEO of Standard Bank, is tasked with raising $100 billion over the next five years. The capital raise, which must include both local investment and foreign direct investments, is seen as a necessary intervention to unleash South Africa’s economic growth, which should underpin job creation and a sustainable economy.

Ms Langeni explained that the President sought recommendations of people who could be tasked to raise funds and hers was one of the names he received. 'It is a humbling honour to be entrusted with such a momentous task. There is a lot for us to do; with that said, it is an exciting opportunity to act as an ambassador and carry South Africa’s message and aspirations,' she said.

The four presidential special investment envoys have been tasked to raise funds across major financial markets, including the Americas (North and South), Europe, Asia (China, India, Hong Kong amongst others) as well as the rest of the African continent. The work of the envoys will be coordinated by Ms Trudi Makhaya, the President’s Economic Advisor.

Ms Langeni completed her master’s degree study under the supervision of Prof Derick de Jongh, Director of the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Ledership, and received her MCom degree at UP’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony in April 2018. Her dissertation examined the value of corporate governance by comparing the perceived value of King III and King II. The introduction in 1994 of King I, South Africa’s first corporate governance code, was not only a new milestone in business practice, but a recognition of the need to establish and support new practices that were a reflection of the new democracy.

Since then, three subsequent King Codes have appeared: King II, IIII and very recently King IV. This dissertation, which reported that King II was perceived to have added greater value than King III, was undertaken to investigate factors or circumstances that might explain the perceived decrease in the value of King III compared with that of King II in more detail. 

The study also aimed to explore the participants’ perception of the value of corporate governance. The findings were wide ranging. Participants overwhelmingly endorsed the value of the King Codes to corporate governance in South Africa and elsewhere. They also warned against the danger of compliance with future codes becoming onerous, or too much of a tick-box exercise.

- Author Petronel Fourie

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