By: Tshepo Matseba
Brand South Africa, an organisation whose mandate is to manage South Africa’s Nation Brand reputation in order to improve the country’s global attractiveness and competitiveness, has announced the appointment of Ms Thulisile Manzini as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Brand South Africa, with immediate effect. This comes amidst a number of organisational challenges that the organisation faced recently, amongst which is the suspension of Dr. Kingsley Makhubela as CEO, due to a number of charges currently being pursued through a disciplinary process.
“We are pleased to announce Ms Manzini’s appointment as Acting Chief Executive of Brand South Africa. She is a multifaceted executive leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the public service having held various roles in the South African government. Her experience in transforming organisations and implementing turnaround strategies has contributed positively to good corporate governance, operations and administration,” says the Chairperson of Brand South Africa’s Board, Ms Khanyisile Kweyama.
Before joining Brand South Africa, Manzini was the Deputy Director-General for Governance and Administration at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), a position she has held since January 2016. She was responsible for anchoring efficiencies in business operations by driving strategy, financial services, providing sound human capital management as well as overseeing legislative mandates. In addition, she managed the interface of business systems and operations, supply chain processes and internal controls through Internal Audit and other governance structures.
Her portfolio included the brand positioning and corporate identity of the organisation as well as managing the political and administrative interface by overseeing operations in the Ministry and the Office of the Director-General.
Manzini served on a number of committees within the DTPS which includes inter alia being the Chairperson of the Macro Structural Reconfiguration team, Chairperson of the Operations Committee and the Employment Equity Committee. Manzini also represented the DTPS at the Governance and Administration Cluster and attends Parliamentary structures on Governance and Administration.
“In 2018 the DTPS hosted a successful International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World event in South Africa, where 180 countries were represented. She was responsible for the Department’s communications strategy and coordinated strategic engagements to ensure the successful implementation of this prestigious event”, says Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, adding that “Ms Manzini has the full support of the Ministry and Brand South Africa’s Board of Trustees, to deliver on the organisation’s mandate.”
Chairperson of Brand South Africa’s Board, Ms Khanyisile Kweyama said: “We believe that Ms Manzini is the right person to drive the organisation forward during this period. Her experience has more than prepared her to fulfil this role with excellence, we are confident that she will propel the many strategic initiatives that Brand South Africa undertakes, to inspire and unify our stakeholders, partners and employees, to continue the work of building the reputation of South Africa, so as to contribute to its global competitiveness.”
In a statement, Manzini confirmed that Brand South Africa’s mandate would remain unchanged. “Our mandate is to ensure that South Africa is positively positioned, domestically and internationally,” she says. “Importantly, we want to get South Africans excited again about our nation brand. Increased levels of pride and patriotism amongst South Africans are of utmost importance,” adding that she is “humbled to be a part of the vision, to be a nation brand that inspires its people and is admired globally.”
Manzini’s other senior and executive management roles include Acting as Director General, Chief Operations Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Director of Corporate Services at the Department of Public Service and Administration and Head of Corporate Services at the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA).
Amongst her various qualifications, Ms Manzini holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Zululand, a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration obtained at the Wits Business School, a certificate in Management Services from Pretoria Technikon, as well as a short course on Women and Leadership Development from the Singapore Management University.