By Bruce Berry, CEO of TMA-SA
They say a week is a long time in politics … so the last month must have felt like an eternity for South African politicians! It certainly was tumultuous and a month which certainly changed the political dynamics in this country. The effects of the looting and trashing of stores and other infrastructure will be felt for some time to come – and not only in KZN and Gauteng. Once again, the urgent need for business turnaround acumen is coming to the fore. TMA-SA members are well-placed to step in and assist. We also recently saw Mango being placed into business rescue, one of the lingering side-effects of the SAA debacle.
But looking to the future, August is Women’s Month. The precedent has been set by the winners of our first two medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Congratulations to Tatjana Schoenmaker for winning gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke and to Bianca Buitendag for winning silver in surfing. The youngest South African Olympian is 15-year old Boipelo Awuah from Kimberley who was unfortunately unable to compete in the skateboarding event due to injury. These ladies have done us all proud and it is comforting to see that 48% of this year’s Olympians are women – the highest percentage ever.
Within TMA-SA, the number of female members has been steadily rising and is currently at 18%. We need to improve on this, and even more so as only 7% of those are registered Business Rescue Practitioners. During our last SAQA audit, the issue of transformation was highlighted as an area requiring further effort. The Board and Exco has made this a priority, but my concern remains that we are still going to be found wanting until greater parity has been achieved. As we focus on Women’s Month, it provides the opportunity to redouble our efforts regarding transformation in general within TMA-SA and the role of women in particular.
Good luck to Team SA for the remainder of the Olympics. And to all the ladies, we appreciate all your efforts and wish you every success with all your endeavours.