The Directors Event is presented in association with the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards, the Institute of Directors (IodSA) and BCX.

Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, chief marketing officer at BCX, says, "The Directors Event is a not-to-be-missed event on South Africa’s calendar, offering a platform for dialogue and action that deepens democracy and promotes South Africa’s social, economic and political development. As BCX, we are a strong supporter of South Africa and this is why we chose to partner with The Directors Event."

The IoDSA has supported The Directors Event since it began in 2015. "The Directors Event serves to highlight some of the critical issues facing our country, and business’s role in addressing these issues, as our future sustainability as organisations and as a country depends on them," says Parmi Natesan, CEO of the IoDSA.

This year’s keynote address was delivered by South African chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who questioned how South Africa had jettisoned its value system to the extent that corruption was allowed to flourish. 

"Candidates for leadership positions should be required to meet stringent requirements before being considered and should be subjected to much greater public scrutiny. We need to be asking the hard questions of our potential leaders so that we get the best to lead us," he says.

This year’s Chairman’s Report was delivered by Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, executive chairperson of Sigma Capital and a trustee of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (previously known as the Shanduka Foundation). She says education is key to driving South Africa forward, and the foundation had made a number of contributions to affect real change in education.

Referencing the 'ninja generation' (no income, no jobs and no assets), she says "the reality is that neither the public nor private sectors would be able to absorb all school leavers, which made the creation of an entrepreneurial culture so vital".

A panel discussion on youth employment and entrepreneurship discussed current initiatives in place to address the issue of unemployment, as well as the need to create a more enabling and supportive environment for aspiring entrepreneurs.

A second-panel discussion focussed on digital transformation and whether inclusive technology innovation had the potential to develop South Africa's economy. The discussion revealed that technology is disrupting both business and society; it’s changing the nature of work and making a growing number of people redundant.

However, according to the panelists, there is no doubt that digital transformation is good for business, with digitally transformed companies overtaking their less digitally transformed counterparts.

The final panel discussion of the day focussed on South Africa's politics and the economy. During the discussion, it was revealed that, in order to achieve a high road outcome, all stakeholders need to act in the national interest and make some hard trade-offs and compromises. 

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