The Award, sponsored by Nedbank, was bestowed at a gala banquet at the Sandton Convention Centre, Gauteng. Now in its 25th year, the accolade is given to the businesswoman judged by a panel of experts to be South Africa's Businesswoman of the Year.
According to Dr Namane Magau, President of the BWA, "The Award has recognised the success of South African women in business and celebrates women's contribution to the economy, for a quarter of a century. Not only is Futhi a winner that does justice to the previous 25 years of the Award, but she is a winner that heralds great things for the next 25 years, given what she has achieved and all that she represents about this country and its women."
Nedbank's Head of Female Market Strategy, Rue Bateman, added that "Nedbank's sponsorship of the BWA and the Businesswoman of the Year Award is one way that Nedbank demonstrates its commitment and recognition for the ongoing contribution that businesswomen are making to the South African economy."
According to Nedbank's annual market research, businesses either owned or managed by women have increased from 23% in 1999 to 38% in 2004.
Mtoba's professional career began in Umtata at W.L. Nkuhlu & Co in association with Hoek & Wiehelm. She joined Deloitte in 1988 and today is a partner in the Financial Institutions Team, where she is the lead client services partner of the South African Reserve Bank.
Her experience includes managing the audits of large corporate treasuries and local and international financial institutions. She is the first African black woman appointed as a partner by one of the top four accounting firms in South Africa, the first black woman to be appointed to the board at Deloitte ,and recently, was appointed as the first black woman Deputy Chairman of Deloitte.
Mtoba notes that "transformation is a journey that Deloitte started in the early 1980's and our vision is to be a fully transformed company that is representative of the communities we serve. Building on our strategy of growing leadership from within, there has been significant progress over the past year. Nine black partners were appointed in June this year and currently, 16% of our partners and 38% of our executive leadership respectively, are black. Of particular significance is the fact that three members of the Board are women and currently 28 (13%) of our 220 partners are women. Contrary to popular perception that BEE has a negative effect on profitability, our revenues have increased by 23% for the year ended 31 May 2004."
Mtoba is also the first woman National President of the Association for the Advancement of Accountants in Southern Africa (ABASA) and the past Chairman of the Johannesburg Branch of ABASA. In addition, she is a board member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants where, as a member of the Transformation Committee of SAICA, she is actively involved in the institution's transformation. She is also one of the four Vice Presidents of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA).
Her credentials are long: she previously led the Black Business Council Economic Research Unit and was also a member of the Black Business Council Presidential Working Group, which provides policy input to government's macro economic framework. She now serves as Commissioner and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Public Investment Commissioners (PIC) with assets under management of R302 billion (US$43 billion). She was also a member of the financial sector-working group that was responsible for the formulation of the Financial Sector Charter.
Mtoba is a member of the NEPAD Business Group, which works with the NEPAD Secretariat to develop effective public-private partnerships to support the New Partnership. She is also a Convener of the East Central Southern African Federation of Accountants (ECSAFA) NEPAD Committee.
Selected out of five finalists (Ingrid Diesel, Resort General Manager & CEO, Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estate, Sindi Mabaso, Chief Financial Officer, Transnet, Ann Nurock, CEO, Grey Worldwide South Africa and Suzanne Ravenall, CEO, IDCS Beyond Outsourcing), Mtoba will stand proudly alongside previous winners such as Nicky Newton-King of the JSE Securities Exchange (2003), Kim McFarland of Investec Asset Management (2002), Maria Ramos prevviously of the National Tresury (2001) and Irene Charnley of Johnnic Holdings (2000).
Grapevine Communications on behalf of the Businesswomen's Association.