2021 Judging Panel


Ajay Kanjee
Financial Director, Henley Business School Africa

Ajay Kanjee (45) is Henley Business School Africa’s finance director. A chartered accountant, he completed his articles at PKF accountants in Parktown, Johannesburg, after graduating with a BComm degree from Rhodes University in Makhanda. He spent 20 years working for variously as an internal auditor, financial manager and financial director at listed companies across a wide range of economic sectors; Tsogo Sun, Afrox, Mpact (Mondi Packaging), Orica Mining Services and Thales Southern Africa. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, and has also undergone training at the Institute of Directors. Kanjee joined Henley Africa in March 2020 as finance director, heading up the finance division. He is part of the business school’s executive management team.

Catherine Wijnberg
CEO, Fetola

Cape Town-based Catherine Wijnberg is passionate about radically scaling the success of small business as a way to stimulate inclusive economic growth and job creation. Her industry-wide collaboration strategy provides motivation for working together – challenging industry stakeholders to 100x their individual company successes.Catherine founded Fetola in 2006 with the purpose to build businesses that last. The company emphasis is on sustainability and women and youth-led, rural and township businesses.

Christian Kabongo
Project Manager, IDC

Christian Kabongo is a Project Manager at the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC). Christian’s portfolio includes promotion of funding for Black Industrialists as well as localisation. Christian has been involved with matters pertaining to the African continent for his entire career through several research and capacity building programmes. Christian holds a BA in Political and Economic Sciences from the University of Johannesburg and an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (University of Pretoria).

David Mparutsa
Head: Enterprise and Supplier Development Ex SA, Absa Group

As Head of Enterprise & Supply Chain Development (ESD) for the Absa Regional Operations, David is responsible for defining and implementing the ESD strategy, which looks to leverage corporate partnerships to improve access to finance for suppliers in corporate value chains. This strategy has a particular focus on financing Small and Medium sized entities with corporate offtake agreements while also ensuring the SMEs develop adequate skills to manage and grow their businesses sustainably. Before his current position, David held various roles in Risk and Finance across the bank. This included Head of Risk and Control for Global Finance and Transactional Banking and Head of Product Control for Africa Markets and Treasury, responsible for the migration of the Absa African markets from vanilla forex based banking books into full trading books covering forex, fixed income, equities and risk management products. Prior to joining Absa, he worked on the Credit Hybrids Desk at JP Morgan in London. He also has experience in Audit and Consulting from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Academics from the University of the North West in South Africa where he lectured Accounting.

Dr. Rethabile Melamu
General Manager: Green Economy, The Innovation Hub

Dr Rethabile Melamu is a dynamic and self-motivated professional; she obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. She is currently the General Manager for the Green Economy Unit at The Innovation Hub. Before that, she acted in the position of Chief Director: Sector and Industry Development in the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. She has more than a decade’s experience in the green economy sector, spanning renewable energy and waste management sectors. She has experience in developing public sector strategies, and has led the revision of the Gauteng Energy and Green Economy strategies. She has vast research experience in the technology innovation field as it pertains to critical elements that contribute to success of emerging technologies in a developing country context including enterprise development of clean tech start-ups. She has published and delivered reports and academic articles in her fields of expertise including for the OR Tambo Debate Series based on Chapter 5 of the South African National Development Plan. She was a finalist in the caterory of Outstanding Woman of the Year in the Power and Water category at the 2017 premium African Utility Awards. In 2019, Dr Melamu was honoured by Mail & Guardian as one of the Women Changing South Africa in the Politics and Government category. Dr Melamu sits on a number of Advisory Boards in the academia and enterprise developments sectors.

Elmarie Goosen
Founder, Clinic with Purpose

Elmarie Goosen has spent the last 5 years training, coaching and mentoring small business owners across a range of industries. Coming from a Procurement and Customer Experience background in corporate, Elmarie’s main focus was to help small business owners understand how to engage with corporate clients, how to build relationships, people do business with people after all, and how to stand out above the rest. With over 20 years’ experience in corporate and 5 years in SME development Elmarie has a unique understanding of the needs of both the buyer and the vendor. She has made it her mission to help these 2 groups to work better together. Her unique understanding of both sides is educating Procurement professionals to cultivate empathy for the specific challenges SMEs face whilst helping SMEs to be better prepared for what the customer expects from them. Elmarie has trained and mentored more than 2000 small businesses since she started her own consultancy 5 years ago, and is passionate about bringing a holistic development experience to small business owners and now focusses on connecting service providers that provide practical specialist support to small business owners. Elmarie lived in England for 17 years and moved back to South Africa in 2014 where she works in English and braai in Afrikaans. She lives on a farm in Hartbeespoortdam with her husband and accomplice of the last 23 years, 6 cats, 2 dogs, 29 chickens (at the last count) and a hadida called Frik.

Mamosa Motjope
Managing Director, Wamobu Consulting

Mamosa specializes in conducting due diligences for development finance institutions and private equity companies. Her focus has mainly been in the manufacturing sector. Mamosa is passionate about the development and sustainability of emerging businesses.

Michal Pillay
Senior Manager: Supplier Diversity, Absa Group

Michal Pillay currently presides in the role of Senior Manager Supplier Diversity at ABSA Group Limited. Michal’s passion for improving supply chain and growth in the market stems from her various roles within Category Management at MTN, an African Continentally positioned telecommunications organisation. Her consistency in gaining knowledge and skillsets are evident in her tertiary achievements as a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.. Michal’s transition to ABSA positioned her as SNR Category Manager in Marketing and Print in 2015. Her passion for development of supply chain initiatives was capitalised on by the institution. Michal’s vision for the growth of South African businesses and upliftment of employment are evident in the initiatives and guidance she provides for the changing environment in the South African Purchasing and Supply chain programmes. Michal’s frugal mannerisms and strategic approaches in her roles have seen the institutions gain in copious savings across supply chain. Michal’s skills and knowledge are comprehensively adopted by the organisation as she oversees and manages the ABSA supplier transformation processes since 2016. The strategic and professional mannerisms of Michal have aided and promoted many businesses in growth and development in her roles over 2 major corporations in Southern Africa. Michal Pillay conducts her professional life with a strong balance in her family life raising her four children with the same vigour and passion as she rises through the corporate world.

Nosipho Khonkwane
Managing Director, LEAP Enterprise Development

The Managing Director of Leap Enterprise Development, a management consultancy focusing on supporting growth of SMMEs, Nosipho has over 20 years’ experience in business improvement and enterprise development. Nosipho set up the Seda branch network, developing their Gauteng roll-out strategy and leveraging funding from various stakeholders. She has developed national SMME delivery models and strategies such as the Seda technology programme strategy and implementation plan, policies and operating models, Seda technology programme ecosystem facilitation model, Incubation Governance and Management Development programme in partnership with the university of Pretoria and DTI, the digital hub model responding to the priorities of the 6th Administration of the current government leadership, Female in Tech programme (FEM-IN-TECH), national business incubation standard requirements with SABS and ecosystem partners, benchmarked incubation business models internationally and ensured continuous improvement of own programmes for impactful results. A Board member of various Not for Profit entities, EXCO, investment committees and Chair of fund adjudication panels.

Sekai Chiwandamira
Regional Chapter Manager, South Africa, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)

Sekai is the Regional Chapter Manager at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) South Africa. Her diverse international experience as a Mining Lawyer, Development Specialist and Business Development Manager includes technical assistance to finance institutions, small and growing businesses, multinational companies, investors, governments and non-governmental organizations across Sub-Sahara Africa. Sekai is passionate about both youth and women empowerment and served in Sub-Saharan Africa as an advisor to the Global Steering Group (GSG) global working group (Informal Settlements – An Impact Capital Response), part of the Impact Investing South Africa (IISA) demand-side working group, working group for United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to raise their awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Standards, member of the Ethekwini Economic Council Innovation workstream and advisor for the 4th annual ABSA business day supplier development awards.

Vusi Fele
Chief Procurement Officer, Absa Group

Prior to taking up the role as Chief Procurement Officer at Absa Group Limited, Vusi held executive and senior management positions with responsibilities for procurement at AngloGold Ashanti, Danone SA, Tiger Brands, South African Airways, Sasol and Ports Authority of South Africa. Vusi is an accomplished and multifaceted professional with more than 20 years of rich experience in delivering optimal results and business value in environments that demand cross functional leadership, influencing and managing in diverse cultures and nationalities, exceptional strategic and operational planning in global and regional executive roles from diverse industrial sectors including aviation, financial services, utilities, transportation, FMCG, mining, manufacturing and services. He specializes in supply chain (logistics, strategic sourcing, supplier and enterprise development, supplier transformation and localisation strategies; responsible sourcing (human rights compliance in the supply chain and Third-Party risk management). Vusi chaired the procurement sub-committee of the Chamber of Mines in South Africa and led the development of an industry framework for Responsible Sourcing and common guiding principles for the mining industry.