UCT’s Mvelo Hlophe wins the 2016 Student Leadership Summit

mvelo_hlophe2-500x500Johannesburg, Friday 8 October 2016 – If there is one thing the South African economy requires to flourish, it is leadership. For this reason, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has aligned many of its projects to building our nation by actively developing the traits of a responsible leader at university level and instilling these values in all those studying towards becoming a chartered accountant (CA[SA]). One such initiative is its annual Student Leadership Summit, sponsored by Standard Bank. This event seeks to emphasise the role CAs(SA) play as responsible leaders in the business landscape by identifying and mentoring the 30 top CA stream BCom students who enter its thought leadership essay competition. At last night’s exclusive summit networking function, Port Shepstone’s Mvelo Hlophe, a 19 year old student from the University of Cape Town (UCT), took first place for his insightful and solution-driven #feesmustfall essay.

As the custodian of the professional CA(SA) designation, SAICA places responsible leadership and ethics at the top of the values it seeks to instil in students studying towards entering the profession. One of the ways it does this is through competitions like the annual SAICA Student Leadership Summit, sponsored by Standard Bank,

The summit, held on 6 and 7 October 2016 in Johannesburg, was attended by the top 30 chartered accounting stream BCom students who submitted winning thought leadership essays on one of the following topics:

South Africa, as a mere 22 year old democracy, is currently facing tough economic conditions, political turbulence and student unrest. Outline your views on the current university funding crisis under #FeesMustFall and come up with ways in which funding for tertiary education can be made available to students. Discuss your thoughts on whether such funding should apply to all or only selected categories of students.Describe the role that SAICA (as a professional body), and other stakeholders outside of government, can play in upgrading South Africa’s economic status in order to avoid reaching junk status.

This was the second year of the APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) exam; yet as a profession, we still witnessed poor behaviour from certain candidates. What should have been done better by SAICA, candidates and the training officers to stop candidates from wanting to gain an unfair advantage? What parameters should be put into place to discourage ill practice from candidates?

And the winners are…

The three winners were announced at the summit’s exclusive business leader networking function last night. First prize was awarded to Mvelo Hlophe, a student from the University of Cape Town, who received a R6 000 cash prize, a night’s stay at Protea Hotel Wanderers and a bespoke suit from Tailor Me™.

Like many of his peers, Hlope’s winning essay covered the #Feesmustfall funding crisis. ‘While the judges struggled to select the winner amongst the many compelling essays letters, it was Mvelo’s thought leadership piece that came out tops in the end,’ says competition judge and summit project manager, Teboho Moephudi. ‘What set Mvelo’s essay apart, is the fact that not only was it solution driven, but the solutions he presented were simple, well-thought out and easy to implement.’

Similarly, the competition’s two runners-up – Lungelwa Mambesi Goje (University of the Western Cape) Phiwe Mdeleleni (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) – also tackled #Feesmustfall and each won a cash prize as well as prizes sponsored by Protea Hotel for their leadership views. (You can read all three winning essays here.)

Apart from these prizes, Hlope, Goje, Mdeleleni and the other finalists all agreed that the real benefit of being a finalist was the once-in-a-lifetime chance they received to network, interact and engage with some of SA’s top business leaders during the course of the summit as well as the invaluable and intensive soft-skills training that exposed them to networking secrets, tips on how to build their own professional brand, cognitive and leadership sessions as well as presentations by leaders in business.

Why is SLS key to the profession?

When asked about the impact of the annual Student Leadership Summit on the students SAICA CEO, Dr Terence Nombembe, explained the significance of the event:

‘SAICA’s motto calls for us to constantly develop, influence and lead. We view this call to responsible leadership in the context of us as a professional body being at the forefront of a thriving economy and whose duty it is to actively participate in confronting all hindrances to its growth. In this regard, we take great care in instilling the values of responsible leadership in all those pursuing a CA(SA) career. The views of the young people chosen to be part of the 2016 Student Leadership Summit epitomise this concept of responsible leadership and illustrate that there are youth leaders out there who embrace the qualities of responsible leadership and thus are trustworthy icons of tomorrow.’

Standard Bank’s Group Financial Director, Arno Daehnke, adds: ‘Our CA programme, supported by SAICA, is in its 19th year and is an important programme for us to train future African leaders. Not only do these candidates train to become qualified chartered accountants but they are exposed to leadership training at our world-class leadership centre. […] This Summit is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with students who have a passion for Africa and learning.’

See below the full list of the 2016 Top 30 Student Leadership Summit finalists

Amanda Hobana                Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Boitumelo Morodi                University of Pretoria

Engeli Rheeder                  Stellenbosch University

Irene Chikobvu                  Monash South Africa

Jean-Luc Koenig                 Monash South Africa

Jessica Makua                  Monash South Africa

Karabo Kwena Dinyake            University of Limpopo

Katlego Madube                 University of the Witwatersrand

Keanan Sean Prinsloo               University of the Western Cape

Kwena Mosenye                 University of Johannesburg

Linanda du Plessis                Stellenbosch University

Lungelwa Mambesi Goje                    (1st runner up) University of the Western Cape

Matthew Nkululeko Nzumande      University of Kwa-Zulu Natal

Mvelo Hlophe (Winner)             University of Cape Town

Phiwe Mdleleni (2nd runner up)       Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Primrose Moyo                  University of Johannesburg

Raees Jogee                      University of Pretoria

Robyn Milosavljevic                Monash South Africa

Romeo Mngqibisa                 University of Cape Town

Rowan Russon                    University of the Witwatersrand

Siphesihle Bhengu                Rhodes University

Siyamthanda Daniel                Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Stephen Govender                University of Johannesburg

Thamsanqa Ntandoyenkosi Shange    Rhodes University

Thandokazi Kweyama              University of Johannesburg

Tshegofatso Pheeha                University of Limpopo

Tshilidzi Thathaisa                 University of Pretoria

Tyler Cheall                      University of Pretoria

Zintle Barnes                    University of Cape Town

Ziyanda Portia Mqalo               Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University