In October, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) announced its new board, after a scrupulous review of its governance structures. ALI Fellow Tsakani Ratsela (Class VII: Dinatla) has been appointed to serve as the new chairperson of the board. SAICA’s mandate is to serve the interests of the chartered accountancy profession by upholding professional standards and integrity. With almost two decades worth of experience, knowledge and industry acuity, Tsakani is the perfect candidate to steer this great organisation forward.
Tsakani is a qualified chartered accountant whose expertise has seen her take up leadership positions in the finance sector, both in the private and public sectors. Her career spans across diverse areas, including auditing, corporate advisory, development finance, investment management and skills development. While studying towards her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, she noticed that not many Black women were entering into accountancy; it was then that she committed herself to the development and transformation of the accountancy profession. “All of us, as members of our society, especially those of us occupying positions of power and privilege, whether in government or the private sector, have a responsibility to give back to our society.”
Tsakani has worked for companies such as PwC, WorldWide Capital, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, and the Energy and Water seta, where she was appointed as an administrator after the seta was put under administration. She is currently the deputy auditor-general (DAG) of South Africa and the first South African woman to be appointed to this executive leadership position in the Auditor-General office’s 103-year history. “It’s a big opportunity that I celebrate but also a responsibility that I take seriously, not just for my own personal growth and achievement but for the sake and credibility of the institution, for other women too, who need to see women occupying these roles so that they can believe that they can do it. I have the responsibility of proving wrong all those people who think that women can’t occupy such roles and excel at them,” she told the Mail & Guardian about her appointment to lead the auditor-general’s office, which is in charge of auditing and reporting on how the government spends public funds.
Tsakani’s drive to have a significant impact on the accountancy profession is evident in her decision to take up leadership roles in organisations such as Business Unity South Africa, the Presidential Advisory Council on Black Economic Empowerment, African Women Chartered Accountants, and the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa.
Congratulations on your new appointment, Tsakani. We are very proud of you and wish you the best on this new journey.