Shaping a Sustainable and Climate-Safe South Africa: How Investors Can Drive Change and Prosperity

South Africa stands at a critical juncture in its pursuit of sustainable development and climate resilience and many may be asking how investors can drive change and prosperity. As the nation grapples with environmental challenges, economic inequality, and the need for prosperity, investors have a unique opportunity to shape the future trajectory of the country. By embracing responsible capital allocation and prioritising sustainability, investors can become catalysts for positive change, driving the transition towards a more sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa. This reflective thought leadership piece explores the various ways investors can contribute to this transformative agenda.

How Investors Can Drive Change and Prosperity

In an era marked by pressing environmental challenges and the urgent need for sustainable development, the role of investors in shaping a more sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa has never been more critical. As stewards of capital, investors have the power to drive transformative change by allocating resources towards environmentally and socially responsible investments. Beyond merely seeking financial returns, investors can harness their influence to create positive impact, address societal inequalities, and mitigate the risks posed by climate change. This thought leadership piece delves into the significance of this topic, highlighting how investors can play a pivotal role in fostering sustainability and prosperity in South Africa. By embracing responsible capital allocation practices, engaging with the right stakeholders, and aligning their investments with sustainable goals, investors have the potential to catalyse a profound and lasting impact on the nation’s future.

According to the World Bank, approximately 63% of South Africa’s population lived in urban areas in 2019, and this number is projected to increase to 71% by 2050. This rapid urbanisation poses significant challenges for sustainable development, including increased pressure on infrastructure, housing, energy, and natural resources. Addressing these challenges and ensuring sustainable urban development is crucial to creating liveable and resilient cities that can support the well-being and prosperity of South Africa’s growing population.

According to the Climate Risk Index 2020, which ranks countries based on their vulnerability to extreme weather events, South Africa ranked 10th globally. The country has experienced a range of climate-related hazards, including droughts, floods, and heatwaves. For instance, the severe drought that affected Cape Town from 2015 to 2018 resulted in water shortages and strict water rationing measures. These events highlight the urgent need for climate resilience measures in South Africa to mitigate the impacts of climate change, protect vulnerable communities, and ensure the long-term sustainability of the country’s economy and ecosystems.

 

1) How Investors Can Drive Change and Prosperity

a) Environmental Social, and Governance (ESG) Integration

The incorporation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions is gaining traction globally. By adopting ESG integration practices, investors can actively contribute to the sustainable development of South Africa. Firstly, investors should consider environmental factors such as carbon emissions, water usage, and waste management when evaluating potential investments. By supporting companies with robust sustainability strategies, investors encourage responsible practices and contribute to a greener future.

Additionally, investors should pay attention to the social and governance aspects of their investments. This includes promoting fair labor practices, gender equality, diversity, and strong corporate governance. By supporting companies that prioritise these values, investors can foster inclusive growth and reduce societal inequalities in South Africa.

b) Impact Investing

Impact investing goes beyond traditional financial returns; it seeks measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial gains. Investors can actively contribute to a sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa by allocating capital to projects and companies that address pressing social and environmental challenges. This could involve investing in renewable energy infrastructure, affordable housing, clean water initiatives, sustainable agriculture, or education and healthcare projects.

Impact investing not only generates positive outcomes but also aligns investor interests with the broader goals of the country. By channeling funds towards ventures that drive positive change, investors can help bridge funding gaps, promote innovation, and create employment opportunities, thus fostering a sustainable and inclusive economy.

c) Engaging with Companies

Investors have significant influence through their engagement with companies. By actively participating in dialogue and exercising their voting rights, investors can shape corporate behavior and encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices. Shareholder activism is a powerful tool that allows investors to hold companies accountable for their environmental and social performance.

Furthermore, investors can collaborate with other stakeholders, including policymakers, civil society organisations, and communities, to advocate for regulatory reforms that support sustainability goals. By working collectively, investors can drive systemic change and create an enabling environment for sustainable investments in South Africa.

d) Supporting Green and Socially Responsible Funds

Investors can leverage the expertise of fund managers specialising in sustainable investments. Green funds and socially responsible investment (SRI) funds have gained popularity in recent years, offering investment opportunities that align with environmental and social objectives. These funds perform rigorous due diligence to identify companies that meet strict sustainability criteria, ensuring that invested capital supports businesses committed to sustainability.

By directing investments towards green and SRI funds, investors can delegate the responsibility of selecting sustainable investments to professionals with expertise in this domain. This approach allows investors to benefit from diversification while ensuring that their capital is deployed in line with their sustainability goals.

e) Enhancing Climate Risk Assessment

Investors must recognise and mitigate climate risks to safeguard their portfolios and contribute to a climate-safe South Africa. Incorporating climate risk assessments into investment decisions enables investors to evaluate the vulnerability of companies and sectors to climate-related challenges such as extreme weather events, resource scarcity, and regulatory shifts. By understanding these risks, investors can make informed decisions and adjust their portfolios accordingly, encouraging companies to proactively address climate change.

Moreover, investors can actively engage with companies to promote the disclosure of climate-related information in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). By advocating for transparent reporting of climate risks and opportunities, investors can incentivise companies to take proactive measures in mitigating climate-related risks and transitioning to low-carbon business models.

f) Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Investors can contribute to a sustainable and climate-safe South Africa by actively participating in collaborative initiatives and knowledge sharing platforms. Engaging with industry associations, sustainability networks, and forums allows investors to exchange best practices, learn from peers, and collectively address shared challenges. Collaborative efforts can foster innovation, drive policy changes, and amplify the impact of individual investors.

Furthermore, investors can support research and development in sustainable technologies and solutions. By funding and promoting innovation in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, and sustainable agriculture, investors can contribute to the development and adoption of climate-friendly technologies in South Africa.

g) Long-Term Investment Perspective

Investors play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of South Africa by adopting a long-term investment perspective. Short-termism often undermines sustainability efforts as companies focus on immediate financial gains at the expense of long-term environmental and social considerations. By advocating for long-term value creation and patient capital, investors can encourage companies to integrate sustainability into their core strategies and make investments that deliver lasting positive impact.

2) Dealing with the Need for a Sustainable Source of Electricity

One of the key challenges in achieving a sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa is the need for a reliable and sustainable source of electricity. As the country continues to experience energy constraints and a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, investors have a crucial role to play in addressing this challenge and supporting the transition to a sustainable energy system.

There are numerous statistics highlighting the urgent need for sustainable sources of electricity in South Africa. By prioritising the development of renewable energy infrastructure, promoting energy efficiency, and supporting inclusive and equitable access to electricity, investors can contribute to a more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive South Africa. Ensuring reliable electricity supply for industry, driving economic growth, and improving household access to electricity are essential pillars for creating a healthy economic landscape that benefits all segments of society.

Reliable Electricity for Industry: According to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, power disruptions and load shedding cost the country’s economy an estimated 6 to 10 billion rand (approximately $400 to $670 million) per month. These disruptions hinder industrial productivity, disrupt supply chains, and erode investor confidence. Ensuring a reliable and sustainable source of electricity is crucial for maintaining the competitiveness of South Africa’s industries, attracting investment, and driving economic growth.

Electricity Supply for Economic Growth: The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that South Africa’s electricity demand is expected to more than double by 2050 due to economic growth and rising population. Meeting this growing demand with a sustainable and reliable source of electricity is vital for sustaining economic development and job creation. It provides the necessary energy infrastructure to support industries, stimulate innovation, and enable entrepreneurship, ultimately fostering a thriving and resilient economy.

Household Electricity Access: The World Bank estimates that in 2020, approximately 80% of South Africa’s population had access to electricity. However, ensuring reliable electricity supply for households and day-to-day living remains a challenge, especially in underserved communities. Access to electricity is crucial for improving living conditions, supporting education, enabling communication, and promoting socio-economic development. Investing in sustainable sources of electricity can bridge the gap, enhance energy access, and improve the quality of life for all South Africans.

  • Investing in Renewable Energy Infrastructure: Investors can contribute to a sustainable source of electricity by allocating capital towards renewable energy infrastructure projects. This includes investments in solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy generation. By supporting the development and expansion of renewable energy projects, investors can help diversify the energy mix, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance energy security in South Africa.
  • Promoting Energy Efficiency: In addition to investing in renewable energy, investors can support initiatives that promote energy efficiency. This involves investing in companies that develop and implement energy-efficient technologies, such as smart grids, energy storage systems, and energy management solutions. By improving energy efficiency, South Africa can reduce its overall energy consumption, alleviate strain on the electricity grid, and contribute to a more sustainable energy future.
  • Encouraging Public-Private Partnerships: Investors can play a critical role in fostering public-private partnerships to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy solutions. By collaborating with government agencies, utilities, and other stakeholders, investors can leverage their expertise, financial resources, and network to drive the development of renewable energy projects and infrastructure. Public-private partnerships can facilitate access to funding, streamline regulatory processes, and enhance the scalability and viability of sustainable energy initiatives.
  • Supporting Community-Based Renewable Energy Projects: Investors can also contribute to a sustainable source of electricity by supporting community-based renewable energy projects. These projects empower local communities to become energy producers and owners, fostering economic development, job creation, and community resilience. By investing in community-based projects, investors can promote social inclusion, empower marginalised communities, and contribute to decentralised and sustainable energy systems.
  • Advocating for Supportive Policies: Investors have a powerful voice in advocating for supportive policies that incentivise the development of a sustainable energy sector. They can engage with policymakers to promote the implementation of renewable energy targets, feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, and regulatory frameworks that facilitate renewable energy investments. By advocating for supportive policies, investors create an enabling environment that attracts further investments, unlocks market potential, and accelerates the transition to a sustainable energy system.
  • Engaging with Utility Companies: Utility companies play a pivotal role in the energy sector. Investors can engage with utility companies to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources and the integration of sustainable practices into their operations. By collaborating with utilities, investors can drive the decarbonisation of the energy sector, enhance grid reliability, and promote the transition to a sustainable source of electricity.

Addressing the need for a sustainable source of electricity is crucial for South Africa’s sustainable development and climate resilience. Investors have a unique opportunity to contribute to this objective by investing in renewable energy infrastructure, promoting energy efficiency, fostering public-private partnerships, supporting community-based projects, advocating for supportive policies, and engaging with utility companies. By allocating capital and resources towards sustainable energy initiatives, investors can help South Africa transition to a low-carbon, sustainable, and climate-safe energy system. This not only benefits the environment but also unlocks economic opportunities, creates jobs, and improves energy access for all.

3) Working with the Right Stakeholders: Collaboration for Sustainable Impact

Investors seeking to shape a sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa must recognise the importance of collaboration and engaging with the right stakeholders. Sustainable development requires a collective effort involving investors, companies, policymakers, civil society organisations, local communities, and other relevant actors. By working together, these stakeholders can leverage their unique strengths and perspectives to drive transformative change.

  • Engaging with Companies: Investors can play a crucial role by actively engaging with companies to promote sustainable practices. This involves fostering open and transparent dialogue, encouraging companies to adopt responsible business practices, and holding them accountable for their environmental and social performance. Collaborative engagement can result in improved corporate governance, enhanced sustainability strategies, and a stronger alignment of business objectives with the broader goals of sustainable development.
  • Collaboration with Policymakers: Investors have the opportunity to engage with policymakers to advocate for regulatory frameworks that support sustainability goals. By working together with policymakers, investors can influence policy reforms that incentivise sustainable investments, promote renewable energy adoption, and encourage companies to disclose climate-related risks. This collaboration can create an enabling environment for responsible capital allocation and foster the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Partnering with Civil Society Organisations: Civil society organisations play a critical role in advocating for environmental and social issues. Investors can collaborate with these organisations to leverage their expertise, access local knowledge, and gain insights into community needs and concerns. Partnering with civil society organisations can help investors identify sustainable investment opportunities, ensure stakeholder inclusivity, and contribute to meaningful social and environmental impact.
  • Empowering Local Communities: Sustainable development cannot be achieved without the active participation and empowerment of local communities. Investors should prioritise engagement with local communities to understand their needs, aspirations, and challenges. By involving communities in the decision-making process and considering their perspectives, investors can ensure that investments align with local priorities, contribute to inclusive growth, and address community-specific social and environmental concerns.
  • Industry Collaboration and Alliances: Collaboration within and across industries is essential for driving systemic change. Investors can join forces with industry associations, sustainability networks, and alliances focused on specific sectors or sustainability themes. Through these collaborations, investors can share best practices, pool resources, and amplify their impact. By working collectively, investors can influence industry norms, drive innovation, and accelerate the transition towards a sustainable South Africa.
  • Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building: Investors can contribute to sustainable development by actively participating in knowledge-sharing platforms and capacity-building initiatives. By sharing experiences, lessons learned, and best practices, investors can inspire and educate others about the importance of responsible capital allocation. This knowledge exchange can foster innovation, promote collaboration, and empower stakeholders to adopt sustainable practices.

4) A Sustainable, Win-Win Framework for Measurement

Measuring the impact of sustainable investments is vital to ensure accountability, drive continuous improvement, and demonstrate the value generated for both investors and society. Adopting a sustainable, win-win framework for measurement allows investors to align their investment outcomes with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leverage the methodologies developed by organisations like Social Value International.

  • Aligning with the United Nations SDGs: The SDGs provide a globally recognised framework for sustainable development. Investors can map their investment objectives and outcomes to specific SDGs, identifying the social and environmental targets they aim to contribute to. By aligning investments with the SDGs, investors create a common language and framework for measurement, facilitating comparability and transparency.
  • Utilising Social Value International‘s Principles: Social Value International (SVI) has developed a set of principles and standards to measure social value, providing a robust framework for investors to assess and quantify the impact of their investments. These principles include involving stakeholders, understanding what changes, valuing things that matter, only including what is material, being transparent and verifiable, and accounting for inequalities and stakeholder involvement. By adopting SVI’s principles, investors can ensure comprehensive measurement and reporting of social, environmental, and economic impacts.
  • Impact Measurement and Reporting: Investors should integrate impact measurement and reporting into their investment processes. This involves setting clear impact objectives, defining relevant indicators, and collecting data to assess the progress and outcomes of investments. By measuring and reporting impact, investors can transparently communicate their contributions to sustainable development, enhance accountability, and drive continuous improvement.
  • Consideration of Materiality: Materiality is an important aspect of impact measurement. Investors should focus on measuring and reporting the aspects of their investments that are most significant in terms of social and environmental impact. By identifying material impacts, investors can allocate resources more effectively, address the most pressing issues, and generate meaningful change in South Africa.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging with stakeholders is a crucial component of impact measurement. Investors should involve relevant stakeholders, including local communities, employees, customers, and civil society organisations, in the measurement process. By soliciting their perspectives and including their voices, investors can capture a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the impact of their investments.
  • Integrated Reporting: Integrated reporting combines financial, environmental, social, and governance information into a comprehensive report that reflects the overall performance and value created by an organisation. Investors should adopt integrated reporting practices to provide a holistic view of their investments’ impact on multiple dimensions. Integrated reporting enhances transparency, facilitates decision-making, and enables stakeholders to assess the sustainability and value generated by investments.
  • Continuous Learning and Improvement: Impact measurement should be seen as an ongoing process of learning and improvement. Investors should regularly review their measurement frameworks, methodologies, and indicators to ensure they capture the full range of impacts and align with evolving sustainability standards. By embracing a culture of continuous learning, investors can refine their strategies, optimise their impact, and contribute to a sustainable and climate-safe South Africa more effectively.

A sustainable, win-win framework for measurement based on the SDGs and the principles developed by Social Value International enables investors to measure, report, and enhance the impact of their investments. By aligning with the SDGs, utilising SVI’s principles, considering materiality, engaging stakeholders, adopting integrated reporting, and embracing continuous learning, investors can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development, drive positive change in South Africa, and generate value for both investors and society. Measurement becomes a powerful tool for accountability, transparency, and the realisation of a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

5) Expanding the Scope: Addressing Key Sustainable Investing Topics in South Africa

Social Impact Investing: South Africa faces significant social challenges, including poverty, inequality, and access to quality education and healthcare. Social impact investing offers a powerful avenue for addressing these issues while generating financial returns. In 2020, the Global Impact Investing Network reported that South Africa had approximately $3.9 billion of impact investing assets under management. This demonstrates the growing interest and potential for investors to make a positive social impact alongside financial gains. By directing investments towards sectors like affordable housing, Microfinance, healthcare, and education, investors can contribute to inclusive growth and uplift vulnerable communities.

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: Agriculture is a vital sector in South Africa, contributing to food security and employment. However, unsustainable farming practices and climate change pose significant challenges. The South African government has set a target to increase the area under sustainable land management by 30% by 2030. By supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives, investors can play a crucial role in achieving this target. For example, investing in precision agriculture technologies can enhance productivity and resource efficiency, while promoting sustainable farming methods and responsible supply chains. Additionally, promoting agroecology and regenerative farming practices can improve soil health, conserve water, and reduce the use of harmful chemicals.
  • Water Management and Conservation: South Africa faces water scarcity and quality issues, with regions experiencing periodic droughts. The Water Research Commission estimates that water scarcity could cost the country up to 6% of its GDP by 2030. Investors can contribute to sustainable water management by investing in water infrastructure development, wastewater treatment facilities, and community-based water projects. For instance, the Sustainable Water Fund in South Africa, established by the Dutch government, mobilised approximately 220 million euros for water-related projects. Such investments can improve water access, reduce water losses, and enhance the resilience of communities and businesses.
  • Circular Economy and Waste Management: The transition to a circular economy is crucial for minimising waste, conserving resources, and reducing environmental impact. In South Africa, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that transitioning to a circular economy in just five key sectors—food and beverage, textiles, automotive, plastics, and construction—could generate economic benefits of approximately $144 billion by 2030. Investors can support this transition by investing in recycling infrastructure, waste-to-energy projects, and sustainable packaging solutions. For instance, the recycling sector in South Africa has shown tremendous growth, with over 330,000 tons of plastic recycled in 2019. By investing in and supporting such initiatives, investors can drive economic growth while reducing waste and environmental degradation.
  • Sustainable Transport and Infrastructure: The transport sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Transitioning to sustainable transport systems is vital for reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. In South Africa, the adoption of electric vehicles is gaining momentum. The Department of Transport set a target of 60,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2030. Investors can play a crucial role by investing in electric vehicle infrastructure, public transportation systems, and renewable energy-powered infrastructure. By supporting sustainable transport initiatives, investors can contribute to reduced emissions, improved air quality, and enhanced mobility.

By addressing these key sustainable investing topics in South Africa, investors can make a substantial impact on social, environmental, and economic fronts. The statistics demonstrate the immense potential for positive change. With the growing interest and commitment towards sustainable investing, investors have the opportunity to shape a more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive South Africa. By allocating capital towards social impact initiatives, sustainable agriculture, water management, circular economy practices, and sustainable transport, investors can contribute to building a resilient and thriving nation that benefits both present and future generations.

Investors have a unique opportunity to shape a more sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa by embracing responsible capital allocation practices. Through ESG integration, impact investing, engagement with companies, supporting green and socially responsible funds, enhancing climate risk assessment, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and adopting a long-term investment perspective, investors can drive the transition towards a more sustainable future.

By aligning financial interests with environmental and social objectives, investors can play a pivotal role in catalysing positive change, addressing societal inequalities, and mitigating climate risks. The time is ripe for investors to recognise their power and responsibility in contributing to the sustainable development of South Africa, ultimately creating a better future for all stakeholders.

Finally, the imperative for investors to actively contribute to a sustainable, prosperous, and climate-safe South Africa cannot be overstated. The opportunities for positive change are abundant, and it is incumbent upon investors to seize them. By integrating environmental, social, and governance considerations into their investment decisions, engaging with companies, supporting sustainable funds, enhancing climate risk assessment, collaborating with stakeholders, and adopting a long-term perspective, investors can be powerful agents of change. The time is now to embrace the responsibility and potential of responsible capital allocation. Let us come together, as investors, to shape a future where sustainability and prosperity go hand in hand. By making conscious investment choices, advocating for supportive policies, and collaborating with the right stakeholders, we can pave the way towards a more sustainable South Africa, benefiting not only present generations but also those yet to come. Together, we can build a legacy of lasting impact and inspire others to follow suit. The time to act is now, for a better tomorrow is within our reach.

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Matthew Musgrove

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew is an entrepreneur and business Advisor with a passion for change management and social empowerment. With a background in business accounting and advisory, as well clinical research project management, he strives to find strategic and sustainable solutions to business problems.

Mark

MARK VAN HOFF

Mark Van Hoff comes from background of technical & production planning, budgeting & scheduling of major live events. As the first production co-ordinator at M-NET for Outside Broadcasts, Mark has managed major local and international productions including Miss South Africa, Miss World, multiple music events and major sports events, including the PnP Cycling Tour.​Mark co-founded Van-Man Productions in 1994, Page to Picture in 2000 and Move Media Networks in 2007. All three companies have achieved domestic success and have been well-regarded in the South African production industry.

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OLUWASEUN ADEWUYI

Oluwaseun Adewuyi who is the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caban, is a Certified Chartered Accountant, with Fellowship status at both the ACCA as well as the Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a UK Based industry body with a specific focus on the management of charities, not-for-profit organisations and NGOs.. Oluwaseun comes with strong business acumen and 20+ years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within well-reputed and high growth organisations Including Next Plc and Royal Mail. He has been heavily involved in impact investment across Sub-Saharan Africa and has been instrumental in the creation of a series of community schools in West Africa. Throughout his career, he oversaw a broad range of operations, including Business Strategy and Business Reorganisation, summarising the organisation’s financial status, and coordinating the preparation of tactical plans, financial forecasts, and budgets. Adept at developing and implementing effective internal control framework to maintain sound financial accountability.

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TIM SCHOLTZ

Tim Scholtz, who's is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Caban Investments, is experienced in implementing corporate governance guidelines, formulating risk management structures, process and cost optimization. Tim has a strong corporate background, having worked as COO at the South African Tourism board, was COO at the Nelson Mandela foundation and as a internal audit manager at Arthur Anderson earlier in his career.

Ben Botes

BEN BOTES

Ben Botes is Entrepreneur, VC, co-Founder, Author and Academic with a strong social conscience. Ben Involved with early stage and growth firms for the past 20 years and has been Co-founder of 9 separate businesses across Africa. Ben has directly and indirectly been involved in impact investment and the support of charities and non profits for the last 30 years. Ben is a regular speaker at the African Investment Conference in London and has been featured in Wall Street for Europe, The Guardian Small Business, BBC, the Mail and Guardian in the UK and BizCommunity, Channel 3 TV, Investors Weekly, The Cape Times, Radio 702 with John Robbie and Good Hope FM in South Africa

Dave Romero

DAVE ROMERO

Dave Romero is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with a passion for making an impact. A qualified Professional Accountant, Dave has been a director in multiple financial institutions and was once the youngest Chairman on the JSE, in addition to being listed as one of Business Times’ Top 100 companies and the 40th fastest-growing company in South Africa. Dave is a core founder of the Caban Group, which aims to provide a comprehensive service offering to small businesses in return for equity. With a passion for nurturing entrepreneurs, Dave can often be found outside of the boardroom – offering advice, creating innovative funding solutions and building communities through sustainable practices.

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Dr RUBEN RICHARDS

Dr Ruben Richards is a truly inspirational South African leader. Through his peace-building seminars for criminal gangs, Dr Ruben has facilitated the longest ceasefire in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats. In addition to being Chairman & Founder of the non-profit Ruben Richards Foundation, Dr Ruben is an ordained cleric, company director, non-executive Chairman of Visual International Limited and was once the Deputy Director-General of the now-disbanded Scorpions.