Johannesburg, Friday 5 October 2018: Responsible leaders need to be willing to base every action and decision on their values and principles to make a positive impact on society. This is the opinion of the judging panel who selected the Top 30 university students attending the 10th South African Institute of Chartered Accountant’s annual Student Leadership Summit (SLS).

Lungelo Ngobese, a 21-year old student from Richards Bay studying at Stellenbosch University, demonstrated this when he clinched the winning spot for his insightful and solution-driven essay detailing the contributions chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] must make to improve the communities from which they come.

‘As a profession that recognises itself as a critical player in creating value for the country and indeed the world, one of SAICA’s main objectives is to instil the value of responsible leadership in all of those who are part of the profession already, as well as in those who are working towards entering it. It is against this backdrop that SAICA launched the SLS a decade ago. Since then, we have been delighted to see just how many of our previous SLS Top 30 are making a positive impact on the world around them,’ explains Chantyl Mulder, a qualified CA(SA) and Executive Director for Nation Building at SAICA.

This year, says Mulder, is no exception.

‘Being responsible and effective leaders is exactly what this year’s SLS Top 30 have shown that they can be. Through their insightful essays and solution-driven approaches to the issues at hand, each one of these students has illustrated that he or she has what it takes to apply his or her mind to issues of national and professional importance. They are thinking about how they, as young professionals, can use their skills to help drive our country forward.’

What is SLS?

Through SLS, SAICA reminds chartered accountancy students that leadership is not determined by your title or your technical expertise, but rather by your ability to uphold your values no matter the resistance you may face . SLS does this by inviting students around the country to apply their minds to issues of national and professional importance. They think about how, as young professionals, they can use their skills to help solve these issues. This year’s topics were:

  • How to apply ethical standards in business and ensure your leadership style does not inadvertently encourage others to act unethically;
  • How to ensure transformation and independence within the chartered accountancy profession with specific mention to mandatory audit firm rotation; and
  • What responsibilities aspiring CAs(SA) have in terms of building better communities in their home towns.

Judges impressed by the thought leadership displayed by these aspiring CAs(SA)

Invited to attend the prestigious annual leadership summit held this year from 4 to 6 October, the Top 30 students’ first agenda item was to network, interact and engage with some of the country’s top business leaders at an exclusive SLS business leader networking function and prize-giving sponsored by Deloitte and Pick n Pay. It was here that the three winners of the 10th annual SLS were announced, with Stellenbosch University’s Lungelo Ngobese taking the top spot, Ashleigh Langton from UJ taking second spot and Asanda Mhluzi from UCT coming in third.

‘The quality of entry for the 2018 SLS essay competition was of a very high standard,’ says Teboho Moephudi, project director for SAICA’s university projects, including the SLS. ‘The judges, struggled to 30 students out of the hundreds of entries we received. However, when it came to the winner, their  pick was unanimous. Lungelo’s thought leadership piece was so solution-driven and well-thought out, that they all knew they had found the winner upon reading his essay.’

Moephudi continued: ‘Similarly the competition’s two runners-up — Asanda Mhluzi (University of Cape Town) and Ashleigh Langton (University of Johannesburg) — tackled their topics with a high level of foresight, research and innovation.’  

Read the winning essays here.

The winners of this year’s SLS walk away with a mix of prizes.,. But these prizes pale compared to the invaluable and intensive soft-skills training, cognitive leadership sessions, and responsible leadership immersion sessions that the Top 30 experience during the course of the three-day summit.

‘On behalf of the SAICA, I congratulate each of the Top 30 for identifying a role to play as future business leaders of South Africa. The thoughts and solutions you have presented in your essays epitomise the concepts that are core to SAICA’s values, and they prove that you are trustworthy beacons of hope for tomorrow. Remember, success is a taking thing; significance is a giving thing. Lead a life that is significant. We look forward to watching each of you go out and change the world,’ concludes Mulder.

The full list of the 2018 Top 30 Student Leadership Summit finalists (in alphabetical order):

Asanda Mhluzi University of Cape Town 3rd place
Ashleigh Langton University of Johannesburg 2nd place
Avela Mihlali Ngcayi Nelson Mandela University  
Bianca  Malan University of the Free State  
Buyisiwe Xaba University of the Western Cape  
Cameron Chaplin University of Cape Town  
Inge Coetzee University of the Free State  
Jani Meintjes  University of the Free State  
Jerrita Kagisho Mokhele University of the Free State  
Karabo Pheko University of the Free State  
Khabhira Phephetha University of the Free State  
Kwanele Mabuza University of the Free State  
Letlhogonolo Dube University of Cape Town  
Lungelo Ngobese Stellenbosch University Winner
Magaritha Van Zyl University of the Free State  
Malebo Matjila Rhodes University  
Muofhe Maemu University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)  
Nimrod  Mapuranga University of Johannesburg  
Njabulo NkosI University of Johannesburg  
Nthakoana Kele University of the Free State  
Phindokuhle Springle University of the Free State  
Phuti Onicca Mabusela  University of the Witwatersrand  
Samkelisiwe Hlatshwayo Nelson Mandela University  
Sanele Sibeko  Nelson Mandela University  
Temosho Chuene University of the Free State  
Thabo Masuku University of Johannesburg  
Tokelo Thaloki Mahlong University of Johannesburg  
Tshepiso  Moloi University of the Free State  
Tshiamelo  Mogotsi University of the Free State  
Tshwarelo Radinne Unisa  

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