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UP honours renowned businessman with Chancellor’s Medal

The University of Pretoria bestowed the Chancellor's Medal upon Reuel Khoza, a well-known figure in the fields of business, academia and authorship.

The University of Pretoria (UP) awarded Dr Reuel Jethro Khoza the Chancellor’s Medal at the autumn MBA graduation ceremony held at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) on April 16.

He was awarded for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the business and academia fields and his authorship as a businessman and leader.

Khoza was born in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga in 1949.

His journey to success was shaped by his father’s emphasis on academic achievement and his own love for farming and music.

Khoza graduated from the University of Limpopo with an honours degree in psychology and became a junior lecturer at the university in 1974.

He was later dismissed for his involvement in student politics. Decades later, in 2007, he was asked to be Chancellor of the same university.

GIBS Dean, Prof Morris Mthombeni, who nominated Khoza for the award, praised him for his dedication to principled leadership, transparency, and accountability.

In a recent interview, Khoza said he was concerned that many leaders today lack knowledge and understanding in their fields and resort to popular approaches.

He said that in South African politics, for example, the ANC was once led by intellectual members such as lawyers, teachers and doctors.

“I see no reason why there should not be the same insistence today,” he said.

He explained the importance of co-operation between the government and private sector for national success.

“Without this collaboration, the country risks falling into a state of corruption and mismanagement,” he said.

Dr Reuel Khoza image: Supplied

In 1981, Khoza started his own marketing and management consulting firm, despite the challenges of apartheid.

He said he had to make sacrifices to comply with the laws of the time and the experience taught him the value of hard work and resilience.

Khoza led a successful turnaround as chairperson of Eskom from 1997 to 2005.

Mthombeni said Khoza credits this achievement to teamwork and investment in skills development.

He said that under Khoza’s leadership, Eskom won international recognition and expanded its operations across Africa.

“By 2004, Eskom was operating in more than 30 African countries,” he said.

Khoza became the first African inducted into the prestigious Thinkers50 Management Hall of Fame in 2021.

He said his approach to management is based on the simple but powerful concept of ubuntu.

“We learn from interacting with each other and helping each other grow,” he said.

Khoza currently serves as the chairperson of Dzana Investments and Discovery Bank and was previously the director of JSE Limited.

He is also Emeritus Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a visiting professor at several other institutions.

Dr Reuel Khoza giving his acceptance speech.
Image: Supplied

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