- Naspers creates new executive position to lead Naspers’ activities in South Africa
- Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa to join the Naspers management team as CEO, South Africa
- Responsibilities include leadership of Naspers’ flagship South African units, Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs
Naspers announces the appointment of Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa to the global Naspers management team as CEO, South Africa. Reporting directly to Bob van Dijk, Group CEO of Naspers, Phuthi will be based in Johannesburg where she will lead the group’s day-to-day business in South Africa and represent its interests in-country. She will also be responsible for Naspers’ recently announced units, Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs, which are designed to help stimulate the South African tech sector and tackle youth unemployment, respectively.
Naspers is one of the foremost investors in the South African technology sector and is committed to building its existing internet and ecommerce companies in the country, as well as stimulating the local tech start-up sector through the Naspers Foundry. This is a R1.4 billion investment commitment targeting technology start-ups in South Africa that seek to address big societal needs. This is in addition to the commitment Naspers made in October 2018 at the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference to inject a further R3.2 billion into its existing South African businesses over three years, which is already underway.
Phuthi joins Naspers from her Executive Chairperson role at Sigma Capital, a privately held, majority-black owned investment group based in South Africa.
Bob van Dijk, Group CEO, Naspers, said: “Phuthi is a seasoned leader with a strong track record of achievement throughout her career. Her significant investor and board experience across varied sectors, makes Phuthi the perfect match for this important role at Naspers.”
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO South Africa, Naspers, added: “I am thrilled to be joining Naspers at such a pivotal time for the group and for South Africa and look forward to adding value to the group in realising its strategy in South Africa.”
Naspers Foundry is a R1.4 billion start-up funding initiative aimed at boosting the South African technology sector. As well as providing much needed funding, Naspers Foundry helps talented and ambitious South African technology entrepreneurs develop and grow their businesses. Naspers Foundry recently announced its first investment, a R30 million backing of SweepSouth, the South African-founded online cleaning services platform that connects clients with trusted, reliable domestic cleaners. More information on Naspers Foundry is available at https://www.naspers.com/foundry.
Naspers Labs is the pilot of a social impact initiative that Naspers has designed in partnership with Marlon Parker, the founder of RLabs, to develop the skills and talent of South Africa’s unemployed youth. Naspers Labs participants benefit from an individually tailored online and offline development programme delivered in youth cafes that are located at the heart of impoverished communities. Naspers has committed R50 million to the pilot in 2019, on top of the R15 million invested in 2018, and four pilot labs will be up and running by the end of this financial year with plans in place to scale the programme further subject to the success of the pilots. More information on Naspers Labs is available at https://nasperslabs.org.