SOUTH AFRICA – Shoprite Holdings Ltd, Africa’s largest consumer goods retailer has added new blood to its board with the appointment of two respectable and experienced accounting professionals and board members, Nonkululeko Gobodo and Linda de Beer as independent non-executive directors.

The group has also indicated that both appointees will serve as members of the company’s audit and risk committee.

These appointments, effective from 11 May 2021, follow the November 2020 appointment of Wendy Lucas-Bull as Shoprite’s chair.

Lucas-Bull with extensive experience as a chairperson and non-executive director on numerous company boards across multiple industries in both the private and public sector, replaced Shoprite’s long-serving Chairman Christo Wiese who retired after four decades at the helm.

The new board member, Gobodo, is a chartered accountant and pioneer in her field who established her own successful accounting and audit firm during apartheid.

The firm grew to become SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), the largest black accounting firm in South Africa and fifth-largest overall, which in 2018 acquired the Grant Thornton South Africa licence.

“This is a great opportunity for me to work with a group that has been going through major innovations in the last few years, doing exciting things that are changing the experience of its customers.”

Nonkululeko Gobodo

Gobodo has considerable experience as a non-executive director and is on the board of PPC, a member of the Gauteng Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and joint caretaker at the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA).

She has been on the boards of Clicks Group, Mercedes-Benz SA, Imperial, the SA Maritime Authority South African Revenue Service, IRBA and the Senior Partners Forum of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Gobodo highlighted that she was eager to work with a group that “is committed to its purpose of feeding the nations of Africa and catering for all people, including poorer communities, with affordable products.

“This is a great opportunity for me to work with a group that has been going through major innovations in the last few years, doing exciting things that are changing the experience of its customers,” she added.

The second appointee, de Beer is a chartered accountant and chartered director with a master’s degree in taxation.

She has extensive experience as an independent non-executive director and is on the boards of Aspen, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings and Tongaat Hulett. 

She has advised on governance, accounting and reporting and was a member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance and chaired the Financial Reporting Investigations Panel of the JSE.

In April 2020 she was appointed chair of the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees and monitors international audit and ethics standard setting. 

Commenting on why she accepted the role, de Beer said, “I believe that good, well-governed companies form the backbone of value creation for everybody – including shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the community at large.

“Well governed companies are the success stories that give confidence in our country and its markets, which is very important for foreign investment.”

She said Shoprite is the perfect example of a company that contributes to the community and touches the lives of so many South Africans (and beyond) on a daily basis.

“Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that and play a role in such an iconic company,” she said.

Despite not being involved in the retail sector as a director, de Beer is upbeat about the task stating, “I believe it will be a great development opportunity for me too.”

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