Topic: Manifesto - A new Vision for South Africa
Songezo Zibi is a Speaker, Author, Leader, Strategist, former editor of the Business Day newspaper and one of South Africa's best-regarded public intellectuals and writers. A recognised public commentator he has contributed regularly as a columnist for the Financial Mail and as Senior Associate Editor. As a journalist and editor, Songezo has written extensively about South Africa's political system, economy and social dynamics. He has been a consistent and recognized voice for accountability, good governance, nation-building and the building of a dynamic, inclusive economy.
Spending almost 24yrs in large companies he has grown and gained significant experience and expertise as a communicator, brand builder, leader, mentor and coach. Until August 2021 he was Acting Group Executive: Marketing and Corporate Relations at Absa Group and prior to this Head of Communications at Absa for over 5 years, responsible for internal communication, media relations, reputation and stakeholder management across the Group's operations in 11 African countries. He spent over 8 years as Communications Manager for Xstrata South Africa (now Glencore SA) responsible for corporate affairs, including regulatory relations, and internal and external communication and later as Executive Manager: Xstrata South Africa. He spent time as Product Public Relations Manager for Volkswagen Group South Africa responsible for the press introduction of new products to South Africa, sustaining media presence and customer awareness of existing products and supporting brand marketing propositions.
He served on the executive committee of the National Business Initiative (NBI) and is currently on the boards of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), a research think tank; CitizensZA, promoting constitutionalism in South Africa; and the Open Society Foundation South Africa (OSFSA).
He recently founded a new think-tank, The Rivonia Circle (RC), a public policy and political alternatives research, public dialogue and public leadership development initiative. RC is a response to a deepening sense of national crisis that is unlikely to end unless we take on the responsibility of reshaping key institutions, policies, political culture and economy to better respond to our challenges.
He is the author of "Raising the Bar: Hope and Renewal in South Africa" which is an analysis of South Africa's political and social dynamics, with clear proposals for political and administrative reforms in order to deepen and strengthen the country's democratic culture and rule of law. The book was long-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. His latest book "Manifesto - A new Vision for South Africa" will soon be released.
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