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Board of Trustees

At the heart of the KZN Growth Fund is our brand essence, the sentiment that drives and motivates everything we do and this centers on the concept of financing growth in the province.


Dr – Cassius Lubisi

PhD from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, BSc from University of Natal, Diploma in education and Bachelor of Education degree

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Dr Cassius Lubisi holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, a BSc from the then University of Natal, a higher diploma in education and Bachelor of Education degree. He served as superintendent-general of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education from June 2005 to October 2010 and Director-General in the Presidency from 2010 until August 2020.

He was appointed special advisor to the former Minister of Education Kader Asmal in 2003 and Deputy Director-General of general education in the Department of Education in 2004. Lubisi has served as a member of the national advisory group of the Culture of Learning Presidential Lead Project in 1995; member of the Ministerial Review Committee on Curriculum in 2005; chairperson of the Ministerial Project Committee on the National Curriculum Statement Grade 10–12, and member of the education advisory committee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He is currently a member of the ministerial task team investigating allegations of corruption, fraud and maladministration in the South African National Defence Force and chairperson of the ministerial committee on the issuance of visas and permits, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Mr Thamsanqa Hlongwa

Mr Thamsanqa Hlongwa

Basil Hlongwa, known as Thami, is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over nineteen (19) years of experience at a Senior and Executive Management level

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He excelled during his time at Deloitte, where he completed his articles in 2004 and was recognized as one of the firm’s top-performing trainees. As a testament to his capabilities, he was seconded to Deloitte’s New York offices to lead audit teams and successfully execute complex and urgent assignments.

Thami’s expertise extends to both the private and public sectors, where he has served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for high-capacity institutions for nearly 15 years. He has a proven track record of leading strategic turnarounds and achieving performance excellence. This includes obtaining 6 clean audit outcomes and overseeing investments of over R10 Billion in CAPEX, resulting in operating cashflows of more than R8 Billion during his 7-year tenure as CFO and CEO of Umgeni Water.

Not only has Mr. Hlongwa demonstrated his abilities in leadership and accountability within his organizations, but he has also served on several boards for other institutions. His experience and knowledge of Corporate Governance make him a valuable asset, evident through his involvement with the Petro SA Board of Directors and the Council of Durban University of Technology.

Currently, Thami operates his consulting firm called Gabhisa & Associates. His firm specializes in Business Advisory, Accounting, Strategic planning, and Information Technology services. In his spare time, Thami channels his creativity and passion into producing and composing music, where he utilizes his mixing skills as a DJ. He also enjoys strength training and road running, having completed 5 marathons and over 20 half marathons.


Mr Simphiwe Thobela

Mr Simphiwe Thobela………

Simphiwe Mamvura

Simphiwe Mamvura is a highly accomplished leader and strategist with an impressive track record of over 15 years in various sectors.

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Her dedication to delivering quality services and solutions to both the public and private sectors has made her a respected figure in her field.

Throughout her career, Simphiwe has served on numerous Boards in both the private and public sectors, where she has played a crucial advisory role. Her expertise in risk management frameworks and policies has allowed her to provide valuable guidance and oversight, ensuring the governance and compliance of these organizations.

Currently, Simphiwe holds the position of managing director at a leading emergency medical service provider in South Africa. In this role, she is responsible for the seamless day-to-day operations of the organization and oversees all aspects of the business. Her leadership qualities have also contributed to the growth and innovation of the company.

Simphiwe’s educational background is equally impressive. She holds a Bachelor’s and Honours degree in Commerce in Business Management from the University of Pretoria. Furthermore, she has obtained an Executive MBA from Hult International Business School in the USA, a certificate in Leadership in Business from Drake University in the USA, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Law from the University of South Africa. Simphiwe is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), further showcasing her commitment to continuous learning and personal growth.

Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, as Simphiwe has received several notable awards and recognition. She was selected as a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow, a prestigious US State Government Initiative founded by former President Barack Obama. Additionally, she has been honoured with the Standard Bank Top Woman in STEM Award, the 2020 Standard Bank Top Women in Science Award, and the 2020 Inspiring Fifty SA Women in STEM award. She was also recognized as a Finalist for the Standard Bank Top Women Businesswoman of the Year in 2021. These accolades highlight Simphiwe’s exceptional contributions to her profession.

Simphiwe’s dedication extends beyond her professional endeavours. She is deeply passionate about the economic development of her country and is actively involved in various organizations focused on the upliftment and empowerment of women and young girls. Her mission is to leverage her expertise in leadership, business management, and risk governance to create positive impact and value in KGFT (Emergency Medical Service Provider) and the communities and stakeholders it serves.

Overall, Simphiwe Mamvura’s remarkable journey and accomplishments demonstrate her commitment to excellence, leadership, and making a difference in the lives of others.

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Bongiwe Dlamini

Ms. Bongiwe Dlamini holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting Science in Financial Accounting and a Diploma in Business Administration. She is the founder and director of Risen Co Baked Goodness, a business located in Umhlanga, north of Durban.

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Her company currently employs over 30 individuals and supplies a range of establishments, including restaurants, fuel stations, and hotels, in and around Umhlanga, Durban North, Ballito, Westville and South of Durban with freshly baked products daily.

Ms. Dlamini has extensive experience and knowledge in leadership, entrepreneurship, and dispute resolution. She is particularly passionate about promoting transformation and empowerment, with a focus on the youth and black women in business. She strongly believes that these groups should be provided with ample opportunities to gain expertise and experience in their respective fields.

In August 2020, Ms. Dlamini was featured in the Limitless Women interviews organized by Gateway Mall, where she discussed her journey and how she managed to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted parts of her business.

Social Media: Instagram – @bongiwedlamini


Bernadette Mzobe

Bernadette Mzobe is a highly accomplished individual with a diverse background in the banking and property sectors.

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She holds a BCom Accounting degree from the University of Natal Howard College and has further enhanced her knowledge and skills through academic achievements such as an IEDP from the University of London’s Cass Business School and GIBS, a PDP from the University of Cape Town, and currently pursuing a PGDip Futures Studies from the University of Stellenbosch.

Throughout her career, Ms. Mzobe has gained extensive experience in various divisions of the financial services sector. She has worked in areas such as Growth and Acquisition (G&A), Property, and Strategist within the corporate and investment banking sphere. Her expertise and skill set led her to be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Rokwil Group (Pty) Ltd, where she successfully managed the company’s operations and achieved notable milestones.

Ms. Mzobe’s industry knowledge and leadership abilities have also seen her serve on prestigious committees. She has been a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, as well as the Social and Ethics Committee of Sub-Saharan Industrial Holdings. Additionally, she has served as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Nominations Committee of the University of South Africa and was the former Chairperson of Women in Industries Holding.

Currently, Ms. Mzobe holds several influential positions within the business and property sectors. She is a Non-Executive Director of Hyprop Investments Ltd, where she serves on both the Investment and Social and Ethics Committees. Furthermore, she holds the position of Regional Chairperson of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), highlighting her dedication to the growth and development of the industry.

Aside from her corporate roles, Ms. Mzobe is an entrepreneur. She runs her own property mezzanine funding business and is involved in various other business interests. Her entrepreneurial ventures reflect her innovative thinking and desire to make a lasting impact in the business world.

Due to her outstanding accomplishments and contributions, Ms. Mzobe has been recognized and celebrated throughout her career. She was nominated for the Businesswomen of the Year Award in 2018 and has been featured in SAPOA magazine as one of the Leading Women in Property. Moreover, her expertise and insights have led to her representation of KwaZulu-Natal in the SA President’s Strategic Projects Presentations. Notably, she was the youngest candidate at the time to be nominated to participate in the International Executive Development Program by BankSeta.

Bernadette Mzobe’s remarkable journey as a banker, entrepreneur, and industry leader demonstrates her dedication, expertise, and drive to make a significant impact in the fields of finance and property. Her academic qualifications, professional achievements, and leadership roles position her as a highly respected and influential figure in the South African business landscape.

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