The ACA announces the incoming Board of Directors for 2023/24

The Association for Communication and Advertising is pleased to announce the incoming Board of Directors for the 2023/2024 fiscal year, as elected at the association’s 76th Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 11th July 2023. Thabang Skwambane was elected to the position of Chair and Sharleen James to that of Vice Chair. The newly elected Executive Committee includes John Dixon, Wayne Naidoo and ACA CEO, Mathe Okaba.


Thabang Skwambane: Chair Nahana Communications Group Group CEO
Sharleen James: Vice-Chair Accenture Song Managing Director
John Dixon: Exco Publicis Groupe Africa Chairman
Mathe Okaba: Exco Association for Communication & Advertising Chief Executive Officer
Wayne Naidoo:  Exco DUKE Advertising Chief Executive Officer
Brenda Khumalo Lobengula Advertising Co-Founder & Managing Director
Colett Naidu Wunderman Thompson SA Managing Director Integration
Derek Coles McCann Joburg Managing Director
Gareth Leck Joe Public United Group Chief Executive Officer
Haydn Townsend Accenture Song Africa Lead for Accenture Song
Jarred Cinman VMLY&R Chief Executive Officer
Karabo Denalane TBWA Hunt\Lascaris Chief Executive Officer
Karabo Songo Independent Chief Executive Officer
Koo Govender Publicis Groupe Chief Executive Officer
Lebogang Sethole Independent Human Capital Executive
Leo Manne Net#work BBDO Managing Director
Louise Johnston Grey Africa Advertising Managing Director
Luca Gallarelli TBWA South Africa Group Chief Executive Officer
Mpume Ngobese Joe Public United Managing Director
Pete Case Ogilvy South Africa CEO & Creative Chairman
Roxana Ravjee Dentsu Chief Executive Officer
Sarah Dexter MullenLowe South Africa Chief Executive Officer
Zanele Zwane DUKE Advertising Managing Director

Addressing the AGM, outgoing Chair Karabo Songo emphasized that in 2023, the marketing and communications landscape in South Africa and on the continent experienced defining moments that will shape its future. Embracing inclusivity and facing unique challenges, the 76-year-old organization underwent a profound transformation, leaving no aspect untouched. Industry participants, including agencies, have also evolved, adapting their skills, size, networks, and more. Songo highlighted the importance of keeping pace with these changes and bridging the gap with members’ evolving businesses in the rapidly converging global environment. He stressed that the concept of evolution remains essential for survival in the industry as it continues to adapt over time.

Songo then took the opportunity to highlight various ACA achievements during the preceding year, including:


A key achievement was the approval of the Nedbank IMC Partnership with Effie Awards SA. The ACA is of the belief that this partnership will prove to be the dawn of establishing a more focused and consolidated effort on industry awards in the future.

New and improved membership offering

The ACA announced a more inclusive membership offering in 2022, resulting in steady growth of additional members joining the organisation. Songo added that the ACA looks forward to proposed  regulation that will require membership of a credible recognised association, further bolstering the ACA’s member base.

Effie Awards

The Effie Awards SA Programme, set to take place on the 15th September continues to be a leading platform in terms of marketing effectiveness conversations and recognition. Effie South Africa also established a successful dialogue series in partnership GIBS during 2022 and which has grown exponentially during the current 2023 programme.

MAC Charter Council

The MAC Charter Council was established in March 2022 with ACA CEO, Mathe Okaba elected to the Vice Chair position. This year has seen the council undergo a process of reviewing the codes with input from the ACA via its representative seats, as well as participation via submissions as required. The ACA will continue playing a role in assisting government to adequately facilitate the council’s mandate, while fervently supporting the concept of self-regulation.

Songo concluded by calling for stronger relationships with industry partners, particularly MASA, and encouraged the integration of youthful voices within ACA committees. He expressed gratitude to the Board, the Executive and the secretariat for their roles in ensuring the association’s ongoing success. “We were faced with substantially complex problems which challenged all of us as a team and as individuals. While it was tough, I believe it has left us stronger and more structured for the future.”


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