ACA announces incoming Board of Directors

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The Association for Communication and Advertising has announced its incoming Board of Directors for the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

The Board members were elected at the association’s 76th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 11 July.

Thabang Skwambane was elected as 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: ChairNahana Communications GroupGroup CEO
Sharleen James: Vice-ChairAccenture SongManaging Director
John Dixon: ExcoPublicis Groupe AfricaChairman
Mathe Okaba: ExcoAssociation for Communication & AdvertisingChief Executive Officer
Wayne Naidoo:  ExcoDUKE AdvertisingChief Executive Officer
Brenda KhumaloLobengula AdvertisingCo-Founder & Managing Director
Colett NaiduWunderman Thompson SAManaging Director Integration
Derek ColesMcCann JoburgManaging Director
Gareth LeckJoe Public UnitedGroup Chief Executive Officer
Haydn TownsendAccenture SongAfrica Lead for Accenture Song
Jarred CinmanVMLY&RChief Executive Officer
Karabo DenalaneTBWA Hunt\LascarisChief Executive Officer
Karabo SongoIndependentChief Executive Officer 
Koo GovenderPublicis GroupeChief Executive Officer
Lebogang SetholeIndependentHuman Capital Executive
Leo ManneNet#work BBDOManaging Director
Louise JohnstonGrey Africa AdvertisingManaging Director
Luca GallarelliTBWA South AfricaGroup Chief Executive Officer
Mpume NgobeseJoe Public UnitedManaging Director
Pete CaseOgilvy South AfricaCEO & Creative Chairman
Roxana RavjeeDentsuChief Executive Officer
Sarah DexterMullenLowe South AfricaChief Executive Officer
Zanele ZwaneDUKE AdvertisingManaging 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.”