Good governance & diverse leadership key to Wesgro’s continued strategic growth | Western Cape Government


Good governance & diverse leadership key to Wesgro’s continued strategic growth

31 August 2023

Today, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, welcomed four new Board members to Wesgro, after appointing them in consultation with the Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, in August 2023.

Wesgro is the Western Cape’s tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency that has already added enormous value to the provincial economy through investment attracted as part of the province’s growth strategy.

In the 2022/23 financial year, Wesgro achieved the following impressive results for the province:

  • R4,1 billion in committed investments, 50% from foreign investors;
  • R3,1 billion in exports;
  • R423 million secured via events and conferences; and
  • 2413 jobs via investments and exports.

“To build on the work done, I am very pleased to announce that Dr Shirley Zinn, Ms. Natalie Jabangwe, Ms Sabine Lehmann and Mr. Velani Mboweni have joined Wesgro’s Board of Directors. Working in key areas in the public and private sectors as well as non-profit organisations, each professional brings with them a unique, valuable, and diverse perspective and skillset. All four appointments bring an unyielding drive to work with Wesgro to facilitate foreign direct investment into the Western Cape, grow the exports of products and services from the region and differentiate the province as a competitive business and travel destination globally.” said Minister Wenger.

Dr Shirley Zinn:

Dr. Zinn has a strong background in corporate governance and academia, including being an extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town, and has an extensive history in numerous capacities within the public service and private sector, spanning various industries and non-profit organizations. Furthermore, she is the proprietor of her own consulting company. Minister Wenger has also appointed Dr Zinn as chairperson of the Board.

Ms. Natalie Jabangwe:

Natalie is an accomplished Chief Digital Executive Officer and Investment Professional, with over a decade of international expertise in financial services and technology, encompassing regions such as Europe, the USA, the Middle East, and Africa. She has assumed roles in the banking sector as well as Fortune 500 Fintech corporations. Her educational background includes a specialisation in hi-tech strategy and corporate turnaround, earned through an EMBA from Imperial College London. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she serves on the Board of Commerce for digital financial trading across Africa and is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

Ms Sabine Lehmann:

A renowned tourism strategy expert, Sabine has more than 25 years in the tourism and visitor attractions management industry in South Africa. She is the founder and CEO of a specialised consultancy focusing on attractions and tourism futures. She spearheaded a successful campaign to include the Cape Town Table Mountain Cable Way as one of the Natural 7 Wonders of the World. Her educational qualifications include a master's degree in Future Studies and Business Administration. Sabine also has corporate governance experience.

Mr. Velani Mboweni:

Velani Mboweni is the co-founder and CEO of a successful tech start-up and is a fellow of the Harambeans Entrepreneur Alliance (USA) and an Alibaba eFounders Fellow (China). His academic credentials include a BCom in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from the University of Cape Town, as well as a BA Honours in Politics and a PDBA from Wits Business School. Additionally, he has corporate governance and board experience.

The new appointments will join the existing Board Members: Mr. Geoffrey Jacobs (Board Member and HRRC Chairperson), Mr Sazi Ndwandwa (Board member and AIRC Chairperson), Mr John van Rooyen (Board Member), Mr Paul Cluver (Board Member), Mr Timothy Scholtz (Board Member), Mr David Bridgman (Board Member), Mr Lance Greyling (Ex Officio Board Member), Mr Simon Kaye (Ex Officio Board member), Mayor Francois Du Rand (SALGA Board member), and Speaker Nicolaas Louw (SALGA Board member).

“We look forward to the value and experience these new board members will bring to Wesgro in support of advancing trade, tourism, and investment in our region. Cape Town aims to be Africa’s easiest city to do business in, and Wesgro plays a critical role in this mission,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

“We are pleased to welcome four incredible leaders to the Wesgro Board,” said Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander. “Wesgro is committed to facilitating the growth of the economy of the Western Cape. These accomplished individuals will add tremendous value to the Agency with their depth of experience and expertise. Our Board plays a vital role in shaping the strategic direction of our organisation, providing governance oversight, but also ensuring we remain true to our core values. We are confident that the contributions of the full Board will have a lasting impact on how we deliver for our stakeholders”, added Stander.

Minister Wenger also thanked outgoing Board members Ms Andrea Böhmert, Mr Ian Bartes, Mr Paul Bannister and especially thanked outgoing Board Chairman Mr David Green, for their unwavering commitment and dedication to their roles on the Board.

Reflecting on the impact the outgoing Board members had, Minister Wenger said, “It is a testament to the commitment of each of our outgoing Board members that they each served almost a decade, making a significant contribution to investment and destination promotion, sharing their expertise and invaluable experience over many years. The Western Cape and her residents are better off because of their deep commitment and to tireless work to improving the reputation of this province. Thank you!”

“In the face of the significant challenges we face as a country and a province, the only way we are going to succeed at lifting more people out of poverty and into jobs, is by enabling breakout economic growth. This mission is at the heart of our economic action plan, ‘Growth For Jobs’. As part of this, I look forward to working even harder with the Wesgro Board to growing tourism, attract increased investment and realise booming trade and to achieving our goal of a R1 trillion provincial economy that is growing between 4% and 6% by 2035, to ultimately create many more jobs for the residents of the Western Cape.” concluded Minister Wenger.

Media Enquiries: 

Georgina Maree

Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities

(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Cell: 076 423 7541