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

Johannesburg, July 20th 2023 – 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


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


Chief Executive Officer

Karabo Denalane

TBWA Hunt\Lascaris

Chief Executive Officer

Karabo Songo


Chief Executive Officer 

Koo Govender

Publicis Groupe

Chief Executive Officer

Lebogang Sethole


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


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.”

The ACA is the official representative body for the Communications and Advertising profession in South Africa, representing agencies in the profession (who at present contribute approximately 95% of South Africa’s measured ad spend) to government, media and the public. The ACA is a voluntary body formed by and for the industry, focused on and committed to self-regulation and to defending the highest standards of ethical practice.

Prepared for:
The Association for Communication and Advertising
Mathe Okaba – CEO
(010) 880 3399

Editorial contact
Franco D’Onofrio
Twiga Communications
Telephone No: (082) 443 4410/ (011) 024 3983
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