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Head: Technology & Programme Management

Caroline Smith

Caroline is a highly skilled and versatile IT professional with a strategic mindset, boasting a diverse background that began in development and expanded across various IT disciplines. Currently, she thrives as an adept IT Project Manager and Product Owner, specializing in the Credit environment.

What sets Caroline apart is her hands-on approach to project management, backed by extensive expertise in IT development and business projects. Her true passion lies in successfully implementing and rolling out solutions that bring tangible value to the table.

Over the course of her career, Caroline has amassed profound domain knowledge within the financial industry. She has actively contributed to bespoke development projects, catering to automated risk and affordability scoring, manual credit assessment, and collections and debt review solutions.

During her tenure with SACRRA, Caroline demonstrated her versatility by taking on multiple roles, ranging from a data analyst to a project manager and product owner. Through these roles she has developed an in-depth understanding of the intricacies surrounding payment profile data submitted to credit bureaus.

In her current role as Head of IT Projects and IT Infrastructure, Caroline bears the responsibility of overseeing the continuous development and management of five bespoke software applications, two off-the-shelf applications, and the office infrastructure.



Head: Operations

Andrea van der Westhuizen

Andrea is a multifaceted professional with experience in strategic, operational, financial, project, programme, risk, people, stakeholder, compliance and change management. She established operational infrastructures, processes, systems, and frameworks for various organisations within financial inclusion, credit and risk, and skills development sectors.

Currently at SACRRA, Andrea manages the organizational strategy development, implementation and reporting process. She directs, coordinates, oversees, and manages the Portfolio Management Unit, whose functions include the execution of the engagement strategy, member acquisition, onboarding and portfolio management and the Corporate Services Unit responsible for supporting overall operations of SACRRA in terms of finance, human resources, corporate governance and legal. Andrea is also responsible for operational excellence, promoting cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing within the Association.

Previously at Tiso Foundation, she developed and managed a skills development initiative, which included changes to a student tracking IT system, marketing of the new concept, client acquisition, and regulatory compliance. At FinMark Trust, she served as the COO, and was responsible for managing and reporting on multi-donor projects and budgets, strategic and operational delivery across various themes (e.g., credit, housing finance, insurance, information architecture, including policy and regulation), while acting as a trusted adviser to the CEO.

Executive Director

Magauta Mphahlele

Magauta’s  extensive experience in credit and general consumer protection spans more than 24 years. The Consumer Protection Act and National Credit Act were conceptualized, consulted on and passed into law under her leadership as the Consumer Law Reform Project Manager at the Department of Trade and Industry. Her role also included managing the transition from the then Micro Finance Regulatory Council to the establishment of the National Credit Regulator. She served as the full-time member of the National Consumer Tribunal.

As the previous CEO of the National Debt Mediation Association, Magauta established strong ties with the credit industry and was able to successfully transition the NDMA into a successful Alternative Dispute  Agent company called Ithuseng Credit Solutions (ICS). ICS has since 2013 been working mainly in the mining sector to reduce the abuse of the payroll system by assessing and challenging illegal Garnishee and Administration Orders.  ICS also assisted thousands of mineworkers to  improve their credit profiles  to enable them to qualify for mortgage and vehicle finance through disputing incorrect credit bureau information, credit health and budgeting coaching as well as running  debt management workshops. 

Before joining SACRRA she was the Chairperson of the Board of the Consumer Goods and Services  Ombudsman (CGSO). After the resignation of the CGSO Ombud, Magauta was apointed as the Ombudsman. The CGSO is an Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme for the Consumer Goods and Services Industry and mediates disputes between suppliers of goods and services and their customers. 

She holds an Honors Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Postgraduate Diploma in English Education from Wits University. In 2018 she completed the International Executive Development Program in Developmental Finance offered by Wits University. The IEDP included study tours to Brazil, Ghana, and Tanzania to study best practices in financial inclusion. She put the knowledge gained to good use when she became a Presenter on Ke-Zaka, a Television program that was aired on SABC 2 for 13 episodes. Her role was to provide expert content to the producers, interview Stokvels, provide expert advice and link the Stokvels with suitable experts to assist them to transform from consumption to investment and wealth creation vehicles. The Stokvel groups included a mix of Burial Societies, Investment Groups, Cooperatives and Savings Groups.

She currently holds the following non-Executive positions:

  • Board Member of the Short-Term Insurance Ombudsman.


Previous Non-Executive Positions include:

  • Member of the Financial Services Board Legislative Committee.
  • Non-Executive Chair of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman
  • Non-Executive Director of the South African Fraud Prevention Service.
  • Board Member of Micro Finance South Africa
  • Board Member of the Credit Ombudsman.
  • Mediator at the Gauteng Housing Rental Tribunal.
  • Adjudicator at the Gauteng Consumer Court. 
  • Adjudicator at the National Consumer Tribunal
  • Member of the Unfair Practices Committee of the Department of Trade and Industry; and
  • Board Member of the National Home Builders Registration Council, and Estate Agency Affairs Boards.
  • Chair of the Credit Industry Forum

Data Lead on the Governing Body

Sharief Allie

Sharief has over 28 years of specialist retail credit and data experience relating to lending exposure management and profitability maximization.  As a leading industry consultant for 12 years in the EMEA region, he has a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the credit lifecycle (acquisitions, ECM & collections/ recoveries, provision), the end-consumer and commercial impacts. To this end, he has successfully managed 7 consumer credit portfolios across retail and banking sectors, both locally and abroad.   He is well versed in credit scoring, credit system data flows, data integration, bureau data aggregation, data analysis and process level solution designs down to the field and attribute level. He attributes credit portfolio successes to the availability and bespoke analysis of data, with robust commercial process thinking and uncompromising execution.   

After serving on the SACRRA Manco from 2018 to 2020, he continued to serve as the Data Lead on the SACRRA Governing Body with the similar intent to champion the SACRRA strategic agenda of the data sharing ecosystem as a whole.

Sharief is employed by the Foschini Retail Group since 2011 and with growing global trends of increased credit and data regulations, information governance and co-operative partnerships; he has shifted to a Partnerships and Governance role.

Sharief completed his Retail Management training at Woolworths (Pty) Ltd, specializing in Store administration and Credit management.  He completed the Covey Leadership Development course as well as several banking, governance and credit related courses whilst employed at Woolworths, PIC Solutions (now Principa), The National Commercial Bank KSA/ CitiBank, RCS (now BNP Paribas Personal Finance) & WFS ABSA Barclays.  He is passionate about data as an economic growth enabler for developing markets and empowering the next generation of data-based consumer credit problem solvers.

Risk Lead on the Governing Body

Louise le’ Kay

Louise worked in the retail credit environment for more than 15 years. In her current role as Head of Retail Credit Advisory within the FNB Chief Risk Office, she is responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating the analysis, impact assessment and potential response to new regulatory requirements across FNB retail credit.
  • Driving strategic industry engagements as a representative on the BASA Heads of Credit Committee, PASA DebiCheck workgroup and have served on the SACRRA Manco on a rotational basis for 6 years of which she acted as an interim chairperson twice in 2016 and 2017.
  • Supporting risk integration themes between credit, regulatory, legal and operational risk for FNB retail credit.
  • Fostering the talent management program across the credit community

Louise strives for excellence in execution and bring this characteristic to her role as a member of the SACRRA Governing Body. Louise’s knowledge and experience in dealing with the consumer credit legislation environment means she is well placed to assist the Association in navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment.

Qualifications: 

  • BCom – Quantitative Risk Management, University of the Northwest; 
  • Master’s Degree – Business Mathematics and Informatics, (MSc BMI specialising in Data Mining) University of the Northwest;
  • PASA Certificate in Foundational Payments, Payments Association of South Africa 
  • Internal FirstRand Analysing Banking Risk course; 
  • FirstRand Bank Accelerated Development Programme, the Graduate School of Business (University of Cape Town)

Technology Lead on the Governing Body

Josh Souchon

Josh has worked in the technology environment for over 23 years and in his current role as Group Chief Information Officer of Sasfin Bank for the past 6 years.  His role is to enable growth within Sasfin’s businesses and to leverage the last mile enhancements which help the businesses to scale. In addition, he manages the appropriate resource model, adopting hybrid and new ways of working to effectively deliver the optimal staff output. He also oversees cybersecurity, a key foundation for a business that pivoted rapidly to digital over the last five years, and this has ensured to minimise risk and respond intelligently and with great speed. He works closely with the bank’s Merger and Acquisitions (M&A) team on Joint Ventures, and M&A to help refine the significant post-integration responsibilities.

Recent Achievements

  • Successfully implemented the Sasfin Group IT Operating Model which is aligned to the Business Model
  • Implemented the IT unitised costing model
  • Successful implementation of Sasfin’s digital platform, Cloud based solutions (CRM, Trading & Treasury Management, Asset Finance, Specialised Finance & Financial reporting), Asset Finance systems rationalisation & replacement, Group Finance Transformation Programme, RDARR (BCBS239) and POPI Compliance Programme
  • Successful transitioning of all staff working from home during Covid-19


Qualifications:
BEng Honours & ACGI – Imperial College, University of London, UK

Independent Role On The Governing body

Illana Melzer

Bachelor of Business Science (mathematical economics) – University of Cape Town 

Illana has 29 years’ experience as a consultant. She focuses on analysis of consumer data, with an emphasis on lower income households and access to and usage of financial services including consumer credit. She currently leads a team of data scientists and researchers at 71point4 Consulting. 

Illana started her career at global management consultancies Monitor and Accenture. In 2001, Illana started Eighty20 Consulting and led their strategic research division until 2017. While at Eighty20 Illana worked extensively with survey data and transactional data, including record level credit bureau data, to understand key topics including mortgage performance and access, consumer credit utilisation patterns and indebtedness, upward mobility and household expenditure patterns. 

In 2018 Illana established 71point4 Consulting which currently works on projects in South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya. A key project in South Africa is the Tenure Support Centre (TSC), an award-winning advice office established by 71point4 and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF). The TSC assists property-owners who have title deed problems. It operates out of FNB’s branch at the Khayelitsha Mall. The TSC has engaged with over 1 500 clients and secured title deeds for almost 600. Through these client interactions, the TSC has created a body of evidence relating the factors that hinder formalisation. As a direct result of the project, the issue of titling has been escalated as a priority project within Operation Vulindlela in the Office of the Presidency.

Stakeholder Relations Lead on the Governing Body

Hendrik Heyns

Hendrik obtained a B-Com: Insurance Science degree at the University of Pretoria, an MBA at University Canada West, and has various Regulatory Qualifications. Hendrik is the Chief Operating Officer at Brolink (Pty) Ltd. 

Hendrik has worked in the short-term insurance industry for over twenty years and has gained invaluable experience, drawing on and learning from the people around him. He was also actively involved in assisting the SACRRA Office with the development of the strategy intended to deliver enhanced data value to better service the interests of the Insurance Sectors. 

He has a deep passion for the insurance industry, the people in it and thrives on expounding the value of insurance to those with whom he comes into contact. He is highly motivated, passionate and inspires those around him as a result of the emotional maturity level gained early in life by overcoming obstacles. 

Hendrik enjoys strategy, pioneering and unstructured problem-solving. One of his core principles is collaboration at all levels that spurs him on to be involved with associations like SACRRA serving on Manco in 2011 and 2012. He served as Treasurer for two terms in 2013 and 2014 and was voted onto Manco as per Clause 9 of the SACRRA Constitution in 2016 and in 2017 to 2019 was voted into the Manco for the insurance sector, as part of the normal Manco election process. 

He has also served on the SACRRA Pricing Committee for 2017 and 2018.

Chairman of the Governing Body

Charles Chemel

Following being a Senior Executive at Standard Bank and African Bank for many years, Charles started CSC Advisory as Principal in 2015 to provide strategic advisory services to players in the SA Financial Sector. He was previously a board member on Stangen and King Price Life, a shareholder and director of Payabill (SME Finance Fintech) and a shareholder of Peach Payments (Pan-African Payments Fintech). He started his career as a statistician and designer/developer of computer-based testing systems at the National Institute for Personnel Research. During his employment at Standard Bank, he initially headed up the Human Resources Planning function of the Group, moving into various roles as Director, Personal Markets, Director: Banking Products and Director: Mass Markets and Retail Africa. Charles was seconded by Standard Bank to the Banking Association of South Africa to head the Financial Sector Charter Access Initiatives which included spearheading Mzansi, the national interbank initiative aimed at transactional access of financial services to low-income South Africans. At African Bank, he was responsible for underwriting, product management, credit cards as well as strategy, distribution, marketing and product. Charles sat on various boards during his career.

Qualifications: B. Sc. Hons (Statistics) – University of the Witwatersrand, MSc. (Statistics) – University of Edinburgh, Master of Business Leadership (MBL) – University of South Africa (UNISA), Advanced Management Program (AMP) – Harvard University.

Finance and Audit Lead of the governing body

Preshanta Govender

Preshanta has deep experience and expertise in: 

  • Finance and value management, treasury and capital management (TCM), risk management and business partnering across all regions, client segments and solutions to improve shareholder returns. 
  • Strategy development and implementation in managing banking, insurance and investments solutions and businesses. 
  • Implementation of assets and liability management systems to enhance strategy execution. 
  • In building and leading high performing innovative teams more than 17 countries across Africa Regions and effectively managing stakeholders having represented TCM and Finance on various senior executive business and governance committees. 
  • Experience in engaging boards and regulators across jurisdictions. 
  • Dynamically advising and influencing business and boards to adapt business strategies, deliver results and increase shareholder value. 


Preshanta is a non-executive director of the Ombudsman of Banking Services (OBS), Standard Bank Trust Limited and co-sponsor of the Africa Regions Ignite Leadership Talks. 

Qualifications: University of South Africa, UNISA – Postgraduate in Accounting, 2004; University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg – Bachelor of Commerce, 2001; MIT – MIT @ SBG 2022 – Leading Digital, 2022; Chartered Accountant (CA SA), 2006.