Jan 29, 2023

Ithala’s Newly Appointed Chair Vows To Attain A Commercial Banking Licence

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Mr Pupuma’s journey as a director in the financial sector started at Get Ahead Financial Services.

FILE PHOTO: Ithala hopes the appointment of the experienced banker will steer the ship towards greater heights. PICTURE: Supplied

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DURBAN: Ithala SOC Limited Mr Mpunzi Pupuma is the new chairperson of the board with an aim of strengthening good governance.

Mr Pupuma holds a Master’s degree in leadership (MBL) and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting Services. He has been in the banking industry for over 40 years and held positions such as director and chief executive for various entities before being appointed as the Chairperson of the board for the financial institution.

Despite his recent appointment at the helm of the bank, the Nomaheya-born banker has been on the Ithala board since 2020 and has sat on the risk and capital committee, human resource and remuneration committee, audit and compliance committee and directors affairs committee.

“I have been on the board since 2020. I have been at the forefront in recruiting experienced bankers at the financial institution,” he said.

Mr Pupuma’s journey as a director in the financial sector started at Get Ahead Financial Services. He was later appointed as a senior manager at Standard Bank, followed by an appointment as a provincial director by the same bank. He has held positions as a director and chief executive officer since then.

“Our main priority is to get the commercial licence since we have been operating on an exemption notice which will expire in December this year. We will embark on a new application for it. We first applied for the licence in 2016, the Prudential Authority picked up issues and we have been addressing those,” Mr Pupuma said.

If granted the commercial bank, Ithala will become the second state bank which is fully commercialised, after Postbank yesterday embarked on an activation campaign on the journey to becoming a state bank.

“The decision rest with the provincial government which should support us in the journey of becoming a commercialised state bank. Remember, we are owned by the KwaZulu-Natal government which is the shareholder,” Mr Pupuma explained.

His appointment has been hailed as a step in the right direction and has been welcomed by the financial institution. In a statement issued yesterday, the bank said, “[a]s Ithala SOC Limited management, we would like to welcome Mr. Pupuma as a Chairman of the Ithala SOC Limited board,” Dr. Thulani Vilakazi, CEO of Ithala SOC Limited.

“We do not doubt that he will be a great asset and steer Ithala towards the right direction in assisting us on our journey in shaping Ithala and ensuring that it continues to comply with all industry regulations while being in line with our mandate to make financial services easily accessible to ordinary South Africans,” he added. 

Mr Pupuma has vowed to work around the clock to ensure that the bank attains the commercial banking licence.

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