Brand South Africa appoints CEO

• Margaret Dingalo
Director: Stakeholder Relations
Brand South Africa
+27 11 483 0122

Miller Matola, former head of the Durban International Convention Centre, has been appointed CEO of South Africa’s nation-branding body, Brand South Africa (BSA).

“Miller brings a dynamic strategic and operational skills set to BSA,” Anitha Soni, BSA board chairman, said at the announcement of the appointment on 10 March. “His international, domestic and local experience, and understanding of the national imperatives will inform his leadership of BSA.

“This is critical as we strive to contribute to national economic growth by ensuring that South Africans buy into, and, live the brand promise made in the country’s marketing campaigns.

“We have every confidence that he is the ultimate fit to lead the organisation during a defining time in the life of South Africa’s nation brand,” she said.

Leadership expertise

Matola began his career in education, which fuelled his interest in tourism. He joined the Department of Tourism where he developed frameworks for hospitality service areas.

He then moved to South African Tourism to lead its business tourism unit, and later took over management of the body’s Americas portfolio. This covered the US, Canada and South American countries.

During his time at South African Tourism, Matola won the prestigious South African Aiways award for most outstanding individual in the industry, in 2002. After heading the Americas portfolio, he became CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, and then took over the reins at the Durban International Convention Centre in 2006.

Matola has a passion for the powerful role tourism can play in community development, and was key in the establishment of a Kruger National Park lodge for a displaced Maluleke community.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of the North, has completed the Wits Business School management advancement programme and is in the process of completing his MBA through Thames Valley University.

Matola takes over from acting CEO Paul Bannister, who has held the position on a temporary basis since 2009.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to Paul for his passion and dedication for South Africa that he has exhibited during his term as acting chief executive,” said Soni.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane welcomed the stability a full-time appointment would bring the organisation.

“Critically, this comes at a time when we are all well geared towards a programme of delivery in positioning South Africa as a country ready and open for business,” said Chabane. Chabane is the cabinet minister responsible for BSA.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa, formerly known as the International Marketing Council (IMC), was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa.

At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. These did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective.

This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign. There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.