New CEO for Brand South Africa

15 March 2010

Miller Matola, chief executive of the Durban International Convention Centre since 2006, has been appointed CEO of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), the body responsible for overseeing the marketing of Brand South Africa around the world.

“Miller brings a dynamic strategic and operational skills set to the IMC,” Anitha Soni, chairperson of the IMC’s board, said in a statement last week. “His international, domestic and local experience, and understanding of the country’s national imperatives, will inform his leadership of the IMC.

“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,” Soni said.

“Throughout his career, [Matola’s] responsibilities have required engagement with a myriad of stakeholders to achieve greater coordination and unlock synergies. 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.”

Brand South Africa vision

Soni said the IMC’s mandate was to develop and implement a “proactive and coordinated international marketing and communication strategy for South Africa. It is our aim to position the country as an attractive destination and partner for trade and investment as well as tourism; and to help the country realise its international relations objectives.

“The South African brand has recently entered a new, collaborative era in presenting the country to the world. The launch of the singular commercial identity is one example thereof,” he said.

“Looking beyond the World Cup, the IMC will take Brand South Africa into offering a competitive value proposition which will deliver on our country’s national growth imperatives.”

Leadership expertise

Matola began his career in education, which fuelled his interest in the tourism sector. He joined the Department of Tourism, where he developed frameworks for key service areas within the sector, before moving South African Tourism to lead its business tourism Unit.

He was thereafter charged with managing SA Tourism’s Americas portfolio, which included the US, South America and Canada.

During his time at South African Tourism, Matola won the prestigious SAA award for “most outstanding individual in the industry” (2002). Prior to taking on the challenge of heading up the Durban ICC in 2006, he was CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Tourism.

His passion for the powerful role that tourism can play in community development is unprecedented, and saw him actively participating in the establishment of a Kruger National Park lodge for a displaced Maluleke community.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in education (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 the reins from Acting CEO Paul Bannister who stepped into the role on a temporary basis in 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,” Soni said.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, the Cabinet minister responsible for the IMC, welcomed the stability a full-time appointment would bring to the organisation.

“The appointment of a CEO brings stability to the IMC,” Chabane said. “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.”

Source: International Marketing Council of South Africa