ABASA launch to create platform for transformation agenda

BY SUPPLIED - APRIL 15, 2015

WSU students determined to transform the country's white-dominated accounting sector will launch the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) student chapter at the Nelson Mandela Drive Site auditorium at the Mthatha Campus on Wednesday 15 April.

The launch of ABASA, a non-political body, will signal the laying of a platform that will vigorously pursue an academic agenda designed to bridge the gap between the professional and the tertiary environment through guest lectures by invited industry professionals.

"If we're serious about transforming this industry, we must do so through ways and means that deal with the real issues in our industry - access to appropriate teaching and learning measures at our institutions," says Chartered Accounting departmental head Francis Kwahene.

Provincial top brass in the ABASA ranks will be out in full force to show support, and share words of encouragement with the students.

One such dignitary is Asanda Myataza, ABASA provincial treasurer, and a partner at one of South Africa’s biggest accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers in East London. 

Myataza will be delivering the keynote address.

“We’re committed and dedicated in this pursuit, and are driven by the need to ensure that every black accountant and aspiring accountant is able to realise their full potential and aspirations. Sadly, evidence of the racial inequalities that the association was founded to address still exist today” says ABASA Eastern Cape General Secretary Sabelo Songca.

Since February 2010, of the 29,814 professionals registered under the South African Institute of Chartered Accountant's CA (SA) designation, African Black, Coloured and Indian members comprised 4,682 of the membership reflecting that cumulatively black professionals still comprise 16% of the CA (SA) membership. African Black members comprise only 5% of the total CA (SA) memberships.

WSU Acting Spokesperson Thando Cezula says the University has in recent times cut a central figure in the country’s transformation agenda, and trusts the launch of ABASA will supplement the University’s on-going efforts.

“In 2012, WSU embarked on a journey to regain SAICA accreditation with much-needed aid from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Through this initiative, worth R84 million,  SAICA provides administrative support, whilst partners UCT provides academic support in order to deliver high quality lecturing to the learners on the programme.”

“Apart from funding for studies, students are also provided with access to mentors, given workplace skills training and introduced to learnership opportunities,” says Cezula.

Two of the University’s accounting lecturers are also currently involved in the highly successful UCT-led initiative, Learn Accounting, which seeks to translate key accounting concepts from English to Xhosa and Zulu to help students grasp the often complex financial terminology of accountancy.