Octavia Matloa

Attending school in Mamelodi, just east of Pretoria, Octavia Matloa thought the life of a bank teller would be rather posh. But once a family friend had enlightened her about the earning potential and flexibility she could have as a chartered accountant, all she could dream of was seeing CA (SA) behind her name.

Remotivated, Matloa earned a bursary to study towards a BCom in accounting and economics at the University of Cape Town. She finished her accounting specialisation at the University of Pretoria.

In 2000 Matloa signed articles with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and gained experience auditing everything from big insurance firms to the Reserve Bank. Finally, one day in 2003 she could sit down and proudly sign off as “Octavia Matloa CA (SA)”.

Matloa’s first job was with the Gauteng department of public transport, roads and works, where inside of a year she was promoted to a chief director position — the youngest in the organisation’s history. That same year she also founded her own accounting firm, Matloa and Associates.

Her career was taking off, just like her mother’s friend had promised. Over the next three years Matloa was awarded directorships with Nissy Holdings, Bokkies Transport, Mukundi Mining Resources, and others. And in 2009 she was appointed by the High Court of South Africa as the insurance industry’s first female curator.

Last year Matloa was made a nonexecutive director of Great Basin Gold, and is now CEO of both Mukundi and accounting firm Tsidkenu Chartered Accountants.

Matloa’s peers have recognised her achievements with a staggering list of awards of late. She won the Black Business Quarterly’s Woman of the Year for 2010 and their New Entrepreneur Award for 2011, and was a finalist in the MTN Boss of the Year Awards last year. Sounds like the stuff even CAs dream of.

— Ian Macleod