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South Africa: Business Leadership SA’s Busi Mavuso – We’re Naive to Think We Can Achieve Stability in the Face of Inequality

From a young age, Busi Mavuso has always been a top achiever. She has transformed her life from one of great difficulty to one of great possibility, using her intellect and determination to quickly scale the corporate ladder. But it is in her current role as the chief executive officer of Business Leadership South Africa that the 43-year-old will really be tested – and judged.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

In the wake of days of rioting and fear, Busi Mavuso agreed to a frank-talking interview last week to explore more about her past, but also to answer questions on her role as a black woman in a white man’s business world.

Mavuso is a fairly familiar face in the media. She’s articulate, informed and occasionally outspoken. Although she is now in the top corporate echelons as the CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), she still has the manner of an activist. So we begin our conversation with what she thinks are her formative influences, starting with her mother.

Mavuso grew up in White City, Jabavu, in Soweto. She was a child, then a schoolgirl, in one of the epicentres of the anti-apartheid struggle during…

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