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Johann Vorster
Board Co-Chairperson
CGCSA
Qualifications: BComm (RAU), BComm Hons (Unisa), CA (SA), MBA (Wits)

Johann is a Chartered Accountant with an MBA, which qualifications served him well during his career. He was instrumental and a founder member of a previous listing on the JSE which gave him the idea of assisting companies with high debt levels to transform and attract new capital.

After graduating with a BComm from RAU in 1985, Johann spent 4 years with Ernst & Young as Senior Manager while completing his honours through Unisa in 1986 and his CA in 1987. He spent the next three years with SARS as Assistant Director of Operational Research. He completed his MBA through Wits before joining East Rand Plastics (Pty) in 1992. After several acquisitions, the East Rand Group of Companies was created. Which finally became Astrapak.

As Financial Director of Astrapak he was responsible for the company’s listing on the JSE in 1997. He became joint MD of the Film Division of Astrapak before accepting an offer as Chief Financial Officer from the Clover Group in October 2000.

In the initial years after having been appointed as CFO of Clover, he showed utmost determination to restructure the Balance Sheet and introduce strict financial policies. As Chief Executive, he faced a huge challenge to convert Clover the co-op to a commercial orientated entity. The co-op members opposed every proposal by Johann due to the “loss of control” issues. However, the members approved the 19th restructuring proposal by Johann and the company was transformed. The second wave was equally challenging as the advisors were of the opinion that to successfully list a dairy dominant company on the JSE was going to be near “impossible” Johann pushed ahead, and Clover was very successfully listed on the JSE 7 years ago.

After achieving what seemed to be impossible, Johann had to change a 109-year-old organisation into a profit making commercial company. Not only was the culture against him, the entire staff opposed the change and mindsets needed to be changed, and Johann had to persevere with introducing his entrepreneurial skills in to the organisation, which was a mammoth task – i.e. converting the culture from managing costs to generate profits by investing behind profitable brands and products, and using technology to support the business.

For all his efforts, Johann won the EY World Entrepreneur Award for Southern Africa 2015 for the Master Category and represented South Africa at the EY World Entrepreneur Award in Monte Carlo in June 2016.

Johann has recently introduced another restructuring of the Clover Group in order to make it a truly FMCG Business away from commodities and the cyclicality that it brings. An accolade of the most Reputable Company in South Africa three years in a row says a lot about the integrity Johann demands from the business.