Northern Region Virtual Spring Conference

2020 SAICA Spring Conference

Post COVID-19: The New Normal                       (Day 1) – 3 November


Who should attend?

SAICA members and associates [CA(SA)/AGA(SA)/AT(SA)] and trainees and members of the public



Join the SAICA Spring Conference as we explore this “New Normal” as we look at a Futurists Take on what the trends are developing post COVID, an economists view of the economic recovery plan in place for South Africa and trends around the world and a medical professional’s take on how to pick up the pieces from a mental wellness point of view from the carnage we are recovering from, and how to emerge better from the ashes.


Topics & Speaker

Life after COVID-19 – Bronwyn Williams

We live in interesting times. Now what? The global COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it, and will most certainly have deep and lasting effects on society, business, governance and the economy at large.

While it would be unwise to predict the world we will all wake up to after we eventually emerge from lockdown, we can begin to consider the trends that are being accelerated and the trajectories that have been fundamentally broken.

We can – and we should – also start to think deeply about the world we want to rebuild in the aftermath. What of the old world should we take with us into the future? And what should we leave behind?

In this talk, we look at the emerging trends and we ask these questions to help you start to consider and plan both a short-term survival strategy and a long-term vision for your own life and the future of your organisation.

The trends and trajectories discussed include:

  • The revealed fragility of the global and local middle class and what this means for society
  • The impact on SMEs and unemployment
  • The contrasting fates of the “zombie” digital economy and “real world” industries
  • The probable long and short run economic scenarios ahead for both South Africa and the world
  • The rapid normalisation of emerging heterodox economic policies, such as UBI and MMT – and the implications thereof.
  • The ripple effects of remote working on employers and employees.
  • The emergence of business empathy and why this matters so much right now.
  • The importance of mental wellness for personal and business resilience.
  • The long- and short-run health effects for the health and insurance market.
  • The shifting balance – and blurring lines – between the public and private sectors.
  • The trade-offs between safety and security on the one hand and personal liberties on the other.
  • The impact on global and local supply chains – and the emerging opportunities this shift presents

This talk is designed for business leaders who have to make far reaching decisions now that will determine their place in the future. Although we may not have all the answers on where we are headed, we can help you frame the questions that will lead us there. Surviving the present is essential, but we cannot do so, sustainably, at the expense of the future. Now is the time to invest in the long now and to look forward to the next chapter. In order to do so, we need to understand the trends and trajectories we have no control over, as well those that we can influence, and use that knowledge to chart our best course forward.


Economic Outlook on the New NormalDuma Gqubule

The world economy, including South Africa, is slowly emerging from the devastating economic impact of a once-in-century pandemic and depression. With unemployment, according to the expanded definition, heading towards 50%, South Africa is witnessing the shocks of a crisis that has the ability to eviscerate the dreams of our liberation. This will have profound implications for political stability and the country’s social fabric, which may become irreversibly scarred. After a lost decade in terms of economic development, between 2009 and 2019, the collateral damage will be with us for many years. Duma has been crunching the numbers throughout the crisis and talking to decision-makers who have been working on post-Covid 19 recovery plans. He will provide in-depth analysis of the various recovery plans and share his own ideas on how we can create a new South Africa from the ashes of the crisis.


How do you recover from this carnage? (Mental Wellness) – Professor Renata Schoeman

Prof. Schoeman will address loss, resilience and self-care – how you can ensure that you are not a victim of the year 2020. She will discuss the mental challenges associated with loss of your job, you business, or even loved ones, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also discuss resilience – how you can bounce back, and bounce forward, during these stressful times. Finally, she will share crucial tips, based in science, to improve your self-care and armamentarium for the year 2020 and beyond.



09h00 – 09h05       Welcome address

09h05 – 10h05       Presentation: The New Normal – A Futurists view of trends with the new normal

10h05 – 10h10       Refreshment Break


10h10 – 11h15       Presentation: Economic Outlook on the New Normal


11h15 – 11h20       Refreshment Break


11h20 – 12h30       Presentaion: How do we recover from this carnage? (Mental Wellness)


About the presenters:

Bronwyn Williams:Trend Translator and Future Finance Specialist for Flux Trends.

Bronwyn has over a decade’s experience in marketing management and trend research, working predominantly with brands in the financial and B2B industries.

Since 2011, Bronwyn has collaborated with Flux Trends, on a number of projects, lending her research and writing skills to the Flux trend reports and presentations, including The Fragmented Future of Finance, Virtual Money, So You Want to Hire a Millennial?, Digital Burnout, From Bricks to Clicks and Gen Z: the Real Game Changing Generation; in addition to ghost-writing Dion Chang’s The New Urban Tribes of South Africa book, published by Pan MacMillan.

Prior to working with Flux Trends, Bronwyn worked as the Publisher of the South African office of the Agora Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial publishing houses, headed up by the international New York Times best-selling author Bill Bonner. In this role, Bronwyn managed the largest circulation South African financial newsletters and worked closely with a network of local and international financial thought leaders, giving her access to a wealth of ‘insider’ insights on how the world of money really works.

Today she is pursuing a Masters in Economics through the University of London, with a focus on post-cash markets. You can read her trend Observations on the flux website. “Bronwyn Williams has worked with Flux since 2011 – writing and structuring our trend reports – and as such, not only understands the Flux methodology, but is able to follow the trajectory of the trends we track, across all industries. Her personal interest is the future of finance, but since financial services are intertwined with disruption, in whatever industry, her grasp on the Flux philosophy – Trends as Business Strategy – is both comprehensive and assured. I am more than confident in recommending her as a speaker and Trend Translator on behalf of Flux Trends.” – Dion Chang, Founder of Flux Trends.

Duma Gqubule: Founder – Center for Economic Development and Transformation

Duma has spent two decades as financial jounalist, analyst, researcher and adviser on issues of economic development and transformation. He is a public speaker, columnist and a commentator on economic policy who approaches issues from a heterodox perspective.

He is an activist opposed to the economic orthodoxy that dominates current debates. Recently, he was one of 42 economists who sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that raised concerns about the composition of economists, from the prevailing orthodox mainstream, who were invited to colloquia that were tasked with developing new policies of SA.

He was educated at Lovedale in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, Waterford Kamhlaba in Mbabane, Swaziland and Aberdeen University in Scotland where he studied economics. He first worked as a financial journalist for most of the country’s leading publications, including Business Day and Financial Mail. His work also featured in international publications including Fortune Magazine and the Institutional Investor.

He wrote extensively about economic policy and the pioneering black companies such as New Africa Investments Limited during the late 1990s. His work was recognised and he later worked for the BEE Commission, chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president. He was co-author of the commission’s landmark report, which was presented to former president Thabo Mbeki in 2001, after consultations with stakeholders over a period of 18 months. The report paved the way for the country’s BEE laws and policies. He was also involved in landmark national and enterprise economic transformation initiatives and worked for numerous organisations in the public and private sector. These included the Nepad Secretariat, the Department of Transport (senior policy advisor), the Business Unity South Africa, the South African Mining Development Association and many large private companies.

He was part of a panel that advised Ebrahim Patel, the minister of Economic Development, on the Walmart investment in Massmart. He served as a member of the COSATU) Panel of Progressive Economists and a board member of Naledi, the COSATU think-tank. He was also editor of the book: ‘Making Mistakes, Righting Wrongs: Insights into Black Economic Empowerment,’ which reviewed the country’s economic development and transformation policies during the first decade of democracy. He is an expert on natural resource governance who has done research on mining for the Presidency, Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) and Action Aid.


Professor Renata Schoeman: MBChB, MSocSc (cum laude), MMed (cum laude), FC Psych (cum laude), PhD, MBA (cum laude)

Prof Renata Schoeman ( has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). As a psychiatrist, she has special interests in cognition (i.e. disorders affecting attention, concentration, learning and memory – such as ADHD), eating disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

Renata also holds appointments as associate professor in Leadership (USB), as head of the Healthcare Leadership MBA specialization stream, and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation (

She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work. She has co-authored “All of these things are important to me” and has published in many peer-reviewed journals and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media.

During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and an MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016 and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016. During 2018 the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation received the SASOP Award for Community Service. In both 2018 and 2019 she has received the Media Excellence Award as Thought Leader, while in 2019 she has also received the Media Excellence Award as Newsmaker from the University of Stellenbosch. She was also honoured as a Mental Health Hero by the Discovery Foundation during 2019.


CPD Hours

SAICA’s CPD policy has changed effective 1 January 2020 from an input measurement basis to an output measurement basis. Learning and the development of professional competence is unique to each member and should be aligned to your personal needs identified in your reflective learning plans. For further information and guidance, go to SAICA’s CPD website. The competencies being addressed in this seminar are:


Business Acumen: Business Internal Environment

Business Acumen: Business External Environment

Digital Acumen: Data Analytics

Relational Acumen: Self Management

If you are required to log CPD hours (for instance if you are a SAICA Tax Practitioner or registered with other professional bodies or organisations such as the IOD, SAIPA, SAIT etc.), please note that this seminar affords you 3.5 hours of CPD.



R500 incl. 15% VAT per member

R1000 incl. 15% VAT per non-member


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