Board of directors
Santie is the chairperson of Famous Brands Ltd and Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. She has a wide range of knowledge and experience in different sectors, ranging from fast-moving consumer goods ('FMCG'), where she started her career in Unilever and worked in various roles in both Durban and London, UK (1987 to 1996), banking (executive director: ABSA Bank, 1996 to 2003) and telecommunications (executive director: MTN, 2003 to 2010). Santie was named Business Woman of the Year 2010. She was the chancellor of Nelson Mandela University from 2011 to 2017.
Andries has been Curro’s CEO since 1 July 2017. He started his career as audit manager at KPMG Inc. and subsequently held financial positions at several companies. In 2000, he joined the International Colleges Group of Media24 Ltd, which included brands such as INTEC and Damelin, as financial director, and was subsequently promoted to financial director of Educor (Pty) Ltd (Educor). In 2006, Educor bought a 26% stake in Curro. Andries, together with Curro founder Dr Chris van der Merwe, created the business plan upon which Curro’s current growth strategy is based. In 2007, when Naspers Ltd disposed of Educor, including its interest in Curro, Andries acquired a shareholding in Curro and joined the company as financial director. In 2011, when Bernardt van der Linde was appointed as the financial director of Curro, Andries’s role changed to that of chief operating officer. He was appointed CEO in 2017.
Themba was appointed as an independent non-executive director to the Curro board from 1 November 2020. Themba studied Cost and Management Accounting and has an Executive MBA from Henley Business School (UK). Themba is an innovative and entrepreneurial business leader who founded Discovery Insure Limited ('Discovery Insure'), a short-term insurance company launched in 2011. The Discovery Insure work propelled him to win the 2018 CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders 'Entrepreneur of the Year Award'. Currently he serves as chairman on the board of Constantia Insurance Group Limited and is a board member of CalgroM3 Holdings, and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, amongst others.
Cobus was appointed as an executive director and the CFO of Curro on 1 January 2021. He started his career at KPMG, served as the financial manager of Virgin Active SA for 4 years, and held the CFO position for 11 years at Holdsport Limited until it was acquired by Long4Life in 2017. He left his position as CEO of Long4Life’s Sport and Recreation division at the end of 2020 to join Curro.
Nan was appointed as an independent non-executive director to the Curro board from 10 August 2018. She currently chairs the Curro audit and risk committee. Nan is at present a Senior Investment Manager at the Mineworkers Investment Company. Nan’s experience has been in private equity and investment management, having worked for private equity funds and built on balance sheet portfolios for corporates. Her recent experience also includes involvement in project finance and infrastructure investment opportunities and overseeing the internal audit function. Nan has extensive experience in serving on boards and on audit and social and ethics committees.
Tsholo was appointed as an independent non-executive director to the Curro board from 1 May 2019. She served as the group chief financial officer of Telkom SA SOC Ltd, where she also served as deputy group CFO and group chief risk officer. Tsholo has been appointed as the group CFO of MTN with effect from 1 April 2021. Tsholo has a solid understanding of the corporate world and of financial strategy management, financial management practices, risk and controls, and reporting requirements pertaining to various industries.
Piet is the CEO of PSG Group Ltd and serves as a non-executive director on the boards of various of its investee companies, including Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd, PSG Konsult Ltd and Zeder Investments Ltd. He has served in the investment and financial services industries since 1999.
Sibongile has international leadership and management experience in the non-government, development and public sectors, and also in academia. Currently she is the Vice-Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela University. Between 2004 and 2010 Sibongile served as the director general of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government. She is the current Chair of Universities South Africa (USAf), a membership organisation representing the 26 South African Public Universities. She also chairs the Ministerial Task Team on Sexual Harassment and Gender Based Violence and Harm in SA Universities; and is a member of the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa, and is the Vice-President of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.
Douglas has more than 35 years of business experience at an executive management and board level. He is currently chairman of IRCA (Pty) Ltd, serves on the Board of Curro, and is chairman and founder member of investment companies such as Mnotho Group and Chakula Wote Africa. Douglas served as a non-executive director for EnviroServ, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (‘WESSA’), STADIO and also served at a senior executive level for corporations including Altron, Transnet, ABSA and Anglo American. He was CEO of Bytes Healthcare Solutions, managing director of Bytes Specialised Solutions, and served on the boards of Anglo American (SA), Eskom Enterprises and was chairperson of Rotek Industries.
Chris has extensive knowledge and experience in the independent school and tertiary sectors. He founded Curro in 1998 and in 2011, under his leadership, the company was listed on the JSE. Chris served as CEO until June 2017 when he stepped down, unbundled the Embury Institute for Higher Education, a teachers’ college, from Curro and then listed STADIO, an independent provider of tertiary education on the JSE in October 2017. He served STADIO as CEO until the company delivered on the promises of its prelisting statement and stepped down in March 2020. Dr Van der Merwe has subsequently served PSG and STADIO as a consultant, Education. He currently also serves on the boards of Curro and STADIO as a nonexecutive director.