Shirley Machaba becomes the first female CEO of PwC Southern Africa

28 May 2019 2 min. read

As former PwC Southern Africa CEO Dion Shango moves on to his role as Chairman of the Big Four accounting and advisory firm’s Africa practice, Shirley Machaba is set to become the first female CEO of PwC Southern Africa, effective from the 1st of July this year after 15 years at the firm.

Machaba’s professional background lies in the public sector. She began her career at the office of the Auditor General of South Africa, where she spent nearly a decade and held a variety of roles, including Assistant Auditor, Senior Auditor, Accountant and Performance Audit Manager.

She then worked at the Department of Justice in South Africa for nearly half a decade, and had become the Head of the Internal Auditing unit by the time she left the department in 2004. She Joined PwC in 2005, and has been with the global professional services firm ever since.

Academically, Machaba holds a degree in accounting and well as the Post Graduate Diploma in auditing & accounting from the University of South Africa. Her academic qualifications extend to two post-graduate programs, including a diploma in Integrated Reporting from the University of Pretoria and one in Corporate Governance from Duke University.

Shirley Machaba becomes the first female CEO of PwC Southern Africa

She will take over the reins at PwC Southern Africa at a time of recovery for the economy, wherein a number of firms are looking to work in collaboration with professionals services firms to develop innovative market strategies going forth. Machaba will help manage this demand.

Her appointment is a source of inspiration for many in South Africa, given that only 20% of businesses in the country currently have women occupying senior roles. Women in South Africa are restricted by a glass ceiling, and Machaba is the first woman to take over as CEO at PwC Southern Africa.

Dion Shango, who departs for the Africa role in July, said of her appointment, “PwC believes Shirley has the leadership skills, experience and influence to lead PwC Southern Africa in the coming years. We believe that Shirley is an excellent choice to lead our local firm, especially as the business continues to explore new areas of growth and development across Africa.”

“Being appointed to the PwC Southern Africa CEO role is a privilege. I’m proud of our partners’ confidence in me and look forward to leading the practice with a team of dedicated and capable partners and staff,” Machaba added.