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One of 300 000 with commerce degrees

- By Wits University

Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Southern Africa and Africa, Lwazi Bam, has made a conscious choice to embrace certain expectations that come with who he is and to accept certain responsibilities that come with living in this country – a country that he has chosen to live in – at this point in time, and his wish for Wits graduates is that they do the same.

Speaking at the Commerce, Law and Management graduation ceremony on Monday, 1 July 2013, Bam spoke about how prestigious it is to be a graduate – and specifically a commerce graduate – in South Africa.

‘According to the latest stats from Stats SA – only 11% of South Africans have undergraduate degrees and we only have less than 300 000 commerce graduates,’ said Bam.

‘Those of you that will go on to become Chartered Accountants, South Africa only has just over 31 000 Chartered Accountants. As you know, this is out of a population of over 50 million people.

‘So you are special, not only to your families, but to the country as well.’

As a strong champion of the Africa story, Bam is a passionate believer in purpose driven leadership. ‘I have taken a conscious decision to work not only on my personal success, but I spend just as much time working for the success of the broader business environment, and more importantly, the success of South Africa.’

He told the graduands: ‘I say that your status comes with a set of responsibilities as if this is an established fact and almost as if there is a list that is prescribed by the constitution or something.

‘No, there are no such lists and therefore choosing how much of these expectations you will embrace and how you will embrace them, is purely your own choice.’