E-commerce Forum South Africa appoints new board

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 05 Jul 2024
Vuyo Tofile: MD of Timbaktuu Africa.
Vuyo Tofile: MD of Timbaktuu Africa.

The E-commerce Forum South Africa (EFSA) has elected a new board of directors.

The new board includes a wide selection of e-commerce experts from e-shops to e-platforms, payments, financial services, logistics, software, digital advertising, consultancy, and academia.

According to the EFSA, the strengths of each member reflects the growing importance of e-commerce in the economy, and in particular the development of social commerce for artisans, women and young entrepreneurs in less developed areas.

Tatiana Ndlovu, chair of EFSA, explains: “We are delighted to have such a distinguished number of experts on the new board. Our priorities for this year will continue to be representation in the sector. We are continuing our work on training and education, and we continue to establish relations with key business associations.”

Alastair Tempest, EFSA CEO, tells ITWeb that e-commerce is made up of many moving parts, and the EFSA board represents a wide range of specialities, each key to online selling.

“The board works together to ensure that EFSA assists and promotes the growth of e-commerce in all its aspects from platforms to social commerce, online payments, logistics, marketing and so on,” he notes.

EFSA says it plans to develop a blockchain-based solution to combat fraud in the sector, amid an increase in fly-by-night operators posing as legitimate e-tailers.

At its recent annual general meeting, the EFSA outlined the plans and programmes it aims to introduce this year, as it looks to increase awareness, confidence and capability in SA’s e-commerce industry.

Chief among its long-term goals is combating the increasing spate of fraud in the sector, it says.

Ndlovu adds: “We are also concentrating on developing a trustmark for SA. We note that complaints about e-commerce have increased over the last few years – this is of great concern. It undermines consumer trust. A trustmark will ring-fence wrongdoers and build trust. This is particularly important today for South African consumers who have come to expect that the laws of South Africa will protect them from unscrupulous traders.”

The trustmark based on blockchain verification technology will be introduced later this year, says the entity, adding that this will reinforce trust and ensure that fraudsters are ring-fenced.

EFSA is working with its colleagues at the pan-African E-commerce association (EFA) on the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area. This will offer SA business great opportunities in the future, it notes.

Karen Nadasen, CEO of PayU Africa.
Karen Nadasen, CEO of PayU Africa.

The new EFSA board members:

The chair and CEO are not elected members of the board.

  • Proffessor Adheesh Budree: associate professor in Information Systems at University of Cape Town.
  • Adewale Adejumo: co-founder and chief growth officer at Dropstore.
  • Brendan Cuthbertson: head of private sector sales at Cisco.
  • Jason Blackman, senior director of global customs compliance at DHL.
  • Karen Nadasen, CEO PayU.
  • Lionel Krieger: freelance digital marketing consultant.
  • Mzuzukile Soni: founder at BrownSense Group.
  • Nadine Martin, head of operations at Peach Payments.
  • Ricardo Lognath: founder of Omninela Medical.
  • Shamiela Letsoalo: media relations director at Naspers.
  • Tendi Hlatshwayo: chief legal officer at Ozow.
  • Tinashe Guramatunhu: founder of King-Online.
  • Vuyo Tofile: managing director of Timbaktuu Africa.
  • Rutendo Hlatshwayo: chief legal officer, Ozow.