On 01 January 2020, Rhodes University welcomed its newly appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr Kamlesh Riga. Mr Riga's appointment follows the unbundling of the executive management structure of the Infrastructure, Operations and Finance Division - where the roles of the heads of operations and finance and infrastructure have been separated.
Mr Riga is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters’ Degree in Domestic and International Tax from North West University. He also holds a BCom degree from Rhodes University. He has worked at a strategic financial management level at the Office of the Auditor-General, South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the BKB Group, where he worked for over 10 years. The BKB Group includes several subsidiary companies in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors.
The new CFO was responsible for advising the Managing Director and Board on financial and ICT matters as well as investments, mergers and acquisitions. He has experience in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Companies Act, Procurement, Higher Education Governance, Audit and Risk Management, Treasury Management, as well as business related to lending activities.
As a Rhodes University Alumnus, Mr Riga said coming back to work for the University is like giving back to his alma mater. “I have an affinity to the Eastern Cape and I feel that with my experience, I can make a difference at the University. I have a vision that this glorious university will be financially-sustainable and right the wrongs of the past. We need to give as many people access to higher education as possible but also balance that with financial viability. The fiscal pot is diminishing and we need to find a way of sustaining ourselves with less dependence on the state,” he said.
When asked about the pressure of being a CFO for the University, the humble Mr Riga said he was not worried and it was not about “the CFO”, but about the Finance Division at large. He said he has discovered that the Finance Division has a great team and he trusts that they will all work together in ensuring financial stability of the University.
Mr Riga has served on the Executive Council, the Council and the Audit and Risk Committee for 10 years at Nelson Mandela University.
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela welcomed the CFO and said: “We are delighted that our University has been able to attract a person of Mr Riga’s ability and wealth of experience. He will add value to Rhodes University and we look forward to his contribution. We welcome him to the Rhodes University community and wish him well in his time with us.”