Congratulations, class of 2022!

Dear GSB MBA students,

Congratulations on handing in your MBA thesis today!

Your journey to this point has no doubt been arduous, but you have persevered. May the cathartic sound of that ringing bell serve as a joyful reminder of your character and determination. You can do anything that you put your mind to. 

More importantly, relish the friendships that you have made along the way. Your integration into the alumni family begins with your classmates. I urge you to nurture these relationships, for they will be your most valuable GSB connections by far.

As Chair of the GSB Alumni Board, I’d like to officially welcome you to the alumni family of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB). The greater alumni network is here for you too. Maximise the opportunity to engage with your fellow alumni by attending future GSB Alumni Events. You will be invited to these events in due course, and I look forward to seeing you there. 

Now whilst being an alum of the GSB is a privilege, it is also a responsibility. To that end, I encourage you to begin supporting the GSB Foundation today. Scholarship recipients are among you and our duty to the school, as its alumni, is to help grow the reach of the Foundation. 

One of the simplest ways to do this is by signing up for the Foundation’s R100-a-month quest, so please join me in taking an active role as we work together to solidify the GSB’s hard-earned position at the apex of African business schools.

Congratulations on your achievement and best of success with your next chapter.

Kosta Kontos

Kosta Kontos (GSB MBA 2009/10)
Board member of the GSB Foundation and Chair of the GSB Alumni Board 

Support the GSB Foundation and get a tax benefit

Dear alumni and friends of the GSB Foundation,

Tax season is here – a time many of us complete our tax returns. If you would like to take full advantage of the tax-deductible amount for charitable donations, please consider us.

Making a donation to the GSB Foundation gives someone the opportunity to complete an MBA at the GSB, who might not otherwise have the means to do so.

Our work is only possible with the help of our GSB alumni and like-minded supporters of the Foundation. Your donation will not only benefit a GSB MBA student but is also a long-term investment in the future of the African continent.

We hope you can help us continue to build leaders building Africa.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Board of Trustees

Who we are

The GSB Foundation was started in 2016 by the GSB MBA Class of 1969. To date, with the support of alumni and associates of the GSB, the Foundation has funded scholarships for 22 students, helping them earn a world-class MBA. Three scholars are currently enrolled in this year’s GSB MBA programme.

How to donate

You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:

  1. Make a once-off donation:
  2. Make a regular contribution for as little as R100 per month:

The tax benefits of donating – from SA or overseas

As a registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), donations to the GSB Foundation are tax-deductible. Are you registered for tax in South Africa? If you are, you can claim an annual donation deduction of up to 10% of your annual taxable income. If you are registered in a country outside South Africa, you might also be eligible for tax benefits. See details here: 

Why give back?

The mission of the GSB Foundation is “Building leaders building Africa.” The scholarships afford the most talented students an opportunity to benefit from a world-class UCT GSB education, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our aim is to nurture a diverse leadership that can play a significant role in building the continent. Find out more here about the supporters and beneficiaries of the Foundation:

Season’s Greetings from the GSB Foundation

Season's Greetings 2021

Dear Friends of the GSB Foundation,

After another year of virtual learning and remote working around the globe, we are proud to bring you news of the GSB Foundation’s work during 2021, as well as something to celebrate from the ‘new-normal’ digital marketplace.

We do hope that you will take the opportunity to relax at this time, taking a well-earned rest after what has been a historically challenging year. With your support, we also hope that 2022 will be a year when your alma mater and its African home shine all the brighter.

Whereas many overseas campuses have opened up more quickly, GSB campus life has been 100% online in 2021, although that may change in the coming year. Nonetheless, graduate alumni continue to connect worldwide through the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend, which was a huge hybrid success. Also, we still get to celebrate the research outputs generated by the GSB: Aldi Schoeman (GSB MBA 2019/20) was the Winner of the 2021 Emerald/ AABS case study competition with her case study: “Cape Union Mart: Digital transformation and customer experience during a crisis”. Co-authored with Professor Geoff Bick and Claire Barnardo, this case study also features on the WHO global COVID-19 research library. GSB case studies continue to be met with acclaim, contributing the voice of developing markets to the international stage. We are super proud.

Our 2021 GSB Foundation scholars – three this year – have adapted well to the rigours of learning online and will be putting the finishing touches to their MBA dissertations as you read this. Although they have missed the collegiality of campus life this year, they have nonetheless taken full advantage of the opportunities a GSB MBA offers. These three young people bring us to a total of twenty recipients of the GSB Foundation scholarships since its start in 2017. We wish them all extremely well.

If you would like to support the GSB Foundation and give opportunities to more students who may not otherwise be able to access the GSB MBA, please consider our R100-a-month quest, which provides a consistent and vital flow of funds to the Foundation. It might not sound like much – but there are several thousand alumni who, together, could make a significant impact in the long run. Equally, if you know of anyone who would benefit directly from our GSB Foundation scholarships, full-time one-year MBA applications are still open. Once a student has been accepted, they can apply for the scholarship.

We would like to thank the GSB faculty academics, staff and students for their outstanding dedication to managing another academic year in challenging conditions and we also want to take this opportunity to thank our donors and partners for their generous support. Your contributions allow us to help students rise to their potential by benefiting from a world-class MBA programme at the GSB.

Best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year. Please stay safe and go well.

On behalf of the GSB Foundation trustees and team,

Linda Fasham
Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant

Highlights of UCT GSB 2021 Alumni Reunion Weekend: “Knowledge across disciplines”

GSB Alumni Reunion Weekend 2021 Summary

The UCT GSB 2021 Alumni Reunion Weekend took place 22–24 October 2021. “Knowledge across disciplines” was the theme of the weekend and invited speakers shared how leaders are responding to global challenges with a multi-disciplined approach. Of course, staple social activities like a Brig session and the 3Peaks Challenge were also on the agenda.

See here the highlights of the Alumni Reunion Weekend 2021:

It’s been that time of year again where UCT GSB Alumni of all programmes and graduating years gathered to enjoy the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend, held virtually for the second year in a row.

This year’s theme is “Knowledge across disciplines“. The speaker line-up included:

  • Ralph Mupita, CEO MTN;
  • Aidan Kearney, Strategy Director, EMEA Nike; and
  • Buhle Goslar, Jumo World CEO for Africa Region and Pakistan.

They were discussing how we can leverage technology to meet and find new customers and how to develop and build new leadership practices to maximise the benefits.

The event ran from Friday 22nd October (16:00 – 19:00), Saturday 23rd October (12:00 – 16:00), ending on Sunday 24th October with the 3Peaks Challenge – a GSB tradition held annually for the past 42 years!

MBA alumnus puts lockdown to good use

Steven van Rheede, GSB Foundation Scholarship Recipient

GSB Foundation scholar Steven van Rheede has been featured on the GSB Ideas Exchange:

Steven van Rheede was part of the 2020 MBA class that, three months into the programme, quickly had to shift their studies online; it bore some unforeseen benefits, he says.

Steven van Rheede had for a long time known he was going to do an MBA, and had in fact some years ago written a short, almost prophetic note that he kept in his wallet: “MBA, 2020.”

The programme, he imagined, would offer time away from the distractions of work, and the space to reflect. And thanks to a global pandemic, he got that and then some.

Steven started his working life as a chemical engineer. He’d been drawn to the industrial sector, he says, probably because his both his parents and his grandfather spent most of their working lives in factories. The factory floor wasn’t alien to him, either, as it was where he would earn some cash over the December school holidays.

Read full article on GSB Ideas Exchange

Donating this tax season

GSB Foundation - Get involved

Dear alumni and friends of the GSB Foundation,

It’s the time of the year many of us prepare our tax returns. If you haven’t yet taken full advantage of the tax-deductible amount for donating to charitable causes, then now is the time to do so.

Consider making a donation to the GSB Foundation and give someone a chance to complete a UCT GSB MBA, which was again ranked the top programme on the African continent. Help us fund Africa’s future leaders – read on to find out why and how.

Yours sincerely,

Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant
On behalf of the GSB Foundation Trustees


Dr Catherine Duggan

Why giving back matters

A donation to the GSB is an unparalleled investment in knowledge and education. A gift made today will create a legacy for decades to come. Every rand you give will not only fund important research and influential thought leadership, but will also help to educate leaders who will have a critical impact on the continent. This tax season, when your money can go even further, please consider helping us to ensure that the GSB and its graduates continue to play a key role in shaping the future – in Africa and beyond.

Catherine Duggan
Director of the UCT GSB and Trustee of the GSB Foundation

Alec Mutlane, GSB Foundation Scholar 2017

Alec Mutlane (GSB MBA 2017):
The journey of one of our first scholars

Three years after doing his MBA, the GSB followed up with Alec Mutlane, one of the first recipients of a GSB Foundation scholarship: “He says he felt like an impostor when he first arrived at the GSB, because he had no previous university qualifications. He discovered that his life experiences – including losing a tech start-up in the 2009 crash – made him an ideal candidate.” Read Alec’s story

UCT GSB MBA Class of 1969 at class reunion in 2014

It all began with a simple idea

When the GSB MBA Class of 1969 met at their 45th reunion in 2014, four alumni – Stewart Cohen, Tiger Wessels, Peter Thorrington-Smith and Ian Kantor – reflected on the role the GSB had played in their success and how they, in turn, might give something back.

From there, the Foundation was created with one core purpose: to expand access to the UCT Graduate School of Business to the brightest minds, regardless of their financial circumstances. Read more

To date, the Foundation has raised just over R50 million. It awarded 17 scholarships, enabling the recipients to earn a world-class MBA. Three scholars are currently attending the 2021 GSB MBA programme.

How you can help fund Africa’s future leaders and save tax

You can donate to the GSB Foundation in two convenient ways:

  1. Make a once-off donation of an amount of your choice. Donate now
  2. Donate a small amount every month by signing up for the R100-a-month campaign. Sign up now

There are tax benefits: Donating to the GSB Foundation can save you tax, which might tempt you to stretch your support even further. If you, your company, or trust are registered for tax in South Africa, you can claim an annual donation deduction of up to 10% of your taxable income. Internationally, there are many countries where tax-efficient donations to the Foundation are possible. See tax information

Alternatively, you can contact us to discuss your particular donation:
Linda Fasham

End of year message from the Board

Corridor at GSB

Dear Friends of the GSB Foundation,

As the year 2020 draws to a close, it is time to recap, take a breath and wind down. Undoubtedly, 2020 has been uniquely challenging for everyone – handling work, family and life in general, requiring us to adjust continuously often with little or no time to prepare.

We also emerge from 2020 with a couple of notable developments regarding the GSB Foundation as well as the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). We want to share these good news with you:

  • The Foundation awarded four MBA full-time scholarships this year. This brings the total to 17 GSB MBA students that the Foundation has had the pleasure to support since the scholarships’ inception in 2017. Read more
  • The Foundation Board was delighted to welcome the new GSB Director Dr Catherine Duggan, who joined the GSB at the beginning of September. Read more
  • The Foundation Board also welcomed two new trustees to the Board of the Foundation: GSB Director Dr Catherine Duggan and Kosta Kontos (MBA 2009/10), current Chairman of the GSB Alumni Board. The board confirmed both members in its meeting in December. Read more
  • The 2020 GSB Alumni Reunion Weekend, held in October, was the first of a virtual kind due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event, organised by GSB Alumni Relations and attended by Alumni from across the world, included masterclasses, workshops and discussions. Watch the video
  • GSB Alumni Relations hosted a series of webinars throughout the year that engaged experts with GSB students and alumni on topics of interest. Access the webinars 
  • The Foundation congratulates the GSB team on these exceptional achievements: as the only African business school, the GSB features in the 2020 Top 100 Financial Times (read); as the first African business school, the GSB won the annual John Molson MBA International Case Competition, also known as the “MBA Olympics” (read); and the GSB won again Africa’s top award for a teaching case study (read). Well done!

We want to take this opportunity to thank our donors and partners. Your generous support of the GSB Foundation helps us to assist students in fulfilling their potential and benefiting from a world-class MBA programme at the GSB.

Last but not least, we thank the GSB academics, staff and students for their outstanding dedication to managing the academic year despite the adverse circumstances.

Best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year; stay safe and healthy.

On behalf of the GSB Foundation trustees and team,
Linda Fasham
Executive Consultant

End of year message from the GSB Director

Catherine Duggan, Director of the UCT GSB

Dear Alumni and Friends of the GSB,

I hope that you and your families are well. As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the extraordinary (and extraordinarily warm) welcome that I’ve received from GSB alumni all over the world. I also wanted to share my excitement at what lies ahead for the School.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the GSB, it has also made clear the School’s unique and vital position in shaping the future of South Africa and beyond. This distinctive moment has not only disrupted long-held systems, approaches and beliefs around the world, but it has created a new urgency in discussions about issues such as diversity and inequality, business in complex environments, trade and investment in emerging markets, and the role of the private sector in society. As our alumni know so well, the GSB has long led global research and impact on these issues, and the School is now at the center of many of these critically important conversations.

My goal is to ensure that the GSB, as the leading business school in Africa, is at the forefront of this global reimagining of business practices and business education. The School and its alumni have an unparalleled understanding of the challenges and opportunities of working in complex environments, and we can lead these conversations as the world not only becomes more complex, but as more and more global attention turns to Africa. One of my plans is for the GSB to help tell the real story of business on the African continent – the exciting, innovative one that so many of our alumni not only live, but have helped to shape – and to use those insights to improve business and business education around the world.

The GSB cannot assume this leadership role without its alumni. In the past four months I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you at the virtual reunion, at the first of our new series of alumni webinars, through the GSB Foundation and the Alumni Board, and in individual meetings and phone calls. I continue to be inspired by the passion, commitment, and talent in the GSB community – very much including our alumni – and I am keen to set a course to help enhance, coordinate, and communicate these remarkable insights and activities. There is certainly work to be done, both internally and externally, but there are also tremendous opportunities, and I look forward to sharing the School’s vision and progress with you in the coming months.

I hope that our collective goal, as a community, will be to create a School that can have a broader and more lasting impact on South Africa, on the African continent, and around the world than any one of us could on our own – the goal that the GSB Foundation was founded to achieve. As we chart the future of the GSB, I look forward to engaging with you on behalf of the School and the Foundation, to hearing your insights and experience, and to working together to ensure that the GSB has the global influence and standing that will allow it to achieve its tremendous potential and lead for generations to come.

Wishing you and your families a safe, restful, and cheerful festive season and new year!

Dr Catherine Duggan
Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB)