South African quality management expert seeks to optimise efficiency, encourage patriotism and confront weak corporate governance through standardisation

Author: JT Comms
Date: 10 Oct 2018

Xolani Mpahlwa, CEO of Blackstone Consulting, will represent South Africa as a quality management expert at the ISO WORLD CONGRESS: ISO/TC 176 in Portugal, 19-23 November 2018.


Mpahlwa will be presenting a new work item, on Organisation Change Management (OCM) for South Africa. However, a global challenge, requires use of the ISO 37001 is an anti-bribery management systems standard that specifies a series of measures to help organisations detect, verify, respond to and prevent bribery and corruption.


Blackstone is an ISO 9001:2015 certified management consulting firm. Mpahlwa holds an MBA degree and has 20 years management experience in standardisation, testing, supplier quality, project quality, laboratory quality, and OEM quality assurance.


Each year, 14th October, members of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) celebrate World Standards Day. In doing so they are paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical specifications, regulations and standards that are published as international standards (ISO).


An International Standard (IS), established by consensus, describes how to achieve an optimal outcome time after time by using an agreed and consistent approach.


Mpahlwa hopes the new standard, ISO 37001 will challenge South Africans to tackle mediocrity, and to encourage excellence. “We can achieve governance and sustainability through standardisation. It requires consistency throughout the governance process. Combined with accountability standards, it enables entities to perform optimally and meet both the entity’s and stakeholders’ needs.”


Studies have determined that the benefits of standards for various work sectors support and conclude that they significantly contribute to the national GDP, and enhance business performance in terms of profit, growth or both. International trade agreements are concluded through the multi-lateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) process and are referenced to standards developed for various strategic trading items including medical devices, food, components, and oil and gas. In this way, standardisation enables global trade through bilateral trade agreements to take effect, and protects society from harm during use of standardised products or services.


“ISO 37001 provides us with a robust framework for the reduction and eradication of corruption in our country,” notes Mpahlwa. “Shareholders expect a return on investment, but where state-owned companies are concerned, the government as shareholder receives little ROI due to bribery and or corrupt practices.”


Mpahlwa says South Africa’s economy continues to be severely impacted by corruption and bribery, and that it continues to be a major obstacle in the way of the country’s socio-economic development.


“Never underestimate the negative societal implications of any form of bribe or corruption,” he contends. “High-level cases of corruption have led to the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South African Revenue Service, the Zondo Commission on State Capture, as well as the Eskom Inquiry.”


These cases could have been avoided, Mpahlwa maintains, had institutions, controls been overseen by quality, ethical and visionary leadership, and had accurately applied management systems.


“Fidentia, for instance, wasted an estimated R500m intended to assist 47 000 widows and orphans. It’s a terrible example of just how systematic and debilitating corruption can be. Similarly, when organisations such as Nkonki close their doors, the resultant job losses negatively impact families’ quality of life and exacerbate societal ills such as unemployment and crime.“


Blackstone Consulting workshops aim to transform the mind-set of attendees by providing a framework to awaken corporate citizenship, while providing practical tools for the management of bribery and corruption in organisations. The company is also launching a campaign today, 100 Bribery Free Days South Africa, to promote ethical and anti-bribery behaviour in South Africa.


“Resilience requires us to avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems, and rather to embrace the tools within our reach to turn the South African economy around.,”Mpahlwa reiterates.


For media queries, interview request and access to high res pics please contact JT Comms on media@jtcomms.co.za or (011) 788 7632


Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of Blackstone Consulting - www.bstoneconsulting.co.za


Notes to Editor

About the ISO 37001: The ISO 37001 standard provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving anti-bribery management systems, and is designed for use / implementation in all types of organisations and sectors.


The standard can be used to address any type of bribery challenge faced by an entity, including adopting an anti-bribery policy; appointing a person to oversee anti-bribery compliance; training; risk assessments and due diligence on projects and across the business value chain; implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.


Benefits of the ISO 37001 include enabling organisations to reduce bribery risks by implementing financial controls in the early stages of transactions; assisting organisations perform continuous improvement of anti-bribery practices; gaining competitive advantage and ensuring that business associates and customers are devoted to positive anti-bribery processes. The new standard will complement ISO 37000 (Governance of Organisations) and ISO 26000 (Corporate Social Responsibility).


The context for the ISO 37001: R45.6 billion in fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure in government departments and state entities was identified by the auditor-general in 2016-17. There are many other examples in the AG’s audit outcomes for other institutions funded by the fiscus.  This is clearly an indication of the current inability of those charged with management of public finances to deal decisively with bribery and corruption.


About Xolani Mpahlwa: Xolani Mpahlwa (MBA) is an expert in quality management systems will represent South Africa at the ISO WORLD CONGRESS TC 176 in Portugal, 19-23 November 2018. Mpahlwa is CEO at Blackstone Consulting an ISO 9001:2015 certified management consulting firm, sits as the Deputy Chairman of the SASQ (Southern African Society for Quality) Board and is a member of IoD SA, SABPP and IBASA. Serves on Service Seta Business Chamber for South Africa Quality Fraternity.


A Certified Change Management Practitioner by Prosci, a Quality Management and UNIDO Energy Management Systems expert, Xolani also serves on the Energy Technical Committee TC 301, is a Technical Assessor for SANAS, on ISO 17021, assessing any certification body in the world as well as TC 176 which represents Quality Management for SA. He is a qualified assessor, moderator and training facilitator. Over the years Mpahlwa has delivered various change management assignments for clients in the Power, Energy, Mining, FMCG, Public and SOC’s sectors. For the past 6 years he’s worked with SMME’s, SME’s and corporations, consulting to and advising clients on best practice configurations to increase business capabilities.


About Blackstone Consulting: Blackstone Consulting, experts in quality management systems, have started conducting workshops to promote an anti-bribery, ethical business culture across value chains in both private and public entities. Their service offering includes strategy design and deployment, change management, portfolio project management, client supplier development and regulations compliance advisory.







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