2018 Zimbabwe Excellence Awards: Gari Mutongoreya’s vision to solve the challenge of business compliance


Staff Reporter

Meet Garikayi Mutongoreya of Savannah Business Consulting Services. He is nominated in the Male Entreprenuer of the year award at the 2018 Zimbabwe Execellence Awards.

Gari worked as an Executive Officer Finance (Director Finance) for Masvingo Rural District Council and Goromonzi Rural District Council between 2000 and 2007. He moved to South Africa in 2007 where he started working in the construction sector.

In order to get into the South African job market in his main area of experience Mutongoreya decided to set aside his MBA qualification and start from the bottom in an accounting firm doing articles at Galbraith Rushby Inc in Cape Town.

He qualified as a Chartered Secretary and Professional Accountant. Galbraith Rushby outgrew its home office environment and Mutongoreya, upon completing his articles, became one of the first senior auditors, and later a training manager.

In 2012 Mutongoreya upon seeing the challenges of compliance by black business people in Cape Town, especially from the Cape Flats area and also foreign black business people, he registered Savannah Accounting (Pty) Ltd.

Savannah started operating as a side business from July 2012 with a few South African, Nigerian, Zimbabwean upcoming business people who had the appetite to comply with South African tax laws and Companies Act regulations but could not do so because of the fees required by the traditional white dominated accounting firms. They could not appreciate the challenges that the black owned businesses faced mainly caused by the inequality and racially segregated Western Cape.

A few of the companies that were incorporated by Mutongoreya and have grown to become international brands. These include companies such as Maksure Financial Holdings, an insurance broking and reinsurance company which has recently become international with clients in China, Britain, Botswana and USA with a turnover exceeding R20 million within a space of 3 years.

Gari also has on his books property holding entities such as Mad Holdings (Pty) Ltd which owns commercial properties and residential properties in Woodstock Cape Town as well having the controlling stake in media entities in South Africa such as Mad Advertising (Pty) Ltd.

Gari is happy to have seen black business people and start-ups in and around Cape flats area improving on their compliance status. This has in turn has enhanced their ability to secure government tenders in the ever booming construction business.

Your own jacuzzi, in Khayelitsha, and surrounded by your own

In order to service effectively and efficiently his ever growing black owned start-up businesses, Gari decided to relocate his offices to their door steps and opened his at Watergate Shopping centre in Mitchells Plain. His philosophy is that “you do not need to move to Camps Bay to have a Jacuzzi, you can have your jacuzzi in Khayelitsha and surrounded by your own”.

He believes that there is no good reason why most black businesses that he advices will fail tp get a good government tenders or any major sub construction tenders and other services as he strives to ensure that all the documents, legal and tax issues are to adhered to.

Gari also realised that most black business people were not been taken seriously as they lacked business emails, websites, and had no business cards etc.

You cannot be taken seriously in business if you are still using a gmail address or yahoo address for your business. In that respect, Savannah Business Solutions diversified into website development, large format printing and social media marketing.

To to this he had to employ highly qualified IT personnel from Chinhoyi University who have been busy setting up professional emails for his clients.

This has enhanced or enabled this sector to be visible on the map besides being compliant, market opportunities have been opened up for the black business people.

His clients are all over South Africa and predominantly black and have assisted many NPO’s and community organisations within and around Cape Flats area.

He will soon been moving into local schools which have numerous challenges of compliance and financial management.

Mutongoreya’s Vision

In order to realise the fruits of synergy in the racially segregated economy of South Africa especially within the financial service sector where only four white owned auditing and accounting firms control 90 percent of the accounting business in South Africa, Gar invited auditors and accountants to incorporate an auditing and accounting firm to challenge the monopoly of these big 4.

The above resulted in the birth 2 firms; Consortium of Auditors and Accountants International (Pty) Ltd and Network of Auditors and Accountants International (Pty) Ltd in February 2018. In the initial phase, 24 auditors came up for the inaugural meeting which was held in Jhb on 4 February 2018 and structure has already been put in place and currently the two projects are involved in Capital structuring and shareholding structures.

Besides the main objective being to challenge the current status quo in the auditing profession,  other objectives of this network and consortium includes an attempt to tape skills from accountants and auditors in the diaspora so as to filling the skills gap existing in countries like Zimbabwe.

Meetings with organisations in Zimbabwe such as ARDCZ were already done and this will result in collaboration of CAAI, NAAI and Zimbabwean quasi-government organisation in training, workshop facilitations and IPSAS implementation.

In his maiden speech to the auditors and accountants at the inaugural meeting of CAAI and NAAI on the 4th of February 2018 Gari stated that black owned accounting practices needed to grow from being “tuck shops to chain stores and hyper markets within the next five years.

This can only be achieved is we come together and not operate on selfish objective.

Black Auditors and Accountants need come together and together we will consolidate and prosper, divided we will never win but always fight for the small government cake and struggling black businesses. Its time for to catch the bigger fish both locally and internationally, we are in an economic and financial revolution which is only won if we are one”.

Gari Mutongoreya is one of the less than 100 Chartered Public Finance Accountant CPFA who has a passion of Public Sector Financial Reporting Standards. Through his consultancy work, he was the first Public Accountant to assist councils in Zimbabwe to prepare IPSAS compliant Annual Financial Statements which later resulted in the Government adapting full IPSAS reporting for all government departments, quasi government and local authorities at the 2018 budget presentation.

MBA, CPFA (UK), ACIS (SA), Professional Accountant  (SA), AIMFO(SA), GTP (SA), HDIPTAx

Vote for Mutongoreya at www.zimexcellenceawards.com/vote



See also:

My greatest honour is to recognise the success stories of Zimbabweans living in South Africa: Diana Nheera’s diary



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