Vodacom’s Njabulo Mashigo named CHRO of the Year 2022


Outstanding South African HR professionals were given special recognition at the glitzy 2022 CHRO Awards.

Njabulo Mashigo, executive director HR at Vodacom SA, has been named South Africa’s CHRO of the Year.

The CHRO of the Year was announced on Thursday 17 November at the annual gala event hosted for HR executives, which took place at the magnificent Polo Room at the Inanda Club in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Njabulo was the big winner of the evening as she walked away with three gongs, including the CHRO of the Year, Transformation & Empowerment, and HR & Technology Awards.

Njabulo was honoured for her sterling work as executive director HR at Vodacom SA. She got her professional start at Unilever as a trainee HR officer. She went on to become a talent manager. She then left to join the National Treasury where she became chief director of HR. Njabulo then worked as an HR director at the JSE and Heineken. She has an MBA from GIBS.

The Young CHRO of the Year title went to Phil Tshikotshi, Startek’s vice president and country HR head. Phil joined the company in July 2008. Among his noteworthy achievements is the partnership with local universities, colleges and work readiness NPOs, to act as feeders for graduates brought into Startek. He is proud of having been able to influence the company to pay historical study debt for high-performing employees. Phil also actively drives Startek’s transformation agenda through succession planning and he is the chairperson of the EE committee.

Full list of Chro Awards 2022 winners:

  • CHRO of the Year – Njabulo Mashigo, HR Director at Vodacom SA
  • Young CHRO of the Year – Phil Tshikotshi (Startek)
  • Strategy & Leadership Award – Pumeza Bam (Liberty Group)
  • Transformation & Empowerment Award – Njabulo Mashigo (Vodacom SA)
  • HR & Technology Award – Njabulo Mashigo (Vodacom SA)
  • Employee Value Proposition Award – Portia Thokoane (Dark Fibre)
  • Talent Management Award – Enid Lizamore (Santam)
  • Learning & Development Award – Lee-Ann Samuel (Implats)

The annual CHRO Awards are organised by CHRO South Africa, the community that connects HR executives through executive events, the bi-annual CHRO Magazine, CHRO.co.za and social media channels. By helping top HR leaders share knowledge, exchange interests and open up business opportunities, CHRO South Africa proudly contributes to the growth of the country.

The awards were sponsored by Workday, Deloitte Africa, Mercer Marsh Benefits, GIBS and Momentum Corporate.

The CHRO of the Year Award was handed out by Kirenga Rwigema, head: Customer Strategy & Value at Workday.

The Young CHRO of the Year Award was handed by Keletjo Chiloane, Senior Associate, Mercer South Africa. The Strategy and Leadership Award was handed by Sthembiso Phakathi, Director, Deloitte Consulting. The

Transformation & Empowerment Award was handed by Tswelo Kodisang, Chief People Officer, First Rand Group.

The HR & Technology Award was handed by Sameera Mohamed, HR Director, MIcrosoft SA. The Learning &

Development Award was handed by Hayley Pearson, Faculty Director, GIBS. The Talent Management Award was handed by S'ne Magagula, CHRO, Tiger Brands.

The Employee Value Proposition Award was handed by Qinisekile Dhlamini, Head: Business Development, Momentum Corporate.

Further information on the other award winners:

Strategy & Leadership Award – Pumeza Bam (Liberty Group)

When Pumeza arrived at Liberty as group executive people & transformation, her experience of the manual recruitment and onboarding process led her to prioritise how new employees could be introduced into Liberty. In partnership with the CIO and technology team, a seamless interface between recruitment and onboarding was implemented. Liberty’s people strategy is ensuring alignment between an excellent employee experience and excellent client experience. She is most proud of the implementation of the ‘Evolution of Work’ strategy that adapted to new ways of work.

Learning & Development Award – Lee-Ann Samuel (Implats)

Lee-Ann, who joined Implats as the group executive of people in October 2017, says she has been responsible for taking the company back to its ‘why’ by revising its strategy. Under her leadership, Impala has career paths and talent pipelines, as well as a detailed EE plan that gives preference to women. She has partnered with the Department of Mineral Resources to create secondary industries in Rustenburg to mitigate mining job losses, as well as the Royal Bafokeng nation. Her award was accepted by her colleague Muhammed Patel, HR executive: Mining.

Talent Management Award – Enid Lizamore (Santam)

Enid took over as the Santam group executive head of HR at a time when the function needed to become a strategic business partner. Under her leadership, the function has evolved into a purpose-driven, delivery-oriented and people-led human capital function that continuously delivers an exceptional employee experience. The HR team was awarded the Group CEO Award for their commitment and value-adding work. Enid spearheaded the automation of admin through an Employee bot and launched a mobile-first employee app that includes learning on the go. Enid could not attend the awards and her colleague Sharon Moodley,  head: delivery accepted her award on her behalf.

Employee Value Proposition Award– Portia Thokoane (Dark Fibre Africa)

Having gained global experience, Portia joined DFA as a group CHRO in November 2017. She developed the HR function from the ground and transformed the business to achieve a Level 1 BBBEE score in 2021. She introduced programmes which saw the company participating and winning Top Employer awards annually. During Covid-19, Portia facilitated digital maturity which enabled the company to quickly work remotely, leverage e-learning platforms and use robotic process automation to provide transactional services. She is passionate about D&I, leadership development and holistic employee well-being.

The Awards are judged by the following esteemed panel of industry leaders and HR experts:

Caryn Baird
Group Org Dev and HC exec, Independent

James Ramakau
Manager: Talent & Sourcing, Anglo American

Jane Waters
COO, Allen & Overy

Moula Mokhobo-Amegashie
Managing partner, Drayton, Glendower & Mokhobo

Paul Norman

Raisibe Morati
CFO, Vodacom

Richard Sutton
Founder & CEO, Sutton Health

Roze Philips
Executive Director: Value Creation, GIBS

Shirley Zinn
Independent’s Non-Executive Director

Tswelo Kodisang
CHRO, First Rand

Tumelo Seaketso
Org Tansformation, Deloitte

Vukani Mngxati
CEO, Accenture

Xolile Sizani
CEO, Nzuri Consulting

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