THE MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY AGENCY (MDDA) IS A STATUTORY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR PROMOTING, SUPPORTING, AND ENSURING MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY. IT IS SET UP AS A PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND MAJOR PRINT AND BROADCASTING COMPANIES TO ASSIST IN (AMONGST OTHERS) DEVELOPING COMMUNITY AND SMALL COMMERCIAL MEDIA IN SOUTH AFRICA.
MDDA’s success in 2013 helped it become a finalist in the Top Performing Parastatal Category at 11th National Business Awards. Top Performing caught up with CEO Lumko Mtimde, to find out how much this meant to the organisation in its tenth year of operations.
CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING A FINALIST AT THE 2013 NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS – TOP PERFORMING PARASTATAL AGENCY CATEGORY, HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Being recognised as a finalist in a year when the Agency is celebrating its ten years, when we again received a Certificate of Excellence for achieving a Clean Audit Opinion by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), was indeed befitting for the MDDA. This enabled us to acknowledge the achievements in pursuit of our mandate.
WHAT DO YOU THINK BECOMING A FINALIST AT THE 2013 NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS HAS AND WILL DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Becoming a finalist at the 2013 National Business Awards assists the MDDA in showcasing its work, with the hope of growing its partnership base. Also, it makes MDDA partners feel proud to be associated with the reputable MDDA brand.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NATIONAL
BUSINESS AWARDS JUDGING PROCESS?
The National Business Awards judging process appear open and transparent, using scientific measuring tools to choose the best winners.
DOES BECOMING A FINALIST AT THE NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS DIRECTLY ENHANCE YOUR INTERNAL MANAGEMENT SUPPORT FOR LEADERSHIP IN BUSINESS?
Becoming finalists at the Awards led to the hardworking team at MDDA, the people behind MDDA’s success story; our staff, realise the fruits of their commitment and good performance. This ensures that the team work even harder, improve internal business systems, and appreciate the direction the agency is heading.
DOES BECOMING A FINALIST AT THE NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS DIRECTLY INFLUENCE THE EXTERNAL CLIENT ASSESSMENT OF YOUR CREDIBILITY AS A LEADER IN THE INDUSTRY?
Our partners, our stakeholders from the Presidency, Ministers in the Presidency, the Department of Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, GCIS, Ministry of Communications, Parliament, AGSA, and our beneficiaries congratulated us and the Award confirmed their held view that MDDA is a best managed public entity.
WHY DO YOU THINK SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS TO RECOGNISE ITS LEADERS IN THIS WAY?
South Africa has to appreciate its history, background, and challenges as a context in understanding the complexity of what needs to be done to reverse the ills of our past; apartheid. This will help ensure that efforts to better the lives of citizens are sharpened and the pace to reconstruct and develop our country is fast tracked.
All the efforts and wisdom to drive this must be supported. Whilst it is necessary to be constructively critical in the process, it is also equally important to recognise success, appreciate good work, and boast about success stories. The National Business Awards is of the correct interventions aimed at recognising excellence and support success.
WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, WOULD YOU SAY SETS YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS APART FROM YOUR PEERS?
Clear mandate, vision, focus in smart planning, dedication, passion, caring, teamwork, and commitment sets the MDDA apart from its peers.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR UPCOMING BUSINESSES TO ENHANCE THEIR STATUS IN THE CORPORATE ARENA?
My advice is that hard work pays. Strategic direction and smart plans assist to achieve deliverables. Setting up clear transparent policies, systems, and procedures that are reliable and functional enhances business potential.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
WAS THERE A MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER THAT WAS MOST SATISFYING OR WHEN YOU THOUGHT THIS MAKES IT ALL WORTHWHILE?
In my career, the best moment is finding a team that gels, works together, and is trustworthy.
The most satisfying moments are when I see the impact of our interventions leading to recognisable change in the lives of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, the rural communities, and the working class.
MDDA is proud to be able to see communities gain access to information that is critical for them to explore opportunities and their potential is priceless.
It is also great to see people participating in our democracy using platforms owned and controlled by the people.
When we see leadership find space and time to interact with grassroots communities, listening, and responding to the needs of those people, it is truly inspiring. All of these things fulfil my drive and conviction, and it makes this worthwhile.
DO YOU THINK THERE ARE CERTAIN SKILLS
THAT MAKE YOU A NATURAL LEADER?
It is difficult to self-assess in respect of skills, but yes, the ability to focus on the challenge ahead, commitment, passion, and selflessness enables one to be a leader.