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 Johan Ferreira, Group Financial Director, Rolfes Holdings, 34

Self-discipline, hard work and dedication drive Johan Ferreira to reach his goals – concepts he learnt early in life. Johan’s first job was a neighborhood paper route – where he was required to rise at 4:30 on freezing Free State mornings to deliver newspapers. Young as he was, this was his first taste of perseverance and to this day he maintains that these early lessons set him up for success later in his career.

He looks back on those years as preparation for the completion of his CA(SA). Johan says that earning his degree surprised him – perhaps more than anyone else. He didn’t stop there however, completing his MBA over two years while working at Optimum (part of the Glencore Group). The MBA exposed him to a variety of great leaders and to the differing views of people from diverse professions – both in South Africa and the broader African continent.

After spending two years in Switzerland as part of Glencore International, Johan returned to South Africa to take on the role of Group Financial Director at JSE listed Rolfes Holdings; a company operating out of Johannesburg, with a global footprint in Africa and Europe. In this role, he has assembled a diverse and skilled team, as well as becoming involved with investor presentations on behalf of the group.   

Johan has worked hard to become both a CA(SA) and a leader in South Africa and as such, believes he would like to play a role in empowering other young people to follow their dreams. His role at Rolfes Holdings, together with the fact that he is a member of the main board of the group, puts him in the ideal position to participate in the development of young skill and talent in South Africa, he maintains.

His vision is one of transforming and empowering South African youth through value based leadership. “Through active daily management, I want to play a role in transforming and empowering skills in the country,” he says.

Life isn’t always easy and Johan has faced personal tragedy in his life. His father has been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and to this end, Johan has been involved with the J9 Foundation, a registered charity that was set up by ex-Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen before he died of MND earlier this year. The foundation assists 64 beneficiaries in South Africa with medical assistance and research, Johan explains, adding that he would like to do what he can to raise awareness and funds for this tragic medical condition. 

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