ricardoI was raised by a single mother amongst a group of fourteen kids, including nephews and nieces. We grew up in a small house in De Aar, Northern Cape.  My mother later moved to the City of Johannesburg whilst I remained in De Aar in my grandmother’s care. 

I am a hard-working individual and a confident worker, both as part of a team, and also on my own. Shortly after joining Old Mutual nearly 14 years ago, I was transferred to Gauteng to start the business there as my supervisors could see that I showed promise. I had been in Gauteng for scarcely a month before was I asked by JPMorgan to join their team.  I settled in well at JP Morgan, winning the prestigious “JPMorgan Chase Service Colleague to Colleague” award at the young age of 26. To my knowledge I am the only South African to have won that award since 2004. At the age of 30, I won the FNB/Job Creation Trust award on the strength of a biltong business which I co-ran in 2007/2008. This was indeed an honour as the business was one of the best projects financed by FNB during the 2007/2008 financial year. This award again demonstrated my ability to be a hard and innovative worker, someone who can add value to any team.

Following my successful career in the private sector, I made an exciting move to the public one, joining The Presidency as former minister Essop Pahad’s personal assistant (Director Level) in November 2014, and also rejoined the public service after having served as Regional Manager for Dial A Bed for two and a half years. I rejoined the public service working at the Ministry of Sport and Recreation in (September 2011).

I believe that my life experience gained whilst working for a financial services company (Old Mutual), an investment bank (JPMorgan), a retail company (Dial-A-Bed,) Government (The Presidency and the Ministry of Sport and Recreation) stands me in good stead.  I am confident that the challenges I faced in the corporate world and in the private sector, and in Government, will help me to be a better Member of Parliament as I understand how these institutions work.  

In December 2012 I won the Director General’s (Department of Sport and Recreation) award for innovation, an accolade that reflects an ongoing, solid work ethic and a mature approach to work and to life in general. This award is very special to me as I won it for a project I had joined fairly late, after having worked only four months in the Ministry. I had a full-time Job whilst working at the Ministry and I believe I was the most prominent member of the task team on this project – despite several high-ranking officials on the same team having travelled abroad under the project’s guise.

I am an excellent communicator, a strategic thinker and someone who fervently believes that all of us have to be accountable and transparent.  I am emotionally intelligent and can show that I can drive change when needed, even if this may not be a popular choice. I have a natural ability to think outside the box, am people-orientated and believe that one should invest in people rather than in equipment.  I believe that helping people to help themselves is the key to success in our community.

Ricardo Mackenzie
078 564 5341

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