DFA’s leadership team consists of experts from a diverse range of fields and backgrounds. Each of our executive committee members are leaders in their spheres of influence and come with a wealth of knowledge and experience. They bring this to bear in everything we do and in how we proceed as a business. One thing that our leaders all have in common is that we are passionate about developing telecommunications in South Africa, while uplifting and empowering local communities.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Andries has an extensive career in telecommunications. Before joining DFA he was the Chief Technology Officer with DFA’s parent company Community Investment Venture Holdings (CIVH). Andries joined CIVH in 2020 after 24 years with Vodacom Group where he served as Chief Technology Officer for the latter part of his career. His responsibilities included overseeing Vodacom’s mobile- and business-network strategies and the planning, designing, building, and operations for Vodacom South Africa. He was also responsible for centralized and regional operational functions and support of all Vodacom entities outside of South Africa. Andries holds a Master’s in Business Leadership from Unisa and a BSc in Electronic Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Chief Financial Officer
Jacques obtained his BCom Accountancy from North West University, South Africa. He completed his post graduate studies (CTA) at Unisa and qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
After completing his articles he joined the CIE Group (now called the CIV Group) in 1999. He took responsibility for overseeing the financials for the services and telecommunication companies within the group and to provide monthly reporting on their progress.
In 2008 he joined the Perago Group, a financial system developer for central banks, as their financial manager. A European bank had the majority of the shareholding, and Jacques managed the full financial function, reporting to the CFO in Italy.
In 2009 he was approached by CZ Electronics Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd, part of the CIV Group, to join them as financial director. After spending eighteen months with CZEM he was requested by the holding company (CIV) to perform some consulting work at MCT Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd.
With the changes in the market and the focus of the CIV Group to disinvest in manufacturing, Jacques was offered the position of CFO for MCT Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd, and joined DFA as CFO in 2020.
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
He has had ample exposure to turnkey project delivery and that enabled him to get involved in multiple aspects of business, including the development of relationships with major OEM partners, negotiations across the value chain, and exposure to the delivery capabilities of the companies.
Praveen’s most recent roles in senior management include Communications Sector Consulting Lead at IBM, Software Country Manager at HP, and Regional Sales Manager at Cisco. He has also worked for several other multinationals, including Siemens, Alcatel, and Speech Design. He joined DFA in 2016 to head up the sales and client marketing functions.
Chief Technical Officer
Andreas qualified as an electrical engineer specializing in light current in 1986. He also completed an Advanced Executive Programme (AEP) at the Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership and obtained a Diploma in Project Management via Executive Training underwritten by Dover University.
Prior to working at DFA, Andreas served a 13-year tenure at Telkom in various roles within the Transmission Division. He then joined Vodacom in 1994 and later headed the Transmission Division as the Managing Executive of Transport Networks until 2012, before taking up his present role as Chief Technical Officer at DFA.
Chief Human Capital Officer
Portia has extensive HR experience spanning a career of close to 17 years in the field. She was a lecturer at the Vaal University of Technology, an HR specialist at Whirlpool SA, an HR manager at SPAR South Rand Distribution Centre, and most recently, Head of HR for the Africa region at global power management company Eaton.
Her qualifications include a BTech in HR Management, Business, Management, Marketing, and related support services, an MBA from the University of South Africa, and a Masters in Management Coaching from the University of Stellenbosch.
Chief Operations Officer
Wesley’s association with DFA spans more than ten years having joined the company 2007 as Executive Head of Network Operations Centre. Prior to this, he spent a number of years working for major telecomms providers such as Telkom SA.
Wesley holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Technical Engineering with an Electronics Specialization, which he obtained from the Tshwane University of Technology. He has also completed an Executive Development Programme with the University of South Africa.
Wesley describes himself as an energetic leader with the ability to envision and create successful outcomes in complex situations.
Dr Heydon Hall
Chief Information Officer
With over 20 years’ senior IT-leadership experience, Heydon brings a wealth of knowledge in information technology, digital transformation, robotics process automation and artificial intelligence. He has led teams in digital transformation and business re-engineering turnarounds for numerous large organizations and has been involved in several successful technology start-ups.
Heydon sees himself as a student of business, an innovator, and a serial corporate entrepreneur whose CIO roles give him the opportunity to pair his organizational-design and technology skills to enhance business performance. He has extensive technology-implementation and corporate-leadership experience at executive and board level.
Heydon holds a DCom (Performance, Leadership, and Change). He studied his MBA through the University of Oxford Brooks with a focus on organizational design, technology, and marketing. He holds a BCom with majors in economics, business, marketing, and law from Unisa.