An Interview with Our CEO

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This month we celebrate a very special staff anniversary at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA – 15 years with Mqabuko Moyo Ndukwana who began his journey with us in 2007. 

CEO Mqabuko Moyo Ndukwana
CEO Mqabuko Moyo Ndukwana

With his steadfast work ethic and relentless thirst for knowledge, 2018 heralded a new era at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA whereby Mqabuko Moyo Ndukwana was appointed the CEO of South Africa’s largest and oldest animal welfare organisation.

Fast forward to the 1st of August 2022, Moyo celebrated his 15th anniversary on the 1st of August 2022 and it’s safe to say that the Cape of Good Hope SPCA has been flourishing under his custodianship.

It is only because of his unwavering integrity, passion and broader vision during his tenure as the CEO of South Africa’s largest and oldest animal welfare organisation that cemented the Cape of Good Hope SPCA as the leading proponent for changing attitudes towards the treatment of all creatures and animal welfare issues at large.

To celebrate this milestone, we recently sat down with Moyo and asked him a few questions.

Moyo, as CEO of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, would you please tell us a bit about yourself?

“I am a passionate animal lover and carer and I advocate the kind treatment towards animals by fellow human beings. I hold an Honours Degree in Animal Science and a BPhil. in Sustainable Development. I have various qualifications in Financial Management and Project Management (among others), and I’ve also completed an intensive series of NSPCA Inspectorate courses and examinations.”

“As the years went by, I advanced to the position of Senior Inspector which saw me heading up the 24/7 emergency centre responding to all manner of cases across the Cape Metropole –  many of them life-threatening.”

“I have been with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA for the past 15 years and I still love what I do – giving the voiceless a voice.”

Tell us about the very special anniversary the Cape of Good Hope SPCA is celebrated this year?

“On the 27th of May 2022, The Cape of Good Hope SPCA celebrated its 150th anniversary.”

“Established in 1872, we are the founding society of the SPCA movement in South Africa which makes us the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the country.”

“I am humbled to say that we recently received a Global Excellence Award as the Best Animal Welfare NPO in South Africa.  To give you some context on why this is a huge accomplishment for us, we are a high-volume animal facility seeing an average of 45 000 cases per year, of which more than 60% present as moderate to severe.”

“We’re one of the few animal welfare organisations that has successfully provided a holistic approach, integrating education, health and welfare to address all animal cruelty issues. Our successful strategy has enabled our organisation to offer a greater “basket” of services, thereby building trust with the community we work in and with the ongoing pursuit to prevent cruelty to animals and make quality veterinary care services more accessible to both the general public and impoverished communities.”

What are the key services of the SPCA?

“The end-to-end operations of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA include an Inspectorate Department, a multidisciplinary Animal Hospital, Pound, Farmyard and Horse Care Unit, Wildlife Facility, Education Team and a fully-fledged re-homing service overseeing animal adoptions as well as five roving Mobile Clinics.  These are complimented by our entrepreneurial income, generating retail and digital revenue streams.”

“The 24-hour Inspectorate service, with its 26 strong staff complement consists of 1 Chief Inspector, 2 Senior Inspectors, 13 Inspectors, 3 Trainee Inspectors, 2 Field Officers and 3 Collection Officers who service an area of more than 3 200 square kilometres.”

“This area of operation includes the Cape Town Metropole of 2 400 square kilometres and the Stellenbosch municipal area of more than 800 square kilometres, stretching into the Cape Wine lands.”

“Our relationship with the different levels within Government, Law Enforcement and the Judiciary is critical to the successful implementation of our interventions. Decision processes are guided by a multi-disciplinary input which enables the SPCA to respond proactively to changes and challenges that may occur.”

“Our solutions and interventions are centred on serving individuals and their families, and the community where they live at the primary level. This approach facilitates entry into communities and allows us to tailor and target solutions relevant to a specific localised need.”

Tell us more about the SPCA as a social entrepreneurial venture? 

“The impact of the global recession has resulted in a decline in traditional funding streams. Also, many Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives require their contributions to align with their own strategic objectives, which may not be animal welfare related.”

“Scarce resource trends gave rise to a new emerging hybrid social enterprise model in part capable of generating revenue and in part dependent on donations received from the public.  In response, we have aligned ourselves with the new emerging trend with the inclusion of entrepreneurial ventures where revenue generation occurs through the retail and digital components as well as donations received from the public are directly applied towards subsidised service delivery promoting access to primary level veterinary care.  These revenue streams include the vet shop, charity shop, animal clinic, mobile and vaccination clinics as well as our events, book sales and digital campaigns.”

Please share insights into the entrepreneurial leadership you use in leading the organisation?

“The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is strong in generating new innovative ideas.  We approach the feasibility of those ideas cautiously and carefully screen the most promising ideas before we select to convert them into projects or campaigns. As a result of resource constraints associated with not for profits, usually only one or two of those ideas meet the requirements to move all the way through the value chain and to go to market.  Examples of these include the launch of the SPCA retail store, featuring a first-of-its-kind tasting station for pets to choose their own food according to their palate, and the recent #DontLoseYourLove microchipping campaign derived from data published by Euromonitor International.”

“The SPCA also initiated the Tails Up Club Lottery, aimed at delivering service to people via mobile clinic services in high deprivation areas.”

How does the SPCA navigate the everyday challenges of sustainability, the economy and the effects of the pandemic?

“Establishing sustainable partnerships with donors, other animal welfare organisations and partnerships with the business sector play a significant role in how the Cape of Good Hope SPCA advances its interventions and solutions in Animal Welfare. As such, our stakeholder approach has been key to the successful execution of interventions and our ability to ensure continued service delivery. The aforementioned has enabled the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to address the root causes of animal cruelty particularly by providing an end-to-end solution that incorporates a holistic approach to improve access to care, quality of care and increased quality of life for those animals who pass through our care.”

“Our holistic approach in combination with the organisation’s intellectual and human capital enabled the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to successfully drive several interventions through the innovation value chain, resulting in strategic advantage, enhancing our ability to adapt and attract revenue. Funding and organisational sustainability remain a top priority and tie in with the need to be relevant in a changing economic and technological landscape.”

How can the “man in the street” bring entrepreneurship thinking into their world?

“Do the research and gain a better understanding of the sector, its emerging market trends, and who is already servicing market segments within that sector.  Understand the differences between consumer wants and consumer needs.  A want can never be satisfied, it is aspirational.  A need can be satisfied, and that need may arise again in future.  Those recurring needs result in repeat business.  The focus should be on facilitating, creating or enabling solutions that address and satisfy a real need.”

How can the community get involved with the SPCA?

“We encourage every individual to become an ambassador for animal welfare.  You can visit our website to get more information on our events, activities, and make an online donation or report animal cruelty.”

Being at the coalface of animal rescue, Moyo sees the worst of humanity’s treatment of animals, which has an emotional toll on us all. It’s safe to say that at the core of his heart lies compassion – towards both animals and humankind. He, along with his staff always strive to dig deep in their souls to continue the fight against rampant animal abuse and prosecute incorrigible animal abusers.

Cape of Good Hope SPCA - our CEO Mqabuko Moyo Ndukwana

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