Former BLSA head Michael Spicer dies

Michael Spicer, a former CEO of Business Leadership SA (BLSA) and chair of Western Cape tourism promotion agency Wesgro, has died.

Spicer, who described his time heading up BLSA as “a fulfilling and rewarding period in my life”, was also vice president of fellow business lobby Business Unity SA (BUSA). 

Spicer, who was born in 1953, had a wide experience in public life in SA. This included business and government relations, education and economic policy as well as the wine and tourism industries, according to his LinkedIn profile. For 20 years, he was an executive director at mining giant Anglo American, also serving as a board member of SA Tourism as well as the International Marketing Council (later Brand SA).

In 2006, he was appointed a member of the Presidential International Advisory Board of Mozambique, which he later chaired. He was also a former chair of the council at St John’s College, where he matriculated, before going on to graduate with distinction from Rhodes University, where he obtained his master’s degree in history. He joined the board of governors of Rhodes University in 2009.

The Western Cape government said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that Spicer led the board of Wesgro for almost a decade “and he did so with huge passion, wisdom, dedication and energy”.

“He was a great champion for the role of the private sector in driving economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape. And his work in this role has undoubtedly improved the lives of people in the Western Cape. On behalf of the Western Cape government, I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his wife and family,” said David Maynier, provincial spokesperson of finance and economic opportunities.

Spicer is survived by his wife, Ireen, and their sons, Nicholas and Simon. 

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