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TOP WOMEN Empowering women . Empowering the NAtion.




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www. t o p c o . c o . za PUBLISHED BY

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in means

moving forward Last year we gave R50 billion in loans to thousands of South Africans. For us R50 billion in loans is more than just a number. It means more homes, more education, more small businesses and more new beginnings. It’s South Africans moving forward.

Moving Forward


Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP15) The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (Reg. No. 1962/000738/06). SBSA 94205 07/11 Moving Forward is a trademark of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

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T H AT ’ S





Standard Bank remains Africa’s top bank as ranked by The Banker in its Top 1000 World Banks 2011 survey. This demonstrates our commitment to moving Africa forward.

Moving Forward


Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP15) The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (Reg. No. 1962/000738/06). SBSA 94205 – 07/11 Moving Forward is a trademark of The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

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C O N T 18


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THE HEROES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN’S STRUGGLE The heroes of the women’s struggle were also stalwarts of the political Struggle, and in the process of political change, they managed to bring about changes for women. Madeleine Barnard


BUILDING EMPOWERMENT The construction sector is proving more colour-blind and gender indifferent than ever. Kerry Dimmer





SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN DRIVING THE GREEN ECONOMY Although it’s early days for the implementation of the green economy, there are women across South Africa working tirelessly on making our economy sustainable. Madeleine Barnard


WHAT DO WORKING MOTHERS REALLY WANT? What do working mothers think of female retention strategies and does it really make a difference in their lives? Leon Dempers

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E N T S 39


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CONTRIBUTORS MADELEINE BARNARD studied languages and journalism, and worked in fields as diverse as the performing arts and financial services. She has also been an English teacher in Japan, has written a book titled Cape Town Stories published by Struik (now RandomStruik) in 2007, and has made a CD of her own songs called Unsung Heroes. She works as a freelance journalist, copywriter, songwriter and communicator in Cape Town. KERRY DIMMER is a freelance journalist passionate about Africa and its challenges. She describes herself as a deep thinker who wants to know everything, but realises that nothing can be absolutely known. Believing that all things and every person has a story to tell, Kerry will relate it, succinctly she hopes, but always frustrated by the limited words allowed. Kerry has trained as a yoga teacher and colour therapist, and although no longer practicing either, she has a deep sense of spirituality. Describing herself in one word, Kerry chooses ‘balanced’ which aptly describes how she attempts and struggles daily to live her life. She believes that people have a right to their own opinion, to be heard and to be respected, except of course those who commit human and animal injustices. Last year Kerry was a recipient of a Diageo Africa Business Reporting Award for best infrastructure feature, for her article on the African water crisis. After studying engineering, LEON DEMPERS discovered the humanities, majoring in English, French, Mathematics and Philosophy. He started writing for the Pretoria News as a stringer, while completing his postgraduate studies in Philosophy. As a ‘some-time’ academic, he lectured in Philosophy and Communication Science at various universities over many years. In between, he worked as a translator, held senior positions in public relations, spent a couple of years at the Sorbonne in Paris and owned his own communication and human resources management consultancies in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Leon also owned his own garden nursery in Cape Town and more recently ran a herb farm in the Drakensberg. He is currently working in garden maintenance and as a freelance writer while finishing his first novel.


Webmaster Gaywin Walters

Chairman Richard Fletcher

Marketing Manager Tanya Myburgh

Group Publisher Ralf Fletcher

Project Manager Judy Twaambo-Chileshe

Associate Publisher Karla Fletcher

Senior Business Developers Charmaine Docherty Babalwa Mkobeni Samantha Petersen

Group Editor Tania de Kock Managing Editor Shaheema Albertyn-Burton

Head Designer Jayne Macé

Researchers Nazreen Dramat Aisha Crombie Carmen Saville Edna Jenniker Mishqah Slamdien

Designers Kyle Collison Stephen Alfreds

Distribution & Subscriptions Ingrid Johnstone Ursula Davids

Traffic Coordinator Raeesah McLeod

Financial Administrator Bernadette Theron

Art Director Van Fletcher

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Research Manager Haley Fletcher


Contact Details Topco Media (Pty) Ltd The Pinnacle, 5th Floor, Cnr Strand & Burg Streets, Cape Town 8001 PO Box 16467, Vlaeberg 8018 Tel: 086 000 9590 Fax: +27 (0)21 423 7576 Email: Website: / www.businesswomen. Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of Topco Media (Pty) Ltd Reg. No. 2007/002190/07. While every care has been taken when compiling this publication, the publishers, editor and contributors accept no responsibility for any consequences arising from any errors or omissions. ISBN: 978-0-620-50074-6

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Sonke Gender Justice Network works to create the change necessary for men, women, young people and children to enjoy equitable, healthy, and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies. Sonke pursues this goal across Southern Africa by using a human rights framework to build the capacity of government, civil society organisations and citizens to achieve gender equality, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS. Sonke is committed to challenging the gender roles and inequalities that contribute to the rapid spread of HIV and exacerbate the impact of AIDS. Sonke recognises the importance of sustaining an engaged and empowered citizen activism that can both support and hold government accountable. For more information on Sonke Gender Justice Network, or what you can do to help stop gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS, please visit our website or contact us. Untitled-1 1


11th Floor, Phenyo House, 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein 2017 PO Box 31166, Braamfontein 2017 Tel: +27 (0)11 339 3589 Fax: +27 (0)11 339 6503

Cape Town:

Westminster House, 4th Floor, 122 Longmarket Street, Cape Town 8001 PO Box 3126, Cape Town, 8000 Tel: + 27 (0)21 423 7088 Fax: + 27 (0)21 424 5645 E-mail: Web: 7/28/11 2:09:51 PM


Editor’s letter W

elcome to the Women’s Month Special Edition of Top Women – we are very excited by this since it not only affords us a more regular chance to report about the developments of gender empowerment and equity in South Africa, but also gives us a stronger voice where gender-related matters are concerned. We are waiting with bated breath to see what the Gender Equality Bill will bring women in South Africa, and although the Minister of the Department for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, admits that it’s still a work in progress, she hopes it will generate positive debate and support. The aim of the Bill (and eventually the Act) is to change mindsets in terms of understanding the important roles women play in all spheres of our society. In addition to the Bill, the Department is also working on developing an empowerment fund for women that will have a particular focus on rural women. On the international front, 2011 has been a noteworthy year as it is the centenary of the International Women’s Day – a great opportunity for the world to reflect on how far women’s rights have come and what still needs to be achieved. Tip your hat at the suffragettes of old – and don’t forget South Africa’s Charlotte Maxeke who managed as a black woman to obtain her university degree in 1905! The United Nations Development Fund for Women and the United Nations Global Compact established The Women’s Empowerment Principles, “a way for business to survey and analyse current initiatives, benchmarks and reporting practices”. The principles that several corporates across the globe, including South Africa, have signed are: 1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality. 2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination. 3. Ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all women and men workers. 4. Promote education, training and professional development for women. 5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women. 6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy. 7. Measure and publically report on progress to achieve gender equality. The official South African launch of The Women’s Empowerment Principles by both the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) took place in July 2011. The Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said that the launch of the Principles is “a step in the right direction, as women advancement and empowerment is the

responsibility of everybody, including big business.” All of us involved in Top Women agree – but we need more business leaders to not only sign the Principles, but to entrench it in their company culture. Best wishes

Tania de Kock

Group Editor


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The 8th Annual


22 September 2011 | Gallagher Convention Centre

Lead Innovate Inspire South Africa’s top women have come out in support of the country’s premier gender empowerment event FOLLOW THE AWARDS

Twitter: Facebook: Email: or call 086 000 9590

To enter the Top Women Awards, contact 086 000 9590, Special coverage eTV News and Radio 2000 email or visitby


Research Criteria

Only researched, qualified and gender-empowered organisations can be featured in Top Women.


ach year, Top Women (TW) collects data and rates organisations against strict criteria such as, turnover, gender empowerment status, written policies, gender skills development, and gender social economic development (SED) to name but a few, in order to compile a top gender empowered publication. Our strict research criteria provide a true and independent evaluation, trusted to provide honest data upon which trends can be measured. Companies need to qualify to be listed, to profile or advertise in our publication. The objectives for the publication remains constant – to honour demonstrated commitment and achievement, thus encouraging the highest standards of excellence in business. The criteria according to which companies are evaluated can be broadly grouped into two types, namely employment and control criteria on the one hand, and policy criteria on the other. Within the former group, organisations are evaluated in terms of the extent to which women are represented within employment, management and ownership. Specific criteria here include whether the organisation has a female CEO, MD or chairperson, and the proportion of women within overall employment, and among executive directors, management and senior management. The proportion of female ownership is another criterion within this group, specifically black female and total female representation within a company. The second set of criteria reflects organisations’ commitment to gender equality and empowerment as evidenced by the existence and nature of company policies. The existence of written policies that are specifically focused at women and are designed to encourage the retention of women in the workplace, and the length of time they have been in place represent the first criteria within the policy sphere. Examples of policies that are taken into account are extended maternity leave, flexihours for women and childcare or crèche facilities. Recruitment policies – the existence and level of

targets for recruitment of women expressed as a proportion of total recruitment – and the share of skills development expenditure dedicated to women are also considered in evaluating companies. Finally, SED expenditures focused on the development of women are evaluated in absolute terms and relative to company profits. For each of the criteria used to evaluate commitment to gender equity and empowerment, organisations are allocated points depending on their specific performance. Organisations are allocated either high, medium or low points in each criterion, with these points aggregated to obtain an overall score, which must exceed the minimum requirement for qualification as a top gender empowered organisation. In order to be considered, however, organisations must generate a minimum turnover or revenue of R5-million per annum. Criteria are listed below and companies are adjudicated a score of 5, 10, or 15 per criteria point depending on how well they score. Companies are, however, not ranked on the basis of their scores. As our economy continues to grow and prosper, TW will continue to highlight the success, achievements and progress of gender empowerment companies and their people in South Africa. Criteria Financial Information • Turnover • Years of operation Human Resources Criteria according to which companies are evaluated in this particular field are grouped into black female and total female representation Ownership • Percentage of black female ownership • Percentage of total female ownership Management and Control • Percentage of top senior management (positions include: CEO, COO, CFO and other

similar positions) • Black female + total female • Percentage of female executive directors • Percentage of female non-executive directors Employment Equity • Percentage of employees • Percentage of management (all other management excluding top senior management) Policies Written policies in any of the following areas: • Job share for women only • Preferential procurement • Childcare / crèche facilities • Flexi-hours for women only • HIV/Aids • Extended maternity leave Skills Development • Organisation’s expenditure on skills development as a proportion of total payroll Preferential Procurement • Percentage of total procurement sourced from black-owned and empowered companies Enterprise Development • Organisation’s expenditure on enterprise development programmes for the last financial year? (As a percentage of net profit after tax). • Name notable ED programmes Socio-Economic Development • Organisation’s expenditure on socio-economic development programmes for the last financial year (as a percentage of net profit after tax) • Name notable SED programmes • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Scorecard Footnote: All the information contained through our research will be treated as confidential. No company specific information will be released or used for any purpose other than the evaluation process without the express consent of the applicant.


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Empowering women . Empowering the NAtion.

Topco Media proudly presents South Africa’s Top Women for the year 2010-2011. These companies passed our strict research criteria, and the companies that have chosen to feature themselves are highlighted below in grey.

Resources Resources

Econ Oil & Energy (Pty) Ltd

Heavy Construction


Engen Petroleum Limited

Abakhisi SA (Pty) Ltd


KZN Oils (Pty) Ltd

Actus Integrated Management (Pty) Ltd

Motjoli Resources (Pty) Ltd


African National Cranes cc

Shell South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Basil Read Holdings Limited

Transnet Pipelines - a division of Transnet Limited

Boitshoko Road Surfacing cc

Gold Mining Gold Fields Limited


Rand Refinery Limited

Bombela Concession Company (Pty) Ltd C & R Contractors KwaZulu cc

Basic Industries

CC George Properties (Pty) Ltd



Fikile Construction (Pty) Ltd

Anglo Platinum Limited

Chemicals - Commodities

G4 Civils (Pty) Ltd

Aquarius Platinum South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Easigas (Pty) Ltd

Group Five Limited


Chemicals - Advanced Materials

Kwagga Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd

Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited

Imbani Projects (Pty) Ltd

Alexkor Limited

Pg 24

Nolitha (Pty) Ltd

Ekapa Mining (Pty) Ltd

Chemicals - Speciality

Ruwacon (Pty) Ltd

African Oxygen Limited t/a Afrox

Scott Steel Projects (Pty) Ltd

Other Mineral Extractors & Mines

Agro-Serve (Pty) Ltd t/a Efekto

The Power Group of Companies

Ascent Mining Services cc

Dow Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd

Vela VKE Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd

Cape Precious Metals (Pty) Ltd

Sasol Limited

Trans Hex Group Limted

Other Manufacturing

Foskor (Pty) Ltd Kumba Iron Ore

Pg 32

Merafe Resources Limited

Building & Construction Materials

Other Manufacturing

Builders Merchants

Acoustex (Pty) Ltd

KLM International Supplies cc t/a KLM Plumbing Supplies

Automould (Pty) Ltd

General Mining

Dossier Consultants (Pty) Ltd t/a CFT Labels

African Rainbow Minerals Limited

Building & Construction Materials

Inmins Trading (Pty) Ltd

Anglo American South Africa Limited

Aburec Fencing t/a Cape Fence Erectors

Marble Gold 1025 cc

Exxaro Resources Limited

Amabamba Fencing (Pty) Ltd

Process Automation (Pty) Ltd

Petmin Limited

Cobra Watertech (Pty) Ltd

Vikela Aluvin (Pty) Ltd

Siyanda Resources (Pty) Ltd

Malaka Supplies cc Salberg Concrete Products (Pty) Ltd

Steel & Other Metals

Oil & Gas

Wahl Industries (Pty) Ltd

Iron & Steel

Oil & Gas - Services

Sephaku Cement (Pty) Ltd

MacSteel Service Centres SA (Pty) Ltd Nedsteel (Pty) Ltd

Orbichem Petrochemicals (Pty) Ltd

House Building Oil & Gas - Integrated

Mathote Modula Building Systems (Pty) Ltd

General Industrials

Afric Oil (Pty) Ltd

Uvuko Civils Maintenance & Construction cc

Aerospace & Defence Defence

BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd C & N Petroleum Equipment (Pty) Ltd

Other Construction

Advanced Technologies & Engineering Company (Pty) Ltd

Calulo Investments (Pty) Ltd


ARMSCOR (Armaments Corporation of South Africa) Limited

Pg 26

Central Energy Fund (Pty) Ltd

Denel (Pty) Ltd

Chevron South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Imperial Armour cc




Diversified Industrials

Khuthele Projects (Pty) Ltd

Leisure Equipment

Diversified Industrials

Madlanduna Corporation (Pty) Ltd

Prima Toys & Leisure Trading (Pty) Ltd

Argent Industrial Limited

Manong & Associates (Pty) Ltd

Barloworld Limited

Palace Engineering Services (Pty) Ltd t/a Palace Technologies

Non-Cyclical Consumer Goods

Lidonga Minerals (Pty) Ltd

People for Africa Personnel (Pty) Ltd t/a Ilitha Specialised Staffing


The Bidvest Group Limited

SCIP Engineering Group (Pty) Ltd t/a SCIP

Beverages - Brewers

UWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd

The South African Breweries Limited

Cyclical Consumer Goods

Beverages - Distillers & Vintners

Automotive & Parts

Swartland Wynkelder (Pty) Ltd

Electronic & Electrical Equipment Electrical Equipment Enzani Technologies (Pty) Ltd

Pg 35

Mandlakazi Electrical Technologies (Pty) Ltd


Tedelex Trading (Pty) Ltd

Associated Motor Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Soft Drinks

Bentley South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Amalgamated Beverage Industries

Electronic Equipment

BMW South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Appletiser (SA) (Pty) Ltd

ABB South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Coca-Cola SA (Pty) Ltd

Ansys Limited

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd

Quality Beverages 2000 (Pty) Ltd

Bid Information Exchange (Pty) Ltd t/a Oce SA

Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd

Food Producers & Processors

Bytes Document Solutions (Pty) Ltd Dartcom (Pty) Ltd

Auto Parts


Excelcom cc

Armstrong Hydraulics South Africa (Pty) Ltd

County Fair Foods - a division of Astral Operations Limited

Falcon Electronics (Pty) Ltd

Aunde South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Dotcom Trading 988 t/a Heidel Eggs

Ifihlile Aircon Corporation (Pty) Ltd t/a Gree Products

Gearbox Repair Centre (Pty) Ltd

Kaap Agri Limited

Itec Central (Pty) Ltd

Lumotech (Pty) Ltd

Rainbow Chicken Limited

Itec Group SA (Pty) Ltd

Midvaal Motor Engineers & Auto Services cc

Senwes Limited

Jasco Electronics Holdings Limited

Flextech Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd

Suidwes Investments Limited

Kyocera Mita South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Tyres & Rubber


Merlin Gerin SA (Pty) Ltd t/a Conlog

Pirelli Tyre (Pty) Ltd

Blue Continent Products (Pty) Ltd

Kopano Copier Company t/a Nashua Kopano (Pty) Ltd

Pacific Cables (Pty) Ltd

Foodcorp (Pty) Ltd t/a Marpro Trawling

Ricoh South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Vehicle Distribution

Komicx Products (Pty) Ltd

Samsung Electronics South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Eastvaal Motors (Pty) Ltd

Oceana Group Limited

Fosters Motor Group Limited

Premier Fishing SA (Pty) Ltd

Engineering & Machinery

Salvage Management & Disposal (Pty) Ltd

Commercial Vehicles & Trucks

Hillcrest Toyota (Pty) Ltd

Food Processors

600 SA Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Boundless Trade 154 (Pty) Ltd

AH-Vest Limited t/a All Joy Foods Limited

Bell Equipment Limited

Alibaba Food Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Cranes 4 Hire cc

Household Goods & Textiles

Excellent Meat Corporation (Pty) Ltd

Inyati Transport Engineering (Pty) Ltd

Clothing & Footwear

Foodcorp (Pty) Ltd

Target Cranes (Pty) Ltd

AIM Safety Equipment cc

Gull Foods - a division of First Lifestyle Group (Pty) Ltd

Bibette Clothing Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd

McCain Foods South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Engineering - Contractors

Bolton Footwear (Pty) Ltd

Oceana Brands Limited

Manhattan Corporation (Pty) Ltd

Carter Harris (Pty) Ltd

Pioneer Food Group Limited

Neppa Roads & Signs (Pty) Ltd

Eddels Shoes (Pty) Ltd

Tiger Brands Limited

House of Monatic Manufacturing

Tongaat Hulett Limited

Engineering Fabricators

Intimate Apparel SA - a division of Seardel Group

Willowton Oil & Cake Mills (Pty) Ltd

Formex Industries (Pty) Ltd

M1 Latex Products (Pty) Ltd t/a The Kit Group

Lindumn (Pty) Ltd

Monviso Knitwear - a division of Seardel Group Trading (Pty) Ltd


MSA Africa (Pty) Ltd

Health Maintenance Organisations

Engineering - General

Nike South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Allcare Administrators (Pty) Ltd

ASSA Abloy SA (Pty) Ltd

Pals (Pty) Ltd


Darson Construction (Pty) Ltd

Rex Trueform Clothing Company Limited

Batsomi Lifeworks (Pty) Ltd

Sweet-Orr & Lybro (Pty) Ltd

Bestmed Medical Scheme

Hi Tech Transformer Maintenance Imbokotho Engineering cc

Pg 56

Bonitas Medical Fund

Pg 36

Kram Engineering (Pty) Ltd

Furnishings & Floor Coverings

BSN Medical (Pty) Ltd

Otis (Pty) Ltd

Bravo Group Limited

Clinix Health Group (Pty) Ltd

SEW Eurodrive (Pty) Ltd

Dynamic Flooring cc

Fedhealth Medical Scheme

Floorworx Africa (Pty) Ltd t/a Floorworx

Kaelo Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Twiice International (Pty) Ltd

Lathi Tha' Eye Care

Consulting Engineers

Life Esidimeni (Pty) Ltd

AOS Consulting cc Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Household Appliances & Consumer Electronics

Medihelp Medical Scheme

Bateman Africa (Pty) Ltd

Amalgamated Appliance Holdings Limited

Medscheme Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Bergstan South Africa Consulting & Development Engin eers (Pty) Ltd t/a Bergstan South Africa

Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd

Metropolitan Health Corporate (Pty) Ltd

Defy Appliances (Pty) Ltd

ProSano Medical Scheme

BKS (Pty) Ltd

Hendler & Hart (Pty) Ltd

Sechaba Medical Solutions (SMS)

Goba (Pty) Ltd

Other Textiles & Leather Goods

Hospital Management & Long-Term Care

Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd

Korteks Textiles Africa (Pty) Ltd

Community Medical Services t/a Marie Stopes

Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd

The Goodhope Textile Corporation (Pty) Ltd t/a Da Gama Textiles

Life Healthcare Group Holdings Limited

Geosure (Pty) Ltd

Jeffares & Green (Pty) Ltd

Medi-Clinic Southern Africa Limited




The heroes

of the South African women’s struggle On 19 March 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated for the first time. It has since been celebrated every year, through wars, social upheaval and enormous change. This year sees the event’s first centenary. Madeleine Barnard celebrates and takes a look at the South African women’s struggle.

Albertina Sisulu celebrates her release with friends after being arrested under the General Laws Amendment Act of 1963, which allowed the police the power to hold suspects in detention for 90 days without charging them. In MaSisulu’s case, she was placed in solitary confinement incommunicado for almost two months.



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In a country like South Africa, with its history of political upheaval and inequalities, women have unique and continuing challenges. But how far have we come in the past century? What can we celebrate, and what still needs work?


outh’s Africa’s fight for gender equality for women in the past has been inextricably linked to the fight for racial equality. The heroes of the women’s struggle were also stalwarts of the political Struggle, and in the process of political change, they also managed to bring about changes for women. Highlights and heroines In 1905, Charlotte Maxeke becomes the first black woman in the country to earn her Bachelor’s degree. A schoolteacher, Charlotte decides to continue her studies in the United States. On her return to South Africa, she throws herself into the fight for racial and gender equality. In 1918, she founds the Bantu Women’s League of the South African Native National Congress. In 1935, she is the first president of the national Council for African Women. Other firsts include Cecilia Makiwane, the first black woman to register as a professional nurse, Mary Malahlela-Xakana, who becomes the first female black doctor in South Africa in 1947, and Patricia Jobodwana, who becomes the youngest black woman to enrol at a university – at Fort Hare, aged 14, for a degree in medicine. In 1936, Zainunnisa ‘Cissie’ Gool founds the National Liberation League, and becomes its first president. She represents District Six in 1938 on the Cape Town City Council, the first coloured woman in on this all-white council, retaining the position until 1951. She is also elected president of the NonEuropean United Front (NEUF) in 1940. She features prominently in Cape Town’s political landscape for most of her life.

©BAHA Drum Photographer

In 1954 Fatima Meer becomes the founder and chief architect of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW). In 1943, the ANC officially admits women members for the first time. A year later, Adelaide Tambo, wife of Oliver, is elected courier for the organisation. In 1960 she will leave the country to work as a courier for Oliver Tambo in London. She will become one of the most important women of the Struggle in her lifetime. The ANC Women’s League is formed in 1948. Treason trial defendant Ida Mtwana is its first president. The now legendary Albertina Sisulu joins the league in the same year. Into the 1950s In 1949, Fatima Meer establishes the Durban Districts Women’s League. She is the Founder and Chief Architect of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in 1954. It unites women from the ANC,

the South African Indian Congress, trade unions and self-help groups, and will be instrumental in women’s fight against the degrading pass book laws of the National Party. Lillian Ngoyi joins the ANC in 1952 and is arrested in the same year for her involvement in the Defiance Campaign. She is elected president of the ANCWL in 1953. In this year, another Struggle stalwart, Helen Suzman, represents the United Party in Parliament. When the Progressive Party is formed in 1959, Helen is once again its sole representative on Parliament’s benches. Her lone crusade in a mostly male environment will earn her the respect and love of most South Africans. 1955 and 1956 are busy and important years for women’s activism in South Africa. The Black Sash is formed. Women take part in two historical events – Sonia Bunting is one of the keynote speakers at the Congress of the People in Kliptown and Francis Baard is a member of the committee that produces the draft copy of the Freedom Charter. The anti-pass campaign Women were also spearheading the continued fight against the ruling party’s pass book laws for blacks. The Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW), in a well-organised countrywide drive, links the campaign to other issues such as forced removals and inadequate education. In October 1955 FEDSAW holds its first 2 000-strong march to the Union Buildings to protest passes for women, lead by Ida Mntwana. Less that a year later, on 9 August 1956, 20 000 women march to the Union Buildings, also under the FEDSAW banner and with Lillian Ngoyi as President, to protest against passes for women. This historic date – 9 August – will become National Women’s Day in South Africa and be celebrated for the first time in 1995. Lillian becomes the first woman elected to the ANC National Executive Committee in the same year. For the next two years, the anti-pass law campaign of protests and civil disobedience by women continued throughout the country, with thousands of women being arrested and detained. In a FEDSAW report, it was actually mentioned that women were becoming impatient for black men to become actively involved in the anti-pass campaign. A dark time The early 1960s – notably 1962 – is a dark time for the women of the Struggle. After the ANC is outlawed, many of them are banned and either placed under house arrest or restricted to certain areas. But even under these trying circumstances, Lillian Ngoyi still earns her LLB degree from UCT and is admitted to the Supreme Court of South Africa as Advocate. In 1963, Miriam Makeba, better known as a singer, speaks at the meeting of the United Nations’ Special Committee Against Apartheid in New York. She will go on to world fame as a Singer and Activist – she is awarded the Dag Hammerskjold Peace Prize in 1986.

Image courtesy of SAWomEng


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© Avusa Media © Avusa Media Left: Winnie Mandela, Right: Helen Suzman

In 1969, Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s military wing, is officially opened to women members. In the same year, Winnie Mandela is held in solitary confinement for 17 months after being detained under the Terrorism Act. She will be placed under house arrest in the following year. In 1976, during the Soweto Uprisings, she establishes the Black Women’s Federation and Black Parents’ Association. She is detained under the Internal Security Act. In the early 1970s, Mamphela Ramphele is active in student politics at the University of Natal. She joins the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) under leadership of Steve Biko. She is charged under the Suppression of Communism Act in 1974. A year later, she founds a community health centre in Zinyoka, outside King William’s Town. In 1976 she is detained under Section 10 of the Terrorism Act, and banished. In spite of these enormous challenges, her work continues. Mamphela Ramphele will go on to be appointed Senior Research Officer in the Department of Social Anthropology at UCT and obtain a PhD in 1984, and become Vice Chancellor of UCT in 1996 – the first black woman in SA to hold such a position. In 2000 she joins the World Bank in Washington as Managing Director responsible for human development. After another vicious clampdown after the Soweto Uprisings, which also sees the Black Women’s Federation banned, SA women activists continue their steady and defiant resistance. In 1978 and in 1980,



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On 9 August 1956, 20 000 women march to the Union Buildings under the FEDSAW banner, with Lillian Ngoyi as President, to protest against passes for women. Helen Suzman receives the UN’s Human Righs Award. Fatima Meer builds schools, a college and a craft centre. The upheaval of the 1980s The 1980s are a time of enormous political upheaval in South Africa, and the infamous State of Emergency. In spite of enormous obstacles, brave and strong women continue the fight for equality. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi goes into exile. First, she joins the ANC in Zimbabwe. Later, she becomes a member of MK, receives training in Angola and the USSR and Cuba. She returns from exile in 1990 to work as Personal Assistant to Joe Slovo and Chris Hani, and go on to several positions of authority from here. In 1986, Winnie Mandela becomes active again in ANC politics. Her continued and impassioned opposition of the Botha regime earns her the title ‘Mother of the Nation’. By 1993, she has been elected to the ANC’s NEC, and is President of the ANC

Women’s League. A year later, after the elections, she is appointed Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology. In 1997 she will be re-elected as President of the ANCWL. Patricia de Lille becomes a strong voice in politics in the late 1980s. She is elected to the national executive committee of the Pan African Movement, a wing of the PAC (Pan African Congress) in 1989, and is appointed Foreign Secretary and Relief & Aid Secretary of the PAC a year later. She will lead the PAC delegation at the CODESA talks in the 1990s, be elected Chairperson of the Transport Committee and Chief Whip for the PAC in Parliament in 1994. Her colourful career in politics has seen her as a steady voice for justice and reason. For several years, she lead the Independent Democrats, which have since joined forces with the DA. She is currently Mayor of the City of Cape Town. Victory at last – the 1990s This decade is a time of great excitement, starting with Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and the unbanning of the ANC. In April 1992, after the launch fo the Women’s National Coalition, women enter the CODESA talks under the auspices of this organisation. Two years later, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, most of the women stalwarts of the struggle are in positions of authority and power, and continue to influence and shape the history of this young democracy.


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Where are we now?

© Avusa Media

Much has happened in the intervening years between 1994 and the present. There have been growing pains, and there have been victories. But, where the fight for gender equality was interwoven with the Struggle for many years, it is now challenged on many fronts by the continuing economic inequality that remains the country’s biggest problem. Women still deal with an ingrained attitude of patriarchy, and they continue to be victims of violence and sexual offences. Poor women - especially poor black women - remain disempowered. In the workplace, they have made steady gains, especially at middle management level, but women at the top in South Africa are few and far between, with the exception of Cabinet and state-owned enterprises. The Gender Equality Bill, which has been proposed by the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, will aim to aid the advancement of women in all spheres of society. Feminist and Writer Christi van der Westhuizen mentions that the new Ministry, although underfunded and slow out of the starting blocks, has brought about a positive in that it has a portfolio committee in Parliament, which enjoys full committee status, which means regular meetings and more activity than with the previous Office on the Status of Women. In spite of continuing challenges, women all over the country continue to work to improve the lives of their South African sisters.

Sexual offences and domestic violence In 2009, the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities held public hearings in Parliament and tabled their reports in October 2010, with several recommended areas of improvement and strengthening. The Sexual Offences Act was passed in Parliament at the end of 2007. Some parts have been implemented, others not. In June 2011 the Justice Portfolio Committee engaged with the Department of Justice around the areas in the Sexual Offences Act that have not been implemented yet. Although the Domestic Violence Act was one of the earliest to be passed – in 1998 – there have also been problems with its implementation. Abortion In 2011, women celebrate 15 years of choice – The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in 1996. However, problems of implementing the Act have meant that some women have battled to exercise this choice. Access is particularly difficult for women living in rural areas, as well as for poor and unemployed women, who cannot afford to get to abortions facilities. Problems of implementation have meant that women have continued to access backstreet abortions, although new drugs and technologies have meant that these are ‘safer’ than in the past. The Department of Health has tried to improve access to abortion and reproductive health services. After being challenged in court, an amended version of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act 38 of 2004 was finally passed early 2008.

©BAHA Drum Photographer

Lesbian rights The South African Constitution affirms the right to equality and nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It is against this backdrop that post-apartheid legislative reforms, which have extended legal benefits and protections to lesbians, have taken place. Formal equality gains include, among others, the fact that same-sex relationships are no longer criminalised, and that lesbian couples now have the right to, among others, jointly adopt or co-parent children, and marry if they so choose. However, according to lesbian activist Melanie Judge, homophobia, sexism and the social exclusion of sexual minorities – hallmarks of a patriarchal society – still undermine the extent to which lesbians are able to claim their constitutional rights to dignity, equality and freedom. There have been a lot of victories for women in South Africa since the beginning of the 20th century. And there is a lot to celebrate. There is however, still much to be achieved to put these constitutional and legal victories in practice. In the words of Cathi Albertyn, Professor of Law at WITS Law School: “Women have won their rights to equality, dignity and choice in the Constitution and in the law. They now have to win them in their communities and their homes.” Top: Fatima Meer, Bottom: Zainunnisa ‘Cissie’ Gool

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Natural Resources


The country is a leading supplier of a variety of minerals and mineral products that are exported to 87 countries.

Each year, approximately 55 different minerals are produced from more than 700 mines – with gold, platinum, coal and diamonds dominating exports and revenue earnings. There are also important deposits of iron and copper. In South Africa, legislative barriers prevented women from working underground until relatively recently. The South African Mining Charter specifically tries to redress this imbalance from the past by setting a target that women should make up 10 percent of mining companies’ total workforce. However, minerals are not South Africa’s only natural resources: it also has extensive timber, animal and agricultural resources.

Agriculture Only about 13 percent of South Africa’s soil is suitable for cultivation, of which 22 percent can be classified as high-potential land. Some 1.3 million hectares are under irrigation. However, the country is not only self-sufficient in almost all major agricultural products, but in a normal year it is also a net food exporter, thanks to well-developed commercial farming. Agricultural exports include raw sugar, fresh grapes, citrus, nectarines, wine, avocados, plums, maize, black tea, groundnuts, meat, pineapples, tobacco, wool and cotton. Maize is the largest locally produced field crop.

Timber Mpumalanga, the Midlands and KwaZulu-Natal have vast plantations of timber that are the basis for a multi-billion dollar industry. The timber industry, born out of need to build the mines, is almost exclusively based on planted trees, allowing the country to maintain its native trees.

Biodiversity In terms of biological diversity, South Africa ranks third in the world. The country has 68 vegetation types classified into seven biomes, from semi desert areas to alpine forests. It is home to an estimated 5.8 percent of the global total of mammal species, 8 percent of bird species, 4.6 percent of reptile species, 16 percent of marine fish species and 5.5 percent of the world’s known insect species. Two internationally recognised biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ are located in South Africa: the Cape Floristic Kingdom and the Succulent Karoo. South African coast has over 10 000 species of plants and animals. This is almost 15 percent of global coastal species; 12 percent of them are endemic, which means they occur nowhere else.

FAST FACTS • Women in Africa produce more than 70% of the continent’s food. • Almost 80% of agricultural workers in Africa are women. • The South African Mining Charter has set a target that women should constitute 10% of mining companies’ workforce. • China has overtaken South Africa as the world’s number one gold producer.

Internet Sources,,,,


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TOP WOMAN: KHETIWE MCCLAIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER As Chief Executive Officer of Alexkor Limited, Khetiwe is responsible for the development and implementation of the company strategy, while managing and overseeing the operational and social aspects of the company. Previous portfolios include Executive Director for Khusela Women Investments, Executive Chairperson for Alexkor Limited, Chairperson for Alexkor Limited and Member of the Executive Committee for Harmony Gold Mine Limited. Other portfolios were the Liaison for Transformation and Beneficiation with the Department of Minerals & Energy, and Market Research in the Embassy’s Trade and Political Sectors for the South African Embassy (Rome and Italy). Her qualifications include: Architecture Courses, University of Florence, 1989 – 1991; BA Fine Arts, The Academy of Fine Arts, Pietro Vannucci, Perugia, Italy, 1988; Diploma, The Institute of Art, Perugia, Italy, 1988; Italian Language Course, University for Foreigners, Perugia, Italy, 1983; Italian Language Course, University for Foreigners, Perugia, Italy, 1982; BA (Completed first year with distinction), National University of Lesotho, Roma, 1981; Course in Mannerism, Graduate School if Fine Arts, Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy, 1982; High School O Levels, Waterford Kamhlaba High School, 1980; Management in Mining and Minerals, Institute Environmental Policy, MEETI, MINTEK, July 2000; Beneficiation of Minerals and Metals, Institute Environmental Policy, MEETI, MINTEK, July 2001; Executive Programme in Environmental Policy and Management, Institute Environmental Policy, MEETI, MINTEK, July 2001; Course in Strategic Management, Gordon’s Institute for Business Studies, November 2002; and Finance for NonFinancial Managers, Gordon’s Institute for Business Studies, November 2003.

COMPANY information COMPANY PROFILE Alexkor was established in 1989, when the State alluvial Diggings was taken over from the government and transformed into the Alexander Bay Development Corporation. Since November 1992 Alexkor Limited has been run as a public Company with the state as sole shareholder. Alexkor’s the only state-owned diamond mine and as it has significant strategic importance for the Namaqualand region. The core business of Alexkor is the mining of diamonds on land, along rivers, on beaches and in the sea along the north-west coast of South Africa. These activities are complemented by geology, exploration, ore reserve planning, rehabilitation and environmental management. The non-core moveable assets were transferred to the Richtersveld Community in June 2007 as part of the Deed of Settlement and pooling and sharing joint venture was established with the Richtersveld Community on the 7th of April 2011. Alexkor’s distinctive competencies are its quality of diamonds and its unique land and mineral resources. Alexkor is currently looking for new diamond opportunities in and outside of South Africa. The company is also exploring the possibility of cutting and polishing some of its diamonds.

CONTACT information

BUSINESS & FINANCE Turnover: R195.9-million Operating profit: R11.3-million Net profit: R84.2-million Financial year-end: 31 March Market share: 1% Holding company: Department of Public Enterprise Bank: First National Bank, Nedbank, Rand

Merchant Bank and Investec Accountants: PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. STATISTICAL OVERVIEW

FAST facts

Female percentage 100%




executive directors / senior management

total staff

Black female percentage 100% total staff

25.1%-50.1% 25.1%-50.1% executive directors / senior management

CEO: Khetiwe McClain Acting Mine Manager: Wiaan Basson Acting Chief Financial Officer: Berno Lategan Physical address: 158 Jan Smuts Ave, Rosebank 2196 Postal address: 158 Jan Smuts Ave, Rosebank 2196 Telephone: +27 (0)11 788 8809 Fax: +27 (0)11 788 8869 Website:

total staff

COMPANY SYNOPSIS Year founded: 1928 Founding members: SA Government Employees: 108 Branches: Two

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Vision: To transform Alexkor into a competitive and sustainable mining company that will contribute positively towards the needs of all stakeholders Mission: To maximise profits from the sustainable exploitation of the resource, thereby ensuring satisfactory returns to its shareholder and make a contribution towards the socioeconomic upliftment of the region This will be achieved in accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements Founded in 1928 Has 108 employees Enjoys a turnover of R195.9-million

HOT TIPS FROM THE CEO: KHETIWE MCCLAIN 1. Hard work and dedication pays off. Individual productivity is essential for success. 2. Have clear goals. 3. Think out of the box. 4. Empower your team. Allow others to do what they are good at. 5. South Africa is blessed with great talent and resources. Let us spread out the benefits as best we can.


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