Business Update Issue 21

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BUSINESS

A publication for progressive business

REALISING WOMEN’S RIGHTS WOMEN INCLUSION Zooming in on opportunities that could guarantee economic justice for SA women

BIODIVERSITY ECONOMY Three women leading the pack in the wildlife, bioprospecting and biotrade fields

PARITY IN ICT Skills strategy to aid women in reaping their rightful digital dividends

GENDER GAP REPORT At the current rate of progress, the economic gap will take 267 years to close

Issue 21 | August 2021

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CONVENOR’S MESSAGE

CELEBRATING SA’S LEADING WOMEN

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n 2021 in his January 8th statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared 2021 The Year of Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke. As we celebrate Women’s Month, we have dedicated this edition of Business Update to the women of our country. We have different contributors for this special edition, including women holding key positions in government, in our movement and in the corporate world. In line with our objective of building social cohesion, our contributors reflect the diversity of women leadership of all ages, across the board. The articles, authored by women leaders in their fields, focus on various topical issues, including: the power of women in the SA economy; gender pay gap disparities; women in tourism; women in communications; women rebuilding the economy; overcoming challenges in business; growing your own business; programmes supporting business and the oceans economy. We know you will enjoy these articles, dealing with issues that speak to the critical role of women in our country. We are honoured to have this edition as a tribute to all women everywhere. As we continue this journey of ensuring the crucial role of women in our country, we are reminded of the quote by Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke, who said: “This work is not for yourselves,

kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people, but live with them and if you can rise bring someone with you.” The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched in 2015 to end poverty and set the world on a path of peace, prosperity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand nothing short of a transformation of the financial, economic and political systems that govern our societies today, to guarantee the human rights of all. This 2030 Agenda is our guiding light and informs the programmes of the PBF as we continue to grow from strength to strength with activities for subscribers. Covid-19 has brought new ways of doing things. Technology is playing a major role in how we conduct business and interact with the world. The PBF utilises this technology to host our webinars and its role in our programmes is indispensable. The offerings of the PBF in terms of its mandate, seek to empower and upskill, and include Ministerial briefings, research and roundtable discussions, business summits, skills training and development workshops, trade exhibitions, trade facilitation and progressive Women in Business summits. • In April the PBF held a webinar entitled “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – Opportunities for SA Business”. That engagement was a great success, inspiring our subscribers to become actively involved in the AfCFTA, which seeks to establish a single market for goods and services, which stand to strengthen trade and inter-African investment. • Hardly had the AfCFTA event concluded, when subscribers had the opportunity to participate in a PBF-facilitated virtual business dialogue on 29 April with the China Economic Cooperation Centre (CECC) and the Foreign Office of Fujian Province, China. The event considered the significant benefits to be derived from expanding and enhancing business

opportunities with China, to the good of both countries. • In recognition of modern communication technologies as a vital medium of twoway engagement with South Africans, and being responsive to that call as recognised among the Resolutions of the ANC’s 54th National Conference, the PBF hosted a special live event in Johannesburg on 13 May to unveil its online portal and merchandising app. The portal and the app streamlines, speeds up and facilitates channels of communication with the PBF and in so doing maximises opportunities to improve and deliver services and ultimately benefit business, both SMMEs and corporates. • To coincide with the celebration of Youth Month in June and in recognition of the significant and crucial role of the youth of our country, the PBF partnered with the Mail and Guardian, to host a joint webinar on 29 June 2021 entitled “Youth participation in the Economy”. It was a highly successful engagement, with the significant attendance reflecting the importance and urgency of youth issues in our country and proving an inspiration for further action. • Essential to the mandate of the PBF is, of course, the empowerment of South Africans to ensure the development of the capacity and knowledge of the people of South Africa to be sustainably involved in the economy. We held a webinar on 8 June on the implications of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA) where subscribers were fortunate to have had the expertise of speakers from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at their disposal. Subscribers were able to interact with the speakers on the implications of the Act to their endeavours. • As readers are aware, the PBF has embarked on a series of engagements with various foreign missions based in South Africa, to explore and promote

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CONVENOR’S MESSAGE

enhanced business opportunities between the PBF subscribers and the businesses of those represented countries. The first such virtual engagement, entitled “South Africa/Kenya – Growing and Promoting Business”, took place on 13 July with the Kenya High Commission in Pretoria, and saw the participation of Cde Paul Mashatile, the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, the Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa, and Kenyan business representatives engaging with PBF subscribers on potential business opportunities of mutual interest. • South Africa celebrated Mandela Day on 18 July. In a very real sense, Mandela Day provides the link and inspiration for our actions both in respect of Youth Day and of meeting the challenge of the coronavirus. Reminding us of the urgency

of being proactive in our actions, are the words of Nelson Mandela himself: “What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”. Mandela Day inspires us to act simultaneously in the interests of the youth, the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, the aged and of each and every one around us. It is a day for everyone to act for the benefit of each other. Engagements with other missions based in South Africa for virtual webinars, such as the one held on 13 July with the Kenya High Commission, are well underway and we will keep subscribers informed as these events are finalised. The PBF is in the process of arranging an event to commemorate Heritage Day in September. We will keep subscribers

informed and look forward to their active participation in this important event. I encourage each and every subscriber to engage actively and to reach out to the PBF and become part of the social compact to have an impact for good. We look forward to engaging with you in the months ahead, confident that together we can make a difference through our actions. We look forward to your ongoing active participation in the programmes of the PBF. Stay safe.

Sipho Mbele CONVENOR

Convenor Sipho Mbele

Managing Editors Alwyn Marx and Olivia Main

Chief Albert Luthuli House 54 Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Street Johannesburg

Art Director Clare Schenk

PBF Editorial Team Stephen McQueen, Seth O’Dea, Miranda Abrahams-Hermans

Contributors Irene Charnley, Barbara Creecy, Sandra Dube, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Rethabile Nnyane, Trudi Makhaya, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, Sershnee Pillay, Fébé Potgieter, Deliwe Radebe, Sarah Thabethe, Zodwa Velleman

Images

Publisher Yes!Media Suite 20-301B Waverley Business Park, Kotzee Road, Mowbray, Cape Town PO Box 44383, Claremont 7735 Tel: +27 21 447 6467 www.yesmedia.co.za Printed by CTP Printers

National Sales Manager Jan Weiss

shutterstock.com Business Update is published by Yes Media. Opinions expressed in Business Update are not necessarily those of Yes Media, the ANC or Progressive Business Forum. No responsibility can be accepted for errors, as all information is believed to be correct at the time of going to print. Copyright subsists in all work in this magazine. Any reproduction or adaptation, in whole or in part, without written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited and is an act of copyright infringement which may, in certain circumstances, constitute a criminal offence.

Project Sales Crosby Moruthane Christa Nel

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UNIT 07, RIVERSIDE CIRCLE, 9 WATER LILY TURN, RIVERSIDE PARK, X12, 1201, SOUTH AFRICA

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CONTENTS 10 COVER STORY

30 OCEANS ECONOMY

Trudi Makhaya makes sense of a world where women have to prove that they are better than men in order to have access to the same opportunities.

Despite making up nearly half the work-force in the global fishing industry, women remain sorely underrepresented in the leadership seats. By Zodwa Velleman

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14 FINANCE South Africans are in even more debt now that Covid-19 has hit than ever before. Financial literacy could be the answer to long-term change in their habits. By Sershnee Pillay

32 COMMUNICATION

18 ECONOMY

36 EMPOWERMENT

Public procurement, equal pay and digital transformation are just a few opportunities we can leverage to guarantee economic justice for women. By Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize

One of the most important ways to empower people is through skills development. By Sandra Dube

The telecommunications sector revenues continue to grow year-on-year – good news for women wanting to get connected. By Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

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38 ENTREPRENEURSHIP 20 TOURISM How can we ensure that the Women in Tourism programme reaches women from all corners of SA? By Mmamoloko Kubayi

It’s a huge challenge to remain optimistic about running your own business with a pandemic looming large. By Sarah Thabethe

24 LABOUR

40 SMALL BUSINESS

44 LEADERSHIP

The Gender Gap Report figures reveal the truth about how far we have come in the world of gender parity and how far we still have to go. By Fébé Potgieter

Find out what can make or break your business and how to avoid the latter. By Rethabile Nnyane

Five keys to leading your team through a business crisis successfully and humanely. By Irene Charnley

42 MENTAL HEALTH

46 BOOK REVIEW

The extra effort women have to make to climb the ladder takes its toll on mental and physical health, if it’s left unchecked. By Deliwe Radebe

Hope Stories by Lesley Waterkeyn, Sandy van Dijk and Dawn Nathan-Jones is a breath of fresh air at a time when all may seem lost.

26 BIODIVERSITY Women leaders are taking the biodiversity economy by storm and lifting up others along the way. By Barbara Creecy

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THE GENERATION TO BANISH

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE “The empowerment of women is not an act of charity but a fundamental necessity of development,” says ANC Treasurer General, PAUL MASHATILE

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t was former President OR Tambo who pronounced that the South African struggle for liberation will be less than powerful and our national and social emancipation can never be complete, if we continue to treat the women of our country as dependent minors and objects of one form of exploitation or another. These words, said many years ago, remain relevant, particularly as this year we mark the 65th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956. On that day, up to 20 000 women of all races, classes and religious persuasions protested against the extension of Pass Laws. The march was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and our society at large.

As we mark Women’s Month, we must use this opportunity to look back and reflect, honestly, on our journey to give practical meaning to former President Tambo’s words. In particular, we must celebrate the significant progress we are making in advancing women’s emancipation, and most importantly we must renew our commitment to the goal of ensuring that the women of our country are not treated as dependent minors and objects of one form of exploitation or another. We must heed the call of the women of our country who in the Women’s Charter of 1954 stated: “We, the women of South Africa; wives and mothers, working women and housewives, Africans, Indians and Coloureds, hereby declare our aim of striving for the removal of all laws, regulations, conventions and customs that discriminate against us as women, and that deprive us in any way of our inherent right to the advantages, responsibilities and opportunities that society offers to any one section of the population.” Equally, we must continue to draw inspiration from the Freedom Charter, which envisions a society where “the rights of people shall be the same regardless of race, colour or sex”. Our point of departure must always be the understanding that women’s rights are human rights; that nothing must be done for women without them; and that the empowerment of women is not an act of charity but a fundamental necessity of development. We must also be conscious of the significant benefits that gender equality can bring: in terms of growing and diversifying our economy, alleviating poverty as well as in building stable and resilient communities.

We must continue to draw inspiration from the Freedom Charter, which envisions a society where “the rights of people shall be the same regardless of race, colour or sex” Furthermore, we must continuously remind ourselves that the struggle for women’s emancipation is an integral part of the National Democratic Revolution, whose strategic objectives include the resolution of the triple oppression of women: based on their race, class and gender. As a result of deliberate interventions by our government, more and more women today occupy positions of influence in many spheres of life. Many laws and practices that discriminate against women continue to fall. However, a lot more still needs to be done to achieve the total emancipation of women. One of the immediate challenges we must confront is the scourge of gender-based violence. We have a responsibility to do everything necessary to eradicate from our society all forms of gender discrimination, femicide, as well as violence against women, children and young girls. We must be unrelenting in our forward march towards building a society that cares for, respects and promotes the rights of women. Ours must be the generation that banishes the scourge of gender-based violence.

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TG’S MESSAGE

The Covid-19 crisis as well as the recent acts of violence and destruction of property will have a lasting adverse impact on our economy and, invariably, women will be most affected by the disruption to the economy, the resultant job losses and negative social effects. As we rebuild our country and as we proceed further along the path of economic reconstruction and recovery, we must ensure that women are placed at the centre of these efforts. Women must be at the forefront and must be the major beneficiaries of our effort to rebuild our country and our economy. We must make it our mission that no

woman must be left behind not only as we imagine a post-Covid-19 pandemic economy, but also as we begin putting in place the building blocks towards the kind of economy we desire. We must never rest until the face of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment in our country stops being largely female, African and young. The new economy we are building must help us make a permanent and decisive break with this unpleasant reality. Linked to this is the work we must continue to do to ensure the eradication of unequal pay for work of equal value, glass ceilings and

the juniorisation of positions occupied by women at places of work, especially in the private sector. Our work to advance the empowerment of women must also include expanding access to educational and skill development opportunities for women and young girls. This will require that, among others, we continue to support young girls in schools and at institutions of higher learning so that they can reach their full potential. Women themselves need not be bystanders in the ongoing efforts to secure their total emancipation. In the words of Mama Charlotte Maxeke, they must “get ready to struggle”!

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COVER STORY

REALISING

WOMEN’S RIGHTS TRUDI MAKHAYA, Special Economic Adviser to President Ramaphosa, unpacks the power of women in the South African economy and the challenges and opportunities inherent in changing the status quo

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lice Walker once wrote of women, in this case black women in the post-Reconstruction American South, as “exquisite butterflies trapped in an evil honey, toiling away their lives in an era… that did not acknowledge them, except as ‘the mule of the world’”. Across the globe, women have come a long way since then. But lately, especially on social media, whenever someone calls for more women in leadership positions, there is a flurry of responses that points out the obvious fact that some women leaders can be deficient in their positions. Women, it seems, have to prove that they are better than men (or that they bring a different perspective) if they are to be given the same opportunities as men. The implication that men have a birthright to leadership or business acumen lingers.

In Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen traces the narrative for women’s rights as it moved from being a call for women’s own wellbeing, to a more extensive recognition of women’s agency as a driver for social change for all of society. There’s a burgeoning literature on the ‘business case’ for inclusion. Without feeding into some of the stereotypically gendered framing of women’s ‘unique contributions’ attendant to this strain of literature, it is important to shine a light on what we lose when women do not have a seat at the table. Women’s education and labour force participation rates are important variables in explaining economic growth and development. The PwC Women in Work Index 2021 estimates that the rich OECD countries could add more than US$6-trillion to their combined GDP if they had the same rate of female employment as Sweden.

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It is important to shine a light on what we lose when women do not have a seat at the table. Women’s education and labour force participation rates are important variables in explaining economic growth and development

In South Africa, StatsSA reports that women’s labour force participation rate was 12.4 percentage points lower than that of men in 2001. This figure was barely unchanged by 2017, with a 12.1 percentage point difference in favour of men, but this has narrowed somewhat to a 10-percentage point gap in the first quarter of 2021. The unemployment rate, on the broad definition, was seven percentage points higher for women in the first quarter of 2021. According to the World Bank, globally the median gender wage gap is between

FACTS AND FIGURES ■ The PwC Women in Work Index 2021 estimates that the rich OECD countries could add more than US$6-trillion to their combined GDP if they had the same rate of female employment as Sweden. ■ In South Africa, StatsSA reports that women’s labour force participation rate was 12.4 percentage points lower than that of men in 2001. ■ This figure was barely unchanged by 2017, with a 12.1 percentage point difference in favour of men, but this has narrowed somewhat to a 10-percentage point gap in the first quarter of 2021. ■ The unemployment rate, on the broad definition, was seven percentage points higher for women in the first quarter of 2021. ■ According to the World Bank, globally the median gender wage gap is between 23–35% for women and men with the same amount of schooling. ■ The South African Commission for Employment Equity reports that women only made up 25% of top management in 2020. ■ The World Bank finds a large gender gap in STEM education, for example in engineering, men have a graduation rate of 15% compared to 3.9% for women. ■ Government has expressed the objective to direct at least 40% of procurement expenditure to women-owned businesses. ■ According to preliminary figures, by May 2021, of all companies that received payments from government, 31% were women-owned. However, in terms of the Rand value of expenditure, women-owned businesses earned only 12% of procurement spend. ■ Through the SheTradesZA platform, government aims to support at least 2 000 women-owned enterprises to participate in regional value chains.

23–35% for women and men with the same amount of schooling. The South African Commission for Employment Equity reports that women only made up 25% of top management in 2020.

THE TWO TRANSITIONS The Covid-19 pandemic found two significant transitions underway in economies across the world: the digital and the green transition. The motivation by governments to ‘build back better’ is supportive of these developments and will serve to accelerate them. In both spheres, the digital and the green, women enter with an inheritance of disadvantage. Women bear most of the costs of climate change through their experience of adverse weather events, loss of livelihoods and displacement. Yet the course of investments in the green economy is not driven by the interests of vulnerable communities. Similar dynamics obtain in the digital sphere, which in Africa, is dominated by multinational platforms and conglomerates. Women are also not positioned to excel in technical fields. The World Bank finds a large gender gap in STEM education, for example in engineering, men have a graduation rate of 15% compared to 3.9% for women. Yet these transitions also have the power to change women’s lives in unprecedented ways. Digital technology enables women to have reach for their products and ideas. It enables working practises that help women to balance productivity at work with being effective caregivers. In as much as South Africa played a definitive role in championing the concerns of the global South in the global climate change agenda (such as through the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action that paved the way for the Paris Agreement), our policy orientation should champion gender inclusivity in the just energy transition.

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COVER STORY

ENABLERS There is no magic bullet when it comes to enabling women’s economic empowerment. The drivers of change are multifaceted, beginning with the changing of social and cultural norms that limit women’s potential. However, the state has a crucial role to play. Here I focus on two elements: procurement and access to finance. As we have seen in the swift development of Covid-19 vaccines, having access to an assured market helps companies to take risks and to venture into new areas. The ‘advance market commitments’ given to vaccine manufacturers gave them the confidence to dedicate time and resources to investigating and developing vaccines for a novel virus. Providing women-owned businesses with offtake agreements gives them the opportunity to prove their products and to achieve economies of scale. Indeed, government has expressed the objective to direct at least 40% of procurement expenditure to women-owned businesses. This has been accompanied by awareness raising and capacity building programmes to support women in seizing this opportunity.

According to preliminary figures, by May 2021, of all companies that received payments from government, 31% were women-owned. However, in terms of the Rand value of expenditure, women-owned businesses earned only 12% of procurement spend. This suggests the need to ensure that women are able to provide high value-added services. The private sector also needs to exhibit the same level of ambition when it comes to women’s economic empowerment. The financing landscape for women also needs to be consolidated. Though there are initiatives in government and in the private sector to provide women with access to finance, this commitment needs to be scaled up significantly. In sustainable development circles, there is increasing appreciation of the need for women to access climate finance and sustainable finance more broadly. Women already play an important part in cross-border trade on our continent. Through the SheTradesZA platform, government aims to support at least 2 000 women-owned enterprises to participate in regional value chains.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to enabling women’s economic empowerment. The drivers of change are multifaceted, beginning with the changing of social and cultural norms that limit women’s potential

The promise of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement also depends on women’s financial inclusion and the role of development finance institutions is critical. This year we celebrate Mme Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, as a ‘woman of many firsts’. As we do so, we must build an economy that draws on the power of women, so that they are no longer ‘firsts’ or ‘the only one’ around the table, but are fully integrated operators in the country’s economic life.

About the author Trudi Makhaya is a writer, economist and entrepreneur. In April 2018, she was appointed as full-time Special Economic Adviser to President Ramaphosa. In this role, she provides analytical support to the President on economic policy. This includes regular input on key issues and initiatives, interfacing with advisory structures and engaging with economic policy stakeholders. Trudi also serves as South Africa’s G20 sherpa. An active public commentator, Trudi’s columns have appeared in Business Day, Daily Maverick and Acumen. She has also published academic journal articles on competition economics and policy.

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ECONOMIC INCLUSION THROUGH FINANCIAL LITERACY A STIMULUS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SOUTH AFRICA

The answer to the spiralling debt that South Africans – citizens and government – find themselves in is to strengthen our fiscus through financial literacy, writes SERSHNEE PILLAY, Marketing and Communications Manager at ASI Financial Services

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FINANCE

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outh Africa’s economy contracted by 7% last year. The reported budget deficit has ballooned to a record 14% of GDP, more than double the forecast of 6.2%. This is disturbing: South Africa’s ability to care for its citizens is limited by our weak fiscal position. Economic growth has been a long-standing goal for the government and seemingly one which we consistently fall short of. The impact of which holds dire consequences for the very taxpayers who are caught in the negative cycle of a contracting economy and rising living costs, propelling individuals towards escalating debt to make ends meet. All the while, chasing the ever-elusive economic reprieve of GDP growth. The resulting scenario is a bleak picture of perpetuating debt from both a micro and macro-economic standpoint. South Africans are heavily in debt, be it looking at their own pockets or our collective debt as a nation.

This requires a tiered intervention, one which can address economic growth at a grassroots level, and that can lead us on the sustainable road to recovery as a nation. The answer lies in strengthening our fiscus. This can be achieved through financial literacy.

GENERATIONAL WEALTH Most families are struggling to get through the month. The Household Affordability Index showed that as of 2019, 56% of the South African population is living on less than R41 a day. When faced with a lowincome household in situations such as this, the thought of a concept such as financial literacy may present as an inaccessible ideal. Yet if we look into the history books, many a time we can trace back a family’s generational wealth to one particular individual who learned how to make his proverbial “R41” grow into something substantially more valuable, thereby

The resulting scenario is a bleak picture of perpetuating debt from both a micro and macro-economic standpoint. South Africans are heavily in debt, be it looking at their own pockets or our collective debt as a nation breaking his family’s generational cycle of poverty. The problem then is not a lack of means alone, but a lack of willingness to take a calculated risk for high reward and disciplined gratification, due to a lack of understanding the science of money.

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FINANCE

Nurturing a savings mindset/culture In a popular personal finance quote by Warren Buffett, he said “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. This is an essential skill which benefits any age group and even a child learning this principle can take the lesson home into their communities and contribute to larger scale financial literacy. The key is to begin promoting the change in behaviour and mindset at an early age, nurturing the positive shift before negative money behaviours are learnt. Debt rehabilitation This is an important area of learning given the South African context which features elements such as “black tax”, which these days is not wholly limited to race. Most South African families unwittingly and unintentionally create a debt cycle for their child even before the individual has had the chance to start building a security base for themselves. This may manifest in a number of ways, from elderly parents needing support, to siblings who lean on one another to make it through the month, and even in the form of student loans taken out since funding was not available for tertiary education due to poor planning and ill-managed resources. Creation of cashflow/assets/wealth Stemming from a basic practical skill like budgeting, one stands to benefit from understanding how to make their money work for them, in not just sustaining their lifestyle but improving it for themselves and their families. Most high net-worth individuals who came from impoverished backgrounds generally share a specific trait. They learnt that the science of money means that as your income increases, your lifestyle does not necessarily have to match that elevated paycheque. They applied the simple yet effective technique of maintaining their standard of living and constantly investing the increased income into more and more savings vehicles, which allowed their money to grow.

Over time, they in effect multiplied this effort, meaning that essentially their assets began generating further wealth for them.

THE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES AND EFFICIENCIES BROUGHT ABOUT THROUGH FINANCIAL LITERACY The behavioural shift in the youth from low-income communities would have long-term benefits such as providing the educational basis to allow for clear and well-informed decision-making regarding their finances. Ranging from establishing clear credit records through understanding the evils of debt cycles, to the removal of what would otherwise be a predisposition to accepting poor financial advice and falling prey to “get rich quick” scams, the evidence points to the long-term benefit of a more stable financial future. The positives of financial literacy provide a means to free the youth from repeating the mistakes made by generations before them, who unfortunately did not have the same skills, tools, or resources to allow them such choices. In a sense it creates a semblance of what could be seen as the beginnings of equality for previously disadvantaged families. The macro-economic effects of which would be experienced through a shift in the way our society handles, manages, and interprets their financial security. Behaviourally, a psychological overhaul of established norms such as cash-based transactions moving to more evolved means such as digitals funds and electronic fund processing. The safety and security that comes with such systems allows for access to markets previously out of reach, thus opening up the world market for small local businesses. This together with the technological advances arising in the financial sector will allow for a trajectory of financial independence unheard of at this level of the economy. A public private partnership is needed between government and financial services institutions with a focus on creating wealth

Many a time we can trace back a family’s generational wealth to one particular individual who learned how to make his proverbial “R41” grow into something substantially more valuable, thereby breaking his family’s generational cycle of poverty through financial planning and interventions. To which end South Africa could learn from New Zealand’s Commission for Financial Capability, who through their Sorted in Schools programme prepare their citizens early in life with essential money management skills. This investment in the youth of today will bode well for the country’s financial wellbeing in the future, given the direct correlation between a stable economy and a high financial literacy ranking. This is an extract from an occasional paper prepared by the author for the Inclusive Society Institute.

SERSHNEE PILLAY MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, ASI FINANCIAL SERVICES sershnee.pillay@assegai.co.za

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REPOSITIONING THE ECONOMY

FOR WOMEN INCLUSION

Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, PROF HLENGIWE MKHIZE, identifies opportunities which could guarantee women economic justice

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e commemorate this 65th year of the march to the Union Buildings under extremely challenging circumstances where globally, including South Africa, the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic. A report released by UN Women on 16 September 2020 illustrated that those who are employed in sectors such as hospitality and tourism have been particularly devastated by this widespread disease. And, invariably, it is women who will bear the brunt of this economic and social disruption. Women in South Africa struggled for gender equality side by side with men, from the colonial to the apartheid era. They mobilised for activism from as early as 1913, initiating resistance against the pass laws, a struggle that culminated in the 1956 Women’s March when 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the racist pass law system. This year we commemorate Women’s Month under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights”. This theme is clearly crucial at this stage where we are repositioning and rebuilding the economy for the better, ensuring that nobody is left behind. Women’s socio-economic rights, in particular, can no longer be a second thought but should be part of the initial design of our big projects meant for economic recovery. One of the priorities of 2021 focuses on the implementation of economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive

inclusive growth. There must be equal representation of men and women in the high performing sectors such as the green economy, manufacturing, agriculture, IT, ICT, infrastructure building and engineering. McKinsey released a report on 19 May 2020 titled Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, which states that the greater the representation, the higher the likelihood of outperformance. In this instance the inclusion of women will definitely have an impact on the GDP on the country. It is important that as we rebuild our economy, especially as we recover from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we put women in the centre of our economic reform. As His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa said when making the acceptance statement on assuming the Chair of the African Union for 2020, “We have to find more practical and sustainable ways of empowering the women of our continent: ways that go beyond the clichés and pronouncements made from podiums as we are wont to do.” Through the District Development Model, we have an opportunity to ensure that women – young and old, members of the LGBTIA+ community, and rural women – equally benefit from identified opportunities which could guarantee us economic justice, such as:

FINANCIAL INCLUSION Access to finance increases the likelihood of owning or accessing productive assets, which has a bearing on women’s

We have to find more practical and sustainable ways of empowering the women of our continent: ways that go beyond the clichés and pronouncements made from podiums as we are wont to do productivity and economic participation. Partnerships between financial institutions and communities will help us break all barriers hindering women’s access to finance, especially those in rural areas.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT South Africa has taken a clear position that 40% of public procurement should go to women-owned businesses. This financial year, government’s consolidated spending on goods and services is R279.5-billion. Forty percent of this total, R111.8-billion, is set aside for business opportunities between government and women-owned businesses.

EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK As UN Women reports, in 2020 the global gender pay gap stood at 16%, which means that women workers earn an average of 84% of what men earn.

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The gap is even greater for women of colour, immigrant women, and women with children. It is for such reasons that the President and Vice President of the USA proclaimed 24 March a National Equal Pay Day in America.

largest free trade area in the world. The vast AfCFTA regional market provides opportunities for women to benefit directly and indirectly from the trade opportunities created by the AfCFTA Agreement.

COOPERATIVES

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Women in cooperatives need to be well resourced financially so as to be able to economically participate throughout the value chain.

The abundance of technological tools and special applications have the potential to fast-track women inclusion in the economy. Innovations call for strong partnerships amongst professionals, businesspeople and the telecoms sector. Our bias must be towards highly skilled younger women; there must be an aggressive effort to include them in business partnerships. We need to seize this opportunity of “Build Back, Better”, as said by Dr Phumzile MlamboNgcuka, in this new normal. And foster greater equality in the labour market, boost economic growth, and build a more diverse and inclusive world, through digital technology.

SMMES AND INCENTIVE SCHEMES Adequate funding of SMMEs cannot be overemphasised as that is a critical entry-point to any economy.

LEVERAGING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AFCFTA) AGREEMENT In 2018, at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU almost all African countries signed the AfCFTA, thereby creating the

PROF HLENGIWE MKHIZE DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

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WOMEN IN

TOURISM MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI, Minister of Human Settlements (former Minister of Tourism), says this sector has the potential to advance women’s empowerment through policies and programmes that substantially increase the meaningful participation of women in tourism

O

n the southern bank of the Klein Letaba River in Limpopo, lies the ancient sacred site in Baleni which tells the story of the pioneering spirit of women. Visitors can watch local women, such as Emelia Mathebula and Maria Mkhari, using techniques dating back 2 000 years to extract salt from sand, using water and filters made from mud and wood. The filtered water is boiled to evaporation point in steel pans placed on wood fires to produce salt, which, among others, is revered for its healing properties. This ancient, slow, meticulous salt harvesting process – passed on from one generation to another – is the main attraction to the site. The two women can usually be found sitting serenely at the foot of an ancient

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Motswiri or Leadwood tree, thanking their ancestors for what they consider “nature’s great gift”. A small offering in the form of money is made, and as part of a ritual by the two matriarchs, they ask their ancestors for permission to allow visitors to enter this sacred site in Baleni. The Baleni salt harvesting project is one of the six women-run tourism projects implemented by the Department of Tourism as part of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Women in Tourism pilot project. The other pilot projects are Twananani Textiles, Nahakwe Lodge (as a centre for training), Mukondeni Pottery Village, Mashishimale Homestay Programme, Hihlurile Pot of Beads; all in Limpopo.

GENDER EQUALITY IN TOURISM Like the project in Baleni, these ventures are a living testimony that tourism has an inherent potential to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. This potential, however, needs to be harnessed through the deliberate introduction of policies and programmes that seek to substantially increase the meaningful participation of women in the sector. According to the second edition of the UNWTO Global Report on Women in Tourism, 54% of people employed in tourism are women. The wage gap between men and women is smaller in the tourism industry, and tourism offers women more opportunities for leadership roles. The Report also states that more and more women are challenging gender stereotypes in the industry and are increasingly occupying strategic roles previously reserved for men. Technology has also been a catalyst for empowerment; lowering barriers to entry and enabling women to establish their own tourism businesses. In the words of Zurab Pololikashvili, the UNWTO Secretary-General: “Tourism is leading the charge for female empowerment all over the world. Across the private and public sectors women are harnessing the potential of tourism to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses.” It therefore comes as no surprise that policymakers, all over the world, are becoming more aware of the importance

of gender equality in tourism. They are taking concrete measures to ensure that women obtain a fair share of the benefits that tourism can offer.

SA WOMEN IN TOURISM For some time now, the South African government has been taking steps to advance gender equality and women empowerment in the tourism sector. Efforts to drive initiatives that support the development and empowerment of women in the tourism sector, have been ongoing and resulted in the 2013 launch of the Women in Tourism programme. The primary focus of this network platform is on training women in the tourism sector on personal development, providing support for women-owned tourism enterprises to develop an edge in this highly competitive industry, as well as capacity building initiatives. One way of ensuring that this programme reaches women in all corners of the country, is through the establishment of provincial chapters in all nine provinces. The provincial chapters are responsible for driving the overall objectives of the programme – to empower women in tourism and the hospitality industry, as entrepreneurs, employees and as students – considering the specific conditions in each province. The provincial chapter are also tasked with mobilising local stakeholders, including the private sector, to support women empowerment initiatives. The ultimate goal is to ensure that women in the sector, wherever they are geographically, are represented, recognised, reaffirmed, rewarded and respected. In addition to other gender-specific interventions, the Department convenes empowerment workshops, and collectively, these interventions are designed to offer opportunities for women tourism entrepreneurs to establish networks, enhance their business skills and leadership capabilities so they can grow and sustain their businesses. Through the enterprise development and support programme, the department provides non-financial support and mentorship to women-owned tourism enterprises.

According to the second edition of the UNWTO Global Report on Women in Tourism, 54% of people employed in tourism are women This programme is expected to benefit 250 women-owned tourism enterprises across the country. The tourism sector is dominated by women at a lower level and this dominance must be reflected at all levels. It is for this reason that gender mainstreaming is central to the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan and the Tourism Policy Review. We want to pay more attention to the needs of women in all aspects of our programmes and policies so that we can create an inclusive sector. This financial year, we initiated the Tourism Technology Grassroots Innovation Incubation Programme, in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency. It focuses on new tech-based innovation businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, involving mainly youth start-ups. Thus far, 13 beneficiaries (10 males and three females) have been identified for this programme. Work is underway to identify a further seven beneficiaries, and our intention is to ensure these are women and people with disabilities.

WOMEN’S MONTH It is crucial that support be provided to all women in the sector, particularly during this challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a particularly devastating impact on our sector. We remain inspired by women tourism entrepreneurs who have shared stories of resilience and optimism amid a crippling pandemic. As we commemorated International Women’s Month, on 8 March this year, all participants in the Women in Tourism programme were matched with a mentor of their choice to continue to connect and learn from them following robust engagements. It is encouraging that since that session, several provincial chapters of the Women

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Funding and market information remain the two major stumbling blocks to greater participation of women in the tourism sector in Tourism programme have held follow-up workshops. As part of this year’s National Women’s Month, we will be supporting the provincial chapters to host two-day events with a view to promoting the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) subsector and to encouraging the use of venues owned by women, as part of interventions identified in the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. It is also critical to expose women in the tourism sector to opportunities offered by the MICE subsector, so that women participation is not limited to leisure tourism but extended to this critical subsector. The provincial chapters have also been encouraged to hold women in

tourism product markets to showcase and support women tourism products such as food, wine and crafts. This of course would have to take into consideration the required lockdown regulations.

STUMBLING BLOCKS TO PARTICIPATION According to the studies conducted by the Department of Tourism, funding and market information remain the two major stumbling blocks to greater participation of women in the tourism sector. This is particularly the case in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit women-owned tourism enterprises the hardest. Government is committed to continue to provide financial resources and market information aimed at assisting the revival and recovery of tourism businesses, working closely with development finance institutions and other government agencies. To this end, we have introduced the Tourism Transformation Fund, which is administered by the National Empowerment Fund; the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF) administered by the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa); and the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) administered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to stimulate

funding for tourism businesses. Like the project in Baleni, we recognise that the tourism sector has an inherent potential to advance women’s empowerment. Through the Department of Tourism, we are working towards harnessing the energies of women through the meaningful participation of women in the tourism economy.

MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS (FORMER MINISTER OF TOURISM)

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THE GENDER PAY GAP AND WHY IT MATTERS

FÉBÉ POTGIETER, ANC General Manager, unpacks the Gender Gap Report and the startling statistics on how far away we still are to achieving gender parity in every sphere of life

THE LONG MARCH TO GENDER EQUALITY

Nearly 130 years after women first gained universal suffrage in New Zealand, the latest World Economic Forum informed us that we should add another generation to the 99.5 years it will take, at current pace of change, for the world to reach full gender parity (Figure 1).

The WEF annual Gender Gap Report measures gender parity across three areas: political empowerment; economic participation and opportunity; and educational attainment and health and survival. According to the survey of 156 countries globally, the gender gap is closing in the area of women and girls’ education – it will take just another 14.5 years for

educational equality in access and outcomes to be achieved. The gender gap in terms of health has been closed, although there are variations across race, geography and income levels. However, when it comes to political empowerment and economic participation and opportunity, at the current rate of progress, it will take another 145 years for

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gender parity in politics to be reached, and another 267 years (yes, nearly another three centuries!) for the economic gender gap to be closed. Among the reasons for this slow progress in women’s economic emancipation has to do with constraints on women’s labour market participation, the persistence of income inequalities, including the gender pay gap and slow progress with women in economic leadership positions. Despite growing numbers of women in the professional ranks, as witnessed by the closing educational gap, women in labour markets globally are mainly found in the informal sector, in agriculture, in atypical employment and in services and sales sectors. Moreover, women’s unpaid labour to society (childbearing and care, housework) are still not recognised, and family responsibilities are still not shared equally between the sexes.

THE GENDER PAY GAP The gender pay gap refers to the difference between what men and women earn, for the same work or work of equal value. It is among the key reasons, next to gendered asset inequality, that continue to inhibit women’s economic emancipation. Globally, women continue to earn on average 20% less than men; in South Africa they earn between 25% and 35% less than their male counterparts for the same work or work of equal value. In a country where over 37% of households are female headed, this gap contributes to household poverty and the feminisation of poverty. As a result, female-headed households are around 40% poorer than households headed by men, even though, according to Bosch and Birat (2020), 48.2% of femaleheaded households support extended family members, in comparison to 23.1% of maleheaded households doing the same. Across the world, there are a number of trends relevant to South Africa, say Dias, Joyce and Parodi (2018). Firstly, the gender pay gap is falling in lower paid categories, but not among professional women, due to collective bargaining by trade unions. Secondly, even though men and women may earn closer to the same wages at entry levels, the gender pay gap becomes wider in the late 20s and 30s. “Men’s wages tend

to continue growing rapidly at this point in the life cycle (particularly for the higheducated), while women’s wages plateau.” Third, the late 20s to 30s tend to be prime childbearing ages for women, and as soon as they have children, the wage gap and experience gap between men and women widen. Having children at any age has little bearing on male career progression, since women are still forced to take primary responsibility for children. What do we as a society do to address this situation? The literature suggests the following approaches: - Advocacy and education about the Gender Pay Gap, in society, in workplaces, within professional associations and trade unions. It should be explained and challenged as not being “the natural order of things”. - Gender aggregation of wage information as part of employment equity reporting, so that there is transparency about the gender wage gap. Because of the confidentiality/ secrecy around salaries and wages, especially at professional levels, companies and institutions get away with paying women much less than men, for doing the same work or work of equal value. - Increasingly there are calls for policy and legislation to make paying men and

women less for the same work illegal, which means that women can take an employer to the CCMA or Labour Court for this kind of discrimination. Women workers and professionals already are forced to do double shifts at work and unpaid labour at home and in families. We should not as a society tolerate that they get paid less, simply because they are women.

FÉBÉ POTGIETER ANC GENERAL MANAGER

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WOMEN SUPPORT GROWTH OF THE

BIODIVERSITY ECONOMY

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, BARBARA CREECY, highlights three women playing leading roles in the wildlife, ecotourism and bioprospecting and biotrade economies

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BIODIVERSITY

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he biodiversity economy is an important contributor to job creation and currently sustains over 418 000 jobs, with over 256 000 of those coming from extractive use of biodiversity such as hunting of wild animals, fishing and wild harvesting plant species for bioprospecting and biotrade and traditional medicines. It is a sector which has injected at least R204-billion into the economy through the provision of ecological services, and a further R13.6-billion through domestic and international hunting activities. As a growing sector of South Africa’s economy, it is an area of economic development in which women are able to play an important role, not only as future business leaders, but also in the transformation of an industry that was previously exclusionary. These dynamics are recognised in the National Biodiversity Economy Strategy (NBES), which was adopted and approved by Cabinet in 2015. The Strategy is the country’s blueprint for sustaining the growth of the wildlife and bioprospecting industries, providing the base for addressing constraints for growth in the sector, and to monitor progress related to transformative enabling interventions. The Strategy provides the opportunity to develop the rural economy alongside the Constitutional obligation of providing for sustainable economic growth without harming the environment, and is consistent with the government’s undertaking to assist in enhancing the natural ingredients or bioprospecting, wildlife and eco-tourism sectors. Transformation of the biodiversity sector is a necessity in our changing world, particularly in a sector where the majority of our people were previously excluded from participating in certain sectors of the economy.

It is a sector which has injected at least R204-billion into the economy through the provision of ecological services The biodiversity economy is a sector in which the custodians of our country’s genetic resources and the holders of traditional knowledge can benefit from those resources, and an area in which women can play a growing and more important role. With close to R1-billion in infrastructure grants committed to support black emerging game farmers, bioprospectors/ traders and ecotourism entrepreneurs and communities, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is working closely with public entities, the private sector, traditional authorities and communities to create an additional 110 000 jobs by 2030. Biodiversity conservation through sustainable use and management requires effort and partnerships between the state, private sector and communities. As a mega-diverse country, the role that biodiversity plays in the lives of people, and the role that people play in nature, has become more and more important as we work to develop a nature-based green economy. In this regard, South African women are already playing a leading role.

THE WILDLIFE ECONOMY Within the wildlife economy, one of these women is Esther Mmboneni Netshivhongweni, the Headwoman

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for Mushavhedzi Village in the Makuya Traditional Territory of Limpopo Province. An entrepreneur and one of only a handful of black female professional hunters in South Africa, Ms Netshivhongweni is also the chair of the People and Parks programme in Limpopo. Through People and Parks, Ms Netshivhongweni promotes collaboration with organisations that support inclusive economic growth, are willing to take community transformation in the wildlife sector to the next level, and work to find available land for the growth of the wildlife sector. The former teacher and lecturer is now the proud co-owner of a wildlife management solutions company and owns a game meat processing plant. Considered a leading woman conservationist, Ms Netshivhongweni has made history on two fronts: by being appointed the first female headwoman of the Makuya and in successfully leading her community in a legal battle to save their hunting culture. Ms Netshivhongweni’s passion for wildlife and conservation has deepened through her involvement and leadership within the Makuya community nature reserve, which has become the example of community emancipation in hunting activities. The community-owned Makuya Nature Reserve shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park and is owned by the Makuya community and the Mutele and Mphaphuli Traditional Councils. The rural community annually attracts domestic and international hunters generating millions of rands in revenue for community development and conservation initiatives in the area. Besides being involved in wildlife industryrelated businesses, the headwoman is also a successful goat farmer.

THE ECOTOURISM ECONOMY Ecotourism is an important contributor to the South African tourism industry, contributing 3% to GDP annually.

This is a sector that has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, as international tourism was halted to stem the spread of the virus. But, this is a sector in which women are playing an increasingly important role. One of these is Ms Nonkqubela Mayatula, a businesswoman and co-owner of the Miar Estate Hotel and Spa at Haga Haga in the Eastern Cape who believes that the benefits derived from ecotourism is a means for more previously disadvantaged South Africans to meaningfully participate in the biodiversity economy. Ms Mayatula is no stranger to the wildlife economy, having rehabilitated the 740ha of land she purchased more than a decade ago, transforming it into a game farm and a luxury ecotourism breakaway. Ecotourism activities offered include bush walks, nature drives, mountain biking trails through the forest and grassland. All activities at the estate are a balanced combination of biodiversity, conservation and hospitality.

THE BIOPROSPECTING AND BIOTRADE ECONOMY Bioprospecting and biotrade is a sector that covers a variety of areas, from Rooibos tea to cosmetics and pharmaceutical products containing natural ingredients. A woman who has become an important roleplayer in this sector is businesswoman and entrepreneur, Ms Patricia Mathivha, who is the owner of Vida Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd in Pretoria, Gauteng. Ms Mathivha has worked with the CSIR to develop pharmaceutical and nutritional products derived from the Marula and Baobab trees. The pharmaceutical company works with communities and tribal authorities to collect fruit from which the pulp is extracted to produce oil and powder. It is used commercially in food and pharmaceutical products to enhance nutrition. In order to work with local communities to obtain the fruit needed for commercial production, Ms Mathivha applied for, and was granted, a BABS permit by the

The Department is working closely with public entities, the private sector, traditional authorities and communities to create an additional 110 000 jobs by 2030 department to assist her in the development of her business. A BABS permit is issued in line with the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act and Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the fair and equitable benefits arising from their utilisation. This permit enables her company to market her product globally, without any legal obstacles. Transformation of the biodiversity sector will continue to be prioritised, in terms of improved inclusion of marginalised groups, especially communities living with or adjacent to these species.

BARBARA CREECY MINISTER OF FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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SETTING A COURSE FOR WOMEN IN THE

OCEANS ECONOMY According to ZODWA VELLEMAN, Group Executive for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Oceana, the main challenge for women in the fishing industry is opportunity. The answer: we need to seek talent and recognise ambition and then apply skills and experience

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omen comprise nearly half the workforce in the global fishing sector – mainly in production, processing and distribution – but remain poorly represented in leadership positions. A once-aspirant singer, dancer and ceramic designer, who gave it all up to become an attorney, is doing her bit to help change that. Zodwa Velleman is the Group Executive for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Oceana and knows a bit about empowering others from first-hand experience. Inspirational quotes and good intentions are all very well, but actions speak louder. As a young graduate on a Cyrus Vance South Africa Visiting Lawyer Programme, Zodwa worked for New York lawyer Ellen O’Doner, Partner at Weil Gotshal and Manges. Ellen didn’t talk much about empowerment and upliftment but was ready to lose a billion-dollar deal if Zodwa was not included in the core team. “The strength of character and conviction right there is what I try to emulate.” One of the challenges for determined women in fishing is opportunity, as the industry is very sector-specific, so people tend to stay in positions for a long time. “It’s why we have to be pro-active. We need to go and seek talent and recognise ambition and then couple these with skills development and experiential training. That’s the way to open doors.” An example of this approach in action is the Oceana Maritime Academy in Hout Bay Harbour. It represents an investment of R40-million and is the first academy of its kind in South Africa that focuses specifically on training people for the fishing industry. The skills and training programmes are designed to provide opportunities for Oceana employees as well as address skills shortages in the small-scale fisheries sector and to assist new entrants to the industry. Oceana is investing a further R35-million a year in sector-specific skills and training. As the academy grows, the intention is to offer more specialist training courses and

forge international alliances to provide global-best-practice exchange opportunities. Zodwa’s colleague, Thembela Taboshe’s career is a case study on what women in the industry can achieve when talent, determination, opportunity and training combine. She is only the third black woman to obtain a Master Mariner qualification, which means she is licenced to command any vessel of any size, anywhere in the world. She has now transitioned from the bridge to the boardroom and is the Safety, Health and Environmental Executive at Blue Continent Products, a subsidiary of the Oceana Group. Thembela’s story is by no means a onceoff at Oceana. Forty percent of the board and 42% of the leadership team are women. Across the company 43% of the employees are women. It’s an approach that’s deliberate, unremitting and makes good business sense. “Organisations that regard gender parity as a strategic asset are more successful. They outperform their competitors on nearly every metric, from innovation to revenue growth to customer and employee satisfaction. It’s why the Oceana leadership team drives gender equality to continue transforming our business and hopefully also influencing the broader industry. “As with any transition it’s a journey and we recognise that despite the progress that has been made we still have some way to go.” Oceana’s social consciousness extends beyond recognising and nurturing talent, providing training and ensuring women are able to achieve their career ambitions. It also places significant focus on transformation and empowerment through its procurement practices. Over the past 11 years it has spent over R19.6-billion with South African suppliers. Of this, approximately 25% has been spent with SMMEs and R5.6-billion with blackowned suppliers. It has spent R2.2-billion with suppliers owned by black women. A significant milestone in Oceana’s ongoing journey is that in this time the

Organisations that regard gender parity as a strategic asset are more successful. They outperform their competitors on nearly every metric, from innovation to revenue growth to customer and employee satisfaction number of black-owned businesses and businesses owned by black women that it lists as suppliers have grown by 589% and 1 015% respectively. “We’ve managed to build some momentum over the past 11 years. This is important because there’s so much more potential in the oceans economy than just the fishing industry. Aqua-culture, ecotourism, renewable energy and marine biotechnology, to name a few. I hope that some of what we’ve begun will help to ensure many more women are able to take advantage of these and future opportunities.”

ZODWA VELLEMAN GROUP EXECUTIVE FOR CORPORATE AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS, OCEANA Zodwa.velleman@oceana.co.za

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WOMEN’S RIGHTS

TO REAP DIGITAL DIVIDENDS The telecommunications sector is brimming with opportunity and women must not be left behind, says STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, Minister of Small Business Development (former Minister of Communications)

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he coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on labour markets globally, with dire consequences particularly for women. Even though the gender disparity existed before the pandemic, research suggests that the already existing inequalities between women and men and between the different socio-economic groups have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Women have been severely affected by job losses, leading to loss of income. Studies have shown globally that women have suffered more job losses than men during the pandemic, and South Africa has not been spared. Gender disparity needs to be addressed urgently, as failure to do this will result in the pandemic having the potential to set back all gains that have been made thus far; to advance the empowerment of women, their participation in the economy and the attainment of gender equality in the workplace. It is therefore vital that as government and other social partners, we focus more on implementing policies and processes to ensure that women will be at the forefront of the reconstruction, recovery and growth of our economy.

THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR The telecommunications industry is one of the sectors which must aggressively pursue opportunities to advance the growth of womenowned SMMEs and women professionals in the workplace. There is broad agreement that we are in a dynamic period in the telecommunications industry, one full of opportunities to be pursued, for example the roll out of fibre, satellite installation and 5G roll out within the broader ecosystem to provide connectivity for the unconnected. The increasing penetration of various forms of connectivity such as broadband and wireless has been a catalyst to digital services. The rapid emerging technologies have brought much-needed dynamism into the sector. Paradoxically, while Covid-19 has brought on untold devastation, it has also revealed opportunities spurred by increasing digitisation of various economic sectors. This rapid evolution and growth should also be reflective of gender diversity.

THE 2021 ICT SECTOR REPORT The 2021 ICT sector report published by the regulator ICASA indicates that the telecommunications sector revenues continue to grow year-on-year, relatively higher than the broadcasting and postal services sectors.

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Investing in digital skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling of our young girls and women is imperative for achieving inclusion in the digital economy As government we are appreciative of this growth in the sector and perceive it as a glimmer of hope in what has been a rather subdued economic climate. We are determined to ensure that women will be able to benefit from the growth in the sector as entrepreneurs and professionals. In the past decade, since I have been involved in this sector, I have observed that the telecommunications sector has been somewhat dominated by men-owned SMMEs. A female colleague who runs her own SMME in the field also corroborates my observation that there are still very few black women-owned companies operating in this space.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FOR WOMEN IN ICT

In an effort to empower black femaleowned SMMEs in the telecommunications sector, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, together with the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition, are working to implement the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Information and Communications Technology Sector Code (B-BBEE ICT Sector Code). This sector code is aimed at elevating priority elements including, among others, ownership, skills development as well as enterprise and supplier development. These elements are crucial for transformation in that they affirm the notion that real transformation is realisable thoroughly by changing the patterns of ownership in the economy. We therefore have to ensure a skilled population, mainly focusing on young girls and women who will be able to participate in the economy at all levels, and the development of small enterprises through access to funding and procurement support, and so on.

In line with the spirit of empowering black female-owned companies in the sector, our department issued a policy directive on the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN). This was included as part of a policy directive to ICASA from our Department and is intended to encourage the meaningful participation of black entrepreneurs in the telecommunications industry. This serves to further the empowerment efforts of the country and will assist the sector to achieve its transformation agenda and facilitate new entrants, while also raising revenue for the fiscus. The release of the spectrum is also critical in supporting efforts aimed at bridging the digital divide and connecting those who remain on the fringes of technology and access to the internet. This also requires a fresh look at the skills available to the sector. This is no longer an industry of network engineers and systems administrators, but one of software developers, digital marketers, cloud engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and data scientists. It is in that spirit that the Department, together with its entities and private sector players, have embarked on futuristic digital skills development programmes that specifically target young people who are unemployed, especially women. The National Digital and Future Skills Strategy was approved by Cabinet last year, and we are in the process of its implementation phase. Government’s digital skills programme aims at establishing an education and skills development ecosystem that provides all South Africans, especially the youth, with the required skills to participate in the economic and social opportunities of the digital economy. The government has learned through its own experience that skills development for the sake of amassing certificates has become a futile exercise. It is for this reason that we have since embraced a model that focuses on developing skills on a given craft and couple that with entrepreneurial and innovative skills such that when a learner finishes their training, they think not only about getting employment, but about self-employment with the potential to employ others as their businesses grow.

A STRATEGY TOWARDS PARITY IN ICT The Digital and Future Skills Strategy sets out a structured series of initiatives intended to contribute to building the capacity of South Africans to meet the challenges arising from the increasing deployment and adoption of digital technologies in the economy and society. The combined impact of these technology trends is having a substantial impact on the world of work, schooling, education and research, for the individuals and communities. It is a reality that unemployment among young people aged between 15 and 24 is estimated at 60%. The youth unemployment rate is recognised as one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges in South Africa. Investing in digital skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling of our young girls and women is imperative for achieving inclusion in the digital economy. Our intention as government is to remove as many barriers as possible and enable young people, especially women to fulfil their dreams and career aspirations within the telecommunications sector. It is a sector that is brimming with opportunity and with its many novel aspects, it holds much potential, excitement and opportunities for young and budding entrepreneurs. Our responsibility is to ensure that women are not left behind and are also placed in leadership positions to reap the sector’s digital dividends.

STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (FORMER MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS)

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8/13/21 2:05 PM


EMPOWERMENT STRATEGIES FOR WOMEN SANDRA DUBE, Government Liaison Manager at Cell C, highlights the importance of skills development in the empowerment of women and that men are important allies on this quest

“F

reedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression. Our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man and the liberty of the child” – the words of then President Nelson Mandela at the opening of the first Parliament of a democratic South Africa in 1994, remain true today. Women the world over have been fighting for their right to be heard and seen as equal participants in society with much to contribute, for decades. In South Africa, with various laws, platforms and programmes put in place by the government and corporate citizens, there has been notable progress in moving women forward. However, how does one measure the impact and relevance of the changes made for and by women in an ever-changing world and society with changing demands on women? According to StatsSA, as of 2018, femaleheaded households were at a staggering 41.6%, which is an estimated 6.1 million. With the global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on South Africa’s economy resulting in job losses, it’s safe to assume that the burden placed on these femaleled households has since also increased. It can also be argued that while some gains have been made over the years, the rate at which women are occupying leadership and decision-making seats, or even receiving a promotion at work, is painfully slow. We need to find a way to prepare the women of the future.

Empowering women needs to happen at an early stage, so they can grow up with the tools and knowledge to deal with various challenges that life may throw them, whether in their personal or professional lives. Women empowerment is centred around economic development, but for anyone to be in a position to lead economic change, there are life skills to support academia and economics that young women should be empowered with. Many studies seem to indicate that women possess certain attributes which in some cases make them better leaders and decision-makers; these attributes need to be honed. Female leaders in both business and politics have been known to have high emotional intelligence (EQ), which, in some cases, achieves better results. Over and above teaching and empowering young women with professional and workplace skills, their emotional intelligence, mental health and wellness also need to be developed to form well-rounded leaders who are able to balance life holistically.

TAKE A GIRL CHILD TO WORK DAY Programmes such as the ‘Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day’, not only expose young girls to the workplace and a variation of careers, but it also empowers and encourages them to understand the importance of personal development. This programme in its 19-year history has potentially inspired over five million girls, some of whom are currently active participants in the economy and leaders

in their respective fields. Furthermore, platforms such as Cell C Girl offer young women advice and tools that assist them in coping with life’s challenges such as peer pressure at school and in the workplace, mental and physical health and wellness as well as personal development. Cell C takes it a step further, by not only imparting skills and knowledge through the likes of Take a Girl Child to Work Day or the Cell C Data Science Academy, which teaches digital skills – a requirement to survive in the digital age – but by also investing in their education with the Cell C Bursary Fund (previously Cell C Girl Bursary). Until the end of 2020, the fund had sponsored 25 girls, of which 23 are currently employed. This year, Cell C has 50 beneficiaries and 41 of them are female. Although we still live in a predominantly patriarchal society which we are trying to change, our efforts to achieve gender equality should not inadvertently create an imbalance by empowering the girl-child and forgetting about the boy-child, who too plays a vital role in society. We need to be mindful of the effect of patriarchy on not only women but also on men. With youth empowerment and empowering girl- and boy-children, we can work towards building a community of empowered men and women who move the country forward. Unemployment, for example, is increasing annually and many experts agree that the solution lies in developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the youth, and particularly in women.

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EMPOWERMENT

As of 2018, femaleheaded households were at a staggering 41.6%, which is an estimated 6.1 million

We see a large number of women owning informal businesses such as spaza shops in townships, tuck shops at schools, and selling clothes or fruit and vegetables on the street. These are all informal businesses that point to the opportunity for more incubation and formalising these ventures, so that they are able to contribute further to not only job creation and socio-economic growth and development but also tax revenue collection.

DIGITAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a reality and in this digital age one cannot talk about socio-economic development without taking into consideration digital skills development. The acceleration of digital learning, working, trading and social engagement has been unprecedented. Moving or operating a business online, opens up business owners to a wider community of potential buyers, beyond the borders of their communities, provinces, and potentially their country.

Imagine the power a digitally versed and empowered woman would have. As advocates of women empowerment and early youth development of the girl- and boy-child in our communities, we cannot neglect our immediate community – the Cell C workforce. We have considered that our employees are an integral part of the society within which we do business and need to be included in our empowerment initiatives and programmes. In order to empower our workforce, we run internal programmes that are dedicated to digital skills development such as #TechLikeAPro, which has weekly episodes highlighting different themes and/or topics of learning. Additionally, Cell C hosts roundtables and workshops with women as an information sharing platform to help women support and empower each other. Ultimately, what we need is adaptability to the changing world and its demand on our people, including our approach to women empowerment. We need to assess how

society evolves and adapt our programmes and initiatives accordingly to ensure that in our endeavours to support and empower women, we create the necessary balance without creating new imbalances. Important in this narrative and approach is that in the empowerment of women, men matter too, they are important allies to the quest for gender balance.

SANDRA DUBE GOVERNMENT LIAISON MANAGER, CELL C S.Dube@cellc.co.za Honorary PBF Subscriber

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8/19/21 11:47 AM


BREAKING NEW GROUND

IN BUSINESS

SARAH THABETHE, Chairperson of GrowthFin and Elton Charles Group and Director of SARMCOL, shares the wisdoms she has gleaned from the last two years in an extraordinarily challenging business environment due to Covid-19

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

W

omen all over the world have been breaking new ground for centuries – politically, in science, technology, arts, academia, activism and commerce. With every generation of fearless and powerful women that passes, it’s incumbent upon the next to take up the baton and keep running the race. It’s a responsibility that I, and many other women of my generation who I’ve had the pleasure of encountering, am fully committed to – the quest to forever break new ground and lay the foundation for future phenomenal women. Like most people, my start to 2020 was characterised by familiar new year’s resolutions – professionally and personally. I was determined to build on my successes of the previous year, while at the same time embracing what I had learnt through opportunities that didn’t go the way I had hoped. Filled with optimism about the 2020 year, I strategised – detailing my quarterly plans, areas of growth, possible investments and more – not knowing what March of that same year had in store for all of us: the devastating Coronavirus. This pandemic has had a shattering effect on all South Africans – we have all lost loved ones; people have lost their jobs and businesses have had to shut their doors – all of this against the backdrop of an already limited economic growth outlook. As the year progressed, it became apparent to me that I had one of two choices: either carry on feeling sorry about my derailed business plans and resolutions or use the pandemic year as a catalyst to do something innovative and beneficial. I chose to do the latter.

MY INDUSTRIAL JOURNEY A family investment opportunity dating back to 2013 introduced me to the, literally, “grubby” world of industrial rubber. I was appointed a Director of Dunlop Industrial Africa (now Dunlop Belting Products), the largest manufacturer of conveyor belts on the continent, and this marked the beginning of my industrial journey. Through this directorship I gained an understanding of an industry that had at the time, which is sadly still the

case, very limited female participation and involvement. This directorship also introduced me to a leading German industrial rubber powerhouse in the form of Rema Tip Top Holdings, who were up until 2020, shareholders in the Dunlop business. Seven years later, the relationship with Rema Tip Top would yield a particularly exciting opportunity for me, the seeds of which would be planted in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. The South African Rubber Manufacturing Company Limited (SARMCOL), with its manufacturing facilities in Howick, KZN, is an institution in the South African industrial rubber industry. In April 2021, together with my phenomenal woman business partner, trading as our investment company, GrowthFin, we concluded a transaction with SARMCOL owners, Rema Tip Top Holdings SA. This resulted in GrowthFin becoming the 51% shareholders of SARMCOL and the first majority black woman-owned, large-scale local manufacturer of rubber lining and industrial surface protection solutions in South Africa. Not ignoring my penchant for technology and an entrepreneurial life that exists beyond industrial rubber, GrowthFin also concluded a transaction with the Elton Charles Group. And specifically, for the purposes of this article, the development and imminent launch of HULA – an online gateway payment platform for the regular “Josephine Soap” trying to break new ground in any way they possibly can.

Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group where gender will no longer be a discussion; our girl-child will be our boy-child and vice versa; opportunity will be devoid of gender politics, and will rather be based purely on value and “the best idea or proposition”; and where breaking new ground will not be celebrated as a result of its ascription to the female gender, but rather as a life-changing and existence-altering proposition. Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted; it’s for those who continually dare to be innovative and see opportunity in everything. You need to have the ability to interpret failure and setbacks as steppingstones to success and be driven by the vision of creating a better world for this and future generations. We can all break new ground in our own small and big ways, while empowering and teaching others to do the same. In this way, we pass on the baton with the greatest possible chance of the next generation winning their race.

IN CLOSING My truth about the years 2020 and 2021 is this: “The country was locked down, but our minds, hearts and socio-genderequality-seeking insatiable spirits will never be on lockdown.” I started this article with a quote from Angela Davis and I want to again highlight this particular line: “When Black women win victories, it’s a boost for virtually every segment of society.” The simple truth in this, is that our responsibility to this victory is compulsory. We have no choice. Not if we are to contribute to the shaping of a world

SARAH THABETHE CHAIRPERSON OF GROWTHFIN AND ELTON CHARLES GROUP AND DIRECTOR OF SARMCOL sarah@growthfin.co.za Silver PBF Subscriber

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PUTTING A

BUSINESS PLAN INTO ACTION

RETHABILE NNYANE, Director at House of Nnyane, walks us through the steps to becoming a successful small business owner

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eing a woman in any field is not easy and comes with many challenges, but establishing yourself as a valuable player in a male-dominated industry, and going up against the big boys, is a whole different ball game; not one for the fainthearted. In order to get taken seriously in any room that you walk into, you need to start by taking yourself seriously. Never think of yourself and your business as two separate entities – the habits, traits and characteristics of your personal life are bound to spill over into the business aspect. If you are generally a hardworking person, who has no problem with getting their hands dirty to get the job done, consequently on the business side of things you’ll always be willing to go the extra mile, start small, accept any job and work your way up. It is important to always have a “can do” attitude in business, be teachable and open to learning; it’s the only way you’re guaranteed growth and success.

WHAT’S YOUR PLAN? Growth should be at the core of everything you do; if you are not thinking growth then you are not thinking long term, which is a sure way to fail. A long-term plan is essential in that it helps you map out everything you intend to do and the phases in which you plan to tackle each stage.

It also highlights your ambitions for the business, which provokes growth. With a clear and solid plan in place, the direction you’re taking is clear, and if it changes along the way you can always go back and amend your initial plan. This is a lot easier to do when you have a reference that you’re working from, which in this case would be your initial plan. Growth should not be limited to the growth of the business; it should be all-encompassing: from your employees and business partners to the day-to-day dealings of your business and ensuring that it is profitable.

FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE Now that you have a plan in place, the real work begins. However, not much can be achieved without the right people by your side. For your business to grow, you need to work with like-minded people whose goals and values are similar to yours. It goes without saying that experience and qualifications are important when hiring people, but character and integrity precede any kind of accolade. During the hiring process, particularly in interviews, listen attentively and assess their character, don’t get carried away and blinded by a good-looking CV. Do your due diligence, call their references, make sure that everything checks out.

Don’t be afraid to let go of some people along the way when they no longer share the same ideals; you will fire as many as you hire, it’s part of the process. Be authoritative and firm in your decisions, while ensuring that you think through every decision. In growing a business, you need a combination of leadership styles: a bit of dictatorship on the hand and a bit of democratic leadership on the other. You want to be fair, yet assertive and still respectful, to be in charge but not too far removed from the people on the ground. It really is a matter of finding the perfect balance and finding what works for you.

KEEP EDUCATING YOURSELF Education is important. You have to jump through hoops to get taken seriously as a woman in business even with the right qualifications, so study, understand your craft and be knowledgeable in the service you’re providing. Do your research, find a course you’re passionate about that is in line with the business you’re in or going into,

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SMALL BUSINESS

figure out what your niche is; what is it that makes you different? Never stop learning, if you can, and find a mentor, someone who will show you the ropes and groom you. Remain humble, you can never know too much.

WHAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR BUSINESS?

Two things make a business: finances and reputation. Mess up one and the whole ship sinks. Finances are an integral part of the business; you want your business to be profitable otherwise you’re just pouring from an empty cup. Keep your expenses low, but never compromise on quality; this is where good negotiation skills come in handy. Build a cash reserve for your business with your own cash flow as opposed to acquiring loans for rainy days. Ownership of depreciating assets should be kept at a minimum. Maintenance of assets such as vehicles is costly; rather look into leasing for the duration in which you’re going to need the asset. Most importantly, reinvest

your profits into the business – the aim is to grow, and a business’ success and growth is measured by its profitability and expansion. Ask any businessperson and they will tell you that your reputation precedes you. This is why it is extremely important to provide good and quality service. Never make the mistake of compromising on quality or on offering quality products. Cutting costs is a good way of increasing profitability, but it should never be at the detriment of the business. Your clients’ satisfaction should be your main priority – happy clients not only return, but they also give good references and recommendations, which is an economical way to grow your business. Word of mouth should never be taken for granted, people are more likely to believe a referral from someone who has experienced a service or product, as opposed to traditional advertising and marketing. It is understandable, and expected, that not everyone is interested in being or cut out to be a businessperson, but if this is a path

you’d like to take, don’t let anything stand in your way. You create your own faith by your actions, so go out there and break down all those barriers to turning your dreams into reality.

RETHABILE NNYANE DIRECTOR AT HOUSE OF NNYANE rethabile@houseofnnyane.co.za Gold PBF Subscriber

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MENTAL HEALTH

HEALTH VS WEALTH:

A FINE BALANCE DELIWE RADEBE, Training Facilitator at The Randeli Group, explores the idea that social constructs make moving up the ladder more challenging for women, which can have a debilitating effect on our mental and physical health

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ourageous, resilient, phenomenal, feisty, vulnerable, strong… these are some of the words used to describe women, and understandably so. Women are born into a system not designed for women to thrive in, but to fight in, earning us titles like strong women, powerful women and many other adjectives describing wins. We are born into gender inequality and this battle has been going on since the early 1900s under the banner of International Women’s Day on 8 March every year. Pay parity and workplace gender equality were on the agenda then as much as they are now, and although much has changed since then, progress has been slow. The women of our generation are also responsible for playing their part in advancing the struggle. But must do so with cognisance of and care about the effects this constant battle can have on our mental and physical health. During these 31 days of August, while we celebrate and focus on our wins, losses, gains, courage and resilient acts, we must also remain aware that as women, these achievements don’t come to us naturally as prescribed by social constructs, we have to work harder to open certain doors – and if you are a black woman, harder still. It is imperative to talk about the “effects and affects” that our journeys up the ladder have on our mental health as this informs how we show up in every sphere of our

lives. Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation (2014) as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. Ascension up the ladder comes at a price, where often the seat you earn at the table comes with the greater responsibility of lifting other women up as you rise, adding to the expectations you have to live up to. Then, when you finally reach the top, you may find there are limited opportunities for women. There are many of these types of scenarios and they are at play at every level of our lives. Recently, the spotlight of women’s mental health in workspaces has been shining on women in sports. We watched and noted how Naomi Osaka (a high-ranking tennis player) and Simone Biles (the highest world ranking gymnast) had to withdraw from big tournaments, citing protection and restoration of their mental health. At the top, the pressure is even more intense. And so too, the need to preserve our mental health. We need each other on this journey. We need to share and listen to each other’s stories. We have to be intentional and deliberate about forming or finding support groups or forums that will let

us know that we are not alone. We need to create safe spaces to serve these purposes. If this is not enough, we need to seek professional help from therapists, life coaches, career coaches or one of the many other sources of help at our disposal. The present Covid-19 period that we are in demands us to be even more alert and mindful of each other. As we continue to ascend the ranks, may we see each other in the spirit of Ubuntu. In the words of Maya Angelou,“I come as one, but I stand as ten thousand.”

DELIWE RADEBE TRAINING FACILITATOR THE RANDELI GROUP

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THE DEFINITIVE GUIDES TO GOVERNMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA Yes! Media’s annual Government Handbooks are the most comprehensive guides to government in South Africa. Each publication focuses on a particular layer of government, and together they provide detailed information on more than 800 national and provincial departments, institutions, public entities, state-owned enterprises, and municipalities. The comprehensive directories provide relevant descriptive information, contact details, particulars of senior political and administrative officials, as well as financial and other performance information.

The Handbooks are aimed at government officials, local and foreign representatives of business, as well as investors and NGOs, who need complete, yet concise, reference sources to South African government. Copies are distributed to senior government and municipal officials, government and industry bodies, investment promotion agencies and business chambers. Copies are sold to the private sector via the Yes! Media website. Online versions of previous editions of the print publications can be viewed at www.issuu.com/yesmedia

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FIVE KEYS TO OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IN BUSINESS

Founder, former CEO and former Deputy Chairperson of Smile Telecoms, IRENE CHARNLEY, shares five key areas to focus on when the going gets tough

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s we honour and celebrate all women during this month of August – highlighted by the public holiday on 9 August which has been observed since the start of our new democracy more than 27 years ago – we still have many hills to climb as women in business.

As the father of our democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela wisely quoted: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” We can be proud of what has been achieved and accelerated (albeit slow) in terms of the inclusion of women over the past decade and how many are now

found in government and in business and fulfilling the role of decision-makers that impact generations to come. It has been a challenging journey so far and our trials continue to stretch us and all those in support of (and opposed to) women empowerment and their role in transforming our economy.

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LEADERSHIP

As many of our esteemed women in business will attest, it is a massive privilege to serve and influence the future generations of young women through responsible and sustainable business. The challenges are getting more and more tough, inspiring us to not become complacent with all the gains thus far but to keep our focus on ensuring that equality and empowerment for all women is achieved in our lifetime. We have been confronted by many challenges in business which cut across all aspects of our daily functions as women in business. These challenges are not insurmountable and should inspire greatness as we continue to conquer the many hills ahead of us. These last two years have stretched us to the limits in terms of overcoming challenges and dealing with an unprecedented, unbiased enemy which literally brought all business to a halt as we managed the Covid-19 pandemic. There was also the impact of digitising business and, recently, dealing with criminal looting of retail businesses, especially SMEs in townships, all impacting on unemployment. This in the wake of an already fragile economy and changing business landscape here in South Africa and many regions across our continent. Overcoming these challenges in business needed extraordinary leadership attributes to be invoked and implemented and thankfully we as women were blessed with the most important attribute showing empathy, resilience, and the ability to focus on the future. The reboot button was initiated on our behalf, and we had to navigate through unknown rough seas, which impacted on all aspects of daily life. It is clear that our role is not to calm the seas and high winds, but rather to accept that they will always be there. Our role is to ensure we are skilled and that our businesses are built to navigate through whatever challenges we face and to reach for our vision and purpose. We cannot achieve this without a fully functional team that has clarity of

purpose and is action-inspired regardless of the challenge. Leadership is defined during these difficult times.

THERE ARE FIVE KEY FOCUS AREAS WHEN THESE TIMES ARISE: • Self-control and self-management – ensure that as a leader you are clear in terms of your vision and purpose. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and work in the engine room, while at the same time adjust the sails to leverage the wind in the direction of the vision. A clear mind will ensure the opportunities that come with every challenge, is seized. • Harness human capital – certainly the most valuable asset in a business is the people who must be engaged, have clarity of the vision and are action-inspired to keep momentum and get the business to the next goal. • Systems and processes – have trusted business systems in place that are predictable, measurable and can assist in better managing the risks, while freeing up hands for functions needing manpower. • Visibility – ensure that you are actively and regularly in touch with all your teams, stakeholders, customers, suppliers and shareholders, so all are on the same page about how to survive and are focussed on generating cashflow and sustainable future growth. • Humanity – remain humane and approachable to not miss the super stars and new innovations that come with every challenge the business will face throughout its journey. The business is about the people it serves. These attributes are not only useful to overcome business challenges, but they can also be implemented in all forms of challenges in whatever capacity we lead. You will have to acknowledge that challenges are opportunities for growth in order to realise your vision more quickly and enjoy sustainable business success. As women in leadership, we hold up our societal well-being, but are often inclined to doubt our ability to lead through a challenge

As women in leadership, we hold up our societal well-being, but are often inclined to doubt our ability to lead through a challenge and devalue our natural experience to mobilise a collective, to skilfully get to the other side of the challenge. Women in business hold so much more than simply their responsibilities as a leader. They are also a trusted friend, compassionate caregiver, the centre of the homes, businesses and communities they lead. Women always bring their full self into the spaces they hold; their humanness with all their strengths and vulnerabilities that often have no space to be expressed. In this month, as we reflect, reboot, reignite and continue our roles as astute accomplished women in leadership, let us do so with empathy, humility, and a deep sense of gratitude. We are overcomers and we do have the skill to achieve a future with no poverty and inequality. Women have the power to build and transform our economy.

IRENE CHARNLEY FOUNDER, FORMER CEO AND FORMER DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF SMILE TELECOMS irene.charnley@icloud.com

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BOOK REVIEW

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL LESLEY WATERKEYN, SANDY VAN DIJK and DAWN NATHAN-JONES offer us hope in inspiring bitesized stories we can all relate to

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quick Google search revealed the meaning of the phrase above to be that it is human nature always to find fresh cause for optimism. In the book, Hope Stories – Let Hope Be Your Strength, that sentiment is powerfully brought to life with 27 stories of courage and inspiration in unprecedented times. In 180 pages, authors Lesley Waterkeyn, Sandy Van Dijk and Dawn Nathan-Jones show, and not tell, us why we’re all hard-wired to rise above adversity. For many of us, 2020 was going to be the year. 2020: perfect vision, perfect time. It was supposed to be a time to shine. And yes, January was filled with strategy meetings, vision workshops, fi ve-year plans and most businesses and entrepreneurs were ready. February came and the rumours were mounting. There was a virus on the loose. A new and dangerous contagion called Covid-19. Overnight, restaurants turned into soup kitchens, businesses turned to making protective products – if you had a sewing machine, you made masks, alcohol, you made hand sanitizers – hotels turned into hospitals, businesses had to transform…

it was time to adapt or die. Times were, and are, tough. It was, and is, literally time for the tough to get going. Hope Stories is a collection of short stories about the toughest among us who rose to the challenge; an account of ordinary people who did extraordinary things in these uncertain times. Their stories will inspire you to innovate and prosper. To think forward and find a way to triumph over hardship. As the co-founder of Over the Rainbow – a social enterprise that empowers young entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and connections that will enable them to succeed – Lesley Waterkeyn is passionate about unlocking the potential of South Africa’s young people. She’s a multiple award-winning entrepreneur who leads with vision and determination. Sandy Van Dijk is COO of Over the Rainbow. In addition to Hope Stories, Sandy co-authored a book called The Entrepreneurs Playbook with sister Lesley. The book aims to inspire entrepreneurs by changing their ‘what if’s into how to’s’, sustain their

businesses and achieve success. The third author of Hope Stories is Dawn Nathan-Jones – a renowned South African entrepreneur. Dawn’s legacy lies in her role as one of the early pioneers of the Imperial Car Rental company, known more recently as Europcar. She spent over three decades building this fledging car rental business with her two colleagues.

ORDER INFORMATION Hope Stories – Let Hope Be Your Strength can be ordered from Knowledge Resources, Ground Floor, Yellowwood House, Ballywoods Office Park, 33 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston Contact: tel: (+27 11) 706 6009 fax: (+27 11) 706 1127 e-mail: orders@knowres.co.za Available online at: www.kr.co.za

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reservations@theranch.co.za 015 290 5000 www.theranch.co.za The Ranch Resort, comprises of 13 multi-purpose venues and 150 bedrooms, and is the leading conferencing, banqueting, exhibition, wedding and private events venue in the Limpopo Province. With 65 years’ experience, we offer 4-star accommodation and the best quality service to our guests and clients. The Ranch Resort is conveniently located in the heart of the Limpopo Province on a 1000ha nature conservancy, 25km south of the provincial capital, Polokwane, and 280km (2.5hrs) north of Johannesburg, with direct access from either the R101 or N1 Highway. In 2021, The Ranch Resort added the world-class Makhulu Convention Venue – which can accommodate 1500 delegates – to its offerings. Makhulu is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, business class Wifi, and multi-lighting capabilities to create the specific ambiance and mood required for each customer’s event style. Makhulu also offers direct access to an airstrip and helicopter pad, making VIP travel efficient and stylish, and 24-hour automatic generators provide power, ensuring your event never gets interrupted.

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE AND BACKGROUND XQL Management Consulting PTY LTD was founded in 2014 to help organizations in setting up end-to-end supply chain management processes, sourcing strategies, internal control measures, governance, risk strategies and management of bid committees. We also provide support in developing standard operating procedures, contract management and consulting for internal training on strategic supply chain management. OUR SERVICES XQL Management Consulting PTY LTD helps clients in designing end-to-end sourcing strategies. We offer expert supply chain management consulting across spheres of government and XQL Management Consulting Pty Ltd also supports bid committees in the management of procurement irregularities. The company also offers innovative solar technologies to support cleaner energy initiatives. CONTACT US: Email: info@xqlconsulting.co.za | Website: www.xqlconsulting.co.za/ Gauteng Office: 1277 Mike Crawford Avenue, Lakeview Building, Ground Floor Centurion, 0157 Tel: 012 683 8898 KwaZulu-Natal Office: 102 Stephen Dlamini Road, Musgrave, Durban, 4000 Tel: 031 313 9316

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Our strength is derived from the experience of our staff, consisting of professional engineers and engineering technologists who have worked on high profile large engineering projects. Services Roads and Transportation Geotechnical Engineering and Mining Services Bulk Water Supply, Reticulation and Waste Water Solid Waste Management Structural Engineering Project and Construction Management Cambridge Office Park: Unit 12, 1st Floor, 5 Bauhinia Street, Highveld Techno Park, Centurion, 0169 Tel: (011) 784 1217 Email: info@lilibara.co.za Website: www.lilibara.com

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Infraburo (Pty) Ltd was founded in March 1997 as a civil and structural engineering firm with offices in Centurion, Polokwane, Thohoyandou and Vryburg. SERVICES OFFERED: • Project management • Feasibility studies and Master Planning • Design of bulk water supply pipelines, pump stations and reservoirs • Design of outfall sewers and pump stations • Refurbishment of rural water supply networks • Rehabilitation of existing road infrastructure as well as condition assessment thereof • Design, construction management and supervision over the construction of rural, urban and provincial roads including all associated structures • Municipal infrastructure • Design and implementation of projects involving labour intensive construction methods such as roads, water reticulation and sewer drainage systems • Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Infraburo is committed to professional integrity and strives to deliver work of outstanding quality based on sound business principals to the benefit and improvement of the lives of the communities involved.

Centurion: 1032 Clifton Avenue, Lyttelton Manor Ext 3 Rudolph Dippenaar (082 874 3318) Polokwane: 10 Hans van Rensburg Street Willie Smit (082 856 5032)

Thohoyandou: Old Library Building, Unit A, Sibasa Rudzani Netshampofu (082 878 5552)

Vryburg: 58 Vry Street Rudzani Magadagela (076 266 8192)

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