SA women entrepreneurs hit Chicago

first_imgAnna Phosa, who has grown a tiny smallholding into a million-dollar pig farming operation supplying one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains.Christina Baloyi, who started out in a butcher’s shop and now owns a successful construction company with infrastructure projects throughout South Africa.Sbongile Sambo, the dynamic young founder of Africa’s, possibly the world’s, only fully woman-owned aviation services company.Nelly Shezi, who has built a successful chemicals company.Bernice Mannya, who went from selling tupperware to owning an agri-processing venture that exports to Europe.Soweto-born telemedicine pioneer Dr Moretlo Molefi.Tebogo Mashego, who turned a struggling backyard mom-and-pop operation into a thriving steel and aluminium fabrication business. 24 October 2011 An extraordinary group of 30 South African women entrepreneurs who have launched businesses running the gamut from construction, aviation and security to fashion, telemedicine and commercial farming are in Chicago this week to inaugurate the US-South Africa Women’s Business Forum (USSAWBF). Outstanding examples of the energy and creativity unleashed by South Africa’s vibrant young democracy and its commitment to gender equality, the entrepreneurs will be connecting with their counterparts in the Chicago region, and beyond, to share experiences and inspiration and build partnerships to the benefit of both countries. Their stories are testament both to the drive and resourcefulness of South African women in overcoming historical challenges, and to the exciting opportunities South Africa, and the growing economies of the continent of which it is a part, offer not only major multinationals but businesses of all sizes.Inspiring stories In the week ahead, Chicagoans will have a chance to meet women like: They will also meet Lillian Masebenza, a visionary social entrepreneur whose Mhani Gingi program provides training, skills development and mentorship to help more South African woman lift themselves, their families and communities out of poverty through entrepreneurship.High-level support The businesswomen are accompanied by South Africa’s Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, and the deputy director-general for trade and investment at South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Pumla Ncapayi. The USSAWBF initiative is the brainchild of the South African consul-general in Chicago, Ambassador Nomvume Magaqa, and is being made possible with support from the DTI, Brand South Africa, and South African Tourism. Partners on the US side include the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women’s Business Development Centre, the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Women’s Enterprise USA, the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago, and World Business Chicago. Background on members of the delegation and details of the USSAWBF programme can be found on the forum’s specially created mobile website, m.ussawbf.org Source: Brand South Africalast_img read more

20 Year Review: South Africa’s success story

first_imgCompared to many emerging economies, South Africa “has a good story to tell” based on its achievements over the past 20 years, President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the government’s 20 Year Review in Pretoria on Tuesday.Detail of the cover of the 20 Year Review document, launched in March 2014.Brand South Africa reporterThe 20 Year Review reflects on South Africa’s progress in reconstruction and development since 1994, and on the challenges facing the country as it enters its third decade of democracy.Zuma said South Africa had done well in improving the lives of its people through pro-poor economic interventions, and in building social cohesion, after inheriting the apartheid legacy in 1994.“The biggest barrier to further increasing social cohesion is the remaining inequality in society, which needs to be attended to further,” Zuma said, adding: “Going forward, we should commit to working together further to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) to deal with the remaining challenges and take our country forward.”Zuma said that the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) that was introduced by the democratic government after 1994 had benefitted millions of South Africans through social security programmes, subsidised housing, and the extension of services such as electricity and water, quality education and health care.Human rightsSouth Africans now enjoyed basic human rights that restored their dignity after the adoption of the Constitution in 1996.“Thanks to our progressive Constitution, we enjoy freedom of movement and of association, the right to own property, the right not to be detained without trial, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, religious freedom and freedom of sexual orientation,” Zuma noted.“Women have equal rights before the law, which did not exist before 1994.“Workers have 20 years of enjoying rights, including trade union workplace organising, collective bargaining, equal pay for equal work, health and safety, affirmative action, skills development, minimum wages for workers in vulnerable sectors, the right to strike, and the right to peaceful protest.”Economic growthOn the economy, Zuma said that despite having inheriting a bankrupt economy in 1994, South Africa’s growth had averaged 3.2% from 1994 to 2012, “a marked improvement over pre-1994 growth rates”, while the number of people in employment grew by approximately 60%, or 5.6-million people, between 1994 and 2013.South Africa still faced challenges inherited from apartheid, including the uneven distribution of land, the after-effects of Bantu education, unemployment and poor economic growth.However, partnerships between the government, labour and business, combined with the integration of the National Development Plan, would go a long way towards carrying the country forward.Since the mid-2000s, the government had placed an emphasis on investing in economic infrastructure such as ports, rail, dams and power stations. Investment in infrastructure, which has also been identified as a key jobs driver, had increased “dramatically” over the past five years.Social stabilityAt the same time, Zuma said, the country had made progress in providing social services such as health care, education and housing. Over eight-million school children were now beneficiaries of no-fee schools, while nine-million were being fed through the schools feeding scheme.In addition to free basic healthcare, more than 1 500 healthcare facilities had been built and existing ones revitalised over the past 20 years.“One of the major challenges that confronted the democratic government was the rapid rise in the HIV epidemic,” Zuma said. “The country’s improved response to HIV and Aids and TB has resulted in dramatic improvements in health outcomes.”The Reconstruction and Development Programme had resulted in about 2.8-million government-subsidised houses being distributed and over 875 000 serviced sites being delivered, with 56% of housing subsidies being allocated to woman-headed householdsThis had given more than 12-million South Africans access to accommodation, and increased the proportion of people living in formal housing from 64% in 1996 to 77% in 2011.“We have succeeded because of the hard work of all our people who contributed in various ways to rebuilding their country,” Zuma said. “We are honoured to place before the country this 20 Year Review, which provides evidence in this regard. We trust that it will be useful in assessing the path we have travelled thus far, and in moving the country forward.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Intruder beats up headmaster for making students clean school

first_imgThe headmaster of a primary school in Odisha’s Ganjam district was attacked and injured by an intruder on Tuesday during a cleaning exercise on the premises.The headmaster, Purna Chandra Das, was admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. The incident happened at Gangadhar Primary School in Kavisuryanagar. The intruder, a youth in early 20s, was angry as the headmaster had engaged the school students in cleaning their classrooms, said sources. It is to be noted that Gangadhar Primary School has been adjudged the best school for cleanliness in Kavisuryanagar Notified Area Council. The headmaster, according to the sources, had asked two Class V students to clean their classroom. The accused saw this from outside and entered the campus to record it on his cell phone. He protested against students being used for cleaning work and entered into an altercation with the headmaster. He hit Mr. Das’s head with a boulder, injuring him seriously, the sources added. The headmaster has lodged a complaint at Kavisuryanagar police station but the culprit is yet to be arrested.Ganjam District Education Officer Sanatan Panda condemned the violent act and said that if the youth had any complaints he could have conveyed them to the authorities instead of taking the law into his own hands.“Under the ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’ drive going on in the district, students and teachers together clean their school campuses.last_img read more