Women representivity a success story

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Polokwane – The representation of women in key political and decision-making positions is one of the country’s success stories, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

“The process of proactively involving women in governance constitutes one of South Africa’s globally acclaimed success stories and is the envy of many countries around the world, where women’s empowerment is still a significant challenge.

“Women own conglomerates in the country, many are self-made millionaires in the business world, and women can be found as chairpersons of corporate boards in the country,” she said.

She added that since the advent of democracy and freedom, South Africa has seen a number of women taking up leadership positions in areas previously dominated by men.

The minister was speaking at the Business Women Association 2014 Regional Business Achievers Awards held in Polokwane on Friday.

The Regional Business Achievers Awards recognise businesswomen who control a budget of less than R75 million and who are at local and start-up level, growing entrepreneurs, professionals in profitable practises and corporate women at executive level.

Minister Muthambi used the occasion to call on young women to grab those opportunities presented to them to improve their lives.

“Our young ambitious women can take advantage of the many and varied opportunities to gain a world-class higher education through the wide range of academic institutions that are open to them.

“For those seeking to become specialists in key disciplines, South Africa boasts a number of important technology centres of excellence that are leading the world in innovation,” she said.

Minister Muthambi urged women to join hands to achieve the goals outlined in the National Development Plan, which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.

“This major initiative represents the foundation of a united approach to achieving growth and sustainable economic prosperity for the country. 

“As such, it requires women from every sector of society, from business, labour and public representatives, to citizens from all walks of life in every part of the country, to work together in implementing all aspects of the plan in order to achieve a better future for all,” she said.

Overall winner in the category for Women in Government, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Limpopo Tourism Agency Seipati Tlaka, told SAnews her recipe for success is to never be afraid of challenges.

“In the boardroom, where you always find men, I stand my ground. I have always been myself,” she said.

Tlaka said being herself and always “being part of the team” had also helped her further her career. “Don’t put obstacles before yourself, be part of the group and also be part of the solution,” she said.

Owner of an accountancy firm and overall winner in the Professional and Corporate category, Sally Hansen, said success lies in being committed to your work. “Doing what you love coupled with dedication and commitment is key to success,” she said.

Other categories included Emerging Entrepreneur, Established Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneur.

August is Women’s Month and the month-long programme, which kicked off on 1 August 2014, is being held under the theme “Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s Charter and 20 Years of Freedom: Moving Women’s Agenda Forward!”.

In the last 20 years of freedom, the democratic government declared 9 August as a Women’s Day to honour the role of women in the emancipation of South Africa. – SAnews.gov.za