Major Moves Made by South African Women in 2018 #BestofSMESA2018

Updated on 21 December 2018

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Several women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders again gave us inspiration this year within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and business space.

We reflect on all all their accomplishments, whether it was taking on a new C-suite position of a major company or helping to drive innovation on the African continent.

1. Mamokgethi Phakeng

Mamokgethi Phakeng was the first black woman in SA to obtain a PhD in maths education. This year she was appointed the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) vice-chancellor and started in July with this new role.

She is also the founder of the Adopt-a-learner trust, a nonprofit organisation that provides financial support to learners from townships and rural areas to acquire higher-education qualifications.


2. Boitumelo (Tumi) Menyatswe

She was appointed the new ecosystem manager of Silicon Cape, a Cape Town-based non profit organisation. Silicon Cape brings together tech entrepreneurs, developers, investors and other stakeholders. Menyatswe forms part of its new all-female leadership team.

She is also a tech entrepreneur and is the founder of Minderz, an online platform that enables pet owners to find reliable and vetted sitters to perform tasks like pet sitting and dog walking.

3. Peggy-Sue Khumalo

The former Miss South Africa has been appointed the CEO of Standard Bank’s wealth division in South Africa.

Khumalo who will start working in her new position in February 2019, and will be responsible for short and long-term insurance, asset management, pension-fund operations and fiduciary services which all fall under Standard Bank’s wealth business division.


4. Mamongae Mahlare

The sugar producer Illovo Sugar South Africa appointed Mamongae Mahlare earlier this year as its first woman managing director (MD). She started this job in March.

Mahlare has a wealth of general management, commercial, operational and engineering experience from roles at SABMiller, Tanzania Breweries , Unilever and Coca Cola Beverages Africa.


5. Salamina Mosese and Stephina Zwane

Sorele Media, a women-owned South African television production company produced the comedy drama Baby Mamas, which stars Salamina Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Dineo Ranaka, and Kay Smith. The film was screened internationally at the Toronto Black Film Festival and the New York African Film Festival this year.

Sorele Media is owned by Stephina Zwane and Salamina Mosese. They produced and did co-writing for the script of Baby Mamas.

6. Portia Mngomezulu

Mngomezulu was awarded Pick n Pay’s 2018 Small Supplier of the Year award for her business’ exceptional growth performance and job creation. In the last 24 months and through Pick n Pay alone, her business has generated over R20 million in sales.

She is founder of Portia M Skin Solutions, a company that has created a skincare range of 12 products for both men and women. Portia M Skin Solutions employs 27 full-time staff.

7. Farah Fortune

Fortune was named Africa’s Most Influential in the Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards, SADC region, and also won the Glamour Woman of the Year Award of the Business Category.

She is founder of African Star Communications, a high profile corporate and celebrity public relations and events management company. Fortune celebrated her business’ 10 years in existence this year.


8. Phillipa Geard

Geard won the Job Creator of the Year at the the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year competition, which is sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners.

She is founder of RecruitMyMom (Pty) Ltd, an online recruitment agency that helps moms all over the country with the opportunity to juggle both parenthood and a career.


9. Monika Pretorius and her partner, Gwendolyn Mahuma

Monika Pretorius and Gwendolyn Mahuma’s company BBD Steel Suppliers won the ‘Women-owned Business’ category award at the fifth annual South African Premier Business Awards earlier this year.

Pretorius and Mahuma, co-founders of BBD Steel Suppliers, are known as the “sisters in steel” in Pretoria.


10. Iman Malaka

Iman Malaka won the SME Recognition category of this year’s MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards, which was hosted in Johannesburg.

Malaka has held various roles in the telecommunications industry and currently is the CEO, co-founder and majority shareholder of telecommunications company, TIC-IT Telecoms.

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