Operating 24-7 in South Africa, the logistics sector is one of the lifelines of the country’s economy.
Budding entrepreneur Siphokazi Matsha recognised this, and with a BTech degree in logistics management to back her up, she started her company, Go Girl Logistics, in 2018.
With the aim of empowering more women, Matsha’s business, a full-service logistics and courier company, provides a selection of specialised services to a diverse clientele, made up of individuals and organisations.
Matsha told Business Report: “Go Girl Logistics is a 100 percent black female-owned company, and its mandate is to empower women within the sector through the hiring, training and leadership of women. This is extremely important because women have previously been stereotyped as belonging to administrative roles or home executives. There is still a huge gap that we need to fill. We have a strong voice and we are educated and smart. We don’t want handouts, but to be given opportunities to make our impact in any industry.”
After 15 years experience working in logistics, Matsha said she noticed, from her time at various companies, how the industry was very male dominated.
She says this was what sparked the idea to start her own business.
“A lot more men than women in all these companies. It is even worse when it comes to managerial positions; women were, and to some extent in the present-day women are, still not considered for top positions in the industry,” she said.
Matsha added: “I want to open spaces for women in the industry. Making sure that the narrative that says that women are incapable of leading this industry is slowly moved out of the industry.”
From offering national and international courier services, Go Girl Logistics also handles organ transportation and medical equipment transportation, as well as many other services.
On creating jobs, Matsha told Business Report: “Altogether we have employed seven women and three men. We work with women who are goal-driven and who love what they do and do it so well. The plan is to have a footprint all over the country and to create more jobs for young women and the youth as a whole, should they have a passion for the logistic industry.”
She says one of the major challenges she faced in the industry was not being taken seriously because hers is a female-led business.
“Gaining trust and credibility was a big problem. It still is because there are a lot of role players in the industry who have been in the industry for many years. We overcome those challenges by giving excellent and quality service to our clients and partners. We’ve had to work extremely hard to prove that we understood the industry and the value chain we are trying to build. As women, we are forever proving a point that we are just good as men,” she said.
Matsha shared how she hopes the industry will take shape in the future in South Africa.
“I would like to see more women in the logistics industry in more high-level positions. We need more women who are [chief executives] in this industry. But most importantly, the industry needs to be inclusive at every level of operation in the industry.”