A panel of speakers discussing the Strategic partnership between public and private sectors in the economic recovery plan and growth. The business breakfast features remarks from Icebolethu Group Executive Officer- Nomfundo Mcoyi, the founder of Msinga Clothing Factory- Lelly Mntungwa, Executive Manager for Corporate Support Services at Ithala Development Finance Corporation, Tozi Mthethwa.Picture supplied.
A panel of speakers discussing the Strategic partnership between public and private sectors in the economic recovery plan and growth. The business breakfast features remarks from Icebolethu Group Executive Officer- Nomfundo Mcoyi, the founder of Msinga Clothing Factory- Lelly Mntungwa, Executive Manager for Corporate Support Services at Ithala Development Finance Corporation, Tozi Mthethwa.Picture supplied.

Women are part of building a resilient and sustainable economy

By Sinenhlanhla Zungu Time of article published Aug 27, 2021

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Durban - RAVI Pillay, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) said that the exclusion of women in the business sector would lead to a path of unsustainable economic growth, during a fast-tracking business session held at the Dube TradePort, yesterday.

Pillay, together with Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, Trade and Investment KZN and the KZN Growth Fund, led a government and business engagement session. Stakeholders presented business opportunities that were available to women in numerous sectors of the economy.

“Keeping women out of the economy will lead to a path of unsustainable economic growth. I am pleased that Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal has been fast-tracking the entry of women-led businesses and women entrepreneurs into the mainstream economy. They also provide after-care services for women-led businesses and by prioritising these businesses through mentorship programmes for emerging and seasoned exporters,” said Pillay.

The women in business session was also aimed at showcasing the best of the province's female contribution to the economy, celebrating their success as well as encouraging everyone to support the initiative. The session was themed Re-building Resilient and Sustainable KwaZulu-Natal Economy.

Lindiwe Cele, the deputy chairperson of Trade and Investment KZN, said: “Gender equality is taken for granted. Women work twice as hard only to be considered half as good as their male counterparts because the world we live in is predominantly male. We are here today to rededicate ourselves and encourage our allies and other men to do so as well.”

Cele said that the province was an economic duel whose overall potential remained largely untapped.

Among the panel was Thandi Ngxongo, a female entrepreneur who owned the BP garage in Che Guevara (Moore) Road, Durban.

“I always had a passion for the petroleum industry. I decided to do my Master of Business Administration in petroleum retailing. I was able to network and up-skill myself,” said Ngxongo.

She said that there were 65 male employees, and somehow, she felt undermined because of her gender. She has hired two females as part of her recruitment strategy to expose women to sectors that are male-dominated.

Msinga Clothing Factory founder Lelly Mntungwa has made history as the first and currently, the only black African woman who supplied the TFG clothing brand in the country. Mntungwa said her venture into business started back in 2012 when a Public Works infrastructure was vandalized. She bought the property.

“My vision was clear. I have 180 employees, of which, about 95% were females,” said Mntungwa.

Daily News

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