Founder of Citi Hopper, Nisreen Bulbulia. Picture: Supplied

South Africa has been watching the rise of South African women into the leadership ranks of various industries that contribute to the country’s economy, and it is always a great occasion to celebrate women in leadership roles because there are often not many women that South Africans can celebrate – unless there is infamy associated with the women who get promoted. 

Working as a tie-in with women’s month, here is a list of South African women who are in leading roles or have elevated to leadership roles in the hospitality industry.

Thabani Ndlovu

Meet Thabani Ndlovu – the Assistant Director of International Sales for Hilton Worldwide Africa and the Indian Ocean. Ndlovu worked up the ranks in several positions in the Hilton Group and now works from the UK office of the Hilton Group managing sales for the Indian Ocean and the African continent. 

Thabani Ndlovu. Picture:

Adv. Neo Sephoti

A practising advocate, Adv. Sephoti is currently the head of North West Tourism after working for SA Breweries and the South African Air Force. Adv. Sephoti has a passion for travelling and has been with North West tourism since 2016.  

Advocate Neo Sephoti. Picture: Supplied

Lorna Scott 

A former executive deputy mayor of the Hessequa Municipality, Scott is the owner of Inverroche Gin, a locally-produced Gin from the Western Cape made from fynbos. Scott created Inverroche with her children in 2012. 

Lorna Scott. Picture: Supplied

Lulama Tshabalala

Tshabalala has been in the hospitality industry for a long time and was promoted to the role of being the Executive for Tourism Marketing, Limpopo Tourism Agency, a role she has held since 2007. 

Lulama Tshabalala Picture: Supplied

Debbie Merdjan

With over thirty years of experience in the spa industry of hospitality, it only seems fair to admire Merdjan as the CEO of luxury spa group - Camelot Spas. 

Merdjan is also the recipient of a number of awards in the hospitality industry, including 2016 IWEC (International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge) Awardee, Best Spa Boutique Hotel Award 2015, and World Luxury Spa Awards Nominee 2017. 

Debbie Merdjan. Picture: Facebook

Nisreen Bulbulia

Nisreen Bulbulia is the owner of one of the popular transport company - Citi Hopper - which began in 2010. The company assists with transport services, chauffeurs and tours across the Mother City, including activities like shark cage diving and peninsula trips. Bulbulia was the receiver of the 2013 ETEYA (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award). 

Nisreen Bulbulia. Picture: Supplied