Private sector: Aviation

Monhla Hlahla
Corporate Office
Airports Company South Africa
Tel: +27 11 723 1400

Monhla Hlahla was appointed MD at Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) in 2001. She also holds non-executive director positions at the Air Traffic and Navigation Services, Absa Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation. Hlahla completed a BA honours (economics) at Pomona College in the United States and a master’s (urban and regional planning) at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1994 she joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa and was seconded to the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit as CEO. Subsequently she joined Old Mutual Employee Benefits as a regional general manager, a post she held until she was appointed MD of Acsa. She serves on the Airports Council International world governing body.

In 2005 she was awarded the Businesswomen’s Association’s Businesswoman of the Year, Black Business Quarterly’s Businesswoman of the Year, Impumelelo South Africa’s Top Empowerment Companies Businesswoman of the Year, and International Quality and Productivity Centre’s Most Outstanding Woman Manager in a State-Owned Enterprise.

Siza Mzimela
South African Express Airways
Tel: +27 11 978 5577

Siza Mzimela is the CEO of South African Express Airways (Sax), a state-owned entity reporting to the department of public enterprise. She was a 2002 finalist for the prestigious Nedbank Businesswoman of the Year award. An economics and statistics graduate from the University of Swaziland, Mzimela launched her career with Standard Bank in 1991 in the small business and retail division.

She joined Total South Africa in 1994 as a corporate planning analyst responsible for managing capital projects and two years later moved on to SAA as a research analyst. Within 10 months, she had been propelled into various senior positions and, in 2001, was appointed executive vice-president of global passenger services. A year later, she became executive vice-president of global sales and Voyager.

It was during her tenure that SAA recorded an operating profit for the first time in 10 years. In 2003 Mzimela took up her current position at Sax, which has recorded escalating profitability. She is the chairperson of the Airlines Association of South Africa and a board member of South African Tourism and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Bongiwe Pityi
Assistant General Manager: Airport Operations
Durban International Airport
Airports Company South Africa
Tel: +27 31 451 6512

Bongiwe Pityi joined Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) in 2000 as manager: landside and car park operations at Johannesburg International Airport (now OR Tambo), concentrating on parking income/revenue generation and management.

In 2001 she was appointed a full-time member of Acsa’s main tender board. Four years later she was promoted to her current job. Her portfolio encompasses oversight on all airport operational functions: aviation security, airside and landside operations, maintenance and engineering, terminal operations, safety, health and environment, and fire and rescue services.

Financial planning and management within the airport’s operational functions is a major part of her job. She is a qualified attorney with a BA, a postgraduate diploma in African studies and an LLB from the universities of Cape Town and Natal, and practised as an attorney in the Eastern Cape with the Smith Tabata group. She was also a partner in a number of close corporations concentrating on events management­, social facilitation, catering and cleaning before joining Acsa.

Sibongile Sambo
Founder and MD
SRS Aviation
Tel: +27 11 794 6484

Named a Leader of Tomorrow by Fortune magazine, Sibongile Sambo is the founder and MD of SRS Aviation, a 100% black female-owned company that offers charters in a range of categories including VIPs, cargo, tourist, game count and capture, film and medical evacuation.

She holds a BA from the University of Zululand and a BA honours from Unisa, and is studying towards an MSc in management of technology innovation in the Da Vinci Institute. Sambo worked for organisations including City Power and De Beers before starting SRS in 2004.

She has an impressive collection of accolades, including the Businesswomen Association’s regional Businesswoman of the Year award in the start-up category, the Biba (Black Women in Business) award in 2006 in London and, in the same year, the Fidentia Top Female Entrepreneur of the Year. And she was a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Movers of the Year in 2007. She is part of a team establishing a South African chapter of the NGO Women in Aviation International, is a member of the National Small Business Advisory Council and was featured in the World Bank report Doing Business: Women in Africa.

Tinka Wiswe
Company Secretary
Airports Company South Africa
Tel: +27 11 723 1470

Tinka Wiswe holds a BProc from Unisa, an LLB from the University of Cape Town and is an admitted attorney. She joined Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) in November 2003 as company secretary and group executive of corporate governance and procurement. Prior to joining Acsa, Wiswe was the legal compliance officer at the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, a major public entity in the water sector, and before that was the corporate secretary of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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