/ 13 September 2013

Active business women are proactive

The 2006 forensic report prepared for Zuma's trial that never saw the light of day ... now made available in the public interest.
The outcome of the ANC’s long-awaited KwaZulu-Natal conference was a win for the Thuma Mina crowd. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

This was advice given by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson to this year’s winners of the Female Entrepreneur Awards.

The gala dinner event where she delivered the keynote speech was hosted by both her department and Total South Africa — the event’s official sponsor since inception in 1999 — and took place at St George Hotel in Pretoria on August 23.

First lady Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma was among the guests, which included the 49 finalists as well as 2010’s overall winner, Mavis Mathabatha.

Keeping with this year’s theme of “Harnessing women’s talent for sustainable food security: A vision beyond 2030” when she delivered her congratulatory speech, the minister said her department would continue in its campaign to recognise and empower women as contributors to food security and agricultural development.

She said the event took place at a time when the country needed all the resources possible to make food security a priority.

“I am calling upon all our finalists sitting here today and to the rest of the womenfolk involved in agriculture to familiarise themselves with the priorities of government for economic development,” she said.

She added that South Africans should adopt a “one household, one food garden — one food garden, one household” mantra to beat the scourge of poverty and hunger.

Reiterating Total South Africa’s commitment to the upliftment of South African women, general manager for strategy at Total South Africa, Pansy Mekwa, said that it was important that all social investments have “a genuine interest in uplifting not just individuals, but communities”.

“Public-private partnerships create a vehicle for this upliftment and our partnership with government in this initiative allows a purposeful and relevant platform to do good,” said Mekwa. “Together we are changing the face of this country.”