Power Of Women Top

Jennifer Balatedi Molwantwa

The Governing Woman

Jennifer Balatedi Molwantwa, 48, is the first black female chief executive of the Water Research Commission, one of the water sector’s critical research, development and innovative institutions.

Her career started at Pulles Howard & de Lange and later at Golder Associates Africa as a research assistant and water resource consultant, and she was a unit manager at Digby Wells Environmental. She thrived through working diligently and believing in a higher purpose for everyone.

Throughout her career, she has convinced people to study and take opportunities. Jennifer has served on the board of the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency and the council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She serves on the boards of the Water Institute of Southern Africa and the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa.

She is a member of the department of fisheries, forestry and the environment sub-committee appointed to develop the National Implementation Plan for the management of chemicals. She was a commissioner on the first National Planning Commission, an advisory body to the president that developed the National Development Plan and Vision 2030.

She focuses on capacity building, skills development and inclusion of disadvantaged people in the mainstream science and technology careers and economy, of which water and land are integral.

Her greatest achievement is heading the Water Research Commission and  being an author of the National Development Plan.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Young women depend on those before them to pull them up. Every step of the way can build, inspire or break a young girl.

Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?

Conversations, participation, support all other women of different generations and walks of life from mine.

If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?

Basic human right access to all South Africans and civic education on citizen responsibilities. We all have to be protective of South Africa.