BUSINESS WOMAN EMPOWERMENT BREAKFAST
*Caption (L-R): Lynette Ntuli (MC), Gary Locke (Boxer), Sinegugu Ndlovu and Nosihle Mthethwa (Coco Cola)
Written by: Nqobile Msomi
The eThekwini Municipality hosted the 10th Annual Business Woman Empowerment Breakfast with the Deputy Mayor of Durban, CEOs, and other company stakeholders.
Cllr Fawzia Peer opened the breakfast with words of encouragement for women in attendance, placing an emphasis on it being the last day of Women’s Month.
“As women, we need to invest in ourselves and know that no one is going to hand anything to us on a silver platter. But rather we need to work for it,” said Peer.
A panel of discussion took place with Lynette Ntuli as the MC. The panel consisted of Monalisa Sam who runs her own retail development company, Nosihle Mthethwa who is the regional manager of Coco Cola and Gary Larkan from Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer Group.
Although the breakfast was aimed at helping women grow their business, however women took the stand as an opportunity to share their grievances about how hard it is for them to get opportunities in business with red tape, lack of funding and business plans.
Nombuso Dhlomo, an attendee, expressed her grievances about having been in business for 20 years, and how development was very slow. She also touched on how they don’t have access to lawyers to assist with legal matters as they have no money.
“I am worried about women like me that know the working of business and that we don’t have access to lawyers who can help us with the legal things. I was once robbed by a man who said he was from Small Enterprises Finance Agency (SEFA) saying he would process my application faster if I paid him R14 000,” she stated.
Mthethwa replied and warned women against the dangers of giving money out to individuals without having done their research.
Amongst other grievances, some audience members touched on how Chinese shops were taking business away from them as they also sold things for a cheaper rate.
Sam interjected as she spoke about her experiences of running Maponya Mall and also shared other success stories of women who had stores in the mall that she ran.
“The problem with South Africans is that we are not in the business of selling our own unique products and taking them to the rest of the world, we think of the market as being our country,” she concluded.