South African Women in Sugarcane Officially Launched
Under the auspices of SA Canegrowers, the scores of women who are both smallscale and commercial sugarcane growers from across the region gave the Non-Profit Company (NPC) the unanimous go ahead with the election of a 7-member Board and an agreement to:
- Register the NPC
- Each mill area would register their own secondary cooperative for the purposes of implementing projects to assist and support women in the cane growing sector.
- A central Tertiary Cooperative must be registered and made up of representatives from each secondary cooperative. The head of this tier of the initiative would also take up a seat on the Board.
- All the women were tasked with updating their communities about the launch of the NPC and its aims
- A four-day training programme run by the company, Emerging Leaders, would be held in the first week of August and funded by SA Canegrowers for the members
It was also agreed that the first five members of the inaugural South African Women in Sugarcane Board would be those who had championed the initiative from the start:
- Zandile Sibiya
- Kiki Mzoneli
- Sibongile Ndlovu
- Rejoice Ncwane
- Dipuo Ntuli
It was agreed these five women would hold their positions on the Board for at least three years with an additional seat being taken up by an additional member who would be elected at the SA Canegrowers Women’s Conference scheduled for the end of September.
- Nelly Khoza – Amatikulu Mill and Chairman of the Tertiary Cooperative who was elected as the 6th seat on the Board
- Nonhlanhla Ncube – Mfolozi Mill
- Velile Phakathi – Pongola Mill
- Nonhlanhla Gumede – Darnall Mill
- Idah Mthembu – Felixton Mill
- Mavis Gabela – Noodsberg Mill
- Agnes Shabane – Sezela Mill
- Dorcas Dube – Gledhow Mill
- Nonhlanhla Makhathini – Maidstone Mill
(A member for the Entumeni area was not elected as there was no member from the region at the meeting).
In closing, Dipuo Ntuli who was also re-elected recently for a second term as Vice Chair of SA Canegrowers, urged the women growers to believe in themselves and to work as hard as they possibly could to promote the sector particularly among young women who were wanting to farm despite the turmoil and challenges in the industry.
She also gave special thanks to SA Canegrowers Corporate Executive, Kathy Hurly and SA Canegrowers Development Manager, Makhosazana Dlamini for their support in making sure the initiative became a reality.