Byline: Andani Matumba

29 August 2022

Sasol marked the closing women’s month by celebrating its phenomenal women through a women’s networking session and brunch which was held on Thurday, 25 August 2022 at Sasol Recreational Club in Secunda.

Women from Kwa-Zulu Natal, Sasolburg and Gauteng graced the event with their presence.

The theme was Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow/Women leading to a greener economy.

Presentations were made by various women from the mining and energy industry sharing ideas on how to develop the industry and the economy as country and the continent as whole.

During the panel discussion, three phenomenal women namely; Magareth Sichala, Zee Magagula and Nirasha Sewpersad shared their stories under the #Breakingthebias in industries which are male dominated.

Magareth Sichali, one of the first female miners and now safety officer said it was not easy working underground as a miner in the male dominated world however, she never wanted to be treated soft because she has the capabilities and capacity to pefrom like any other man.

Sichali said being a mother, a wife and an employee who is expected to be on standby 24/7 is not easy.

Through the years, Magareth says she worked tirelessly and furthered her studies.

She has now secured a position as a mining safety manager which does not compel her to work underground all the time.

Ms Masiki Sithole, Chairperson of SAWMA (South African Women in Mining Association) taking about the role of women in the “Just Transition Process” made a call to the companies pursuit of restorative and just administration justice to prioritise women so that they just do not sell fat cakes and soup at the gate.

“We demand for women to be integrated into economic main steams that shall drive “Just Transition”.

The Just Transition process must be women led and we mobilise Sasol to ensure that the mandate is achieved,” said Sithole.

She further emphasized that women continue to lavish in poverty, suffer immense inequality and victimisation at their homes and in the workplace, and that has to be changed.

In closing, Ms Nanana Hlatswayo of the Department of Health said women should learn to move together and celebrate each other.

“We need more women in executive leadership”, she added.