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Bojanala (July-September 2012) - Department of Tourism

Bojanala (July-September 2012) - Department of Tourism

Bojanala TOURISM Edition 03 July/August/September 2012SOUTH AFRICAN WOMAN INTOURISM HONOUREDThe honouring of Ms. Nyeleti Mushwana, one of the femaleshining stars in South African Tourism couldn’t have come at abetter time, proceeding South African Women’s Month (August)and also at a time when South Africa and the World at largecelebrate offerings in the tourism industry during the TourismMonth. Ms. Nyeleti Mushwana was named as one of the winnersof the Women of the Year for 2012, a competition run annuallyby one of South Africa’s supermarket groups at a Gala event heldat the Emperors Palace in Gauteng on the 21st of July 2012.had made a tangible difference in communities and society asa whole.Over the past sixteen years the Award grew to enjoy nationalstatus as the pre-eminent award for women. The tremendousinterest shown by South Africans in the Award, the growth inthe number and quality of nominations, as well as the supportby prominent South Africans for the objectives of the Award,attested to the growth in its stature.This Award, introduced over a decade and half ago in 1996,was the first major initiative for National Women’s Day aftergovernment decided to honour women every year on theanniversary of the biggest mass-gathering of women of SouthAfrica on the 9th August 1956, when over 20 000 womenmarched in silence to the previous apartheid governmentto protest against carrying of passes (now called identitydocuments).Since its inception the Award identified and paid tribute to thecountry’s unsung heroes, and presented them as role modelsto the rest of South Africa. The Award paid tribute to the mostexceptional and achieving women in the country who had notonly achieved success in their own respective fields but whoMs. Nyeleti Mushwana addressing delegates at the dinner in her honour.Page 2

TOURISM Edition 03 July/August/September 2012BojanalaMs. Mushwana came out a winner for the Socio-EconomicBusiness Developers Category, the category that identifiesand crowns a South African Entrepreneur of substance,covering wide range businesses of various sizes entailingeverything from corner shops to big business. To qualifyfor nomination in the category, one must be a socialentrepreneur, and must have made a significant contributionto the success of a specific sustainable business or businessin general throughout the year. The future prospects of thebusiness in question must also be encouraging.It was not a walk in the park for Ms. Nyeleti Mushwanato be named a winner of the Socio-Economic BusinessDevelopers Category, she was announced a finalistalongside two other strong women who have contributedimmensely to entrepreneurship and community upliftmentin general. Ms. Judy Stuart was nominated for her 7 yearold Future Farmer Project that provided a platform formentoring and coaching of aspiring dairy farmers fromimpoverished backgrounds without means to undertakefarming education and training. Another finalist, Ms.Virginia Shuku, was nominated for her role in helping therural communities in the Eastern Cape Province enhancevegetable production in their areas for both food securityand as means of income generation.Ms Nyeleti Mushwana came out a winner of the Socio-Economic Business Developers Category for her tourismestablishment – a multi-million rand hotel and conferencefacility in Tzaneen, Limpopo.She established a leisure resort and conference centre,nine years ago. The hotel is focused almost exclusivelyon the domestic tourism market and recently applied fora four star grading. It employs 134 people of which 78Nyeleti and Stella Mathumbu sharing a joke during the dinner.are full-time employees. A true women activist, out of her 134staff complement, 97 of the workers are females, making theproportion of her female staff about 72%. She refers to herwomen employees as the “the cream of Karibu”, and this teamhas consistently rose to the challenge of making South Africa adestination of choice for tourists. They are the country’s brandambassadors. Nyeleti believes that the development of therole of women in tourism not only gives society balance, but itstrengthens economic and social structures. It is her focus onrecruiting and training unskilled rural women in her businessthat helped her clinched the award.Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms. T Xasa congratulating Ms. Mushwana.The hotel opened as a small establishment with 28 rooms anda conference facility for only a handful. It expanded rapidly andnow accommodates 280 people in 140 rooms with conferencefacilities for 600 people.Ms Mushwana is the first black woman to own a hotel inTzaneen and in Limpopo Province as a whole, and has achievedthe key requirement of the National Tourism Sector Strategy forthe advancement of women in tourism by skills, enterprise andleadership development. A true ‘shining star’ in the tourismindustry, as the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Honourable TokozileXasa called her during the dinner organised by the Departmentin honour of Ms. Mushwana. Deputy Minister Xasa went furtherand pointed out that although significant strides have beenmade since the dawn of our democracy in 1994 to enhance thefull emancipation of women in this country, and to get womenparticipating fully in economic activities, major challenges stillexist for women. There is generally still dearth of awarenesson the roles that women could play in creating employmentopportunities in the small and medium-sized income generatingactivities, and the Department is committed to ensuring thatwomen are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills soPage 3

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