The Southern African Railways Association (SARA) is celebrating Women’s Month this August by shining a spotlight on its newly appointed President, Sizakele Mzimela.
Ms. Mzimela who was appointed into the position in June this year, is also Transnet Freight Rail Chief Executive, a position she has held since 2020. She is a seasoned business executive with 29 years’ global experience, across diverse industries in the public and private sector.
She is the second woman to have served as President of SARA since its inception in 1996.
Addressing the SARA board of director’s meeting after her appointment, Ms. Mzimela thanked the board for their confidence in her abilities and congratulated the outgoing President of SARA, Mr. Johny Smith, CEO of TransNamib, on a job well done and for navigating the organisation through the aftermath of a devastating pandemic that shook the world to its core.
“The recovery from the pandemic and opportunities present are driven by food security, raw materials and minerals for manufacturing, fuel and energy and related requirements that are key for the economies of all Countries,” she said.
SARA was established as a response to increasing road transportation competition. It was originally meant to provide the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a strong lobbying association to pursue advocacy for fair surface transport competition to be achieved through “leveling of the playing field” between road and rail in terms of policy and regulations.
Members include railway companies and other companies with a vested interest in the railway industry from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The organisation through its members, strives to jointly provide cost-effective seamless rail services and facilitate trade in the region.
August is a month when we stop and celebrate all of the great women in business and other sectors of our society. And Ms. Mzimela is one woman who has unashamedly taken her rightful place in the railway industry and business at large. In her regional forecast, she says that well-oiled logistics systems are required to move products and commodities effectively by rail, road, ports, pipelines, air, and other modes of transport adding that “our combined regional logistics systems are poised to participate fully to deliver goods and services efficiently to our customers”.