De Beers And UN Women Initiative For Women In Musina And Blouberg




Programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in the communities of Blouberg and Musina near De Beers’ Venetia Mine in Limpopo.


De Beers Group and United Nations Entity for Women for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNW) South Africa are pleased to announce the launch of a capacity-building programme to support 500 women micro-entrepreneurs in the communities of Blouberg and Musina, near De Beers’ Venetia Mine in Limpopo.

The key objective of the programme is to equip women micro-entrepreneurs with business management and life skills to build their confidence and capacity to operate and grow successful small businesses. The programme will provide training to enhance understanding of business concepts including accessing markets, increasing market share, generating income, creating jobs, and supporting effective decision-making, communication and negotiation skills.

Blouberg and Musina municipalities have some of the highest levels of unemployment in Limpopo, with young girls and women in these communities being disproportionately disadvantaged in accessing opportunities to improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty. The programme has the potential to deliver tangible results that support the entire community through the increased economic empowerment of women micro-entrepreneurs.

Mpumi Zikalala, Deputy CEO, De Beers Consolidated Mines, said: “In each of the areas we have selected, high levels of unemployment persist, and formal job opportunities are limited. In this kind of context, micro-enterprises provide an opportunity for income generation to support households, as well as job creation that can benefit a community more broadly. When we empower women business owners, we empower entire communities as women are more likely to reinvest a greater portion of their profits into the community and actively support the creation of jobs for others. “However, women micro-entrepreneurs find it difficult to access conventional mechanisms that support business growth and that is where this programme will play a crucial role. We are very proud to announce this programme as we celebrate Women’s Month in South Africa, and to partner with UN Women in making it happen.”

Anne Shongwe, UN Women Representative, South Africa Multi-Country Office, said: “While many programmes exist to support entrepreneurs, it is important to consider the unique challenges that women micro-entrepreneurs in particular face. Women micro-entrepreneurs do not always have the liberty to create boundaries between their personal and business needs or interests. They are often the engine that keeps their businesses running – as the only brains and the hands of the businesses – with immense responsibilities in their households. With the limited earnings from businesses, they raise families and make valuable contributions to their communities and the country. These women need a hand up. This programme aims to build the business management skills through uniquely customised training and hand-holding that address the specific capacity challenges of micro-entrepreneurs”.

De Beers Group and UN Women are working with the municipalities and local stakeholders to finalise the preliminary phase of the programme. The capacity-building model will use a ‘train the trainer’ approach whereby local trainers  will be trained by the De Beers and UN Women teams to offer ongoing support to the programme participants to implement skills gained, build access to peer support, and gradually reduce support from the programme to ensure self-sustenance.  Sixteen local trainers have been identified, eight of which are from the Blouberg and Musina municipalities.

The Training the Trainers workshops will be held in October 2018, with the training of the first women micro-entrepreneurs to take place in November 2018. The first group of micro-entrepreneurs to be trained will consist of 60 enterprises that include retail, catering, agriculture, spaza shops and manufacturing businesses.

The programme is part of De Beers Group’s three-year global partnership with UN Women and its commitment to stand with women around the world. De Beers Group is investing US$3 million to advance women micro-entrepreneurs and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in its diamond producing countries of Canada, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

In addition, as a UN Women HeForShe Thematic Champion (, De Beers Group has committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles in its own organisation, as well as ensuring the company’s brands are a positive force for gender equality through all its marketing campaigns.

UN Women is the global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential. We are trusted partners for advocates and decision-makers from all walks of life, and a leader in the effort to achieve gender equality. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @unwomensa.


Fuel Levy Reduction Is Possible – Parliament

Government is not against reviewing fuel levies, Cyril Ramaphosa has told parliament.

Responding to questions yesterday by DA leader Mmusi Maimane whether over-burdened consumers, yoked by four fuel price hikes so far this year, could expect relief from government, the president said it was possible. He added though that it was an important part of South Africa’s “fiscal architecture” and that levies could not easily be reduced.

Of the more than R16 a litre fuel costs inland, at least R5.30 goes directly to the state’s coffers, including R1.93 that goes to the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

According to a report in Business Day this morning the price of fuel has more than doubled in the past 10 years, with fuel levies rocketing from R1.30 in 2008 to the current R5.30. Following a recent exposé in which it was revealed that the RAF was paying a R500 000 contract for renting 300 office chairs at R1 666 per chair, Maimane referred to fuel levies as “corruption tax” and implored government to bring some relief to consumers by reducing the fuel levy.

Ramaphosa said it would require careful consideration.

The Department of Energy added that any reduction in the fuel levy could only happen in the next financial year.

Eric Louw Golf Day 2018

Saturday 25th August was a typically splendid, end-of-winter day in Musina. Perfect conditions for the annual Eric Louw fund-raising Golf Day. The following are a number of galleries from the event. Click on an image in the gallery to view it full-size.

It so happened that the team photographed driving, ran out winners

And then, on to the prize-giving, ably handled by Gary and Rina

Then, these were the lucky draw wine winners

Sincere thanks must go to the prize sponsors, the Captain and members of Messina Golf Club and to Rina Fourie for her part in organizing the event.

The organizers express their appreciation and thanks to the following individuals and concerns, for their support with donations and sponsorship, in no particular order;

Forever Resorts, Tshipise; Toshiba; Munati Lodge; Messina Apteek; Buffalo Ridge Spur; Superspar; Nedbank; Hennie Erwee; Foodzone; Will of Africa Ltd; Blouberg Diere Kliniek; Toyota Musina; Thompson’s VW; Mega Cash & Carry; Supabake; BuildIt; Venesia Schmidt; Sampie van Vuuren and Agrichem.

A full list of the prize-winners will be posted, immediately it is available.