In a major milestone for women in logistics, transport and supply chain in South Africa, 95 ladies recently graduated with an international qualification in logistics and transport. It is part of the pioneering Women Inspiring Women to Lead in Transport programme, the brainchild of Nicci Scott, founder of the Commercial Transport Academy. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Programme will see one thousand women completing the Programme, aimed at uplifting the skills of women in management, entrepreneurship and truck driving.

The graduates – currently employed in logistics, transport and supply chain organisations across the country – underwent an intense 10-month training programme aimed at improving their knowledge, learning new skills and advancing their management and leadership abilities to secure senior-level employment.

Benefits for all

The CTA Excellence Programme has resulted in benefits – to employers, the graduates and the broader industry. Worldwide Flight Services – South Africa (WFS) is an active supporter of the Programme. “WFS now has the edge in the market, with two ladies having participated and successfully completed the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s (CILT) International Diploma in Logistics and Transport,” explains Elvis Maleka – Operations Manager at WFS Johannesburg. “The knowledge is valuable to our organisation and to the two ladies.”

Maleka adds that the CTA’s focus on women will assist in addressing the skills gap in the industry: “This is a gain for us as a ground handler and WFS is proud to be part of this change.”

As a result of her successful completion of the Programme, WFS’s Zethu Dlamini received a promotion from Senior Imports Team Leader to an Administration Manager for their Imports Department. For Zethu, who shared her journey, life has been full of hardships and challenges. From losing her mother at the tender age of four and her father when she was just 21 years old, Zethu has had to endure and overcome many obstacles. “If it wasn’t for this great initiative of the CTA, I would never have been able to graduate with an international Diploma. I am so grateful to WFS Managing Director Malcom Tonkin for enabling me to improve my skills and leadership abilities.”

With their CILT Diploma and industry experience, the graduates will be able to apply to carry internationally-recognised designations after their name – an increasingly important asset, given National Treasury’s initiative to professionalise the supply chain.

Top Students

Special recognition was given to the top three graduates:
1. Jo-Anne de Jager – Solutions Manager: Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions
2. Annah Mmatshwene Ncube – Operations Controller: Transnet Pipelines
3. Malebo Ndamase – Policy and Planning Chief Directorate as Director: Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport
Special Awards

A special award was given to Jabulile Mtsweni, an Operations Supervisor. Jabulile was awarded funding from training provider Commerce Edge to enable her to study for the CILT International Advanced Diploma in Logistics & Transport Level 6.

Transport, logistics and supply chain play a critical role in economic development. Transport contributes 8% to the total GDP and has the ability to create four jobs per R1 million invested. “Yet transport is the least gender-transformed sector,” says Nicci Scott, CTA’s founder. “Urgent interventions on scale that have an impact, are vital. Our Women Inspiring Women to Lead in Transport Programme is one such initiative that will have a positive impact on industry transformation.”