Remarks by Ms Choice Sihiya

RBIDZ Women’s Day Virtual Breakfast Session held on the 07 August 2020

First and foremost, I wish to express my appreciation to all of you as my colleagues.

Without wasting time, let me get to the business of the day and ponder on a powerful woman, whose plate is forever full, whose life has to be a masterpiece in the mist of adversity. It is not by our own self- ability that we get things done but this thing is in US. We are builders, we are creators, we are makers of all things beautiful and we were made to be just like that. All that we have to do to is bring that beauty and wisdom forward and be bold enough to take the platforms and stand our grounds with confidence.

I don’t intend to make a long speech.

But I do believe that there are issues that we need to reflect on as employees working for this entity with such a huge mandate.

Firstly, do we understand that the real meaning of working for this entity?

Secondly, do we understand that we are privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve this entity and the people of this region?

Thirdly, what is our role in ensuring that this Special Economic Zone is sustained and prospers?

Ladies, I strongly believe that in order to sustain this Special Economic Zone we must double our efforts to ensure that this entity makes a difference.

At all times, we must think about the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on the 9th of August 1952. They marched against the marginalisation of people as well as multiple limitations that were forced on them.

As the current generation of women, we must ensure that we put women first. If there are opportunities, we must always fight for other women. We must support each other as women so that we can build this nation. This will be a special tribute to the women of 1952 who created this path for us and the opportunities that we can THRIVE ON.

We must always remember that the women of today are still facing challenges. We are not yet free. Seeing a number of women still unemployed and being treated as secondary’s for most opportunities is evidence enough that we are far from being free.

On daily basis women are being abused and violated. This is a pandemic crippling our country. Therefore, we must use our voices and the political freedom to ensure economic freedom for all women. Ladies always remember that economic emancipation is Liberation.

Remember we need to be firm and confident and by that I don’t mean that we need to be hostile and aggressive to each other but how we present ourselves can send a message very well and very clear. This should come from a clean space which is our mental state. The mental state is the driver of all things.

Once you are in a good space mentally then you are able to present your inner beauty. Your mind-set should be willing to SERVE and ADD VALUE to others as well as wish others well. When you do such that’s when your true being as a leader in your own right emerges beyond your imagination.

Ladies, one other thing that we have to be able to do as leaders and as individuals is to win the hearts of those we come across, because if people find comfort in us, then they can trust us and they can be willing to support our vision and intentions.

At this stage, ladies, I wish to remind you that our MEC – Nomusa Dube-Ncube is a strong female leader who believes in the power of women. She has always emphasized the importance of entities including RBIDZ.

As a shareholder, representing government, she needs our support. At all times when she is out there representing all of us.

In my interaction with her office yesterday they sent me this message from her. Her office asked me to read it.

And it says:

I wish to commend all of you as my colleagues at RBIDZ. I know that this is the most challenging period as a result of COVID-19. Despite this, you are working hard to make a difference. I wish to express my appreciation to all of you. Continue to fly the female flag in your workstations and IDZ as a whole.”

Ladies, the MEC continues in her message and she states:

Tomorrow, I will visit the house of the late Victoria Mxenge. She was a brave woman who was brutally killed on August 1 – in 1985. She was a lawyer by profession who dedicated her life in building this nation. In everything I do – I always think about her and many other women who sacrificed their lives for this nation. May you continue to be stronger. Have a Happy Women’s day.”

Ladies, in conclusion, I wish to thank all of you for the support over the years. And I believe that if we hold hands – we can become a force to be reckoned with.

Let’s turn the page of Unity and kindness towards each other, the journey is not easy but through collectiveness we will CONQUER and THRIVE AGAINST ALL ODDS.


The RBIDZ is an organisation made up of real people, with a real dedication, and passion to effect real change in South Africa. This commitment and energy is apparent in all dealings with not only each other but with potential investors too.

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