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WIPHOLD expands strategic footprint in agriculture with investment in grain storage business, sees sector as pivotal to economic transformation

WIPHOLD, South Africa’s premier black-women owned investment and operating company, is pleased to announce its investment in a key strategic grain storage business along with AFGRI Group Holdings, STANLIB Infrastructure Investments and the Land Bank.

This follows AFGRI’S decision to create the vehicle, AFGRI Grain Silo Company Proprietary Limited (‘’AFGRI Grain Silo Company’’), with the objective of expanding AFGRI’s current storage capacity of some 4,7 million tons to six million tons in the near future. The vehicle’s aim is to enable the growth of grain storage capacity in South Africa and on the continent and to strengthen food security in the region. It will initially own storage facilities with a total value of R3.6 billion at inception. WIPHOLD’s shareholding in the company is 25%.

WIPHOLD’s founders Louisa Mojela and Gloria Serobe explain that the investment fits squarely within WIPHOLD’s decision in 2014 to begin exploring opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“This decision was motivated by two key drivers -- firstly, a positive in-house view on the growth and investment prospects of the sector and the key role it can play in enhancing South Africa’s economic prospects; and secondly that the agricultural sector is key to addressing many of South Africa’s transformational challenges. Agriculture can, with the right interventions, play a significant role in addressing poverty, inequality and food security,” said Mojela.

It was with this pivotal role in mind that in 2014, WIPHOLD initiated a maize and soya bean operation on 2 365 hectares of communal land in the Mnquma and Mbashe districts of rural Eastern Cape. The operation is a partnership between 2 229 communal landowners from 33 villages and WIPHOLD.

“Our investment in the AFGRI Grain Silo Company sees WIPHOLD broadening its focus along the agricultural value chain to include not only primary production but also grain management, both of which are critical to ensuring food security in South Africa,” said Serobe.

Mojela adds: “We are particularly excited to be partnering with such reputable institutions as AFGRI, STANLIB and the Land Bank. We focus on partnering with the best and AFGRI is a market leader with impeccable management. We are therefore also very happy that AFGRI will manage the storage facilities on behalf of AFGRI Silo Company.”

“We strongly believe that the agricultural sector can play a significant role in turning South Africa around and are passionate about participating actively in the sector to help make this a reality,” said Serobe.

Wiphold serves up an ace for tennis

Johannesburg - The low-key announcement by Tennis SA (TSA) about its new sponsorship deal with Wiphold barely caused a ripple in a sporting week dominated by Ashwin Willemse dropping the mike at the SuperSport studios and AB de Villiers retiring.

Forget that Wiphold is a black female-owned, multi billion-rand investment company, the fact that the sponsorship is specifically aimed at financially assisting TSA’s efforts to improve elite performance in women’s tennis should have caught the eye.

It is rare that commercial partnerships in South African sport cater specifically for women – usually the women’s aspect of a sponsorship is the back end of the main deal. But the way the TSA and Wiphold sponsorship is structured is pretty comprehensive.

TSA’s website said the deal aims to look after “a travelling squad of six to eight female players in the Under-16 age group, who will play in selected junior International Tennis Federation events in Africa; [hold] an annual Next Gen camp and tournament of up to 32 of the country’s emerging young female players; and [fund] a high-performance squad of eight to 10 female players that will act as a feeder to the Fed Cup team”.

TSA chief executive Richard Glover said: “The significance of the sponsorship is that it’s very much a female-specific sponsorship and there are not many of those in South Africa.

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WIPHOLD shareholding makes Sasfin one of the most empowered banks in SA

WIPHOLD is pleased to announce that is now a significant and credible shareholder of reference in Sasfin Holdings Limited (Sasfin), holding 25.1% of Sasfin’s shares in issue.

WIPHOLD founders Louisa Mojela and Gloria Serobe said that financial services had always been a key focus for WIPHOLD. The sector is a cornerstone of any economy and critical to realising WIPHOLD’s vision of the economic empowerment of black women.

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WIPHOLD transforms insurance procurement services sector with significant BEE stake in Bluespec Holdings

WIPHOLD has concluded a Black Economic Empowerment transaction with insurance procurement services provider Bluespec Holdings that results in the company taking a 25.1% stake in the Group.

Bluespec is a holding company, comprised of many specialist businesses, who collectively aim to transform the vehicle repair and recovery industry, in order to enable customers to deliver more effective and efficient propositions to their clients. Their divisions which include, First Group; Renew It Group and Auction Nation among others offer emergency motor incident management; autobody repair services; and salvage operations.

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Agri initiative boosts Eastern Cape rural economy

When a financially sound business strategy leads to broad, ground-level socioeconomic impact, particularly in one of South Africa’s most historically disenfranchised regions, the results are nothing short of remarkable.

The Centane and Mbashe Agricultural Initiative focuses on the development of a model for the profitable and sustainable farming of communally owned land. Since its inception in 2012, the initiative has cultivated more than 2 000 hectares of land across 34 villages in Eastern Cape, and distributed more than R18 million to participating community shareholders through fees and dividends.

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Rewarding SA Business Excellence

One of South Africa's leading female entrepreneurs has urged black businesses to protect the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEBEE) policy from fronting practices and use it to attract more investment into the country.

Gloria Serobe, executive director of Women's Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited (Wiphold) and chief executive of Wipcapital, said she was embarrassed that the Department of Trade and Industry had to create the office of the ombudsman to prevent fronting practices.

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Accolades continue to pour in for Caster

Accolades continue to pour in for Rio Olympic Games 800 metres champion Caster Semenya.

The Women's Investment Portfolio Holdings Company, WIPHOLD, hosted Semenya and her wife at a luncheon, thanking her for her contribution in raising the profile of South African women.

When Semenya walked into the offices of WIPHOLD, she said she felt at home, liberated and at a place where she has never felt judged.

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Mamba Cement to build new plant in Limpopo

South Africa’s cement market is set for even fiercer competition with the entrance of the Jidong Development Group, one of the largest enterprises in China’s building materials industry and one of the world’s top five cement groups.

A R1.8 billion greenfields pure cement plant with a capacity of more than 1 million tons a year is to be built at an established limestone deposit near Northam in Limpopo. It will be well placed to serve the major cement demand centres of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Brits.

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Wiphold, Brimstone stick with Old Mutual

OLD MUTUAL empowerment partners Wiphold and Brimstone have committed to remain shareholders at the insurer after the maturity of their black economic empowerment (BEE) deal.

Nedbank, Old Mutual and Wiphold will invest almost R100m to fund rural women in the agricultural sector. Brimstone, Nedbank and Old Mutual will provide R100m more with which to fund entrepreneurs.

Wiphold founder Gloria Serobe said they would continue to be involved as the advantage of partnering with a financial services sector company such as Old Mutual was to have exposure to life assurance, short-term insurance and banking "at the same time".

Wiphold has also remained an investor at Nedbank.

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CCTV PROFILES THE PROGRESS OF WIPHOLD’S CEMENT OPERATION

CCTV Africa reports on Wiphold’s new cement plant getting off the ground. The firm signed a $165million deal with China's Jidong Cement back in 2010, to build a cement manufacturing plant in South Africa's Limpopo Province.

Forbes magazine behind the scenes shoot with Wiphold

This video was shot by the FWA creative team capturing their photoshoot with the WIPHOLD founders for the cover of the magazines April/May 2014 issue.