Media Centre

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 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.

Inspiring Wiphold illustrates best sort of BEE

THERE are times when one experiences that inner glow after attending a function. This is how one felt at the Women’s Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited (Wiphold) 20th anniversary celebrations at Sun City two weeks ago. Wiphold, an investment and operating company owned and managed by black women, is further testimony to the glorious road we (black and white) have travelled, and a good story to tell of 20 years of democracy.

In that week of the Wiphold commemoration, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) celebrated its fifth birthday. In her accolades to Prasa, Deputy Transport Minister Sindiswa Chikunga boasted of Prasa’s integrative Women in Rail (WiR) programme and CEO Lucky Montana’s five successive clean audits. As one does not recall a news report on the clean audits, it makes one wonder about the media’s commitment to balance.

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TRADERS' GUIDE: Wiphold's story

IT’s THE economy, stupid! Gloria Serobe, Louisa Mojela, Wendy Luhabe and Nomhle Canca seem to have understood this concept when many in SA were caught up in the country’s political euphoria in 1994.While many were thinking of building political careers in the new democracy, the quartet busied themselves with economically uplifting women. In 1994 they formed Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (Wiphold) with seed capital of R500000, which gave the company the muscle to do road shows and attract investors. Similar companies, such as Nozala Investments, a women-owned firm led by Salukazi Dakile-Hlongwane, followed the Wiphold lead in 1996.

Twenty years later the Houghton-based Wiphold has now grown into a company with net asset value of over R2bn that counts among its investments Old Mutual, Nedbank, Mutual & Federal, Distell and Sasol Mining. Over the past two decades, it says, it has distributed close to R500m to shareholders and beneficiaries. Wiphold is positioning itself to be more operational, a direction that is emerging strongly among black economic empowerment companies that have so far largely been investment-only enterprises.

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