Congratulations to Daphne Mashile-Nkosi for Africa CEO of the Year 2014!

Published: 01/04/2014

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi was named ‘CEO of the Year’ at the Africa CEO Forum, held in Geneva, Switzerland, this week.

The coveted award recognised companies and individuals whose strategies contributed to Africa’s economic ascendance.

“I am humbled to have won this prestigious award, for it goes far beyond the recognition of business success, [as it is] coupled with my commitment to social upliftment and environmental responsibility. It also acknowledges that an African woman can make her mark in the historically male-dominated mining industry, said Mashile-Nkosi at the awards ceremony.

She hoped this would “symbolise the breaking of the glass ceiling” and open the way to encourage other women to take their “rightful places around the boardroom tables” of Africa.

“The mining industry has not been an easy road, especially for a black woman, but I have persevered and succeeded in surmounting the many obstacles that have been placed in my path. Where there is no pain, there is no gain,” commented Mashile-Nkosi.
Mining Weekly, 20 March

Ms Mashile-Nkosi says she now targets 50 per cent women staff in all her companies’ catering and cleaning contracts, preferring subcontractors run by women where possible. Underground, that’s not always possible, given that mining remains so male dominated, but even there it is improving, as more women study engineering and metallurgy.

What’s it like being a woman in such a macho industry? “It’s fraught with all sorts of obstacles, booby traps, limpet mines. You have to push open doors, people spit on you, but you lick your wounds like a dog and you go back again.”
Jim Armitage, The Independent, 22 March

In South Africa, a black woman owning a manganese mine is a rare sight in an industry still dominated by white men. Daphne Mashile-Nkosi is the executive chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese and has an impressive track record as an anti-apartheid activist and women’s rights advocate. On the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum, she tells France 24’s Stéphanie Antoine the reasons of her success and how to improve miners’ living and working conditions. (Link to video)


“DAPHNE MASHILE-NKOSI is Chairperson of Kgalagadi Manganese. She dreams big and by all accounts has worked hard in her swim upstream to build a manganese mine and a sintering plant. It’s true that she counted ArcelorMittal Group as a 50% partner in Kalagadi Manganese throughout the building of the project. However, relations between Mashile-Nkosi, head of Kalahari Resources, the 40% owner of Kalagadi, and ArcelorMittal soured over funding and corporate governance. Litigation followed until a deal was struck in November 2012 in which it was agreed that Kalahari would buy ArcelorMittal’s stake in Kalagadi for R3.9bn. A year later, Mashile-Nkosi is coy about funding for the buy-out, but she has suggested it is imminent given Kalagadi’s proximity to full production. The mine ran into problems and full production is now forecast for the latter stages of 2014. Mashile-Nkosi has plans to build a smelter at Coega, a port in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, to produce high carbon ferromanganese, but at an estimated cost of R5bn funding is again in question. Mashile-Nkosi has hinted at wanting to build a steel plant despite the country’s excess steel-making capacity.

Mashile-Nkosi has a Small Business Management Diploma from Wits Business School and she serves as the chair and director of a wide range of companies. She is the chairperson of Kalahari Resources and executive chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese. She is a trustee and the chairperson of the Women’s Development Bank Trust and leads the board at the Women’s Development Bank. ”

Bio from company presentation:
Daphne Mashile-Nkosi is the executive chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese; Daphne remains committed to the people of South Africa and uses every available resource to enrich the lives of the average South African. She is responsible for the creation of over 30 000 jobs in the Northern Cape, and will go down in history as the mother of the largest mining venture of its kind in the last 30 years. She is also a trustee & chairperson of the Women’s Development Bank Trust, chairperson of WDB Investments Holdings. WDB nominated her to study development economics in Nagoya, Japan in 1993.

Daphne is founder & director of Temoso Telecommunication, represents shareholder interests as director of various companies including Temoso Holdings, Kalahari Resources & Metmar Trading. She is also a chairperson of Bakhazi-Banalim & trustee of the FirstRand Empowerment Trust. Directly involved in the successful structuring of the Cell C third network operator in South Africa. Strong development background & activism in gender issues, brings focus to business issues that improve the quality of life of poor communities & the nurturing of women entrepreneurs & leaders.

She has been on the cover of Forbes Africa.