First for SA as woman takes helm at sugar giant

24 January 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20188282

Agriculture & Sugar
First for SA as woman takes helm at sugar giant

Illovo Sugar South Africa has announced the appointment of Mamongae Mahlare (pictured) as Managing Director with effect from 1 March 2018. She succeeds Dave Howells who, after nine years as local MD, has chosen to take up the opportunity of a new role within the broader Illovo Sugar Africa Group as Corporate and External Affairs Executive.

According to the company, Mahlare brings with her a wealth of general management, commercial, operational and engineering experience from roles at SABMiller, Tanzania Breweries Ltd, Unilever and Coca Cola Beverages Africa.

She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Witwatersrand. She is also a Trustee of John Davidson Education Trust and previously, a member of the Wits University Council (senior governing body of the institution) and Chairman of the Wits Empowerment Trust.

Illovo’s emerging shared value agenda, launched in 2016, has crystallised into a number of new-to-business project opportunities. According to the company, Howells’ skill set and experience are a good fit to drive these as Illovo Sugar Africa seeks to position itself for further growth on the African continent. 

Group Managing Director, Gavin Dalgleish, said, “We are really pleased that Dave has accepted a new challenge within the wider business and know that his 22 years’ experience in senior and executive leadership roles in both Lonrho Sugar Corporation Limited and Illovo Sugar are going to be key to us achieving our shared value agenda”.

“Dave has led the South African business with insight and aplomb through challenging operating conditions, and I would like to recognise his significant contribution in this role - not only to the Illovo Sugar business, but also to the South African sugar industry as whole.”

On Mahlare’s decision to join Illovo SA, Dalgleish said, “I am particularly excited to announce the appointment of Mamongae as MD of our South African business.  She joins Rebecca Katowa at Zambia Sugar as the Group’s second female country MD and is, I believe, the first woman MD of a sugar producer in South Africa - a long overdue step forward in closing the gender gap in our industry. At Illovo Sugar Africa, we are committed to the transformation of the sugar industry across the continent and we are confident that the vision and expertise Mamongae brings to our South African business will be a key enabler of our growth and success in the years to come”.

Mamongae said: “Illovo SA’s commitment to the transformation of agriculture and agribusiness across the continent is something I strongly endorse. Having worked in multiple African markets, I strongly support the role of business as active participant in delivering on the social and economic development agendas of each country, while maintaining its core commercial imperative.

“I am excited to lead Illovo SA and grateful for the great work Dave Howells and his team have done in ensuring he hands on a high performance business.  I look forward to being part of the delivery of the next stage of Illovo SA’s strategy for transformation, its ambitious growth agenda and downstream diversification.”  

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