How women achieve their goals

THOUGH race and gender do not have any bearing on Babalwa Geza's business life, she has achieved a lot in a previously white and male dominated industry.

Yesterday Geza, 29, and Thembi Chakonda were officially announced as the biggest shareholders of Colliery Dust Control in a deal worth R41,9million by the National Empowerment Fund, which funded the 100 percent buyout.

NEF funded the deal that saw Geza as the biggest individual shareholder in the company.

On the other hand Chakonda has a 9,9percent share of CDC.

A staff trust was set up, allowing long-serving staff to own 10 percent of CDC. Another 20percent was sold to management through the formation of a management trust.

The remaining 40,1percent is owned by the NEF.

CDC is a company that works mostly with coal mining firms' dust control systems. It has a 70percent share of the dust control industry in the country.

Its biggest client is Sasol.

The deal made Geza a deputy managing director of CDC.

But Geza says the deal is not just about being black and successful.

"My gender and colour have no bearing in what I do," she says Geza, the single parent of a 6-year-old boy. "It is about achieving my goals and finding fulfillment in what I do."

She says being a female in a male dominated working environment was not a big issue.

"I've always been surrounded by males from my teens because I did technical subjects at school and went on to do mechanical engineering at the Port Elizabeth Technikon in 2001," Geza says.

She then worked as maintenance planner for the PG Group, a company in the glass business.

Geza also worked for Eskom at Koeberg power station in Cape Town as maintenance manager and as a senior technician in a milling plant at Thuthukani Power Station in Standerton, Mpumalanga.