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The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

Top Performing Business Leader of the Year, Jemina Lydia Radebe, the importance of building a good reputation

Written by Staff Writer

June 29, 2020

As External Affairs and Communication Manager at Palabora Mining I am faced with the constant pressure to build our reputation by communicating the positive things that Palabora Copper does to ensure that the company attracts investors and thus grows revenue – thereby ensuring the sustainability of jobs.

The ultimate intention is to ensure that we continue to be profitable in order to contribute to the development of our employees and communities in which we operate. To this end, we have seen Palabora Copper attracting investors due to its positive reputation even during the economic meltdown that faced the country and the world.


One of my major achievements was when Benford Mokoatle – my General Manager at De Beers Voorspoed Mine – and the whole EXCO of De Beers granted me permission to transform the education of the learners at Boiphihlello Secondary School in Vredefort, Free State, by project managing the renovation of their library. I also project managed the construction of the science laboratory at Phehellang Secondary School. And while I did not have engineering expertise and experience the then-company’s Senior Engineering Manager, Luyanda Xulu assisted me from the technical perspective.  I received maximum support to ensure that, despite my lack of building experience, the projects were of high quality, completed on time and within reasonable financial resources. The happiness of the learners, teachers, parents and community at large when we delivered those projects humbled me and made me regard that experience as the biggest highlight of my career, as it also helped – in one way or another – women managers in my area of work to realise the value of teamwork and support.

Another highlight was when our CEO, Mr Han Jinghua, asked me to project manage the PMC-BRICS and Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) agendas, and – with his support – I achieved the required results.

Achievement in my personal realm includes being a single mother, with a hectic lifestyle and still being able to instil values of respect and hard work to my two daughters.

I am involved in personal community initiatives such as being a board member of Akhanani Home for Children – a non-profit organisation that provides a safe home for children. In the community realm (in my space as well) I have adopted four children of school going age from local schools (not staying with me) but I assist them with groceries and personal hygiene necessities.

I also mentor colleagues to realise their full potential.


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