MBA for Woman Working in Male-Dominated Sector
Cane Testing Manager at South African Sugar Association, Ms Ncebakazi Latsha graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree relevant to her employment in what has been a traditionally male-dominated sector.
Latsha’s research was titled: The Impact of the Sugar-Sweetener Beverage Tax on the Sugar Industry of South Africa.
Her decision to research the issue was motivated by the government’s introduction of a sugar tax/health promotion levy imposed on South Africa’s beverage industry in a bid to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks, thus improving the health of the country’s population.
With the beverage sector being the largest consumer of sugar in South Africa, Latsha sought to investigate the impact of this tax on the industry - her research investigation showing that it (the impact of the tax) had been larger than generally anticipated.
The study recommended that the sugar industry embark on product diversification, prioritising a significant hike in its production of biofuels and electricity to generate additional revenue, which would in turn create jobs in rural communities which is where the sugar industry operates.
Latsha spent 11 years of her working career in the pharmaceutical industry before taking up a position in the sugar sector three years ago, subsequently developing an interest in business management and entrepreneurship which led to her decision to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and later, an MBA.
‘Having an MBA qualification has equipped me with knowledge to make strategic and operational decisions which drive the future growth of the business,’ she said. ‘I wanted to better understand how the business world operates in order to bring a new perspective; thus, this qualification is another way of boosting my career while enhancing my business management skills to manage the business effectively while contributing to the economy.’
She thanked God; her supervisors, Professor Cecile Gerwel-Proches and Dr Nikita Singh for their support and guidance; and her family, especially her husband for his love, understanding and patience.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga