According to Reneilwe Langa, outgoing acting group CEO of the South African Post Office, more needs to be done to encourage gender equality in the postal sector overall.
But for Langa she has never experienced any form of discrimination as a female in the postal industry.
“From the moment I joined the sector about 17 years ago, I embraced it and it embraced me, especially in my home country,” she says. “I never experienced any form of discrimination. It was only when I began travelling within the continent and globally that I noticed that it was unusual to have female leaders in the international postal sector.
“I believe that a lot of work still needs to be done to pro-actively open doors for more women to join the industry,” she continues. “There have been some incidents where I would walk into a meeting room, prior to the pandemic, and find that I was the only woman in the boardroom. This cannot be acceptable.”
In 2020 Langa was seconded from the South African government’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies to act as group CEO of the South African Post Office, whilst the recruitment of a permanent group CEO was still in progress. Langa is set to return to the department in the next few months when the recently appointed Nomkhita Mona, who was CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and group CEO of state-owned forestry company Safcol, takes up the role.
For Langa, acting as group CEO during a challenging period at the South African Post Office has taught her many lessons. “As the outgoing acting group CEO what I will cherish most is having been entrusted with the responsibility to lead the organization in one of the most tumultuous periods in history,” she comments. “In the midst of it all I experienced first-hand the rise of the postal worker beating the odds to ensure delivery of essential services. Sadly, we have lost some of these heroes in the process due to Covid-19. May we all be strengthened and experience renewed hope as we continue to weather the unprecedented challenges.”