BWA Cape Town: AGM 2015 – RSVP today!

BWA AGM 26 March 2015

RSVP or send your proxy to Cheryl Steyn, Branch Co-ordinator at today


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Biking for Beads image

The BWA chats to BWA member Michele Stuurman from CaRRoL BoYes


 It is with a great sense of the community and camaraderie expressed among Capetonians over the devastating period of the Cape Peninsula fires fresh in our minds, and a sense of what can be accomplished when we work together, as well as with the happy knowledge that the Cape Town Cycle Tour will go on, that the BWA had a Q & A session with Michele Stuurman, the Public Relations Officer for Carrol Boyes about their charity initiative and incentive to ride the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

To set the scene: This year, a team of commendable South African athletes made up of Carrol Boyes employees, family and friends, and lead by ex-Springbok cyclist Stephen Viljoen, will be representing the non-profit organisation Monkeybiz, while participating in the Cape Town Cycle Tour.  Monkeybiz: Biking For Beads is an initiative to raise funds to be used to purchase food parcels for the Monkeybiz bead artists.

Q: Who are Team Monkeybiz and what is your motivation for riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour?

A: Team Monkeybiz is made up of the employees, family and friends from Carrol Boyes, BarnardtBoyes and Monkeybiz.  Monkeybiz: Biking For Beads is an initiative to raise funds to be used to purchase food parcels for the Monkeybiz bead artists.

Q: What target has Team Monkeybiz set to achieve?

A: We are hoping to raise R50 000 for the beaders and their families.

Q: How long have you been part of Monkeybiz and what has it taught you about South African women in business?

A: I have been part of the Carrol Boyes | Monkeybiz for 8 years. It has taught me that we as women can emerge from our shadows into opportunities that no one else has been able to create for themselves. I am also inspired by Carrol as she followed her passion and look how the business has grown! Carrol Boyes has also designed the trophies for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, so for me it means so much to be part of the team cycling to feed families.

Q: What is your motivation to have the level of fitness and physical stamina to ride the Cape Town Cycle Tour?

A: Assisting these women and knowing that I can feed families, will give me the strength and motivation to complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Not sure how long it will take me, but I will do my best!

Q: What would you say to inspire women in their forties who want to conquer the Cape Town Cycle Tour?

A: We all have goals, take them one by one and just do it! Nothing feels better after you have accomplished them.

If you’d like to support the Biking for Beads initiative, visit or get in touch with Michele at or 021 424 8263

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Estate Planning Essentials


When it comes to checking tasks off your financial-to-do list estate planning is probably the last item you’ll get to—if you get around to it at all.

But estate planning should not be ignored. Because, although it’s nice to think that you can trust everyone to do the right thing, the truth is that if you don’t have your wishes formalised, there may be a debate about what the “right thing” actually is.

What does it really mean?

For many it means “I’ve got a Will and a Trust – so I’m sorted.” But are these two items on their own really the solution to your particular needs?

You might have a Will, but when did you last review it to check that it’s up to date? – the law changes constantly and your planning should keep pace.

Can your wishes actually be implemented – in other words, are they realistic, or will you rely on your executor to deal with any difficulties? It is a fact that in South Africa, about 65% of deceased estates are short of cash to pay liabilities, fees, taxes and to meet cash legacies. Rather be part of the 35% which can be administered smoothly. Inefficient planning can result in a loss of 20% of your assets.

If you’ve registered a trust and injected some assets into it, is it still appropriate for your personal planning or at risk from non-compliant management?

Business owners should review their succession planning with a buy-and-sell agreement to ensure your estate benefits from the true value of their success. Many businesspeople are so focused on daily activities that they forget to secure the fabric which knits it all together. One example is the focus on the sale price of your shares while forgetting the Capital Gains Tax implications.

A common misunderstanding is that you can control your life policy beneficiary nominations in your Will – whereas in reality this can be done only by lodging the nomination with the assurer – many people have had their wishes frustrated by not making a clear distinction.

Another area of confusion is your retirement fund, which is governed by the Pension Funds Act. You cannot contradict the Fund Rules by means of a clause in your Will – rather take specialist advice on integrating your retirement planning with the rest of your financial planning.

So why live the uncertainly, rather speak to an expert. Common mistakes made include:
#1: Estate Plans Are Only for the Wealthy
Somehow many of us think that estate planning is reserved for rich people. Truth is, it’s for anyone who wants to know what’s actually going to happen to their assets, children or general private affairs if they become incapacitated or die with a legally documented estate plan.

#2: My Finances Are Too Simple
Many people may assume that their financial or family situation is so straightforward that they don’t need to draft formal documents, like a last will and testament or a living will. If your assets accede R125 000 in value, your estate has to be fully administered in terms of the law. If less than R125 000, a shortened process is applicable.

#3: Procrastinating Estate Planning for Too Long
Unfortunately, the term “better late than never” doesn’t apply to estate planning. So for your own peace of mind, consider starting the process as soon as possible.

#4: Not including Digital Assets
Remember that your property isn’t just confined to what you physically own. You’ve got a whole online life to think about too. Tell your spouse, partner or close family member about your digital assets. Make arrangements to transfer passwords for cloud-based bank accounts, as well as any digital copies of important documents you may be storing on your computer or online.
Think about your social media accounts and what you want to happen to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts at death. Should they be deleted? Would you prefer to have them stay up in memoriam? Do the social sites you belong to have policies on accounts for deceased people—Facebook, for example, can delete a deceased person’s account or memorialize their timeline.
A trustee or executor must have specific authority to manage those assets, so make sure these are incorporated into your estate plan.

#5: “What If” Scenarios not planned
Be prepared. Marriages can end in divorce, loved ones may suffer addictions or are challenged by health problems, businesses fail or go bankrupt, children move away.

#7: Naming a Trustee & Executor
Selecting the person who will be in charge of your affairs is no small decision. Consider professional or corporate trustees and executors because they provide a lot of value.

In Summary:

• Ensure that your estate wishes are met in the most tax- and cost efficient way
• Ensure there’s sufficient liquidity in your estate
• Ensure the smooth and efficient administration of your deceased estate and
• Protect you and your loved ones in the case of insolvency and against inflation

A signed and up-to-date Will is the first and key component of an estate plan. Without a valid Will your plan
is likely to fail.
Specialist advice:
Paulette van Heerden

Twitter @PaulettevHden
Skype paulette.van.heerden3
Office + 27 873 530 071
Mobile + 27 71 482 8829

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Review: BWA Cape Town Speed Networking


Networking is a way of life for me. After my daughters schedule is in my diary, the next thing I add are the networks I will be attending for the month. Why? Because networking is one of the most effective ways that a small business or solo-entrepreneur can get their name out there.

Networking is also an effective mechanism to use when developing a referral system. People refer business to you because they trust you and you to them.

Recently I attended the BWA Cape Town’s Speed Networking session. I had never attended one before, so was a little concerned that it may not be as effective. My fears were unfounded.

Usually when networking you get to chat with the 8 people at the same table as yourself and maybe a few more. With this session I personally was able to explain to about 22 ladies, on a one-to-one basis, what it is I do. They were in turn able to do the same. I now know more about most of the businesses that attended because of the far more personal contact the process allows.

Looking forward to when BWA Cape Town will be hosting a speed network session again.

– Carol Gerber | Possibilities Coach


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Vasti Geldenhuys: From Advocate to Adventurer

Most people will feel a bit uncomfortable in a court room but for Vasti, it was familiar territory. After a seemingly innocent request to her boyfriend, well known and pioneering explorer, Riaan Manser to take her to New York. She never imagined that she would exchange her legal surroundings to something very very unfamiliar. The mighty Atlantic ocean.

Vasti was born and raised in Randfontein, a small mining town in Johannesburg. She left the comforts of home for the “comforts” of boarding school when she attended Afrikaans Hoer Meisieskool in Pretoria, where she matriculated.

With dreams of becoming an Advocate, she went to study law at Stellenbosch University where she received her LLB degree in 2002.
She completed her articles at a Law firm in Strand, Cape Town and stayed on as a litigation attorney. For the next 8 years she specialized in criminal and civil litigation, which included cases ranging from murder to defamation.

In 2013 she started her own law firm. She practised under her own name in Somerset West until life took an unexpected turn. The “turn” being an incredible, almost unbelievable world first, 10 700 km ocean rowing adventure with her boyfriend of the past 14 years. The journey humorously but aptly called “Take Me To New York”.

Alone and unaided the duo set off from Agadir, Morocco, enduring a 105 day crossing of the Atlantic in a 7 meter rowing boat, landing in Miami, USA on 7 May 2014. They became the first people ever in history to row from Mainland Africa to North America. By crossing the Atlantic, Vasti is also the only woman from the African Continent to have rowed across any ocean on the planet.
Setting off from Miami, they reached New York Harbour a trying and dangerous month later. The couple ended their 4 and a half month journey at sea on the Hudson river passing by the iconic Statue of Liberty. A fitting finish line venue for an epic inspiring adventure.

It’s a love story of two people truly putting everything, including their relationship on the line to achieve something historic and unbelievable. It’s a story of solitude, pain, hardship, conquering fear, overcoming obstacles, fighting the elements, fighting each other, life and death, space, silence and time to think. But most of all, it’s a story of love.

Hit by a 6 meter wave and capsized 2000 km from shore; Riaan separated from the boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are but two of the many life threatening situations the couple had to face. Storms and ship traffic provided for harrowing escapes from natural and human threats.

But there were the quiet moments when the couple could reflect, savour the sunsets on the ocean, be intrigued by the amazing wildlife, mink whales following the boat, dolphins who’s curiosity was too much and always came alongside them to have a closer look. Giant Turtles with heads the size of soccer balls and small but spirited pilot fish living underneath the boat to keep the couple company.

Vasti will intrigue the audience with a unique woman’s perspective of the world of adventure; a world usually reserved for rugged, and very brave men. Her talk will open the audiences mind to the new possibilities in their lives. It is not a motivational story, but rather one of inspiration. Being inspired lasts longer than being motivated. Real stories of having gone out and actually DONE; this is what inspires.

Vasti was willing to leave a world she understands, and knows intimately, for a world she never ever dreamed she would find herself in. Would you?



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The ‘FastTrack’ to Female Empowerment

Robyn.jpegWhen powerful women gather together, powerful conversations ensue. Recently, Robyn Hey, Chairperson of the Businesswomen’s Association – Cape Town branch (BWACT), joined celebrated South African women at the ‘Change Maker’ event held by the Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for women who have made a difference in South Africa or are busy doing so. Guests included Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela; Executive Director of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Mpho Tutu; Singer, Yolanda Yawa, Social Entrepreneur Didintle Ntsie and Senior Associate at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Judith February.

Ntise raised the question as to whether or not affirmative action should be abolished. Madonsela responded by saying, “We are homosocial, we gravitate to people who are like us. Without affirmative action we would hire our relatives only.” This lead to the subject of forgiveness being discussed.

Tutu shared that many South Africans are not getting the opportunity to tell their stories which often results in violence and stated that hurts buried alive don’t die – we need to give people a voice and let them be seen. Madonsella stated that part of the difficulty in the oppressor-oppressed dichotomy is that not only does the oppressive regime give power to the oppressor, it also entrenches thinking patterns in the oppressed who believe that they cannot come forward or progress. BWACT Chairperson, Robyn Hey said that in the business world, because women don’t get the opportunity to tell their stories, they don’t form really deep connections with each other.

During the event the topic of empowerment and what it means to empower arose.  Tutu said, “When we look at power, we tend to look at it vertically. In other words, who has power over me and over whom do I have power. A helpful question to ask oneself is, with whom do I have power to implement change – who shares power with me and how can we, together, make those changes.”  One of the key takeaways from the discussion was that “Our generation of women has the responsibility to give a platform to young women, to advise them and nurture them.”

Robyn Hey says that Tutu’s statement reaffirms the BWACT’s approach to empowerment, particularly in terms of the mentorship opportunities that it provides.

The BWACT recognises that young professionals with high potential require support in order to fast track their development and get traction in their careers. Employers often don’t have the tools or programmes to focus on these promising individuals. Thus, the BWACT has launched a unique initiative to prioritise the development of young female professionals via its ‘FastTrack’ programme, which integrates mentoring, lectures and networking to provide a blended learning experience and at the same time enabling them to belong to a community of like-minded professionals.

Hey shares, “Our goal with this project echoes the Women’s Empowerment Principles of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, which states, ‘Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. The private sector is a key partner in efforts to advance gender equality and empower women’.”

“With more experienced women of the BWACT coming together to mentor and nurture young professionals, we are sharing our power with them to not only benefit their futures but also that of the country and continent,” concludes Hey.

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FastTrack Event 19 August 2014 : Rising Stars


In short…WOW! An outstanding, energising and highly motivating evening for young professional women was held in the beautiful Pavilion room at Kelvin Grove last week.

Katherine-Mary Pichulik, founder and designer of PICHULIK, a bespoke range of bold accessories, and Talia Sanhewe, award winning reporter and MD of Talia Productions had all enthralled as they shared their journeys to success.

The room was literally filled with positive energy as these two brave, creative and highly successful young entrepreneurs inspired all present with their experiences, passion for life and love for what they do, speaking with wit and insight. Not always plain sailing, Katherine and Talia eloquently shared the learning and life experiences that made them who they are today. Proud South Africans (and Capetonians) they have both established their growing, successful businesses in the Mother City as they take on the world, and we wish them continued success.

Look out for Katherine’s pieces in the September issue of the British Vogue and for the graceful, award winning journalist, media personality and TV producer Talia as she inspires and motivates others. Her message: Find what you love and run with it. Be brave and YOUR dreams can come true!

Many thanks to Kelvin Grove for providing delicious nibbles and a stunning venue, Porcupine Ridge for their fabulous wines and Miglio for the beautiful jewellery presented to both speakers.

The BWA  offers a unique initiative to prioritise your development as a young female professional via the “FastTrack” programme.

Contact Cheryl on 021 671 6118 or to find out more about the exciting “FastTrack2Success” mentoring programme that starts in 2015. We look forward to seeing you at the FastTrack event in November, “Fresh, Fast & Fashionable” where you can network with like-minded individuals and look at life hacks for young professionals, with renowned foodie Heleen Meyer and stylist Nadine Pieters.
–  by Bev Hancock

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