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Woolworths appoints Zyda Rylands as CEO South Africa

Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL) has announced the appointment of Zyda Rylands to the new role of CEO of Woolworths South Africa.  Zyda will take responsibility for the entire Food and Clothing business across South Africa and Africa.



This change now brings consistency to the WHL Group structure, with all of the main business units, namely Woolworths South Africa, David Jones and Country Road Group as well as the Group positions of COO, CFO and Group Secretary reporting into Ian Moir, Group CEO.

Zyda has worked in many parts of the Woolworths business including Finance, HR and Operations during her 20 year career with the business. Under her leadership, Woolworths Foods has transformed into a sizeable foods business with a reputation for quality, innovation and sustainability. Since Zyda’s appointment, Woolworths Foods has seen 83% growth in turnover as well as a 240% growth in profit.

“Zyda is a talented and inspirational retailer and leader and has delivered consistently strong results as MD of our Foods business – growing both market share and margin whilst understanding and anticipating our customers’ needs,” said Ian Moir.

“This year has been transformational for our Group with the acquisition of David Jones turning us into a southern hemisphere retailer of scale. Ensuring each major business has a CEO who is clearly focussed and responsible for driving growth and profitability, will better position us to deliver our strategic objectives.”

Zyda Rylands said, “I am incredibly excited by this opportunity. Our strategy is clear in South Africa and Africa and I am very much looking forward to leading such an amazing brand and talented group of people.”

Zyda Rylands Biography, CEO Woolworths South Africa

Born and educated in Cape Town, Zyda completed a B.Com at the University of Cape Town and B.Com (Honours) at the University of the Western Cape. She then completed her articles at Kessel Feinstein and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993.

Zyda joined Caltex Oil (SA) as a financial analyst.  During her 20 years at Woolworths, she worked as an audit manager and after 18 months she was appointed as Executive Assistant to the Woolworths MD. She then headed up financial accounting and corporate planning, played a role as financial executive for all of Woolworths stores and moved to Gauteng to head up a commercial division.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
In 2004 Zyda was appointed Director of People, and in 2006 Zyda was the first female executive director to be appointed to the Woolworths Holding Board as Director of People and Transformation.  In 2008 she was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer: Support Services. Zyda is currently the Managing Director for Foods and was appointed into this role in 2010.

She has served on the Board of FirstRand and she currently serves on the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa Board.

In addition to her executive responsibility, Zyda is passionate about people, leadership development and transformation in corporates and in South Africa.  She is determined to give back and drive social development and therefore works with many NGO’s. 

She currently serves as a non-executive director on the board of the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency and the Centre for Justice and Crime prevention. She also served as chairperson of the Audit Committee for Parliamentary Services and as a non-executive director of the Black Management Forum and as a trustee of the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence & Torture. She served as a non-executive director of the Open Society Foundation of SA for more than 10 years. 

Zyda has won various awards. She was a recipient of the Impumelelo/BMF Top Ten Black Business Personalities Award and was a finalist in the Business Women’s Association of South Africa’s 2011 Business Women of the year award. In 2012 Zyda received the award for Best Women in Business and Government in South Africa in the Retail category. This year Zyda was a finalist in the Most Influential Women in Business and Government in Africa.  

Zyda continues to want to keep learning and in 2013 Zyda attended Harvard University and graduated from the Advanced Management Programme.  She also attended the London Business School in 2005. 

In her spare time she loves travelling, spending time with family and does flowers for bridal parties.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Business

Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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