Tech entrepreneur Siphokazi Matsha wants to make her mark in the logistics industry as South Africa celebrates Women’s Month as a means of inspiring young women to join in the expanding digital economy.
Matsha the founder and CEO of the logistics firm Go Girl Logistics, as more businesses use new technologies to offer better services, the logistics sector has emerged as one of the major drivers of the developing digital economy.
The most recent industry study, from this year to 2027, the local freight and logistics market is predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of almost 4%.Matsha says the expansion of the industry has inspired her to hire talented women and train them in order to empower women.
“There is still a huge gap that we need to fill. We have a strong voice and we are educated and smart. We don’t want handouts, but to be given opportunities to make our impact in any industry. We are 100% black female owned and our mandate is to empower women within the sector through the hiring, training, and leadership of women, which is extremely important because women have previously been stereotyped as belonging in administrative roles or home executives.”
According to a recent study commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the logistics industry in SA offers a considerable opportunity for the advancement of digital skills and the sharing of information about the advantages of technologies in the industry.
The local freight and logistics market underwent a significant shift in the last 18 months as a result of COVID-19, said the Johannesburg-based Matsha. This transition forced businesses to think creatively and encouraged the use of technology as a growth catalyst for the industry.
“In the present day, tech is probably the biggest enabler for economic development. For example, it makes everything much more effective. We have seen the effects on our logistics industry, whereby we are able to work faster, making it easier for us and our customers as well. We are also able to handle large amounts of work that can be processed easily using tech innovations.
“With the hit of COVID-19, there had to be a way in which we could still continue doing our work in a contactless world. In a way, COVID became a push factor for us to think outside the box and ensure we can still deliver. So we started integrating digital ways to conduct business with the traditional ones. It makes us a cut above the rest because we are able to deliver at a faster turnaround to the client’s satisfaction.”
Matsha believes that young tech entrepreneurs should look for opportunities across industries, especially the logistics industry.“Young ICT enthusiasts need to add more passion to their work by changing various industries around them. If there is a gap in any industry, they can chip in more to offer innovative solutions.”
Commenting on the current status of the start-up scene in Africa, Matsha says: “It is slowly growing and we have a wave of young people that are taking the bull by its horns and running with the available opportunities.
“More still needs to be done for us to reach the level where other advanced countries are already, which means other stakeholders still need to come in with ways to make more young people get into the tech space and continue being innovative.”