Cheryl Carolus & Dolly Mokgatle received the medal of French national Order of Merit [fr]
On Saturday 8 March 2014, International Women’s Day, Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier bestowed the medal of French National Order of Merit* upon Mrs Cheryl Carolus and Mrs Dolly Mokgatle.
Successful business women, they decided, in 2005, with two other women of note, Thandi Orleyn and Wendy Lucas-Bull, to create the company Peotona, following their vision of a truly South African company that : “is well run and profitable, leaves sustainable footprints in communities, contributes to the development of women in business, is a model for empowerment in South Africa, contributes to the development of critical skills in the economy, builds capacity in communities and local government”.
Dolly Makgatle was the first woman, first black person and first non-technical person to be appointed to the position of managing director, fulfilled in the Transmission Group in Eskom. Earlier in her career, Dolly was Litigation Officer of the Black Lawyers Association Legal Education Centre where she focused mainly on political cases, housing, labour and other human rights violation matters.
In the 80’s, Cheryl Carolus was National Secretary of the United Democratic Front. She remembered the first trip she was allowed to make freely to assist to an event hosted by the Mitterrand Foundation in Paris , which was in fact an opportunity for the ANC in exile to meet with leaders of the internal UDF to discuss the first steps towards negotiations. Later, she was appointed High Commissioner of South Africa in London and also fulfilled the position of head of SA Tourism.
Today, both of these wonderful women maintain close links with French companies Total and Lafarge.
[Excerpt from the Ambassador’s speech]
To read the Ambassador’s speech
* The “Ordre National du Mérite” celebrates the efforts accomplished by distinguished individuals, irrespective of sex, social background and nationality.