Shulami Qalinge, the first female Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority

Shulami Qalinge has been appointed as the chief executive (CE) of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), becoming the first female CE of the organisation.

Qalinge takes over from Richard Vallihu who will move into a new position as Group Executive: Operational Readiness, Transnet Corporate Centre.

Qalinge will provide strategic direction and leadership in the implementation of the overall TNPA strategic objectives and operational targets, including total oversight of the operation of eight commercial ports with more than 3 500 employees. She will also drive Transnet’s overall strategy to ensure attainment of growth targets and compliance to the National Ports Act 12 of 2005.

She joined Transnet 23 years ago as an engineering technician at Transnet Freight Rail (TFR). She rose through the ranks and held various general management positions at TFR and at the Group Corporate Office before joining the Group Chief Executive’s office as general manager.

Qalinge, an industrial engineer by qualification, most recently served as Transnet’s Group Executive: Strategy, where she was responsible for leading and directing Transnet’s growth strategy in international markets, with particular focus on generating revenue from the rest of the African continent and the Middle East. She also holds an MBA from De Montfort University in the UK.

The appointment is of significance for an organisation that prides itself on its advancement of women in the male-dominated maritime industry. Fifty percent of TNPA’s executive committee is made up of females, while women can be found across the organisation in operational roles previously reserved for men.