Despite the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought travel and conference tourism to a standstill, Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO of the Durban ICC, has bagged a second award in two months for her leadership qualities.
According to risingsunoverport.co.za, Rakharebe has just won the Leadership Award in the third annual Sebenza Awards, which focuses on recognising and celebrating top women for their brilliance, strength, and achievements in various fields of work.
Rakharebe, who has been at the helm of Africa’s leading convention centre since April 2015, also took top honours last month in the Venue Representative of the Year category of the seventh Women in MICE Awards.
Meetings magazine and the Planner Guru website jointly hosted the celebration of the leading Women in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry to recognise the important role women play in the sector.
Ms Rakharebe’s award was given to ‘the woman, who has ensured the highest standards of guest and staff well-being by moving swiftly to implement measures that not only meet all requirements but exceed them.’
Ms Rakharebe said she owed the two latest awards to every man and woman employed at the Durban ICC.
“A leader is only as good as the team. It is the fortitude and resilience of our employees that has ensured the Durban ICC is post-pandemic ready. The success of our business depends on the satisfaction of our clients which, in turn, depends on the quality of the product we deliver and the level of customer service we provide. We set our goals high, working to achieve 100 percent satisfaction from our clients and exhibitors,” she said.
Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic impacted their business more profoundly than anything to date.
“Nevertheless, we are filled with pride for all that we accomplished despite the challenges. Tough times don’t last, tough teams do,” she added.
Kini Shandu, the founder of the Sebenza Awards, said for too long, women in South Africa have been marginalised and still face gender-based violence on a daily basis.
“The Sebenza Awards brings about equality by identifying stars doing exceptional, extraordinary work in various sectors. We shine the spotlight on women, their contributions and position them in areas that create opportunities for them to excel even more,” she said.
She added that Rakharebe’s award was all the more significant, coming at a time when the pandemic hit the Durban ICC particularly hard as it relies heavily on gatherings, which have been heavily restricted as local, national and international travel came to a halt.
“However, our Lindiwe ensured that contingency measures were put in place to ensure the Durban ICC continued to provide the highest levels of infrastructure and service standards,” she said.
Glen Mashinini, chairman of the board of Durban ICC, said that they are proud of the Leadership Award bestowed on Ms Rakharebe for her sound leadership and outstanding achievements at a critical time.
“Her strengths which include vision, inspiration, interpersonal communication and strategic and critical thinking have motivated the Durban ICC team’s efforts to put new measures in place, uphold all principles of corporate governance, diligent oversight and efficient financial and supply chain processes during a most challenging period,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Durban ICC has been nominated for the title of World’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 2021 on the World Travel Awards and hopes to win the heavily contested accolade at WTA’s Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2021, which will take place in Moscow on November 26, 2021.
Durban ICC has been nominated in the World Travel Awards- Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 20 times and has been voted the winner in this category no fewer than 17 times.