Illovo SA
Executive makes history

Story: Chris Fitz-Gerald

Illovo Sugar South Africa (Illovo SA) has appointed chemical engineer and Harvard educated Ms Mamongae Mahlare as Managing Director (MD).

Mahlare brings with her a wealth of general management, commercial, operational and engineering experience from roles at SABMiller, Tanzania Breweries Ltd, Unilever and Coca Cola Beverages Africa. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Witwatersrand. She is also a Trustee of John Davidson Education Trust and previously, a member of the Wits University Council (senior governing body of the institution) and Chairman of the Wits Empowerment Trust.

“She (Mahlare) joins Rebecca Katowa at Zambia Sugar as the Group’s second country female MD and is, I believe, the first woman MD of a sugar producer in South Africa - a long overdue step forward in closing the gender gap in our industry across the continent. At Illovo Sugar Africa, we are committed to the transformation of the sugar industry across the continent and we are confident that the vision and expertise Mamongae brings to our South African business will be a key enabler of our growth and success in the years to come,” said Group Managing Director Gavin Dalgleish.

Illovo SA’s commitment to the transformation of agriculture and agribusiness across the continent is something I strongly endorse. 

- Ms Mamongae Mahlare, Managing Director, Illovo SA

Mahlare succeeds Dave Howells who, after nine years as local MD, has chosen to take up the opportunity of a new role within the broader Illovo Sugar Africa Group as Corporate and External Affairs Executive. “Illovo SA’s commitment to the transformation of agriculture and agribusiness across the continent is something I strongly endorse. Having worked in multiple African markets, I strongly support the role of business as an active participant in delivering on the social and economic development agendas of each country, while maintaining its core commercial imperative.  I am excited to lead Illovo SA and grateful for the great work Dave Howells and his team have done in ensuring he hands on a high performance business.  I look forward to being part of the delivery of the next stage of Illovo SA’s strategy for transformation, ambitious growth agenda and downstream diversification,” said Mahlare.

As the founding member of Social Enterprise Development - a not-for-profit initiative seeking to develop an e-platform that connects youth from impoverished backgrounds seeking funding for tertiary education with individuals and organizations with resources and the desire to make a difference through education and skills acquisition enablement – Mahlare’s personal outlook sits firmly in line with Illovo’s ethos, culture and commitment to serving its communities through the creation of shared value.

Chris Fitz-Gerald

Chris Fitz-Gerald is Group Communications Manager at