Announcing HERS SA Higher-Education Women Leaders Awards 2023 Finalists

Higher Education Resource Service – South Africa (HERS-SA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2023 inaugural Higher Education Women Leaders Awards (HEWLA) to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Woodstock, Cape Town, on the 7th of September 2023. The awards recognise the achievements of South African women in Higher Education who lead, inspire, and motivate those in and outside their institutions to be more and do more. It is aimed to inspire and attract new leadership talent to the sector, thus creating role models, advancing gender transformation and creating visibility for higher education women leaders in South Africa.

According to HERS-SA Director, Brightness Mangolothi, this year marks HERS-SA’s 20th anniversary. We believe that this is the best way to celebrate what has been achieved to steer gender transformation in higher education. We received 218 nominations, which is a huge number for an inaugural award. The calibre of women nominated is a testament to the fact that we have women who can hold the reins of power. Slowly we are seeing the wings of change. We are thankful to all our judges and sponsors (Loreal, FUNDI, Oxford, McDonald and KPRM Media Solutions)”.

Our Master of Ceremony for the awards is Olwethu Nodada, a Speaker, Radio host and Entrepreneur. Our keynote speaker is Prof. Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya, a world-respected scholar.

The finalists of the seven 2023 HEWLA categories are:


  • Prof Catherine Botha (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Satsope Maoto (University of Limpopo)
  • Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Nicolette Roman (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Brenda Schmahmann (University of Johannesburg)


  • Prof Nosisi Feza (University of Venda)
  • Prof Kulsum Kondiah (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Salome Maswime (University of Cape Town)
  • Prof Philiswa Nosizo Nomngongo (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Nonhlangabezo Mabuba (University of Johannesburg)


  • Dr Sisanda Nkoala (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Dr Nombulelo Sepeng (University of Pretoria)
  • Prof Mahloro Hope Serepa-Dlamini (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Fortunate Tintswalo Silinda (University of South Africa)
  • Prof Mari van de Vyver (Stellenbosch University)


  • Prof Heidi Abrahamse (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Kim Berman (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Nosisi Feza (University of Venda)
  • Prof Michele Miller (Stellenbosch University)
  • Prof Shireen Motala (University of Johannesburg)


  • Prof Kulsum Kondiah (University of Johannesburg)
  • Mrs Melany Lotter (University of Johannesburg)
  • Dr Ndivhuwo Luruli (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Tembisa Ngqondi (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Prof Boitumelo Diale (University of Johannesburg)


  • Prof Nosisi Feza (University of Venda)
  • Prof Maria Frahm-Arp (University of Johannesburg)
  • Prof Beatrice Opeolu (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Prof Vivienne Lawack (University of the Western Cape)
  • Prof Rachael Jesika Singh (University of Limpopo)


  • Dr Rakeshnie Ramoutar-Prieschl (University of Pretoria)
  • Dr Dianna Moodley (Durban University of Technology)
  • Prof Jose Frantz (University of the Western Cape)
  • Dr Maria Madiope (Walter Sisulu University)
  • Mrs Kediemetse Lucia Mokotsi (Vaal University of Technology)

HERS-SA would like to congratulate the finalists.


HERS-SA is a self-sustaining non-profit organisation (NPO), which was founded in September 2003. HERS-SA is dedicated to women’s advancement and leadership development in the Higher Education sector. As a registered NPO, HERS-SA advocates for and contributes to, the career and leadership development of women employed in the higher education sector via carefully crafted programmes. This is important because of our commitment to promoting gender equity in South African Higher Education. HERS-SA believes having a gender-representative leadership is critical for universities and realising the UN SDGs, the African Union Agenda 2063 and National Development Plan 2030.

We look forward to welcoming more sponsors who are interested in advancing gender transformation. For more information contact

The media are invited. Contact us at

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