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Mining Personality
Cheryl Carolus
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24th May 2013
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Full Name: Cheryl Ann Carolus

Position: Nonexecutive chairperson of JSE- and NYSE-listed Gold Fields since February 2013

Main Activity of Company: Gold mining

Date and Place of Birth: May 27, 1958, Silvertown, Cape Flats

Education: University of the Western Cape, BA Law, 1979, and BA Education, 1983

First Job: Teacher, Bridgetown High School, Cape Flats, 1979

Size of First Pay Packet: R89 a month

Value of Assets under Your Control: Gold Fields’ current market capitalisation is R50-billion

Number of People under Your Leadership: 9 600

Other Directorships: Executive chairperson of Peotona Holdings

Nongovernmental Organisations: South African and international boards of the World Wildlife Fund; International Crisis Group; the Soul City Institute for Health; and the Constitution Hill Education Trust

Career Highlights: Serving in the leadership of the African National Congress with Nelson Mandela from 1991 to 1997, being South African High Commissioner to the UK from 1998 to 2001 and serving as South African Airways chairperson from 2009 to 2013

Management Style: Leading from the front

Personal Best Achievement: Summiting Kilimanjaro with a group of women on August 9, 2006, and running the Soweto Marathon as part of my fiftieth birthday celebrations in 2008

Professional Best Achievement: Starting Peotona nine years ago

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My parents and my school teachers

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Cyril Ramaphosa, who is like a big brother to me

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Women astronauts, particularly Eileen Collins, the first woman shuttle pilot and shuttle commander

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Warren Buffett

Philosophy of Life: Make your own future

Biggest Ever Opportunity: My battle scars from helping to defeat the apartheid beast and now still being young enough to help build a very different future for my country. Mine is a lucky generation

Biggest Ever Disappointment: The point-blank refusal of business to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation process

Hope for the Future: That children grow up believing that the only thing that stands between them and greatness is themselves

Favourite Reading: I am an avid reader of books and newspapers. All-time favourites are Njabulo Ndebele, Zakes Mda and Ivan Vladislavic

Favourite TV Programme: I am a radio and print junkie – I do not watch much television

Favourite Food/Drink: Watermelon in summer and thick, hearty soups in winter. It is alleged that I drink too much coffee, eat too much chocolate and like a good wine. I don’t eat deep-fried canapés at receptions

Favourite Music: Jazz and classical

Favourite Sport: I jog and I am afraid I become a bit of a hooligan in my irrational support of any of our national teams

Hobbies: Gardening

Car: Mercedes-Benz

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Crass consumerism

Married: To Graeme Bloch

Clubs: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, in Soho, London

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu


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