SRS Aviation is South Africa's first black, female owned airline!
Sibongile Sambo has made history as Africa’s first 100% black owned, female flight operator.
It is the culmination of a dream that started as a young girl in her native Mpumalanga, South Africa watching planes taking to the air.
However, in an area of the world where opportunities for those wanting to better themselves are scarce, Sibongile recalls how she had to seek employment in other industries wandering if her childhood dream would ever be realised.
In 20003 the South African government passed the ‘Black Economic Empowerment Act’. This act sought to redress the inequalities caused during the apartheid regime by legislating favourable practices that would benefit the countries underprivileged.
Sibongile now saw an opportunity to reconnect with her passion for aviation and embarked on the first step of her journey which was to try and raise capital for venture.
She approached family members with her business plan and was able to put together enough money to arrange contracts between flight services and passengers.
Sibongile’s first major deal came when she won a contract issued by the government to transport cargo, a contract which initially involved her company SRS and another flight operator that subsequently left the venture which meant she had to undergo a swift learning curve in order to understand the dynamics of the industry.
In 2006 SRS underwent an inspection from the CAA and after was given safety approval to operate her aircrafts. After receiving her Air Operating Certificate, Sibongile was now a fully-fledged airline company and the first female, black flight operator in Africa.
SRS today, has shops in most of South Africa’s airports and Sibongile has amassed an impressive list of credentials.
She is known as an Entrepreneur, and Motivational Speaker. She has a BA Honours from Unisa, Advanced programme in Organisational Development from Unisa, and a Mining Executive Preparation Programme from Wits.
Sibongile is a winner of BIBA (Black Women in Business Award) and also a winner of the Impumelelo Top Female Entrepreneur of the year.
She is also part of a BWA Business Woman Association and is establishing the South African Woman in Aviation non-profit organisation that encourages woman to pursue careers in aviation.
To find out more about SRS Aviation, visit: www.srsaviation.co.za