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Personal Assistant/Secretaries Conference

Unpacking the role of the modern PA: From Business Support to Business Partner


26 July 2018
Ten Bompas hotel, Rosebank

Ask any successful leader how they achieve their goals while battling a diary full of commitments, a flood of emails and requests for their time, and most will say they couldn't do it without their personal assistant. Undoubtedly, PAs and secretaries are at the heart of organisations, working side-by-side with their Executive leaders.

And yet, as we look at what the future holds for Personal Assistants, it’s clear that the demand for digital skills is intensifying and automation seeks to change the profession altogether. There is also an increasing demand for the PA role to transform from a business support role to a strategic business partnership role.

The KR Personal Assistant/Secretaries seminar is a brilliant opportunity for Personal Assistants (PAs), Office Managers, Administrative professionals and secretaries from all over South Africa and beyond to connect and unpack the transforming role of the modern PA. We have gathered renowned professionals to share insights into their day-to-day routines, giving you hands-on tips on getting your tasks completed more efficiently.

To build on your success and pave a meaningful corporate journey, you will understand how to handle different personalities, overcome stress, and become more resilient. You will experience what a personal brand is and improve your professional relationship with your executives and other employees in the organisation.

The conference will also feature valuable strategies, techniques, and tips to enhance the effectiveness of your executive support functions, see your profession through the eyes of your executives, and keep abreast of the latest must-have skills for your career development.

Join us and be part of this impressive gathering to find out how your career can be inspired.


  • Executive assistants
  • Personal assistants
  • Professional assistants
  • Administrative managers
  • Administrative assistants
  • Clerical assistants
  • Secretaries
  • Receptionists


  • Explore the current nature of work, and seek to evolve & move forward in the changing business landscape
  • Master skills for handling stress & anxiety and focus on sustaining a healthy work-life balance
  • Empower yourself with advanced communication skills
  • Receive tips from the best: hear expert advice from highly inspirational speakers with relevant information to help you directly in your role
  • Receive practical strategies and methods to excel in relationship-building
  • One invaluable day out of the office, a long-lasting investment in your professional and personal development
  • Be inspired and develop motivation to gain ever greater heights within your career

For more information about the Seminar, please contact Busie Mjimba on or +27 11 706 6009.


DAY ONE • 26 JULY 2018

07:30–08:30 Registration and Morning refreshments

Welcome and introduction by chairperson


How to be the Ultimate Strategic ‘Business Partner’

Pearl Maphoshe, HR Director and Samantha Gunther PA to HR Director, Pick N Pay


Window to success for the 21st century office professional

Chelene Venter, Personal Assistant to the CIO at the South African Reserve bank (PA of the Year Africa 2016/17, PA of the Year South Africa 2015/16)


Inspirational keynote: Be the Master of your Career 

Zodwa Zwane, Former PA to the late Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

10:15–10:45 Morning break


Leading from the edge

Belinda Knight, Managing Director, Duke Corporate Education


Emotional Intelligence: Managing difficult situations and difficult personalities

Mavis Ureke, International Human Behaviour Specialist, author of several books including 10 Lessons to Managing Emotions for Success

12:15–13:15 Lunch


Interactive roundtable & Panel discussions: Explore, Engage, Empower


Round table series

Round table 1 Effective Project Management and Multi-tasking
Sophia Lebusa, Executive PA to the Chairman, Kaizer Chiefs

Round table 2 Negotiation and influencing strategies for PAs
Louisa Kambile, Departmental Administrator/Personal Assistant, Hensoldt (Semi-finalist – Office Professional of the Year 2016 (OPSA)

Round table 3 The importance of an Entrepreneurial mindset in office management / How to manage your office like an Entrepreneur
Jean Chawapiwa, Managing Director, WEConnect International


Panel Session: Managing Your Executive’s Energy, Focus, and Mindset

Jean Chawapiwa, Managing Director, WEConnect International
Mavis Ureke, International Human Behaviour Specialist, author of several books including 10 Lessons to Managing Emotions for Success
Samantha Gunther PA to HR Director, Pick N Pay
Sophia Lebusa, Executive PA to the Chairman, Kaizer Chiefs

14:45–15:00 Afternoon tea break


Digital Platforms to Increase Productivity: Hints, Tips & Must-Grabs (Technology and Time Management)

Philippa Dods,
Marketing Co-ordinator, Meltwater South Africa


Thrive: Lessons from a celebrity on building your personal brand

Sophie Lichaba, Actress and Business Woman

16:15 Close of conference, afternoon tea and departure


Pearl Maphoshe, Group Executive: Human Resources, Pick N Pay
Pearl joined Pick n Pay on 11th of April 2016 as Group Executive Human Resources. The Pick n Pay HR team was recognised as the Best HR team of the Year at the 2017 national Future of HR awards ceremony. Previously, Pearl came from South32 where she was Vice President Human Resources and Massmart Group where she was the Group Human Capital Executive. Prior to these positions, she was the Human Resources Director of Mass Discounters, the General Manager Corporate Services of Umgeni Water and has worked in various senior positions in transformation, procurement, Black Economic Empowerment and education at the University of Durban Westville, Telkom, Old Mutual, the National Independent Medical Aid Society and Kwazulu-Natal Society of Chartered Accountants. Pearl was a guest lecturer and external examiner on the MBA programs at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and a guest lecturer at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. She established the Massmart Corporate University and created a new benchmark in the retail industry for education, talent management and executive succession planning, which are among her passions. Pearl was Chairperson of the Wholesale and Retail SETA until end of March 2018 and was also a member of the University of Zululand Council and used to chair the Human Resources Committee of Council until end of March 2018. Pearl is also a Board member at Knowledge Resources and holds the following qualifications BA (Hons), HDipEd (Durban-Westville), MA (London).
Chelene Venter, Personal Assistant to the CIO at the South African Reserve bank
Chelene Venter is the award-winning PA of the year Africa 2016/17 and PA of the year South Africa 2015/16. She is a frequent speaker at events, has MC experience and is a mentor to many. She was the first PA in the history of Africa and South Africa to win the title as PA of the Year Africa. Furthermore, she was the first PA in the history of the South African Reserve Bank to win the PA titles. She also established the first PA Circle of Knowledge Forum in the Bank. She was the international-liaison officer for IYOTSA's (International Year of the Secretary and Assistant) 2016 campaign and is a member of the AoE (Academy of Excellence) and IMA (International Management Assistants). In 1998, when she was the Executive PA to the Managing Director of Denel Personnel Solutions (DPS), she had the privilege to be the interior decorator for DPS’s new office block in Centurion, Pretoria and her work was broadcasted on SABC 2 and on the Magazine Program Mamepe. She has more than 25 years' experience as a Personal Assistant and believes that her success today reflects on her qualities, professional behaviours and the 5 Ps (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance). An unfailingly positive attitude is key to her success and most of all she incredibly passionate about what she does.
Belinda Knight, Managing Director, Duke Corporate Education
Belinda Knight’s career spans across 30 years of experience in both the world of business and the academic world. Her career started off as a teacher for a brief period and then the corporate world beckoned where she felt she could have a wider more sustainable impact growing management and leadership in organisations. Her initial experience in business in both the fields of Human Capital Management and Operations Management qualified her to enter into the world of academia with a strong business foundation and insight. Belinda has worked in the education environment since the mid 90’s where she was a key member of the founding team of Henley/GIMT. GIMT was later sold to Educor who were owned by Naspers, and Belinda found herself on the Executive team of Educor firstly as the COO of GIMT and then as the CEO. She then joined the University of Stellenbosch Executive Development Team. Her core function was to establish USB-ED in Gauteng from a zero base and to establish the Customised Learning Division for USB-ED. She managed this over a 7-year period. Having built a sustainable model for Stellenbosch, Belinda Knight is now part of the Duke CE team bringing her knowledge and experience to the team, with the intent of working in a global learning environment
Jean Chawapiwa, Country Director, WEConnect International, South Africa
Jean is the Country Director for WEConnect International in SA and sits on the Board of Junior Achievement Africa and has been the Chair since Nov 2016. She also has a seat on the Junior Achievement World Wide Board. She is one of the few women who have reached the top in the South African mining industry. After serving at the most senior levels in the external affairs, government relations, communication portfolios of Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold & Placer Dome, Jean set up her own consultancy practice utilising her extensive knowledge gained from 10 years in the Africa mining sector. During this time her portfolio supported businesses in South Africa, Namibia, DRC, Guinea, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Cameroon & Tanzania. Her consulting company facilitates companies to do business in Africa though the use of their extensive Africa networks, professional support on communications & stakeholder management strategies, mergers & acquisitions, change management, training and business development. WWS was awarded the contract to run WEConnect International in South Africa in Aug 2015. WEConnect International is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world.
Mavis Ureke, International Human Behaviour Specialist, author of several books including 10 Lessons to Managing Emotions for Success
Mavis Ureke is an International Human Behaviour Specialist, Multiple Award winning Global Training and Development Leader, author of several books including Managing Emotions for Emotional Success. She is the cofounder of Training B2B CC, a leading provider of emotional intelligence training. She is a frequent speaker/trainer/facilitator and keynote speaker at public and private engagements. She is a Doctoral student in Psychology of Leadership at William James College, US
Samantha Gunther, PA to the Group Executive: Human Resources, Pick N Pay
Samantha joined Pick n Pay on 16th May 2016 as Assistant to the Group Executive Human Resources. Previously, Samantha came from South32 where she was the Assistant to the Vice President Human Resources. Prior to this position, Samantha worked for BHP Billiton as an HRD Administrator and a Recruitment Officer. She holds a Human Resources Diploma (Unisa).
Sophia Lebusa, Executive Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Kaizer Chiefs
Sophie Lebusa has been a Personal Assistant at Kaizer Chiefs for 19 years. She has a passion for project management and comes with a lot of skills, knowledge and experience. Sophia holds a Professional Secretarial Diploma through Damelin and BA degree in HR and Psychology from Wits University.
Louisa Kambile, Department Administrator, Hensoldt Optronics
Louisa Kambile (Known as Lulu) is a Department Administrator at Hensoldt Optronics (Pty) Ltd, an administrative professional with ±15 years in the industry. She has built her career in a variety of roles and industries, mostly in big companies where she was not just the PA but events planner and admin guru. She is not only used to wearing many hats, she sincerely enjoys it! Some of her career highlights include, earning a Professional Designation (Certified Managerial Office Professional) through OPSA, 2017; Semi-Finalist – Office Professional of the Year 2016; Winner: Communication Award, Office Professional of the Year 2014; and Runner-up: Upcoming Professional of the Year 2014.
Philippa Dods, Marketing Coordinator, Meltwater
Philippa Dods is a young, talented and passionate businesswoman. She is currently the Marketing Coordinator at global media intelligence company, Meltwater. More than 26 000 clients use the Meltwater platform to stay on top of billions of online conversations, extract relevant insights and make better business decisions. She also runs Future Females, an organisation that aims to increase the number of and success of female entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.
Sophie Lichaba, Actress & Business Woman
Sophie Lichaba (Formerly Ndaba) a seasoned, stylish and certainly one of the most successful actresses of our time, was born in Soweto. She has taken her popularity with the viewers of Generations and has established herself as an actress, a role model and an emerging creative business woman of good standing amongst South Africans. As undoubtedly one of the most loved and successful actresses of our time and a great entrepreneur, she has become a force to be reckoned with. After coming back to South Africa from Zimbabwe where she completed High school, Sophie made a decision to take her life to another level and was determined to make it a resounding success, which is when she became a Personal Assistant while pursuing a career in photographic modelling and later moved on to Acting. Her talent for entertaining is not limited to acting she is also a motivational speaker and also serves as an MC/Program director for various functions over her years in the entertainment and business industry. Sophie has also sat on various panels as a Judge over the years including Miss Soweto, Cairo international Film Festival-international short films in Egypt Cairo, International Wedding Congress Mauritius as well as Miss South Africa 2015 and 2016 etc. Sophie’s reach extends outside the world of television and she has held community leadership roles for many organisations and brands over the years. She is currently the South African Ambassador for Destination Wedding Planners Congress where she represents SA as the best planner around the world. Sophie is now moving into the producing arena in the industry and will soon be producing her own Films, Reality and TV Drama and Soaps.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Would you like the opportunity to market your company’s products and services to delegates at this seminar?

For information on sponsorships and exhibitions please contact Barbara Spence


26 July 2018 - Personal Assistant/Secretaries Conference
R3 250.00 excl. VAT

Please note:

  • Payment must be received prior to attendance
  • Registration fees include refreshments, lunch, parking and conference material
SETA grants and accreditation requirements
Many of our delegates enquire about the accreditation of our events. There is a misconception that organisations qualify for SETA grants only for accredited programmes. This is not correct. The payment of SETA grants is regulated by the Government Gazette, no. 9867, Vol. 570, 3 December 2012, no. 35940. These Regulations clearly state that the SETAs “must allocate a mandatory grant to a levy paying employer” that has submitted a WSP and ATR by the regulated date, has provided all the information required in the regulated template, and is up to date with skills levy payments. Furthermore, the template in the Regulations (Section C: Skills Development) allows employers to include ALL planned training in the report; not only accredited programmes.
Knowledge Resources is a Level 3 Contributor BBBEE company


Knowledge Resources, Conference Registration, P O Box 3954, Randburg, 2115, South Africa

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Two-day Conference
Day One of Conference
Day Two of Conference
Pre-conference Workshop 1
Pre-conference Workshop 2

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  • Register for 3 people and the 4th person attends free of charge!
  • Special discount for registered NPO’s, small businesses (30 or less employees) & full-time lecturers at universities – contact us for more information!


For more information and to book your seat contact Busie Mjimba on +2711 706 6009


To book your seat contact Magdeline Matlatse on +2711 706 6009

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