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Transformation in the petroleum retail business: a case of African black women ownership of Engen service stations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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South Africa is still grappling with issues of gender inequality in the workplace and in business, the dawn of democracy in 1994 marked a historical moment where the previously disadvantaged groups were also allowed to participate in businesses in various industries. Despite efforts at various levels (national, regional and global) to achieving gender equality and empower women in various sectors in support of gender transformation, many South African, particularly black women, are still struggling to penetrate this market due to some remnant policies of the apartheid regime which then makes the rate of transformation remains very slow. Therefore, the objective of the study was to map ownership of Engen service stations by black women in the Kwa-Zulu Natal, and to investigate the factors that hinder black women entry into the petroleum industry. This was a cross-sectional qualitative study conducted among six participants who were selected purposefully for the study. Secondary data was also used to find the percentage of black female owned the service station. Results showed that 9.27% of Engen service stations in KZN was owned by females, and out of that only 3.92% was owned by black females. The most prominent challenge experienced by black women owners of Engen service station in KZN were access to finance, legislation, marketing, exclusivity and survival. It was recommended that black females need assistance to access funding from financial institutions because they face hurdles if they do it alone as one of the critical success factor (CSF). Also government must monitor implementation of policies that supports gender transformation which seems to be poor and tracking of progress is not evident.


Master of Business Administration. University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban, 2018.