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Rachel Jafta Inspiring Woman of the Month

Rachel Jafta

Rachel Jafta is the Chairperson of Media24 Limited. She has been a Director of Naspers since 2003, and Media24 since 2007. Rachel holds a BEcon, BEconHons, MEcon and PhD, and is professor in economics at Stellenbosch University.

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It was at the Berg River High School in Wellington, Western Cape, as the best matric pupil, where her first door opened. A teacher encouraged her to get a university exemption – this made a huge difference because someone believed in her.

There was no money for university and bursaries for female students were unobtainable. So Rachel and the other Jafta children picked and packed fruit and vegetables in the holidays and night shifts, scraping the cents together for her degree, one apricot after the other.

Only in her Honours year did she get a bursary. Years later, she was back at that factory – as a director of the Langeberg

Rachel’s purpose is to live a meaningful life that makes a difference. She wants to leave something purposeful behind when she is gone. Her calling is to unlock opportunities in people’s minds and to broaden their horizons.

She thinks her greatest achievement was to get her driving license! We think her greatest achievement was to obtain her Phd degree while working full time!

Rachel likes to stretch herself by doing something new every year (mastering Italian in 6 months and bungee jumping in Singapore!) The only thing holding her back is time – not enough of it!

Her message to Inspiringwomen readers: “Don’t give up your femininity to fit in – display your feminity while displaying confidence.”

University of Stellenbosch

As Professor of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, Rachel has received awards for excellence in research and community service. Since 2004, she has won the award for excellence in teaching each year. In 2008 and 2010, she received the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Community Interaction. In 2011, she was the recipient of the University of Stellenbosch’s Award for Exceptional Alumni. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Social Impact (Community Interaction) in December 2015.


Rachel is also a founding member and director of Econex, a consulting firm that provides expert economic advice to large clients in various sectors in the South African business environment.

Rachel’s Angels

Rachel is also the founder of Rachel’s Angels, a trust that makes a measurable contribution to excellence in secondary school education in the Western Cape.Through an effective mentorship programme for grade 11 and 12 learners, they contribute to the holistic development of the participating learners and students. The programme enables grade 12 learners to effectively deal with post-matric challenges. It also empowers them to make a constructive contribution to the South African economy and society at large.

Cape Town Carnival

Rachel is also the founder and chairperson of the Cape Town Carnival, an annual street parade which showcases and celebrates the diversity of Cape Town and South Africa. The event has become a benchmark on the international tourism calendar.It is her dream that the experience of participation in the Carnival, which includes people from all walks of life, ages, shapes and hues, will help build an inclusive and cohesive South African society.

 Rachel, we salute you!

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