Mary Phadi’s remarkable entrepreneurial journey

BY Nkosazana Ngwadla

South African Businesswoman, Mary Phadi started her logistics business with one truck which started working with side tippers in 2007.

Mary, 49, who grew up in the small town of Cornelia in the Free State, had led Tasa successfully since its inception, competing with existing trucking organisations that have a financially stronger muscle, influence and experience.

Tasa, which advocates for road freight operators in South Africa, called for the re-regulation of the industry after it was deregulated in 1988 to ensure the sector is transformed. It launched the first South African freight awards in October 2022 to recognise excellence in the industry.

Under her leadership, Tasa also started the first safety awareness campaign in December 2022, because of the increase of fatalities on the roads involving trucks. Mary was appointed the national chairperson of the South African Network of Women in Transport from 2009 and she is the spokesperson for the Coal Transporters Forum.

She has striven to empower women through pushing for policies and ensuring women have the technical skills needed to excel in the sector. She has also helped increase the number of women obtaining operating permits in the transport industry.

An achievement of which she is proud is that her heavy duty commercial vehicle company has a clean safety record with no fatalities. 

Today, she employs 53 truck drivers and has a fleet of side tippers, flat decks and tankers which transport coal, lime, manganese and maize. She is the Founder of Basadi Logistics, a trucking company located in Emalahleni (Witbank), which recently purchased 9 brand new trucks.

Her son, Lebohang Phadi is the CEO of the company, and was included in the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 in 2021.

Image: Instagram

Close Bitnami banner