Chairperson and Portfolio: Marketing, Fundraising and Facilities Management
Sonja Smith-Janse van Rensburg is also the founder and MD of Sonja Smith Funeral Group. Her passion for being of service to people in times of grief has led her on a long and challenging journey, but with Sonja’s unique ‘velvet touch’ approach, the Company has grown from strength to strength. Sonja was the 2015 Woman in Business Champion of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and holds The Business Excellence Forum Award (BEFA) for The Most Innovative Company (2015). She is a finalist in the Margaret Hirsch Woman in Business Achiever Awards (2015). Sonja is also a former Businesswoman of the Year & Finalist for The Centurion of the Year (both Centurion Business Forum) & President of Centurion Toastmasters Club 2015/2016.
Her greatest achievement to date, however is the historic breakthrough she has made in challenging the Constitution of SA with regards to the rights of parents in the case of pregnancy loss. Smith believes that “Not having the choice to bury or cremate their little ones born asleep pre-26 weeks of gestation, is an infringement of the parents’ basic human rights in terms of our Constitution, viz. the right to dignity, equality and privacy.”
Sonja is a regular Speaker on television, where she featured on Carte Blanche, Kwêla, eNCA, SABC2-Fokus and Issues of Faith, she talks on various radio programmes and seminars. Sonja was a Keynote Speaker at the Midwifery & Birth Conference in Cape Town (2017), the PsySSA Congress of the Psychological Society of SA (2016) and the NFDA – National Funeral Directors’ Association of Southern Africa (2014).