Karen Petersen currently works for Tongaat Hulett, a large JSE-listed agricultural and agri-processing business which includes integrated components of land management and property development.
The organisation balances the operational requirement for sugarcane supplies to its cane processing operations with other priority uses of agricultural land and its transition to higher value uses at the appropriate times. With its established and growing operations, it has considerable expertise in downstream agricultural products, biofuel production and electricity generation.
Petersen is based in the property and land development operation (formerly known as Moreland), where she is development director, and is responsible for Human Settlements. She was the project manager responsible for Durban's mixed-use, mixed-income development, Cornubia, recently identified as a Cabinet Lekgotla project as well as the Best Priority Project in KZN.
She was the first female project manager appointed at the then Moreland in 2006, as part of its drive to include more women in its project management operations in the company, and is the first woman on the Tongaat Hulett Developments Board. Her other qualifications include an undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies as well as a masters in City and Regional Planning, both from UCT.