YOUNG WOMEN MAKING THEIR MARK IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION
Construction workers preparing a road for
In celebrating Women's Month, Igalelo spoke to young
women who are changing the road construction landscape and redefining
the history of civil engineering in KwaZulu-Natal.
One such woman is Ms. Makhosi Nyandeni (25) from Ulundi who originally
studied First Aid and obtained her drivers licence to become a
paramedic, but despite her qualifications she did not get the job. When
she failed to secure the job she always wanted, she didn't give up and
pursued other career fields until she was employed by a Vukuzakhe
emerging contractor. Nyandeni currently works for Uthulwane Construction
who is responsible for the construction of V-drains on Main Road 700
(P700) at Ulundi.
P700 is part of the KZN Transport Department's African
Renaissance Roads Upgrading Programme (ARRUP) and Nyandeni bears testimony to
the fact that the new democratic government is steadily empowering rural young
women through programmes such as ARRUP. "I have been a Supervisor for the second
time on such a project and I enjoy working with my male colleagues. It's good to
see how our government policies are designed to effectively address the
imbalances of the past. But more importantly, it gives me courage to see women
grabbing opportunities afforded to them. I am certain that through the
experience gained here, I will definitely own my construction company one day,"
Mr Bonginkosi Nkomonde - Proprietor of Uthulwane Construction says gone are the
days when the road construction industry was dominated by males. "Nowadays our
young women in rural areas are fast becoming transformation history makers. Men
should assist the Department in its efforts to empower our women," said Nkomonde.
"Makhosi has shown that young women are ready for leadership in the construction
industry. She has seven men under her supervision and with her driving skills
she even uses our truck to transport materials as and when required. Another
good thing about her is that she is computer literate which makes our
administration effective," Nkomonde said.
Since 1994 the KZN Department of Transport has formulated policies to ensure
that opportunities are provided to the previously disadvantaged sectors of
society and many people are coming forward to testify that their lives have