City’s women-only road repair teams scoop national construction award

Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, received the Most Innovative Women Training Programme Award at the fourth annual Women in Construction Awards ceremony in Gallagher Estate in Midrand last night, 10 May 2016.

The Women in Construction Awards honour women who have pioneered the development of the African built environment.

“Transport for Cape Town (TCT) is now officially spearheading the most innovative and game-changing gender transformation project in construction in the country. We are elated and extremely proud of this achievement,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The City, over the past 12 months, established four all-female road repair teams based at TCT depots in Ndabeni, Fish Hoek, Heideveld and Kuils River as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) within TCT. Thus far, up to 24 women have been trained to repair and do maintenance work on roads, footways and stormwater infrastructure in these areas.

“The women-only road repair teams are the brainchild of Transport for Cape Town’s Training Academy. Not only did the academy develop the course material, training modules and selection process for the women participating in this Women-at-Work gender transformation programme, they have also been pivotal to the successful implementation thereof,” said Councillor Herron.

The purpose of this programme is to empower women in the workplace by providing them with skills for technical and physical work that is generally associated with men. With the skills and entrepreneurial abilities they develop during the 10-month employment period, these women will be better equipped to find placement in the permanent job market.

“The 24 women are the pioneers of a long-term process whereby the City is tackling gender transformation in the transport realm. Women are generally under-represented in the transport sector – for example, within TCT, women constitute only 3,4% of those involved with the physical maintenance of roads and stormwater infrastructure. The recognition that we have received last night once again confirmed that this project will assist us in changing perceptions about the type of work that women can do,” said Councillor Herron.

Kindness Mpofu-Ndyalvan (38) from the Fish Hoek team and Berenice Andrews (28) from the Ndabeni Team attended the awards ceremony last night.

“I want to commend all of these women who are fixing potholes and footways across our city, TCT, and the Training Academy. I also want to make special mention of the officials at our local road depots who are enthusiastically supporting these teams. The City is committed to empowering women in the workplace and this programme clearly demonstrates that we can achieve that with a clear vision and teamwork,” said Councillor Herron.