The 24 women who participated in the City of Cape Town’s award-winning Women at Work Programme, where they received training in fixing potholes and doing maintenance work on footways and stormwater pipes, have been appointed in permanent positions at road depots across Cape Town.

The 24 women are from Heideveld, Gugulethu, Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Maitland Garden Village, Langa, Kleinvlei, Wesbank, Mfuleni, Happy Valley and Green Park. Already 23 have reported for their first day as permanent City of Cape Town employees this morning, 3 October 2016, and the other woman will join her colleagues after her maternity leave has come to an end.

‘The women are now part of Transport for Cape Town’s permanent staff and will assist our road depots with the repair and maintenance of road and stormwater infrastructure in Ndabeni, Fish Hoek, Kuils River and Heideveld. I am extremely proud of them – they were part of the City’s first all-female road repair teams and can be described as the pioneers of our women empowerment initiative,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The women have been thoroughly assessed in terms of their knowledge and skills, and were found to be a perfect fit for the vacant positions.

‘Apart from the benefit of being permanently employed, they now have the opportunity to build a career for themselves within the transport realm. I wish them luck and want to encourage them to make the best use of what the City has to offer in terms of further education and training possibilities,’ said Councillor Herron.

In August last year Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, established four all-female road repair teams as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme within TCT to empower women in the workplace by providing them with skills for manual work that is generally associated with men.

The Women at Work Programme became an instant hit – in May 2016, within nine months of rolling out this initiative, TCT received the Most Innovative Women Training Programme Award at the annual Women in Construction Awards.

‘The success of the Women at Work gender transformation programme spurred us on to establish an additional six all-female road repair teams this financial year. These teams will be based at road depots in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Ebenezer, Hillstar, Wetton, Kraaifontein, and Sacks Circle in Bellville,’ said Councillor Herron.

Even though the initial programme for each new team provides the women with temporary work for an approximate 10-month period, the purpose is to equip them with the skills and entrepreneurial abilities that will assist them in finding permanent employment.

‘Our goal for the current financial year is to provide temporary employment and training for 60 women and we have budgeted R2,4 million to achieve this. I once again want to commend all of the women who are fixing potholes and footways across our city as well as TCT and the Training Academy. 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.