Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, has appointed an all-women team to do maintenance work on roads, footways and stormwater pipes in the Southern Peninsula. Read more below:
The all-women roads repair team is based at the Transport for Cape Town (TCT) depot in Fish Hoek and has been appointed as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) within TCT to repair and do maintenance work on roads, footways and stormwater infrastructure in Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, Cape Point and Noordhoek.
The team consists of six members: Anna Martin (46), Frank Nomapelu (26), Kindness Ndyalvan (37), Nelnishia Constant (26), Olwethu Vena (21), and Vuyokazi Dickson (30), from Ocean View and Masiphumelele. They follow in the footsteps of the first all-women team at the TCT depot in Ndabeni which was introduced in August 2015 in celebration of Women’s Month.
‘The 12 women are the pioneers of a long-term process whereby the City is tackling gender transformation and the empowerment of women in the workplace. 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. I am confident that this project, spearheaded by the TCT Training Academy, will assist us over time in changing perceptions about the type of work women can do,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The women who have been appointed to participate in this programme all share a passion for work that benefits communities and improves service delivery.
TCT’s Training Academy assisted the management at the Fish Hoek depot to identify suitable candidates from the local subcouncil database in accordance with the City’s EPWP Policy. The candidates conducted a physical assessment to test their ability to perform the type of work required and they were interviewed and evaluated by members of the depot management.
‘We have budgeted approximately R300 000 to get the women-only team in Fish Hoek going. A female project leader from the TCT Training Academy has been assigned to support the team and to provide guidance until the end of the current financial year on 30 June 2016, when the women will exit the programme,’ said Councillor Herron.
On-the-job training is currently being provided by the depot management team, covering the following technical fields:
• Stormwater infrastructure: cleaning, unblocking, and repairing pipes, manholes and catch pits
• Footways: edging, paving, operating rollers, and raking of pre-mix used to repair surface patches
• Roads: repairing potholes, surface patches and edges, kerb-laying, and operating a plant
• Line marking: painting straight lines and legends on road surface; planting of poles and signage; stencilling of street names on kerbs; painting of kerbs; and street name kerb moulding
Apart from the abovementioned technical training, the women will also be trained in life skills, entrepreneurial skills, conflict management and team work. Fish Hoek has been chosen as the ideal environment for launching this pilot project in the Southern Peninsula in terms of the infrastructure, training, support and resources needed to ensure that the women-only team succeeds.
‘Even though the women will not be employed permanently, they will be empowered to enter the job market given the technical exposure and the experience they have gained in drafting a quality CV, efficiency in interview skills, and selling their inter-personal skills to add value in the workplace. They will therefore be empowered to apply for permanent work, or even start their own business,’ said Councillor Herron.
The TCT Training Academy has designed a monitoring system that continually draws all the information from the two pilot teams’ progress and challenges so that the process can be adapted for future projects.
‘We are looking forward to seeing the women carrying out work on the streets and sidewalks in the Southern Peninsula. I hope that this initiative inspires the private sector to follow suit in appointing women in positions that are generally regarded to be the ambit of men. Apart from building a city where we all feel welcome and appreciated, the City must lead the way in changing perceptions about gender and promoting gender equality in the workplace. We are very proud of this pilot programme and we wish the women well,’ said Councillor Herron.