WOMEN FLOURISH IN KEY ROLES
Gender equality in the construction and energy sectors is an important component of South Africa’s energy transformation agenda. Perdekraal East Wind Farm, one of the Western Cape’s largest wind farms currently in construction, supports this agenda, with women taking up a number of key roles in the team.
36 year old Kgalalelo Olivia Maduna, from Mahikeng in North West Provence is a qualified Civil Engineer, who started working in construction in 2007. She is now the Quality Control Inspector at Perdekraal East Wind Farm’s construction project site, enjoying the thrill of being part of a clean energy generation project and working to help transition the country to renewable power.
Addressing gender equality and her experience of working in male dominated teams, she says, “I have never felt threatened or disregarded and believe gender synergy is a strength that should be harnessed in the industry.”
“Men and women in construction are like two hands that need each other, there are some things the right hand can’t do alone without the help of the left hand,” added Maduna.
Aniqah Misbach, Assistant Project Manager also encourages women to seriously consider construction and especially the renewable energy industry as a career option, as it offers remarkable opportunities.
“Don’t assume that this is only a career option for men; it allows opportunities to travel the country and across our border, as the technology is the same the world over, plus the renewable energy industry is growing at a fast pace due to countries transitioning away from coal to cleaner wind and solar options,” said Misbach.
Other members of the team include Environmental Site Officer, Chandré Kok; Economic Development Manager, Jo-Anne Brown; and Leona Smith, the Construction Safety Practitioner.
“Engineering and construction is a broad field, with many career opportunities for young girls, although it is not always an easy road when you are a mother or a wife because of the travel requirements,” concluded Maduna.
The 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm spans 3 055 hectares and will generate enough clean electricity to power up to 95 000 South African homes. In addition to zero carbon emissions and reduced use of fossil fuels, the country will benefit from almost zero water consumption that is required during the generation process of the wind farm.