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The sky is the limit for Thato

Thato Mokhothu./ Supplied
Thato Mokhothu./ Supplied

Thato Mokhothu, 35, has proven her ability to turn every opportunity into success. She is succeeding in a man's world.

Mokhothu is the owner and director of RTT Construction and a shareholder in Tyremart which makes her the first lady in Free State to own a fitment centre that provides new tyres, retreads and supplies the mining industry.

Life has not always been a bed of roses for Mokhothu who had to support her siblings when her parents divorced in 2000. She had to give up her studies at the Central University of Technology and work as a waitress to be able to put food on the table.

"I was studying human resource management at the Central University of Technology at the time. I could not afford the fees. I also had to put bread on the table for my family. I gave up my studies and started waitressing to support my siblings," she said

However, Mokhothu chose to see the positive side of life despite her tough circumstances. It was while working with home and building loans that the idea of starting her own company first hit her.

"I could see how difficult it was for home owners to find suitable builders and saw a gap which I used to my advantage," she said.

Mokhothu specialises in general building and civil work in four provinces - Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

She said it's not easy being in construction as she has to work harder than her male counterparts to prove that she can do the job.

"It is difficult to get projects because some people prefer working with male-owned companies. There are also people who make it difficult for women to get projects because they demand sexual favours. At times, women in high positions make it difficult for other women to get projects," Mokhothu said.

She said the first years of business were not easy as she had to go for months without paying staff.

"I struggled to pay my staff and that was very demoralising but I never gave up because I knew what I wanted to achieve. Today I have 50 staff members in both companies and my aim is to inspire more women to be involved in the construction industry."

Speaking about her tyre business, Mokhothu said she was approached by the directors of the company who were looking for a hard-working individual.

"I grabbed the opportunity because I believe that only the sky is the limit. I have also started a panel-beating business which is based in Bloemfontein," she said.

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