Fast drive to the top

Women bulk truck drivers at oil company Engen are driving their way to the top.

Women bulk truck drivers at oil company Engen are driving their way to the top.

Recently two drivers, Rebeccah Mangwane and Tabitha Mokati, outperformed their male colleagues and were accepted into an elite club for demonstrating excellence in a previously male dominated job.

Engen's Sithsala Xhala said the two women have been accepted by Exclusive Club 600, which honours bulk truck operators who have scored 100percent in the monthly tachograph analysis.

They were also honoured for meeting the company's global health, safety, environmental and efficiency standards.

"They filled and discharged their own cargo, handled heavy pipes without assistance and maintained high-level customer service and administrative excellence in six consecutive months.

"These women have changed the working landscape forever," said Xhala.

Mangwane, 47, of Soshanguve in Tswane, said she is thrilled about her performance.

"My aim is to get to the next exclusive club before I enter the driver of the year competition."

The mother of four has been driving trucks since 2006.

"I've wanted to be a truck driver since 1981. I love big cars. Before I joined Engen, I was a bus driver at Putco for years," she says.

Mangwane says some men still can't accept change.

"Some men feel threatened by us. They accuse women truck drivers of taking their jobs, which is not true. We are here because we love what we do," Mangwane says.

Mangwane and Mokati are among eight women truck drivers at Engen.

"I want to tell other women that they can do just about anything they set their minds on, that nothing is impossible," Mangwane says with a smile.