Nontobeko Mathenjwa pushes the boundaries
As Mzansi wraps up Women's Month with a number of celebrations, civil engineer Nontobeko Mathenjwa has raised her hand and is one of the many women making their mark in managing big projects.
Mathenjwa is a project manager at the South African National Roads Agency Limited, a position that she has held since 2013.
Before joining the government's road agency, Mathenjwa worked for six years as a civil engineer at Gauteng Piling, a company specialising in proper piling critical to the durability and safety of new structures' foundations, whether one-storey or 30-storey high buildings.
She is currently overseeing the reconstruction of the accident-prone Moloto Road as part of a R3.7-billion makeover.
"I'm managing the project team, this includes working with consultants, service providers, designers and constructors. Overall, I ensure that whatever is done is well within budget," she says.
She holds a diploma in civil engineering and BTech degree in construction management from the University of Johannesburg. Mathenjwa is a resident of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, but was born and raised in Diepkloof, Soweto.
Her work also includes contract management and construction supervision, strategic planning and design management of the road infrastructure, road safety and environmental compliance, monitoring and maintenance of road infrastructure projects.
"South Africa needs quality roads to drive economic growth. With projects like road construction, the local community also benefits in the form of jobs created on site.
"Construction engineering and management of road infrastructure projects is exciting. The project is being undertaken working with the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality."
Mathenjwa says big projects like road construction help stimulate the small business economy.
"The upgrading of the road brings about safety measures, as motorists who were not using the road before will start using it.
She has served as a trustee in a number of organisations like the Gauteng Piling's Employee Share Scheme from 2010 to 2012.
She is also a member of other organisations such as Master Minds and Gauteng Masters Builders Association.