According to Knysna Acting Municipal Manager Johan Jacobs two local female contractors are well on their way to tower over the male-dominated construction industry.
“Nontuthuzelo Yalezo and Nozuko Nyameko have made history as they were each awarded Expression of Interest to build Low-Income Houses in the greater Knysna municipal area,” he said. “They are the first group of local contractors to build double-story houses, rough slabs, as well as retaining walls.”
The women attended various training sessions by the municipality’s Local Economic Development and Public Works sections and the Small Enterprises Development Agency, in partnership with the National Home Builders Registration Council, Contractor Development Academy, and the Construction Industry Development Board.
Yalezo, who owns Ziniya Trading, said being part of something so big gives her hope. “We have cemented our space in the construction industry. Hopefully more doors will open and women will look at our story and be inspired to own their dreams. The journey has not been without challenges, but we have a solid support system through our families, Knysna Municipality who bought into our dream, and the entire community.”
Kameni, the owner of Inyameko Trading 618, said they are building a legacy and something that will outlive them. ”Thank you to Knysna Municipality for giving us the opportunity to grow as local business people. We draw great strength from one another, and trust that this is a stepping stone to even bigger projects.”
”Local SMMEs were given an opportunity to construct slabs for the first time,” Jacobs concluded. “This demonstrates our commitment to the growth and development of local entrepreneurs, our local economy, and the value these hard workers can contribute. “Contractor profiles will reflect diversity within the various categories of the construction industry. We wish these captains of industry the best of luck. This is a wonderful example of locals working with us to build an inclusive, innovative and inspired Knysna.”