City establishes more women-only road teams

The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) has established another four all-female road repair teams in Bellville, Kraaifontein, Ottery, and Plumstead.

The City said in a statement that the TDA now has eight women-only teams across the city as part of its Women at Work Programme to empower women in the workplace by providing them with skills for work that are generally associated with men.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said the 24 women were appointed in March as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) within the TDA and are now based at the TDA depots in these areas.

“They follow in the footsteps of the 24 pioneers who were selected in 2015 to be part of Cape Town’s first women-only road maintenance teams in Ndabeni, Fish Hoek, Heideveld and Kuils River,” he said.

The TDA Training Academy assisted the management at the depots to identify suitable candidates from the local sub-council job seeker’s database in line with the City’s EPWP Policy.

The candidates underwent a physical assessment to test their ability to perform the type of work required and they were interviewed and evaluated by members of the depot management.

The women are between the ages of 18 and 45 and are residents of Bellville, Scottsdene, Lotus River, Parkwood, Ottery, Tokai, Steenberg, Retreat and Delft. They have completed their initial training and are now out in the field.

Mr Herron said the City has set aside about R690 000 to establish the additional four teams. “I am extremely proud of this programme which is aimed at empowering women and embedding a culture of gender equality on all levels within the TDA.”

The training and skills development covers a wide range of technical fields, including:

stormwater infrastructure: cleaning,unblocking,and repairing pipes, manholes and catch pits;

footways: edging, paving, operating rollers, and raking pre-mix used to repair surface patches;

roads: repairing potholes, surface patches and edges, laying kerbs, and operating a plant; and

line marking: painting straight lines and legends on road surface, planting poles and signage, stencilling street names on kerbs, painting kerbs, and street name kerb moulding.

“What makes this programme even more rewarding is the fact that it provides the women with a real opportunity to find permanent employment. I am confident that the new group of 24 women will make good use of the opportunity to gain as much experience as they can over the next nine months, while being temporarily employed as part of the EPWP. We are also in the process of establishing another three teams,” said Mr Herron.

The academy is currently developing a specific career advancement programme for the women-only road maintenance teams.