09 Aug 19 News Projects South Africa

Women relish having 'essential hand' in wind farm build

Aniqah Misbach, Olivia Maduna, Leona Smith, Larechell Theron and Chandré Kok on the job at Perdekraal East Wind Farm

National Women’s Day in South Africa is being celebrated by one group of workers who are proving vital to the construction of one of the Western Cape’s largest wind farms.

Perdekraal East – one of our Lekela Power Joint Venture projects – is a prime example of how gender equality has become an important element of the country’s energy transformation agenda, with women prominent in the team.

Kgalalelo Olivia Maduna, from Mahikeng in North West Provence, is a qualified Civil Engineer who started working in construction in 2007. She is now the Quality Control Inspector at the Perdekraal East construction site, enjoying the thrill of being part of a clean energy generation project and helping transition South Africa to renewable power.

Revealing her experience of working in male-dominated teams, the 36-year-old says: “I have never felt threatened or disregarded, and believe gender synergy is a strength that should be harnessed in the industry.

“Men and women in construction are like two hands that need each other, there are some things the right hand can’t do alone without the help of the left hand.”

Assistant Project Manager Aniqah Misbach is also encouraging women to seriously consider construction - especially in the renewable energy sector - as a career option, insisting that it offers remarkable opportunities.

She says: “Don’t assume that this is only a career option for men; it allows opportunities to travel the country and across our border, as the technology is the same the world over. Plus the renewable energy industry is growing at a fast pace due to countries transitioning away from coal to cleaner wind and solar options.”

Other members of the team celebrating the August 9 Women's Day are Environmental Site Officer Chandré Kok, Economic Development Manager Jo-Anne Brown, Leona Smith, the Construction Safety Practitioner, and Larechell Theron.

Maduna adds: “Engineering and construction is a broad field, with many career opportunities for young girls, although it is not always an easy road when you are a mother or a wife because of the travel requirements.”

  • The 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm will generate enough clean electricity to power up to 95,000 South African homes when it enters operation early next year.