“Like their male colleagues, Motheo’s women work on site in both rural and urban environments. The success of our empowerment initiatives can be measured in the achievement of the 20 Motheo Trust beneficiaries who progressed from newly qualified, inexperienced individuals to full members of Motheo. Today they manage projects and departments within the business.”

The agenda to develop and empower those with talent is undertaken by the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Children’s Foundation, which currently supports 20 orphaned and vulnerable children through their schooling and tertiary education. The Foundation covers education fees, accommodation, meals and provides the support that the children would normally have obtained from parents.

The career paths chosen by the children are as diverse as their backgrounds – they are pursuing professions as chartered accountants, musicians, chemical engineers and agricultural economists.

The development of small- to medium-sized enterprises is another passion that’s served by Motheo, assisting identified companies with bridging finance, technical skills and guarantee facilities so they can undertake projects on their own account.

Looking ahead

Going into the future with a full order book, Dr Ndlovu’s company is benefitting from her belief in investing in people and expanding their skills. Although Motheo’s activities still centre around housing, about a third of the projects it’s successfully completed involve building facilities that range from the R60-million Orlando station in Soweto and rail refurbishment projects valued at R100 million to a R35-million administrative building for the eThekwini municipality.

Dr Ndlovu herself looks to the future with the view to strengthen her own company: “This is a truly South African company. It’s built on a model where everybody works together for its benefit. We’re still true to our original model. We send in the professionals and work with young people to carry things forward and leave skills behind.

“Motheo believes that there’s room for everybody to benefit and grow in our country,” she concludes.

See an interview with Dr Thandi Ndlovu in the video below:

Standard Bank believes in powering up SA’s business women. For more info, click here.