Mthatha: Women in the Eastern Cape transport industry have been praised for their determination and courage to take men on in their own back yard.
Transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu applauded the 300 women gathered at the provincial South African Network for Women in Transportation conference in Mthatha for competing in a male-dominated industry “without fear and intimidation”.
“For too long, you have been on the sidelines watching your husbands doing business in the bus and taxi industries. When they died, you were left with no knowledge of running such a business in order to continue to sustain your families. We want to ensure that women get out of their husbands’ shadows and become great businesswomen,” said Marawu on Friday.
She said this was particularly important in light of a call by newly-elected head of the African Union (AU) Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for Africans to drive their own development. Dlamini Zuma was speaking at the Women in Shipping conference held in Durban earlier this week.
The MEC thanked conference sponsors South African Maritime Safety Authority and banking group Sanlam, saying their support was vital if women in transport were to achieve their ambitions.
Queenstown transport company owner Zukiswa Tyokolo said Eastern Cape women had proven they could do anything they set their minds on.
“We are ready to do our best in the transport business, because this industry is full of ignorant men who don’t seem to care about their customers. This is what motivates us women, to bring about change in the transport industry,” said Tyokolo.