Women in construction show young built-environment professionals the way

Tjeka Training Matters’ professional training facilitators, Christina Klaas and Bongiwe Hlomza, are both accomplished built-environment professionals who are passionate about sharing their wealth of experience with up-and-coming construction professionals.

Having worked extensively in the industry before joining Tjeka Training Matters, they have also made excellent mentors. The quality of mentorship that learners receive from skilled and experienced built-environment professionals as part of the practical component of their training has always been one of Tjeka Training Matters’ key differentiators.

Klaas is a qualified Surveyor and has worked across the construction value chain. Among her many career highlights was being part of the team that built The Gautrain Maintenance and Workshop depot in Midrand and her participation in the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project Phase 2 in Steelpoort, Limpopo.

She relishes her role as a training facilitator. “I was encouraged by my husband who is involved in training in the banking sector to accept this position and I have since never looked back. The best part of my job is that I am encouraged to keep on learning because you cannot teach what you don’t know. Certainly, the wealth of industry-specific knowledge of Tjeka Training Matters’ training facilitators has always been one of its key strengths. Construction training is provided by skilled and experienced built-environment professionals who ensure that they are always in touch with the latest trends and developments in, as well as the skills needs of the industry,” Klaas says.

Hlomza is a qualified Civil Engineering Technician who also holds a national diploma in project management. During the first half of her 20-year-long construction career, Hlomza worked for various client bodies progressing from fulfilling general engineering and project management duties to that of Technical Manager. She then gained valuable experience in contracts management and monitoring while working for a consulting engineering firm and contractor. Moreover, she also has experience operating her own sub-contracting company.

Hlomza says that it was a logical next step in her career in construction to start sharing her wealth of experience with new entrants to the industry. “There is a need for quality skills in the construction industry. This spans construction leadership through to the various trades appointed to work on typical civil-engineering construction and building projects. Tjeka Training Matters is doing a stellar job in helping to address this problem. I am, therefore, proud to be part of this winning team and playing my part in developing the skills we need to take our construction industry forward,” Hlomza says.

Klaas and Hlomza are both currently providing training towards National Certificates in NQF2 Construction Supervision, NQF4 Construction Supervision Processes (Construction Foreman), as well as an NQF5 Diploma in Construction Management.

Klaas and Hlomza believe that their success as built-environment professionals will inspire more women to join the construction industry. “As a woman, I have had to work hard to prove to my male counterparts that I am up to the task at hand. Through the quality of my work; my passion for construction; and determination to succeed, I have always earned their respect. While male learners are initially sceptical when they first meet me, they very quickly realise that they are being trained by one of the best the industry has to offer,” Hlomza says.

“I am hoping to see more women attend my training. While the industry has made significant strides towards becoming more inclusive, there is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure that it is able to attract more young and talented females. As I continue to demonstrate, construction can also be a very rewarding career for a woman. It is certainly not only a man’s world,” Klaas concludes.