Johannesburg - Acting President David Mabuza and the Gauteng provincial government have extended their condolences to the loved ones of construction industry mogul, Dr Thandi Ndlovu, following her passing after being involved in a car accident.
Mabuza said he was conveying his deepest condolences on the sad passing of Dr Ndlovu - an Umkhonto weSizwe veteran and pioneer business woman.
“Dr Ndlovu ran the fulcrum of the struggle for the liberation of South Africa, sacrificing her education to join the African National Congress and its military wing Umkhonto weSizwe at an early age. She later became a senior political commissar responsible for Literacy and Education and a Military Commander while exiled.
“Upon her return from exile, she ran a private medical practice and delivered medical services to a population of 200 000 people in informal settlements. In 2007 she established Motheo Construction – one of South Africa’s first leading black female-owned construction companies and leading provider of social housing in the country,” Mabuza said.
He said Dr Ndlovu received various awards in her work and continued to be a leading example to those who came after her, both in academic pursuit and as a leading businesswoman.
Mabuza said Ndlovu led an impeccable life as a political activist and a champion for women empowerment.
“Her life symbolised a struggle of rising against any odds, which she cemented in business leadership as well as taking on a human challenge of climbing the highest peak in Africa – the Mount Kilimanjaro.
“It is indeed a sad time in our nation to lose such a phenomenal woman and leader of the people. Dr Ndlovu has been at the forefront of almost all our women empowerment initiatives, wherein she pioneered the black economic empowerment and was foremost in the peace and reconstruction efforts of our country and continent. She played a key role in promoting dialogue for sustainable peace and development in the Great Lakes region. We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Ndlovu family - for their loss is our loss too. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” Mabuza said.
The Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management Tasneem Motara also expressed her shock and sadness at the news of the death of Ndlovu.
“Dr Ndlovu entered the construction sector when it was not fashionable to do so and had to work against odds to succeed and sustain her business in the sector. It goes to show the kind of strong woman that she was,” Motara said.
She said Ndlovu had successfully completed many projects not only in Gauteng but around the country as well.
“This is testimony to the person of Dr Ndlovu who was all about quality and indeed a true professional as well as a comrade dedicated to a progressive South Africa.
“We will miss her dearly. Dr Ndlovu recently came to my office as part of a stakeholder engagement I have been organising. I was truly impressed with her as a person. I am saddened and very shocked. I join the country in conveying my condolences to the family, colledutagues, friends and associates in this difficult time. It is truly a loss to the country and the people of Gauteng who have benefited immensely from the work she has done,” Motara said.
She also sent her condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of Ms Keitumetse Kebotlhale who passed away this week. She was the Secretary General of the South African Women in Construction (SAWIC).
Kebotlhale worked as an educator and head of department in the teaching profession for 14 years before venturing into the construction industry. She established KEI 2 Trading Enterprise in 2006 and held 100% shares in the company.
“It is sad that the construction industry has lost two phenomenal women when in fact it needs them the most. Construction is historically male dominated so when women make strides it is commendable but when we lose them like this it is a serious setback. We need to do more as a government to support women in construction,” Motara said.