In August, the South African Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) for the first time celebrated women working in the industry, with its inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) awards.

According to the CIDB, the traditionally male-dominated industry has seen women increasingly ‘assuming positions once considered male roles, overcoming outdated stereotypes’, and the board recognises that the role of women within the sector is crucial for development.

The awards focus on entities with at least 51% female ownership and are divided into 10 categories, recognising women-led projects as well as clients, entities and individuals in the industry who supported gender transformation and mentorship of women.

The awards were for: Project Delivery Excellence; Rural Project; Mentoring Entity, Transformation Entity; Youth-owned Woman Contractor; Women-owned Contractor; Woman Mentor; Client of the Year; Woman-with-Disability Contractor; and the Chairman’s Award.

The Chairman’s Award, created to recognise significant contributions to the development of women in the SA construction sector, was posthumously awarded to Thandi Ndlovu of the Motheo Construction Group, which has completed projects worth R7.5 billion in SA’s social-housing sector.

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