08 August 2019

Concor women breaking gender stereotypes in mining

Submitted by Archy Hlahla
Concor women breaking gender stereotypes in mining

As we celebrate Women’s Month this August, we raise our hard hats to recognize and celebrate all Concor women and the exceptional work that they do daily. A special mention goes to Concor women working at opencast mining sites. A team of passionate and brave women is crushing stereotypes in a male-dominated industry.

At the heart of one such site, are 13 dump truck operators who operate the CAT 777, Komatsu 785 dump trucks and track dozers, some of which stands a massive 90 tonne.

Mmola Langa is dwarfed by one of these gigantic machines that she operates on a 10-hour shift, five days a week. “I love my job and the enormous work I am able to do with the Komatsu Dump Truck. These big machines have become a part of my life and I enjoy time alone during the shift. As I operate the 777 Dump Truck, either dumping or moving substances to where they are required, I get quality time to think about life and my future”, she said.

Just like most of the operators on site, Langa underwent an operator training program and received on-the-job training before becoming a certified operator. 

"I encourage other women, especially young ladies to consider our field of work and not be intimidated by the size of the machines”, says Sarah Mashaba, a team member.

The women showed great love and passion for their work but like any other job or industry, they face many challenges daily.

  • Language barriers make it difficult for people from different ethnic groups to work together effectively. "Broken communication and misunderstanding slow down productivity and can even cause accidents", says Florence Matjiu, a dispatcher.
  • Some men still doubt the abilities of women and think they are more experienced and better at operating large machines than women. “Men like to overpower us and take control, they do not trust our abilities, especially when it comes to reversing the trucks”, says Fortunate Mnguni. 

“We have no room for failure but room for the next attempt. We fight for success until we achieve it, then make it a habit. We are exceptional women and by obtaining competency in operating big machines such as the Komatsu 777 Dump Trucks and Track Dozers, we have made history at Concor. With power, strength, and patience – we overcame obstacles and we conquered. We are extraordinary women #BerekaMosadi”, a message from the group of Concor women.

“The strength of these women is incomparable, and they hold so much resilience. Organizations need to make time to appreciate women, to motivate and encourage the young ones to be resilient, to reaffirm them and support ongoing training and development”, says Donique de Figueredo, Employee Engagement Manager at Concor.

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This article was published by Archy Hlahla, Hlengani Communications on behalf of Concor Construction.