Empowering women in construction

Previous cidb ERWIC Awards winner, Mafani Nelly Dasheka. Image: Supplied

Previous cidb ERWIC Awards winner, Mafani Nelly Dasheka. Image: Supplied

Published Oct 5, 2023


The ERWIC (Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction) Awards encompass various categories that recognise women mentors, women-led projects, and youth ownership among women. These accolades celebrate women across various disciplines and skills within the construction arena; with the goal of supporting, inspiring and uplifting extraordinary women who are dedicated to building the nation.

“Entering the construction industry is not easy”, explains Mafani Nelly Dasheka, a previous cidb ERWIC Awards winner who started her construction business in the Free State in 2002. “People often ask how you moved from living in an informal settlement in Botshabelo in the Free State to where you are now.

“It’s an evolutionary journey that starts with the realisation that life doesn’t have to be this way and that you must have the commitment and drive to turn dreams into a reality; to have the desire and burning ambition to want to be part of building a great nation by recognising opportunities that come your way, and not be blinded by the stereotypical view of the construction industry.”

Being an ERWIC Awards winner brings more than just a glow of satisfaction from being recognised for excellence by peers in the industry, she added. “This award has further built our business confidence to undertake more complex projects - and like a wave, carries likeminded colleagues along with it – all striving to do better. It’s contagious!”

Bongani Dladla, CEO of the cidb, expressed his enthusiasm for the ERWIC Awards. “Our aim is to use the awards to encourage the empowerment of women and transformation of businesses in the construction industry. The first awards ceremony was held in August 2020 to draw attention to gender empowerment in transformation by recognising excellence among women in construction. We are just as excited to witnessing who the winners will be this year.”

Distinguished leaders within the construction sector will serve as judges for these prestigious awards, which will take place on Thursday, August 24, in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.

As the construction industry regulator, the cidb firmly believes that this year’s awards process will once again raise the bar; showcasing the quality projects completed within the previous year as well as their positive impact on the industry.

The cidb’s vision reflects the importance of the organisation as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation in South Africa. The emphasis is to build an industry that is inclusive and reputable, while promoting gender equality, where all participants can equally drive the construction industry – and it believes that the ERWIC Awards do just this.