Refurbishing wagons and lives

Written by Albert Pule

Infrastructure

After losing her job as a field worker in the Department of Social Development’s Ba Lelapa programme, 29-year Nadia Khowa’s life was an uphill battle.

For over 18 months she could not afford the basics and was in a financially difficult space.

Khowa’s contract as a field worker at the department’s regional office was not renewed.

“I was not in a good space and things were tough financially. I could not afford to get basic things and depending on my husband was not easy.”

The opening of the Transnet Wagon Refurbishment Facility has changed Khowa’s life and given hope to the many unemployed young people of De Aar in Northern Cape.

Today she works as a technical worker at the facility. Her life improved and she is able to buy groceries for her family.

“This job has restored my dignity and given me confidence as a woman. You know that when you are not working, things can get a bit difficult, but with this job, I’m in a good space,” she says with a smile.

Khowa is responsible for grinding, flame cutting, fitting components onto wagons, and assembling the wheels of wagons.

Although she is grateful for the opportunity, she said the facility should also concentrate on transferring skills.

“If the managers here can focus on skills transfer, especially to the young people from this town, I will be happy.”

She also urged management to create more jobs for women from De Aar.