When Lesedi Ledwaba (33) took over her family’s brick and stepping stone manufacturing business from her father in 2011, she didn’t anticipate that she would love the construction industry.
Ledwaba, who holds a public relations diploma from Varsity College in Pretoria, is the owner and chief executive officer of 16eTona Sand and Bricks in Garankuwa, Gauteng.
She says her journey started in her early 20s, when her father taught her entrepreneurship.
“In 2011, I was an unemployed graduate. My father, Phillip Ledwaba, asked me to come work with him. Through his guidance and patience, I eventually grasped the business ideologies of the construction business.”
Ten years later, Ledwaba is leading the company that boasts 14 employees. Her main tasks include overseeing daily targets, marketing and client service.
Through her hard work, Ledwaba has grown 16eTona into a thriving business and has expanded it to be the only business that is manufacturing slab blocks in Garankuwa.
Slab blocks are a combination of concrete hollow blocks and concrete bricks that are used for multi-storey buildings.
In 2020, she further secured sponsorship for a brick-making machine that makes 6 000 maxi bricks a day from PPC Cement in Pretoria.
Ledwaba, however, acknowledges that it was not easy for her to break into the male-dominated industry as a young woman.
“It has been a long and hard road to gain the trust of my clients and sometimes men generally don’t take women seriously.
I want to change that narrative and hopefully show other girls in my community that through hard work and consistency, dreams do come true.
I also want to show them that not getting the job you studied for is not the end of the road for you.”
Ledwaba says women have a lot to offer to the business world and should not doubt themselves.
“Women have a unique ability to be consistent and professional in the work that they do. If more women joined this industry, they could be able to support their children and even build legacies for them,” says Ledwaba.
For more information about 16eTona Sand and Bricks, call 072 303 3930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org