My name is Zandile Ntombi Nkalanga a 26 years old ambitious Christian female from Midrand klipfontein view currently doing a learnership in Project Management NQF level 4 at Afrika Tikkun Services in Braamfontein. I started doing my learnership programme In March 2020 the 30th, during lockdown where everyone was supposed to be indoors because of the CoVid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, we were able to study online no matter the circumstances.
I was so happy when I received a call to sign a contract, my problems were over for a short period of time, I managed to take care of myself and my child and I wasn’t struggling with transport money to attend classes. This was my first learnership since completing my Matric and Tertiary qualification. For me this was a great opportunity because during that time I was sitting at home looking for employment left, right and centre with no luck.
My theoretical learning started from the 30th March 2020 and ended on the 30th September 2020. I enjoyed my time in class, doing presentations was my favourite, which boosted my confidence and self-esteem. Our facilitator, Mr Norman Malatji was also always there for us, giving us all the support that we need in our studies as well as making sure that we understand everything that he is facilitating to us. He was also so supportive from day one, and for this I thank him.
On the 5th of October 2020 I started my practical experience in a construction site at Gulf Oil klipfontein view. When I first started everyone was so welcoming and friendly, providing us with all the necessary information and tools that we will need. I had 2 mentors Mr Bavesh who is a Site Manager and main contractor, as well as Mr Axola the Community Liaison Officer (CLO).
- Conflict resolution
There were more than 6 different sub-contractors on site, one of the sub-contractor’s employees were giving me a hard time and it became difficult for me to do my job. They were taking advantage of me because I am woman and the youngest on site, they didn’t want me to tell them what to do or take pictures while they are working, which it were my part of my duties as a site Assistant Manager. I had to take pictures, write reports, which had to be sent to our mentors. I couldn’t resolve this kind of conflict, instead I would go and look for a corner and cry alone.
One of my mentors Mr Axola arranged a meeting with everyone to address the issue, thoroughly explain everything and explain my role and why I had to do certain duties. After the meeting ended everyone understood and agreed to treat me like the rest of the employees and agreed that we are all equal. Since then I have gained respect from everyone and no longer feel mistreated or discriminated against. We treat each other like family and everyone is happy.
I have learned a lot of things that I never knew from the construction company. I have learned about conflict resolution, the different discriminations (ageism and gender) that can occur in the workplace.I have also learned about earthworks, pumps and tanks, as well as brick work and much more. I have even managed to register my own company called LMJ Cleaning and Construction (Pty) LTD which I believe will start operating very soon. In the meantime, after the learnership programme I will be doing a Business Admin course to boost my knowledge and skills while focusing on my company.
GOALS ARE ACHIEVABLE, NEVER GIVE UP