Keeping vehicles safe on excellent roads is what SANRAL does. Less known is that it also gives people a leg-up and it is happy to help women grow into what is, too often, seen as a male environment – road building in its many facets.
Two individuals who can attest to this, are Kerisha Govender and Nonkululeko Nzimande.
While on vacation, work on road construction projects has helped Kerisha make up her mind about a future career. Transport engineering beckons for this final year student at the Howard Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
She is especially grateful towards SANRAL, who not only provided her with a bursary to fund her tertiary education but also helped her to find work over the holiday periods with various civil engineering companies.
Together with other SANRAL bursary holders, she’s also provided with opportunities to take field trips to road construction projects where they are briefed by project managers and civil engineers about the nature of the work being done. This has helped to strengthen her resolve to continue with her studies for a Master’s degree and specialising in transport engineering.
Kerisha attributes her academic progress to a combination of hard work and perseverance.
“The key is to stay focused and not to be influenced by potential negative aspects of university life.”
But it is not all work and no play for the diligent Kerisha. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing with family and friends, reading novels and playing the guitar.
Equally diligent is Nonkululeko whose maxim is: “Never give up”.
She is a SANRAL bursary holder at the University of Pretoria. She is in her final year of studying towards a degree in civil engineering.
SANRAL has made a significant impact on Nonkululeko’s studies, granting her a bursary that covers course fees, accommodation, as well as an allowance. She has had this bursary from her second year and says:
“When I was in first year, I really struggled without the bursary. Since I received support from SANRAL, it has allowed me to focus on my studies rather than stressing about finances – especially the allowance that did not seem important, but helps more than I expected”.
In her spare time, Nonkululeko enjoys hanging out with friends and watching movies. She has also joined several organizations on campus that enable her to be more involved in general society. The various student societies allow her to do community work, including speaking to high school students in disadvantaged areas, inspiring and motivating them to take the next step in their education.
She says that an engineering degree, like life in general, is not easy, and everyone is bound to struggle and sometimes fail. When something goes wrong, Nonkululeko emphasises that it is vital to try again until you reach your goal. In addition, she advises that it is vital to love what you do, because if you don’t you are not always going to give it your all.
It is this passion that drives her towards her goal of success. When she graduates, she wants to pursue a career in Pavement Design. After completing an MBA, she wants to be a senior engineer and then, one day, will be aiming at being a director in a top firm.
Dreams, built by SANRAL!
Find out more about vacation work and building your career through SANRAL by clicking here.