Various business leaders and organisations have paid tribute to construction entrepreneur Dr Thandi Ndlovu, who tragically passed away following a car accident that claimed four lives on Saturday. Dr Ndlovu was a woman who dared to challenge the status quo venturing into industries that have been male dominated.
She was a medical doctor turned businesswoman. In 1999, she entered the construction industry, setting up The Motheo Construction Group, which became one of the industry’s most respected players.
The Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa describes Dr Ndlovu as “a true inspiration to many who had the privilege to know and work with her. A fearless business leader, social activist and a champion for the empowerment of women, amongst others”.
The Black Business Council’s (BBC’s) President Sandile Zungu says of Dr T, as she was affectionately known, that she was “a patriot, trailblazer, business leader who was adored, revered and celebrated beyond our shore”.
The South African Housing and
Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF) CEO, Rali Mampeule, called her “a heroine, a
dedicated businesswoman and a selfless leader.
“Dr Thandi paved a way for a lot of women in the industry and she was on a mission to unlock more opportunities for others. She was one of the shining stars in the construction industry, thanks to her 20 years’ experience in the sector.”
Her family this evening issued the following statement about this extraordinaire women, excerpts from which have also been used above:
Dr T left South Africa in 1976 to join the liberation movement – she was an established member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). She was also a member of the executive of the ANC Womens Section in Lusaka, Zambia. Post liberation, she served in the SANDF as a reserve in the South Africa Medical Health Services.
She distinguished herself in this field, despite the fact that she had entered it with little knowledge of the sector, armed only with her towering intellect, dogged determination and staggering work ethic – amongst her accomplishments was being the president of the Black Business Council for the Built Environment, a Council Member at South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, as well as being on the board of several companies.
Ever the community builder, Dr T established a foundation, the Dr. Thandi Ndlovu Children’s Foundation, which dedicates itself to supporting orphaned and vulnerable children through providing resources for school fees, accommodation and meals. Her preoccupation with the well-being of children was inspired in part by the untimely demise of her brother Hastings Ndlovu, who was one of the young children gunned down in the infamous 1976 Soweto Student Uprising.
Dr T was a trailblazer in every field she entered, and a fierce advocate for women, who she supported at every opportunity, making her passing this August, National Womens Month, that much more poignant. Dr. Thandi Ndlovu was an extraordinary woman whose legacy will surely live on through her work and deeds.