To be nominated is recognition’

2014-08-16 00:00

IT was a case of “so near yet so far” for KwaZulu-Natal businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane.

The construction mogul was in the running for national Govan Mbeki Award for Best Woman Contractor of the Year at a ceremony held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday night, but the award went to someone else.

Speaking to Weekend Witness yesterday, Mpisane said it was an honour just to be considered. “I did not get it [the award] … but like I said, just to be nominated is recognition.”

Mpisane said it was difficult to determine how she had lost because she did not get to interact with the winner and it was not stated what the winner had done differently from her.

The Govan Mbeki Awards, hosted by the Department of Human Settlements, are awarded to individuals, municipalities and provinces and aim to promote a culture of excellence within the Human Settlement sector in the delivery of quality housing.

Govan Mbeki, father of former president Thabo Mbeki, was imprisoned with Nelson Mandela following the 1964 Rivonia trial and later served in the post-1994 government. The awards were named after him in 2006.

Mpisane previously told The Witness she did not feel “singled out” being nominated as a “woman” contractor. “No, I feel the award recognises that women are active in the industry.”

Earlier this week Mpisane, in her Witness column, wrote of her work in the construction industry, an industry where she finds herself “surrounded by all things masculine, not just the men around me, but even the tools and methods used”.

As a nominee, Mpisane said the judges had evaluated her projects for quality and “the number of houses produced” as well as how the projects were managed.

Mpisane has won provincial awards for housing projects in Umlazi and KwaDukuza.

Meanwhile, at the same event, the KZN Department of Human Settlement walked away with eight awards.

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