Women beat the odds

2015-11-11 06:00
CECILIA GROND, a mother of a one-year-old boy, is proud that she is earning a proper living and will be abe to spoil her son over the festive season. Here she is preparing a dented car that she will later spray-paint. Photos: Boipelo Merere

CECILIA GROND, a mother of a one-year-old boy, is proud that she is earning a proper living and will be abe to spoil her son over the festive season. Here she is preparing a dented car that she will later spray-paint. Photos: Boipelo Merere

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WORKERS at a panelbeater business believe that it is either the advent of democracy or hard times that made women – and young, beautiful women at that – venture into what is traditionally considered men’s work.

Amy Klein, Sindiswa Ramosie and Cecilia Grond are barely out of their teens, but they quickly realised that life is not a bed of roses. And so they found themselves employed as general workers whose responsibility includes hand-sanding, spray-painting and polishing cars.

The three women, who are employed at BJ’s Panelbeaters in Montshiwa Road, Galeshewe, cause a stir when bypassers wonder if what they are seeing is true.

They said they refused to be an unemployment statistic, and chose jobs so that their children wouldn’t go hungry.

According to their boss and owner of the business, Fannie Kobese, his decision to take women on board to do a “man’s job” gives him the satisfaction of knowing that he is putting food on their tables.

According to him, women have more responsibilities, are committed and are eager to learn and take better care of their children’s needs.

The women are excited to have acquired new skills, and vowed to take their jobs seriously so that they would be able to grow within the panelbeating industry.

“We continue to be excited by the looks on the faces of our clients when they realise that women are doing the job. However, we make sure that we do a diligent job as we know that we are being watched under a microscope. So we have to allay fears and prove ourselves to the doubting Thomases out there,” said Grond proudly.

Kobese laments that his business encounters a lot of hurdles, particularly from the municipality, since he operates from a residential area.

“I want to grow this business and make it competitive; I have these women and three other workers to take care of. So if I were to close, this will possibly affect them and their families,” said Kobese.

Although Kobese admitted that there were certain jobs that he prohibited the women from doing for their safety, they were showing eagerness to learn everything.

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