‘Women, keep reaching for the stars’

2017-09-20 06:02
Grace Makhetha, the overall winner of the Best Black Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2017.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Grace Makhetha, the overall winner of the Best Black Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2017.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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It came as a complete surprise to Grace Makhetha when her name was called out as the Best Black Youth Entrepreneur, as well as the overall winner of the Best Black Entrepreneur of the year award.

“I stalled a bit, as I was not sure if it was me. I was not expecting it at all. That is why I was not even as well-dressed as other women according to the theme,” said Makhetha, owner of Women on Edge Civil Contractors.

The announcement was made on Thursday, 31 August, at the awards ceremony hosted at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre by the Office of the Northern Cape Premier and the Mme Re Ka Thusa Trust Fund.

Focused on enterprise development, the initiative is aimed at celebrating, supporting and empowering local businesswomen of the region.

The prestigious event is further commended for bringing together business, government, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), township business owners and entrepreneurs.

The aim is to facilitate industry partnerships across all sectors for economic growth and sustainable job creation.

“This really makes me realise that even though I might think that I am working hard for survival to earn a living, some people out there see potential in what I do and find it exceptional,” said Makhetha.

However, she reveals how being a wife, a mother and a workaholic is not pap and vleis.

“Being busy every day has made me become an introvert, as I cannot do anything outside my schedule and my diary.”

According to her, her company has started to gain momentum, as she has secured a contract at Petra Diamonds, where her office is based.

“Things are looking good, as I have achieved my seven-year target. Although, the first four years were not easy at all.”

Her company was registered in 2009, and only became operational in 2011.

“I can admit that I am heading in the right direction. I am now at a stage where I get contracts instead of having to wait for tenders.

“I am not sure whether it is the recognition from the awards ceremony, but another door was opened for me through which I also recently secured another contract at De Beers.”

Through her company, Mekhetha has employed ten permanent workers, as well as providing contract and temporary jobs on a regular basis.

She, however, wishes to create more permanent jobs.

As a word of advice to fellow women, Maketha encourages them never to give up the hard work to reach for the stars.

“In my position it is never easy to balance your life, but one needs to compromise and stick to your schedule.

“With me its just routine, where everything in my life revolves around one book, my diary.

“I cannot just up and decide to go to the salon, I have to schedule to do my nails.”

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