MBA North female student travels 700kms to attend classes.

The top student in the Master Builders Association (MBA) North final Small Builders Development Course for 2015 not only outperformed the men in her class, but also had to travel about 740kms to attend each of the fortnightly classes in Midrand.

Laaiqa Shaik Habeeb, Project Manager: Administration for Building Contractors at Tshenolo Resources, was based at this company’s Mafikeng branch when the SBDC started in April 2015 and thereafter undertook the four hour trips to the MBA in Midrand every second Saturday for the next six months. “They were long trips, about 370kms to get to Midrand early on a Saturday morning, and then the same distance back again after the lectures around midday, but it was worth the effort,” says Laaiqa.

When Laaiqa’s employers nominated her to attend the course, she immediately agreed. She believes there is currently far more opportunities for women to pursue careers in the building industry than there were in the past. “All that is needed is for us to grab the opportunities – and believe in our abilities,” Laaiqa says.

Chris Jennings of Eight J Construction, who has been the lecturer for the MBA North SBDC courses for several years, says there has recently been a steady increase in the number of women attending the classes. “The final 2015 class started with 13 women and 14 men,” he says. “I would say the women who attended the course generally fared better – and were more dedicated – than the men, although there were some very promising male students as well.”