In celebration of Women’s Month, leading consulting engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Zutari highlights the achievements of four exceptional women from its team.  

Tshegofatso Sibambato 

Tshegofatso completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand; and is a professionally registered civil engineer in the built environment, specialising in land development.  

“Service delivery remains a huge concern for most communities within South Africa. This speaks to our vast opportunities as engineers to implement projects to provide these services,” she highlights. 

Mary-Anne Fechter 

Mary-Anne studied civil engineering at the University of Pretoria. With an interest in sustainability and natural resources, she completed a Master’s degree in Spatial Development and Natural Resource Management at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany. 

Mary-Anne understands the impact that the built environment has on natural resources and how to integrate sustainability and resiliency into the planning, construction and operations of buildings and other infrastructure. 

Thandazo Shabalala 

Thandazo obtained a National Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She is a South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) member and a registered candidate engineering technician with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).  

Thandazo is currently a Senior Civil Technician specialising in the design and construction supervision of water and sanitation projects.  

Belinda Selkirk 

Belinda has a Diploma in Project Design focussing on building engineering, as well as a Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety. The Institute of Fire Engineers has awarded her with GiFireE Credentials.  

“I never started out as a lead fire engineer. My first job was as a draughtsperson, but hard work and perseverance paid off. Decide what you want and lay out a clear path to get to where you want to be. There is room for all types of people with different skillsets,” says Belinda. 

International Women in Engineering Day is an opportunity to give all women a voice to be heard.  

“Engineering elements are all around us, and I wanted to be a part of building our country by implementing infrastructure services.” – Tshegofatso 

“A career in engineering allows you to change lives and make a difference in your community by solving problems and designing what really matters.” – Thandazo 

“Society is facing various challenges, ranging from biodiversity loss and impacts of climate change to inadequate infrastructure to provide for people’s basic needs. Engineering is crucial to tackle these problems and provide appropriate solutions.” – Mary-Anne 

Advice to girls considering engineering? 

“It is a fact that men dominate the civil engineering world,” Thandazo notes. However, women are extremely resilient.  

Find mentors in the engineering space. Tshegofatso adds: “Do not be afraid of the industry because you feel it is male dominated. Diversity brings strength and, because of that, more women are needed in the industry to make the right moves.” 

“By sharing our experiences and how we have overcome hurdles, we create awareness about the unseen issues that women experience,” concludes Belinda.

For more information, contact Zutari:
Tel: +27 12 427 2000

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