Sylvia Siyo

I work at the Head Office of Transnet Port Terminals, Durban. It is one of Transnet’s  Operating Divisions in Capital Projects’ Office in Business Case Development for  the execution of capital projects throughout the Terminals.   

My background is Mechanical Engineering and Maintenance in Locomotives , Coaches and Marine vessels and machinery. On paper my work is to ensure the maintenance of vessels and navigational aids, yet it is much more than that. My journey started in in Transnet Engineering and then later in Transnet National Ports Authority where as a black female working and managing 54 employees in a Maintenance Workshop.

 As part of the first quota of Black female apprentices, I acquired my skills and experience as the first entrant of female apprentices in 1997. It has been a challenging and hard journey but I have always worked hard and have climbed the ranks, I have been an artisan, supervisor and to date manager.

 I have always have been passionate about women’s rights and opportunities in the workplace, I have been active in women’s forums and also have personally excelled in my own personal training and development.

 Determined to gain respect from my peers, I became the first female supervisor in a diesel locomotive business in 2005. This afforded me an opportunity to lead and ensure I provide a safe and healthy work environment for my staff and peers. Responsibility to skill, mentor and train is an obligation and right as the transformation in South Africa in afforded us this opportunity, and I always felt obligation to give back to our community.

 My Workshop hosts learners from adopted schools from under- privileged communities under bring a girl child to work, I host and inspire them as I too came from the same background. Since 2012 as a member of the South African Association of Shipbuilders and Repairers where, as the only female represented, as the voice for Transnet from the females perspective, and also served as Secretariat.

 My highest qualification is a Master’s degree in Business Leadership, UNISA and various other Technical qualifications.