Remembering Dr Thandi Ndlovu
She took a drastic turn in her career, from a medical doctor to Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motheo Construction Group, which came to be known as one of the largest female owned construction companies in South Africa. Apart from being a big player in a male dominated industry, she is also known to be a community activist and a philanthropist. She endeavoured to improve the lives of underprivileged people and women in South Africa. Motheo Children’s Foundation was one of her community outreach projects, which she founded with the aim of granting scholarships for tertiary education to those that could not afford it.
Dr Thandi Ndlovu was born in Gauteng, Soweto and attended Orlando High School. The intrepid business woman went into exile in 1976 while she was a student at the Fort Hare University in an attempt to escape the apartheid in South Africa after incidences of harassment by the regime.
In 1977, she joined the African National Congress as an Umkhonto We Sizwe member. During this time she lived in Mozambique and operated from there. She went on to live in Zambia, followed by Angola and ultimately the young determined female enrolled to study at the School for Young Communists League in Moscow. In the year 1984, she went to study medicine at the University of Zambia and upon return to her home country, she worked as a medical intern at the Baragwanath Hospital situation in Soweto. She did this while working at a train station in Vereeniging. The doctor later opened her own practice, where she realised that most of the illnesses that her patients were experiences was due to their living conditions. She then decided to go the infrastructure route and founded her company.
“She put together an awesome team of competent people who understood her vision and carried out what was expected of them with pride and diligence. Thandi Ndlovu had a great gift of identifying talent, nurturing it, and retaining it. That is a rare and remarkable trait in business, I think that’s what made her stand out. She had love and care for people and their careers,” says business associate Mawethu Ngubo. “I am truly honoured to have worked with her,” he adds.
Thandi Ndlovu was the former President of the Black Business Council for the Building Environment. Sandile Zungu, the current President told News 24 that Thandi was an active and vibrant member, “It really is a huge tragedy that we lost her, she was a fighter who made tremendous contributions,” he expressed.
The successful entrepreneur died in a tragic road accident on her way to a funeral in Rustenburg, North West at the age of 65. She was laid to rest on the 30th of August 2019 in Johannesburg. Thandi was honoured by the South African Government with a Special Provincial Funeral, Category 2.
Solomon Star was unable to reach the family for comments.