Ricochet News

Rising Stars from Port of East London Up for Coveted Award

Jul 26, 2018
Rising Stars from Port of East London Up for Coveted Award

The small Port of East London is punching above its weight with two out of five finalists in the Transport, Logistics & Security category of the 7th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards hailing from South Africa’s only river port and employed by Transnet National Ports Authority.

Deputy Port Engineer, Kwazelela ‘Kwazi’ Mcetywa, and Chief Engineering Technician, Sinqobile Nkabinde, are both in line to win this category at the star-studded gala dinner taking place at the Sandton Hilton on Thursday, 26 July 2018.

They were nominated by their managers and colleagues and succeeded in reaching this coveted stage from hundreds of entries and thousands of pages of nominations, motivations, videos and verifications. The awards recognise young, talented employees in the 28-40 year age category, and form part of a unique platform where winners can go beyond just the recognition for work already done, and participate in a leadership and development programme throughout the year after winning.

Port Manager at the Port of East London, Sharon Sijako, said: “I am proud that our port has produced two finalists. It shows that the Port of East London offers a nurturing environment for growth and development of our future leaders.”

Mcetywa grew up in a small village in the former Transkei where he completed his primary and secondary education. As a young boy from a poor community in the rural Transkei, he was always involved in community activities.

He says: “I knew from a young age that education would be the key to improving my life and after competing matric, through hard work and dedication I achieved a BSc Honours in Civil Engineering among other qualifications.”

As the Port of East London’s Deputy Port Engineer his responsibility is not only to manage a group of professionals but also to play a role in decision making and helping to steer the port towards its vision.

His co-finalist Nkabinde is a Professional Engineering Technologist registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). He grew up in Durban and attended Umlazi Comtech High School, before graduating from Durban University of Technology with a N-Diploma and a B-Tech in Civil Engineering.

He began his career at WBHO as a Quality Assurance Officer for the airside team at King Shaka International Airport. He then joined emerging contractors as a Site Agent at various road construction sites. His career evolved when he ventured into the consulting industry. Thereafter, he joined Transnet, where he leads a team of young dynamic and enthusiastic engineers.

His achievements include implementing and managing an EPWP pilot project for eThekwini Municipality, which employed over 80 people and in 2012/13 was recognised as the Environmental Engineering Project of the Year at the South African Institution Of Civil Engineering (SAICE) National Awards. In 2016 he also led a group that was awarded the BMF YPDP group of the year for the EC Cohort.

He says: “My journey to the finals for the 2018 Standard Rising Stars Awards began with receiving a nomination from my manager. It was a real honour and privilege to receive such a nomination, as for me it says that my manager as well as the Port Leadership Team recognise my efforts and they are proud to present me as one of their best candidates. Making it this far in the competition is a great honour and privilege and I’m deeply grateful for the support that I’ve received from my colleagues and management at both the port level and across TNPA. Transnet has invested a lot in my development by taking me through various courses and allowing me to work alongside my manager as part of skills transfer.”

Another Transnet hopeful in the category is Transnet Port Terminals’ Technical Manager at the Saldanha terminal, Nomvana Marwanqana.

The last round of the awards was rigorous and included a two-hour Q&A session in front of a panel of experts comprising forward-thinking leaders.

Sijako said all at the Port of East London were holding thumbs for either Mcetywa or Nkabinde to bring the title home.