There are not many women who can install electrical wiring for a house, let alone fix a three phase gate motor. Kinsse Kgole can do all these. In fact, she can also write her own software to test the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems for the Gautrain.
At 19, Kinsse is the only female who has recently graduated from a two-year electrical engineering learnership. She is also the youngest to complete the course.
“When I started, we were only two girls and the rest were guys. But being the only girl does not mean that I was treated any differently. And I soon realised that you do not need physical strength to tighten bolts – you need the power of believing in yourself,” says Kinsse who grew up in Kempton Park. She also completed her N5 in mechanical engineering at Kempton Park College before enrolling for the learnership.
What makes a learnership unique, is the on-the-job training received under the guidance of a mentor. It involves many practical assignments, tests and a portfolio. Having completed a two-year learnership at Gautrain Project partner Bombardier, Kinsse is employed as a junior vehicle technician. She works at Gautrain’s train depot in Midrand where final tests are done on the trains that have been assembled in Nigel. An important area to test is the auto-coupler, the section that joins two train coaches.
Kinsse describes going to work every day as going to her happy place. However, when she is at home and electrical equipment needs fixing, she admits that she hardly attends to it. Her dad is an electrician which is how she was introduced to electronics from an early age. “I know when something goes wrong at home and how to fix it. But after a long day at the office, it is much easier to just ask my dad for help.”
23 November 2010