”The reason we do what we do is that we know it will create sustainable jobs for people in our communities.”
Kedibone Tsiloane and her sister Kekeletso Tsilonane Co-Founded Ramtsilo Bricks.
Ramtsilo Manufacturing is a 100% black female-owned business based in Sasolburg, in the Free State Province of South Africa. They are the first company to bring plastic brick to South Africa.
Their bricks which is made out of recycled plastic and sand is one of South Africas alternative forms of building materials.
“One of the challenges that we faced and still are facing, is sometimes not being taken seriously, people questioning whether we would be able to deliver the work. We are not just black females, we also look young, so that creates a barrier.”
Their biggest challenge was penetrating a male dominated industry as young black women.
”Not only was it a question of competency but our race and gender also posed a challenge. We once walked into a meeting to present for funding. After the meeting one of the panelists said that they were very surprised as they thought we were there to request funding for a beauty salon.
”We are doubted and often unfairly challenged because traditionally women have never had a seat at the table and today we are not asking but demanding those seats. This change is not only difficult but most men find this very uncomfortable.”
Since they launched Ramtsilo, they have won SEDA Pitch Perfect Fezile Dabi competition, Sasol Enterprising women programme facilitated by the North-West University and the Standard Bank Top Women pitching conference in the Free State. They have also been featured on a number of platforms and shared their story at several conferences.
”Our mission is to solve the plastic waste problem while providing a sustainable housing solution.”
Source: topbusiness.co.za, briefly.co.za, ramtsilo.com