Career case studies
Yvonne has a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering and joined Gibela in 2017 as an electronic repair and test expert. She has received intensive training at Villeurbanne in France on running operation diagnosis for electronic test benches, and on repairing PCBAs up to board level.
During her time with Gibela, Yvonne has helped to set up the temporary repair room, commission and install test benches, start repairs on electronic parts, run repair loops for electronic product repairs, and set up the electronics repair and production workshop for all electronic components, Shop 61. Her expertise means that she’s ideally suited to onboard training and support technicians and interns too.
Bongeka Kobese has a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Engineering and her Honours in Technology Management. She joined Gibela in December 2015 as a methods engineer and, in March 2018, became a depot industrial manager.
Bongeka is responsible for leading all the planned maintenance executions, implementing continuous improvements for PRASA, supporting service execution system deployment by delivering all methods engineering-related tasks, offering industrial support for Cape Town mobilisation, and industrialising all depot activities. She also trains and coaches new interns.
Leanette is 30 years old and works in the warranty department as a maintenance technician. She graduated with an electrical engineering qualification in 2008 and feels blessed to have had the opportunity to experience Gibela’s overseas training programme.
She feels that the experience was incredible on both personal and professional levels, as it was her first time, both flying on an aircraft and going overseas. She says she gained an important understanding of the culture of Gibela’s majority shareholder, Alstom, and a practical understanding of the work she would be doing, by visiting Alstom’s various operations in France over a period of six months.
Leanette is especially proud, as she was the first woman to be hired by Gibela as a technician.
She has found a way to balance her work and family life with her husband, Lehlohonnolo, and baby daughter Lethabo, who is almost two years old. She wants other women Gibela employees to know that, even though the industry is still male-dominated, if one works hard and is dedicated, anything is possible.
Andrew is 37 years old and has more career experience than some of the other trainees. Born in Duduza, near Nigel, he studied electrical engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Having been fascinated with trains all of his life, working at Gibela and assisting with assembling the trains in South Africa, is a dream come true. His field of interest is the specialised technology used in trains and locomotives. Andrew recalls fond memories of working at Union Carriage & Wagon (now Alstom Ubunye), where he worked on all kinds of trains and locomotives as a quality control inspector. Andrew has also worked on Gautrain projects and at ArcelorMittal as a technician.
He joined Gibela as a troubleshooting technician in the maintenance department and in September 2015 was sent to France, Italy and Belgium for three months of training. He thoroughly enjoyed being able to see and examine Alstom’s maintenance systems and components in person. Even the different languages were not a barrier to learning for Andrew – he recalls a few funny experiences in which he used sign language to communicate with others.
He passionately believes that Gibela will be the last company he works for. He looks forward to being with us until retirement. Andrew’s words of wisdom to other employees are: “stay humble, stay focused and be a team player.”