On Saturday, 7 March 2020, the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Young Professionals Forum (YPF) National Chairperson, Ms Yankho T. Banda had the privilege to address the President of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa and the leadership of the country, at the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) Young Women in Conversation with the ANC President.
The event was held at the Blue Valley Golf & Country Estate in Midrand. The purpose was for young women in various sectors to converse with the president on issues affecting them as young women who are also professionals and put forth solutions that could be implemented for some of the challenges currently existing. The speakers of the day were given a platform to use their voices so that they could be empowered, nurtured and supported, allowing them to be at the helm of the decision-making table as “We are more than capable”.
Yankho Banda challenged the status quo by asking why the Engineering profession is not registered as a Chapter 9 institution, while a lot of infrastructure projects are implemented by Engineers. Yankho called on the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the ANC Leadership to empower Engineers and make the environment conducive for Engineers to practice and contribute towards infrastructure development which is critical for the social and economic development and sustainability of the country.
She concluded her speech with her rendition of the President’s famous slogan: “Thuma Thina Sizojiki’Zinto for the economy and the country”, which loosely translates to “Send us, we will turn things around for the economy and the country.”
Yankho Banda is currently employed as a Traffic and Transport Engineer at AMCE (Pty) Ltd. She holds a BSc (Eng) Civil Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand and has +7 years’ experience in the planning, design and implementation of transportation projects (roads, traffic and transport), one of which was the winner of the 2016 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Award in the Category “Projects with a value of between R50 million and R250 million”. Yanko Banda is passionate about the development and retainment of young professionals for the sustainability of the profession hence her active involvement as a member of the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Young Professionals Forum (YPF) since 2012.