Phepane Melesi

Women in Construction and Engineering

Nominee's Province:
Free State

Project Name/Description:
Melesi Enterprise

More info:

Phepane Melesi grew up in a business-minded family and she started selling sweets and peanuts at the age of 12 at school. “It was not just about selling but it was a passion, consequently my entrepreneurship spirit was imparted within me since I was born,” says Melesi. Melesi, 42, from Bloemfontein, Free State, registered Melesi Catering and Enterprise, a 100% black woman-owned company in 2005. However, it was only in 2014 that the construction division - which specialises in carpentry, roofing, plumbing, building, tiling, welding and ceilings - of the business started operating.  Melesi’s business, which is based in Bloemfontein, has successfully executed a few housing projects under the Contracted Development Programme, a Department of Human Settlement initiative, and these include the construction of low-cost houses in Heidedal, Bloemfontein and Villiers. The construction division employs six skilled and four unskilled workers, including a site foreman. A foodie of note, last year Melesi launched Mel’s Grill, which employs more than 10 staff members, among them young qualified chefs. “We are one of the best restaurants in Bloemfontein that serve grilled rabbit meat,” says Melesi. At the height of the Covid pandemic, Melesi Enterprise distributed more than 7 000 food parcels to needy households in Bloemfontein and surrounding areas. Each hamper contained 10kg maize meal, 10kg sugar, 5kg samp, 5kg sugar beans, 5kg soya mince, three tinned fish, 1kg of salt, 20 teabags and 2-litre cooking oil.

Women in Construction and Engineering

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