Nomusa Caroline Hlongwane Shoprite

Shoprite’s first female truck driver helps hundreds more take the driver’s seat

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Nomusa Caroline Hlongwane (59), who blazed a trail as the Shoprite Group’s first female driver, is now training the next generation of the Shoprite Group’s highly-skilled team of truck drivers.

Hlongwane, who initially had her eye on becoming a teacher, started her truck driving career in 1990 and joined the Group in 2007.

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Her experience and passion led her to become a driver trainer, where Hlongwane has combined her love of teaching with her truck driving expertise to train more than 400 drivers to date.

Among the new generation of female truck drivers that Hlongwane has trained is Hunadi Rasesemola (31) who turned to driving when she realised her high school subjects wouldn’t allow her to become a paramedic.

Rasesemola’s father, also a truck driver, taught her how to drive and instilled an early passion for the profession. In 2019 she joined the Shoprite Group and is now one of the most respected drivers on the team.

“I was trained by Mum Nomsa,” says Rasesemola. “I call her Mum Nomsa because she’s more like a mum to me!”

“There is no kind of job that is specifically meant for men or women”, Rasesemola continues. “Some people get surprised when they see me and take videos of me reversing.”

Rasesemola has ambitions to follow in Hlongwane’s steps and become a driver trainer with the Group.

  • Hlongwane comes from Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal and lives in Centurion.
  • Rasesemola is from KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga and lives in Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion.
  • The Shoprite Group is South Africa’s largest private sector employer with over 140 000 employees, excluding indirect employment.
  • Despite the effects of the lockdown and unrest on retail trade, the Group still managed to create 4 608 new jobs in South Africa in the past financial year.
  • 65% of the Group’s employees are under the age of 35 and 64% of its employees are women.
  • The Group spent more than R700 million over the past five years on extensive retail skills and training programmes.

Image Courtesy: Supplied

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