Sewela Setshogoe, a South African growth-focused engineering entrepreneur — Lionesses of Africa

Lioness Weekender spoke to founder Sewela Basetsana Setshogoe about her early career start in the mining sector, the invaluable experience and knowledge she gained in her industry sector, and her ambitions and vision for the future.

What does your company do?

Our business specializes in engineering maintenance services and construction. We have also ventured into the asset reliability and optimization space.

What inspired you to start your company?

I was inspired to start my business by my engineering background on a personal capacity and the drive to create an organisation which provides quality engineering services in a male dominated industry.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

We take the time to form key relationships with our clients so that we can better serve their needs and are able to tailor-make products and services according to their specifications.

Tell us a little about your team

Our team is comprised of professionals with over 15 years of experience working within the engineering and mining sector. The management team is highly skilled and have civil engineering, electrical engineering, and project management qualifications. We are all dedicated to our craft and our team is more like a family.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I started my career working for a platinum mine in the North West Province where I was a part of the Women in Mining initiative in 2007, which was after I completed an Electrical Engineering qualification at Ekurhuleni West TVET college not far from home. I graduated with a Diploma in Electrical Engineering in 2011 and worked as an Artisan for both Impala Platinum and Samancor Chrome. During my working life, I had always known that I was meant to be an entrepreneur because I remember that I would sell a number of products for many years to my work mates and friends. I have ventured into a number of businesses which subsequently failed and I then decided to register an engineering company, Lefata Engineering Pty LTD in 2016. I went on to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

My future plans are to expand the business by acquiring expansion capital to fund construction machinery, increase workforce and get a large workshop where our steel fabrication work can be done. I am also passionate about youth and entrepreneurship development, I always ensure I use my limited resources to help unemployed youth gain experience in the industry and I motivate and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, this is the work I will continue to do but on a large scale in the future.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

What is satisfying is the opportunity to make a positive impact in society as well as adding value to the South African economy. I also enjoy the freedom to be creative and determine my own value as an individual.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

My biggest advice is to just get started and learn as you go. There are many opportunities out there, we just need to get over the fear and get to work.

To find out more about Lefata Engineering and its service offerings, and to contact founder Sewela Setshogoe directly, send an email to: or visit the company website and social media platforms:


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