Interview conducted in 2016
The fact that the Spring Queen event can change people’s lives is evidenced by the story of Angelique Tarantaal.
She is a 27 year old Quality Controller at Prestige’s Caledon plant and is the former SACTWU Spring Queen winner (2014).
Angelique fell pregnant in grade 9 and subsequently dropped out of school. After she gave birth, she spent a year and 6 months looking for a job with no success.
Her first job was as a layer upper for 6 months at Ipitombi, a clothing manufacturing factory in Atlantis. Her mother worked at the factory too. But it closed down in 2008 leaving Angelique and her mother unemployed. Shortly after the closure, Angelique worked as a bakery assistant at Spar Caledon for two years.
As a child, Angelique had always wanted to be a professional designer and wanted to make clothes.
A number of her cousins work in the clothing industry as machinists and quality controllers. The love for clothing is in her blood. In pursuit of her dream, she resigned from Spar and started working as a packer at Prestige Caledon earning R250 a week. She felt that working at Prestige Caledon (even as packer) was a step towards achieving her dream. She has since then been promoted from packer to examiner and from examiner to quality controller. As a quality controller, she earns R776 per week. Having worked in the clothing industry for close to 7 years now, Angelique has set her short term sights to becoming a machinist and acquiring the skill needed to make clothes.
Her dream is to one day own her own clothing line. She feels that her experience is moving her closer to this dream.
After a long day at work, Angelique looks forward to spending time with her 11 year old daughter and fiancé. Her fiancé is an Electrical Assistant at Eskom; he is responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining electrical cables in Caledon and Overberg.
Angelique and her family live in an RDP house in Uitsig; they inherited this RDP house from her fiancé’s mother when she passed away. Their house has running water and electricity. Their daughter goes to Swartberg Primary School which is located close to home; Angelique also went to the same school when she was younger.
In 2014, Angelique participated in SACTWU’s Spring Queen. Participating in the Spring Queen helped her gain confidence in herself. The support that she received from her factory and community during and after the spring queen gave her courage.
Angelique was recently appointed shop steward and she plans on using this as a platform to fight for her fellow workers and encourage them to pursue their dreams as she is reaching for hers.
Angelique’s daughter goes to Swartberg Primary School which is located close to home in Uitsig. Angelique also went to the same school when she was younger.