Thobile Vilakazi: “We need more women in HVAC”

By Ilana Koegelenberg

Thobile Vilakazi (29) has started her own 100% female-owned HVAC contracting company, Vila Comfort Systems, with the goal of introducing more women into this male-dominated industry.

Thobile001 webThobile Vilakazi, managing director of Vila Comfort Systems.

As managing director of Vila Comfort Systems, her role is to manage projects and tenders, and to plan and implement business strategies.

Getting started

After graduating with a diploma in financial management from South West Gauteng College, Vilakazi got her first job, which was in the construction industry. After switching to the marketing sphere for a while, she was offered a job in HVAC as the financial manager at Bophepha Environmental Control, where her duties were to oversee the company’s financial activities and operations, among others. This was her entry point into the industry, where she then recognised the need for more female representation.

So, why HVAC? “Honestly, I had no knowledge of the industry at large until I was offered a job in it,” she explains. “But I’ve never regretted taking up the offer.”

For the love of the job

Vilakazi loves what she does because she says her job never gets boring. “There are always new things to learn and opportunities for growth,” she says. Her favourite part of her job is constantly being exposed to new innovations, big projects, and meeting new people.

She is motivated by the drive to learn new things, leading her team to success, and seeing difficult projects through to the end and completing them to the client’s satisfaction.


The biggest projects that Vilakazi has been involved with to date includes Sentech and Boipatong Monument. The scope of work was the supply and installation of the HVAC systems.

Future plans

“I can already perceive the brightness of my future,” says Vilakazi, specifically referring to her new contracting company. Her plans are to focus on this business and grow it to be able to employ even more women in HVAC.

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