Patricia Norris

Patricia Norris

Patricia is the founder of Commuter Transport Engineering (CTE), has broken boundaries, smashed glass ceilings and succeeded in male dominated industries for over 20 years.

Norris was the first female to be granted Preferred Supplier status within the nuclear environment; to establish a rolling stock refurbishment company and to sit on the board of a farming co-op, she also heads the first and only company wholly owned by a black woman that was successfully contracted in 1998 by Prasa to repair and renovate Metrorail coaches.

A number of firsts

She was the first in her family to go to University and to later qualify with an MBA in the UK, where she lived for 9 years.

Patricia was the first woman to be granted Preferred Supplier status within the nuclear environment in 1998, her company completed a very successful turnkey project to, design, manufacture and replace the entire chlorination plant at Koeberg nuclear power station, recognised by all as a highly challenging endeavour.

In 1999 Patricia became the first woman in Africa to establish a rolling stock refurbishment company, in the town of Touws River, teaching new skills to an impoverished community and in so doing revitalised a forgotten town on the edge of the Karoo. CTE is now a national company employing over a thousand people and with 53hct of workshop space.

Patricia became the first woman to sit on a board of a farming co-op having entered farming as an opportunity to develop green, sustainable and ethical farming practices.

Visionary Leader

Big Picture
Patricia is able to understand the operational imperatives which drives performance, in measures of output, at a heartbeat. Yet her real value as a Leader stems from her ability to engage in high level thinking within each layer of a highly dynamic situation through her power of perception.

Patricia has demonstrated her ability to perceive market conditions and understand the key variables driving the Industry as well as market forces on operating on a Macro level. Developing a Customer centric value system within the organisation is paramount. Her style of leadership in based primarily on the principle of ‘Locus of Control’.

A deep seated belief that Patricia has held and born from her humble beginnings is the adage Give and thou shall receive, not only therefore has CTE always invested in areas of great unemployment with the specific focus on empowering people to live with dignity and prosperity.

Today, her driving passion is to lead the Oasis foundation to play a role within areas of public service which touch at the heart of our nation.


As the Matriarch of her family Patricia plays a pivotal role in her family, supporting a wide group of family members and beneficiaries. She understands that her success stands on the shoulders of many who have not had the opportunity to forge a path to success so paying it forward is key to her.

The balance between family self and work has not always been possible to achieve but the fruit of years of sacrifice allows for this more and more. With the support of talented leaders the CTE organisation is corporatized and benefits from stability and continuity offered by its structures.

Intrepid Traveller

Life needn’t be easy provided only that it is not empty! Patricia has a tremendous an appetite for adventure which brings her closer in commune with Mother nature, her love for the outdoors have taken led her to accomplish difficult feats.

In 2011 Patricia climbed Killimanjaro to its highest peak at 5,895, determined to be unassisted by medication.

She endured the Otter Trail as one of South Africa’s most arduous trails as a solitary hiker for 5 days.

The Camino represents a deeply spiritual journey for all who attempt it and tests ones endurance and pain threshold equally, Patricia recently completed 330 km in 15 days.