A five-year programme sponsored by South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd. (SANRAL) has culminated in the certification of a number of Eastern Cape construction industry small, micro, medium enterprises (SMME’s).
Empowering individuals and communities along the national roads it builds, upgrades and maintains is an important part of what SANRAL does.
Staff from South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd.’s (SANRAL’s) Southern Region Office honoured the contractors who were involved in routine maintenance work along the N2 in the Eastern Cape, during a public ceremony yesterday (subs: Thursday) for completing a mentoring development programme.
“We consistently aim to leave empowered individuals and communities behind when we complete a project. Recognising employees publicly for successfully finishing their development programmes is a first for SANRAL,” said Simon Peterson, SANRAL Regional Manager for the Southern Region.
The five year contracts were for maintaining the N2 from Nature’s Valley to Colchester and then on to East London. A mentor was appointed for the duration of the contracts. Assessments were made of the contractors’ development plans and staff identified to complete Adult Basic Education and National Certificate Construction Contracting training certificates of the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ) system.
The programme was run through a joint partnership with various role-players, including Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Penny Farthing, the main contractor, and AECom/Mott McDonald PDNA Joint Venture. SANRAL prioritises 60% SMME participation on all routine roads maintenance contracts in the Southern Region.
Mentor and trainer, Dr Malcolm Figg from NMMU said the process had seen mentees transition from survivalist to sustainable businesses adding that the programme was innovative in its broad scope.
Two women contractors, both working in the King Williams Town area, walked away with their National Certificate Construction Contracting. Amanda Nhlapo of Nlapho construction said she was happy about the certification adding that it took her one step closer to taking over the business, which is owned by her mother-in-law.
Sandra Lewis, who co-owns Damians Construction with her husband said she enjoyed the programme and learned a significant amount of new information. “It was difficult at times – the course was not easy – and also required me to be away from home a lot, but now I’m overjoyed and the sacrifice has paid off.”
Handing over of certificates to the successful candidates took place at the Open Sky Venue, which is at the Seaview/Greenbushes intersection on the N2. Employees of SMME participants benefitting from the training included Tsitsikamma Fencing, Mosadi Business Enterprise, Nhlapo Construction, Damian’s Construction, CDA Construction, Stark Ark Trading, and Penny Farthing Engineering.
“We are proud of those who successfully completed the training programme and very pleased that we are leaving an improved road and an empowered community behind,” said Peterson. “It’s what we do.”
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