Tuesday, June 25, 2024

SANRAL SAWIC engage on advancing interests of women in construction

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) recently hosted a roundtable discussion in Port Elizabeth with the South African Women in Construction (SAWIC) to discuss how the roads agency can further advance interests of women in the construction industry.


The engagement was attended by SAWIC’s president Kile Mteto, SAWIC Eastern Cape Chapter chairperson Phumeza Kate, accompanied by a group of SAWIC members that recently completed a training programme with Sanral.

The group of 40 SAWIC women, who received their certificates during the session, undertook a two-week accredited training programme in construction management organised by Sanral Southern Region SMME unit coordinator Vanda Nqunqa, to empower them to better manage their construction businesses.


Sanral’s stakeholder relations coordinator for the Southern Region Welekazi Ndika said that this was the first step towards a long and mutually beneficial relationship. She outlined construction projects to be undertaken by Sanral in the province in the next three financial years where women-owned businesses can look forward to participate.


“It is very critical that Sanral’s procurement and supply chain policies are transformation friendly to ensure that our transformation objectives are fulfilled. Our focus should no longer be only on the 30% subcontracting to SMMEs. We should push for 51% black ownership in JVs on our projects,” urged Ndika.


Sanral’s empowerment partners; Bell Equipment, Barloworld Equipment, Pilot Crushtec and Purple Sunshine outlined the services the group can benefit from, as well as their partnership with Sanral that allows emerging contractors access to plant, equipment and mentorship.


Advising SAWIC members, Pamela Bukashe of tar manufacturing company Purple Sunshine said, “98% of Eastern Cape roads are gravel, so you are in the right space.”


Sanral’s community development specialist Dr Mongezi Noah urged SAWIC members to not only focus on Sanral’s construction projects. “Our transformation policy applies to all our sub-sectors which are maintenance, operations, ICT, legal, non-core services, finance and audit, human capital, property and marketing and communications,” said Noah. SAWIC president Kile Mteto said: “What is Sanral going to do to ensure that the investment made through this training yields results? We would appreciate Sanral ringfencing a budget to place the persons trained into an incubator system in order to see real growth in the next few years. The training should be intentional to yield results. My proposal is that Sanral should apply to National Treasury to enable ringfencing of work for targeted enterprises, particularly women in the sector,” said Mteto.