The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and construction machinery company Bell Equipment have signed a memorandum of understanding that will give small contractors access to earthmoving machinery to allow them to participate more meaningfully in major construction projects.
The companies noted in a joint statement issued this week that access to sophisticated equipment used in construction has been identified as one of the biggest hurdles facing emerging companies. They often do not have the capital to buy the machinery used for excavations, ground moving and the grading of roads.
“Our primary objectives are to grow the construction and engineering sectors and attract new entrants, especially black contractors who can build businesses and create jobs,” said Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma.
The cooperation between Sanral and Bell Equipment is expected to help to promote fair competition in the construction and engineering sectors. Black-owned contractors will now get access to finance, leasing and rental options, training and maintenance services, the companies said.
Small contractors will now be able to buy, rent or lease road construction equipment that will enable them to participate in major tenders where high standards of quality are required.
Bell Equipment will also leverage its existing partnerships with the financial sector to give small contractors access to financing.
The company sees this as an opportunity to position itself as a road construction equipment supplier of choice.
“This partnership with Sanral will enable us to grow our customer base and contribute greatly to the empowerment of emerging contractors in the industry,” said Bell Equipment chairperson Gary Bell.
The cooperation with Bell Equipment is a “significant step for the South African construction industry and demonstrates Sanral’s resolve to use its contracting and procurements processes to facilitate the growth of emerging contractors,” the companies said.
Bell Equipment and Sanral plan to host an information sharing session with black-owned and small businesses in the construction industry to unpack how the collaboration will benefit them.