The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec), with the aim of prioritising the development of small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in the road construction industry.
“In order to achieve meaningful transformation in this sector, we have to look beyond just meeting targets,” says Sanral transformation head Ismail Essa.
According to the MoU, Safcec seeks to improve the knowledge and skills of small contractors. In doing so it says it will deliver on its transformation, incubation and empowerment commitments to its members, create value and forge relationships with small contractors in the construction sector.
Sanral, on the other hand, says it is committed to the mentorship of small contractors to increase the number of participants, particularly black-owned, across the value- and supply chains of the road construction sector.
The roads agency says it also seeks to promote fair competition, facilitate access to developmental opportunities and build lasting relationships that see small contractors benefiting from direct development support.
Essa says the training will be funded through Safcec’s sector education and training authority, while Sanral will provide work sites where interns can be placed after training, to complete the required practical experience.
Safcec will also provide mentors to guide, develop and prepare small contractors to be able to tender on Sanral projects, covering topics such as technical competence, finance, human resources, contractual matters and legislation.
Successfully completing the training programme, should mean that the small contractor understands how to position his or her business to attain a competitive edge, is able to submit best scoring, yet profitable tenders, can determine and assess risk and has improved strategic, technical and entrepreneurial skills.
“Now, more than ever, we have to get this right,” says Essa.
“As Sanral responds to the President’s call for infrastructure development to drive our country’s economic recovery post Covid-19, it is imperative that we widen the net of economic inclusion in the road construction industry.
“The success of our economic recovery initiatives will depend on capacitating as many contributors as possible to meaningfully participate in building this country’s infrastructure.”