Eastern Cape
More than 300 SMME contractor development beneficiaries were awarded certificates of completion for an 18-month road construction training programme. Image: Provided

Over 315 site workers of small, medium and micro enterprise (SMMEs) from Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape were recently awarded certificates of completion for an 18-month road construction training programme, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) announced.

The graduation ceremony which took place in Mount Frere, Eastern Cape, celebrated the achievements of the programme beneficiaries whose training formed part of the construction of access roads and pedestrian facilities in the Umzimvubu, Ntabankulu and Mhlontlo municipalities along the N2 between Mount Frere and Ngcweleni River and between Mzeke and Mount Frere.

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“The beneficiaries completed skills training in various learning areas from generic skills for general site workers to a national certificate in Construction Contracting which involves essential construction management skills for local small, medium and micro-sized enterprises,” SANRAL Southern Region Manager, Mbulelo Peterson said.

For many local SMMEs and their employees, the SANRAL sponsored qualifications have changed their lives and the lives of their communities.

Nosizwe Nongongo, the owner of Khulabhungane Trading Enterprise, was one of the most experienced contractors to take place in the training programme. The 40-year-old single mother from Lubhacweni, Mount Frere boasts 11 years’ experience in the construction industry and has worked on projects related to access roads, renovations, sanitation and general building.

“As a relatively skilled contractor I am very happy that I was chosen to learn new skills which will now empower me to work independently,” she said.

“As a single parent, SANRAL has improved my life over the past year. Work was very scarce before this project came along and now I can provide for my family, save capital for future projects and alleviate poverty in other families by employing other people,” she said.

With his new qualification and the new level 4 CIDB grading that accompanies the certificate, Ayanda Kume from Mgqinibeni location in Mount Frere is determined to expand his company, Clara Group Pty Ltd.

“The company has been building roads, schools and also provides security cameras. Now things have gone up a notch with SANRAL backing me with this 18-month long training.

“I will finally open an office and have already bought a company car and office equipment. This seemed impossible a year ago but now I am well on the way to fulfilling my dreams of expanding and not forgetting to uplift my community and others by employing as many people as I can,” Kume said.

Tembisa Madukuda’s small frame has not stopped her from dreaming big.

“I am looking forward to hiring people to help to end the poverty I see in my communities. I am confident now when seeking new projects as I will stand with my level 4 grading,” she said.

“Thank you to Sanral for the opportunity for us to rise and we will take others to rise with us,” she added.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sinoxolo Nomafusi is looking forward to competing with bigger companies now that he has his new level 4 grading.

“It’s a big deal to have this certificate. I have learnt how to manage my finances among other important skills. In the short space of time, I have also obtained machinery for future projects. SANRAL will hopefully come back and help us to reach grade 7 and I am grateful for this opportunity,” he said.

Luyanda Ncapai (44), the owner of Ncaps Trading Pty Ltd, is excited to already be receiving emails from industry institutions informing him of project openings.

“I have been doing this for five years and never imagined my company one day being on SANRAL’s database. It is a great feeling when I can help others to feed themselves in the communities I get to work in. The more my company will grow now the more village people I can hire,” he said.

Each of the SMMEs awarded contracts to work on the two roads projects were required to hire at least 10 people from the village in which the work was to be completed. These local site workers received general construction skills training and formed part of the certificate award ceremony.

Councillor Ntombizandile Garane, head of Local Economic Development at Umzimvubu Local Municipality thanked SANRAL and their service provider Imbawula Civil Engineering Consultants for bringing economic and infrastructure transformation to the lives of community members involved in the road projects.

“We are very happy to see that women have been included in this programme. This is very important particularly in our rural communities where women are more likely to be at home than at work. Umzimvubu applauds SANRAL and Imbawula for uplifting not just the skills, but the dignity of our people through your projects,” Garane said.

“As the custodian of South Africa’s roads network, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) does not just work towards transforming roads but is also committed to changing the lives of the communities in which we serve” Peterson concluded.

And in Port Elizabeth, more than 300 SMMEs received certificates for the completion of a training programme, which formed part of the R75 Port Elizabeth to Despatch interchange road rehabilitation project, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) announced today.

The 384 SMMEs (women, youth and male-owned) whose CIDB levels are between 1CE and 4CE received their certificates at a hand-over ceremony held at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton on Thursday, 15 March 2018.  Sixty percent (60) of the SMMEs are from the 10 wards adjacent to the R75 including wards 11, 14, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 36, 41, 52. The remaining 40% are from the greater Nelson Mandela Bay’s SMME Targeted Enterprises (TE’s).

The two-week training course focussed on tendering, preparing construction documentation and business skills training.

“Through Proper Consulting, a prequalification tender process was held to determine who should be selected for the training programme. The trainees were then chosen from the pool of those who were successfully prequalified,” said Sean Strydom, SANRAL Southern Region Project Manager said.

Of the SMMEs who graduated 23 have already started working on the rehabilitation project, erecting guardrails, picking up litter, building subsoil drains, erecting anti-climb fencing, building open line concrete drains, erecting palisade fencing and building prefab culverts, among other things.

Siphokazi Sikelwa of Fathuse Trading Pty Ltd started working on the six-month litter picking project in January 2018. “The training I received is important especially because it is an accredited training course. I believe this will help me with compliance. I have other qualifications but these are not accredited,” Sikelwa said.

Bongile Dom of Bay Ngwane Trading (Pty) Ltd, who does not have a tender to work on the R75 project, also completed the two-week training course. “This certificate means a lot to me since I only have a matric. I was appointed as a sub-contractor on other construction projects for another company before and did kerbing and pre-mix. This is the first time I received training on a project and I believe the certificate will open doors for my business,” Dom said.

Simphiwe Jama from Kangelani General Trading started working on the litter picking project in January 2018 and employs 10 staff members. “I only have a matric and now that I have the national certificate I am more motivated to study further.  Through this training I know how to calculate to price tender documents and have learned the importance of health and safety, these are important skills to have when you have your own business,” Jama said.

“The training was necessary to assist the SMMEs with the skills needed to complete tendering and construction documents. The SMMEs are now able to compile competitive tenders for SANRAL projects,” Strydom said.

SANRAL Southern Region (SR) awarded road maintenance contracts to 147 black-owned SMMEs during 2015/16. SANRAL (SR) was responsible for the management of 18 routine road maintenance (RRM) contracts for the maintenance of 4 559km of road, constituting 23% of the SANRAL network and RRM spending for 2015/16 amounted to approximately R400 million.

More work on the R75 project will be rolled out during May 2018 and May 2019.

The implementation of road safety measures and rehabilitation of the National Route R75 Section 1, constitutes 13 kilometres and will create work for a minimum of 37 local SMMEs between 1CE PE and 6 CE PE CIDB grading within the Nelson Mandela Bay.

This two-year project should be completed in May 2019.

Issued on behalf of SANRAL by Meropa Communications. 

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