“A trailblazing step”

Access to sophisticated equipment used in construction is one of the biggest hurdles facing emerging companies. They often do not have the capital to purchase major machinery used for excavations, ground moving and the grading of roads.

But emerging contractors in the construction industry will now be better able to participate in major projects following a landmark agreement between SANRAL and two construction machine suppliers, Barloworld and Bell.

The agreement with Barloworld Equipment will give black-owned enterprises greater access to equipment, financing and training which will enable them to tender more effectively on road construction projects managed by SANRAL.

“This will open up the industry to new participants and remove many of the barriers that prevent companies owned by black, women and youth entrepreneurs to compete effectively against the entrenched players in the construction sector,” says Skhumbuzo Macozoma, the Chief Executive Officer of SANRAL.

“Through our co-operation with Barloworld Equipment we are promoting the growth of black business and taking positive steps to support a sector with immense potential for growth and job creation.”

The Memorandum of Understanding sets out cooperation across a broad range of activities, including providing small contractors in the SANRAL supply chain with access to equipment, financing and training.

Together, SANRAL and Barloworld will promote partnerships in the fields of training, fleet management, marketing and communication.

Emmy Leeka, CEO of Barloworld Equipment Southern Africa, sees it as an opportunity to empower emerging contractors: “We have built valuable partnerships with black-owned enterprises through the years and this initiative will take our activities to a higher level.”

The other agreement, with Bell Equipment, will also help to promote fair competition in the construction and engineering sectors.

Small contractors will now be able to purchase, rent or lease road construction equipment that will enable them to participate in major tenders where high standards of equality are required. Bell will also leverage its existing partnerships with the financial sector to give small contractors access to financing.

Bell sees the agreement 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,” says Bell chairman Gary Bell.

Macozoma says of the agreements: “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.

“It is a trailblazing step for the South African construction industry.”

  • Barloworld Equipment is a division of Barloworld Ltd, a multinational brand distribution company listed on the JSE.
  • Bell Equipment has a global footprint and more than six decades of experience in the manufacturing of construction equipment.