One of the biggest challenges facing emerging enterprises in the construction industry is competing with established companies for big projects. In an attempt to level the playing field, SANRAL has introduced a contractual clause that actually requires big companies to partner with small businesses when bidding for construction projects. It’s part of the agency’s vision of empowering small businesses to grow and contribute to infrastructure development. The joint venture (JV) condition was first introduced with the awarding of two contracts for the rehabilitation of sections of the R573 Moloto Road, a major route linking Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The contracts required big contractors to bid as JVs with smaller companies for the project. According to Nontobeko Mathenjwa and Lawrence Chauke, SANRAL Project Managers on Moloto, this project is the first of its kind and took a lot of planning and consultation. Mathenjwa said: “This is a SANRAL initiative. We had no reference or prior experience of implementing this model. It was really exciting to practically develop words and phrases to incorporate into our procurement documents. I’m glad it’s working and opening up the industry to small business.” On the Limpopo section of the project, a contract was awarded to two partners, KPMM and Chauke Business Enterprise (CBE). On the Mpumalanga section, a contract was awarded to a JV involving four companies: Raubex Construction, Themolo Business Enterprise, Khuluphala Tradings and Biz Afrika. it’s important to attract the right partners for the JV.” Emerging companies agree that the JVs mean empowerment and they have become more efficient and professional in their offerings. Adam Chauke, owner and managing member of CBE, said: “It’s not easy to form partnerships with big companies and sometimes they don’t like to empower us for fear of competition. But thanks to SANRAL, the likes of KPMM are now required to approach us. It’s truly remarkable. It opens up the industry and affords us the opportunity to grow.”
THE RIGHT PARTNERS: Kevin Padayachee (KPMM) and Adam Chauke (CBE) are the successful JV partners contracted to upgrade R573 Moloto Road in Limpopo.
It was really exciting to practically develop words and phrases to incorporate into our procurement documents.
Although it was business unusual for big companies, they agree that it’s a great initiative. And it is clear that there will be no compromises on quality. Kevin Padayachee, Operational Director for KPMM, said: “We’re happy to take on emerging companies, but they have to play ball and make use of such opportunities. That means no compromise on quality and reliability, so Through the JV, he is able to benefit from mentorship and shared resources. From the experience gained on the project, the SMMEs will be able to increase their grading at the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and compete for bigger contracts in future. SANRAL will continue to support this initiative and start introducing it for all other projects going forward.
Sidewalks on N8
Pedestrians using the sidewalks that have been constructed along a section of the N8 in Mantsopa local municipality in the Free State are feeling safer walking along this busy stretch of road and many are grateful for the development. SANRAL’s Eastern Region Project Manager, Rajesh Dookie, said that SMME sub-contractors who were employed on the project exhibited an eagerness to learn and executed the work on schedule and with exceptional quality. The construction is worth R3.1m. Samuel Mpele of KS Mpele Construction, who earned R956 000, said that he was “happy and proud” to have been involved in the project. He employed 12 people during eight months. David Malapo, owner of DNC Construction, who received R1m, said he had gained valuable knowledge and experience working on his first SANRAL project. “I used eight employees. I look forward to more work from SANRAL so that I can create meaningful jobs,” he said.
Proper sidewalks have been constructed for pedestrians along a section of the N8 at Mantsopa local municipality.