The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is rolling out an integrated community development programme valued at R120-million for the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road Project (N2WCTR).
This initiative aims to develop, upskill and empower youth and women-owned SMME’s and start-ups in construction industries in Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Mbizana Local Municipality and Port St. Johns Local Municipality and simultaneously provide safer roads.
Learners in the programme will be provided with National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3, 4 and 5 training, leading to a full learnership which is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
Upon completion of theoretical training in 2017, each SMME will have an opportunity to tender for work packages on the community access roads and learn how to apply their theoretical training into practical application. Community access road upgrades are strategic projects linked to the N2WCTR with the aim to improve road safety.
SMME owner speaks
Sipelele Msindwana (37), a small business owner of a construction company in Lusikisiki, in the Eastern Cape, plans to grow his career and take his business to new heights through the N2WCTR.
Msindwana is a co-founder and co-partner of Nkungu Investments CC. He and business partner Khayakazi Nkungu started the company in 2004.
He is one of 30 business owners who have received a full scholarship from SANRAL.
Msindwana has ambitions to grow their business in the construction industry and expand to be a plant hire company with business rental properties.
He has 13 years’ experience working in the construction industry, which include eight years managing construction sites. SANRAL’s community development and skills training programme will give him an additional boost to be successful.
Msindwana said: “Since starting our company we have on average provided work for 25-45 people. But working in the construction industry is not easy. It is difficult to find work in the construction industry especially if your company is a CIDB level 1, so we have to supplement our income with finding other work.”
The construction mogul in the making studied civil engineering at Walter Sisulu University and has also completed a road works supervisory SETA NQF4 accredited course, and labour intensive construction management NQF 5 course.
Msindwana believes one of the challenges working in the construction industry is that some SMMEs under price for project on tenders which leads to projects being left incomplete.
He said: “For me the difficult part in road construction is the admin work. It is important to keep proper records of the jobs that was done. Paperwork must be kept in order for future reference when applying for other tenders.
“SANRAL’s programme is unique. The information we are taught is new to my existing knowledge of managing a business. We learn about managing an enterprise, business plans, gain training we essentially need.”
He is optimistic about the N2WCTR project and believes if they implement what they are taught, there will be no place for failure.
Msindwana said: “The N2 Wild Coast project will turn around the whole town in terms of an economic boost. People here will have work. Businesses from outside our area don’t invest here because there is no infrastructure development. I think the N2WCTR will attract people to come here and invest.
“The programme provides us with an opportunity to also look for work opportunities elsewhere. Working on this community road will also help build a good name for my company.”