Women empowerment takes centre stage at SANRAL Dialogue

Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Coordinator, spoke about the numerous opportunities for women on SANRAL projects.


Women empowerment takes centre stage at SANRAL Dialogue

Eastern Cape, 22 August 2022 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) plays a significant role in contributing to South Africa’s transformation through the development of infrastructure, job creation and socio-economic development, said Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Executive Mayor Eugene Johnson.

Johnson spoke at a dialogue convened by SANRAL to address pertinent issues relating to women empowerment and creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, Gqeberha last week Friday.

“In the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, we have varying degrees of road infrastructure quality, but many require considerable maintenance and expansion. SANRAL remains relevant and central to our mission to fix these deteriorating road conditions and the Roads Agency has done so much work towards developing skills and improving road safety.”

“Through SANRAL projects in the Nelson Mandela Bay we have been able to address the dire shortage of skills in our Metro, and address some of our road safety challenges. By working together with SANRAL in improving the Metro’s road network, our roads have become an enabler for increased access to markets and investment, which in turn takes communities along this road network into account and assist with their development,” said Johnson.

Johnson thanked SANRAL for its continuing contribution in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

Welekazi Ndika, SANRAL Southern Region’s Stakeholder Coordinator, spoke about the numerous opportunities women can tap into, working on SANRAL projects. “I encourage women to participate in Project Liaison Committees (PLCs) and engage constructively on our projects. This will help greatly in getting an understanding of our projects and you will also be able to see how you can actively participate on these projects. I also encourage women to start up their own consortiums, work together and empower themselves,” said Ndika.

Ndika shared information about SANRAL’s current and upcoming projects in both the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the Eastern Cape, and how women entrepreneurs can benefit from them.

She also mentioned that SANRAL’s Freeway Management System (FMS) will be rolled out in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Through FMS, SANRAL can manage congestion on the country’s freeways by using various intelligent tools. The Roads Agency is also able to respond speedily when there is an accident or crime scene on the freeways. The pilot project on FMS started in October 2006 and it is already implemented in the City of Cape Town, eThekwini Metro and the City of Johannesburg.

Nomfuneko Bojana-Matshoba is a Grade 6 contractor and has immensely benefitted from SANRAL projects. Armed with an N4 Civil Engineering qualification from Ikhala College in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, she has made strides in the male dominated construction industry over the years. She got her first break through a SANRAL learnership programme in 2008, working on the road rehabilitation project between Queenstown and Madeira. Through her company, she also participated in a consortium with other women emerging contractors on one of SANRAL’s community development projects in Whittlesea in 2015.

A mother of two, Bojana-Matshoba has participated in various training opportunities offered by SANRAL. “I stand here today to attest that I would not have been where I am today if it was not for SANRAL’s assistance. SANRAL continues to provide many training opportunities for women contractors. I implore all of you to take part in these training programmes. In the construction industry it is important that you equip yourself in skills such as tender documentation, understanding procurement processes, tendering, and costing,” said Bojana-Matshoba.

In addition to her civil engineering qualification and being a Grade 6 contractor, Bojana-Matshoba also has a Level 4 certificate in Construction Supervisor Bitumen Binder Technology, she has Level 5 in labour intensive construction and a certificate in Health and Safety Construction Management. She is also a member of the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH).