East London, June 2, 2017: A group of 11 SMMEs enrolled in SANRAL’s community and training development programme for the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road (N2WCTR), visited Mamlambo Construction in East London to learn about the administrative and business functions of the engineering and road construction industry.
The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) and the appointed service provider Mamlambo Construction hosted the business training programme in East London late last month (May 24).
“SANRAL continuously provides training and support to SMMEs. We remain committed to promoting economic growth, stimulating the expansion of small and medium-sized businesses, reducing unemployment, and building a skilled workforce,” said Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL Southern Region Manager.
The SANRAL programmes are part of the community access road upgrading project for the N2 Wild Coast Highway in Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo Districts.
As part of their practical training, the business owners will be responsible for the upgrade and construction of community access roads. Upon completion of their theoretical training this year, each SMME will have an opportunity to tender for construction work on the community access roads. Community access road upgrades are strategic projects linked to the N2WCTR with the aim to improve road safety.
Mamlambo Construction is a SANRAL service provider and currently working on the Lusikisiki Community Development (CD) project for SANRAL. The project started in July 2016 and is expected to complete in July next year (2018).
The training at Mamlambo offices included: how to form a bank account for a joint venture (JV); CIDB requirements; the importance of registering for VAT; paying tax, UIF and workman’s compensation; the importance of using a bookkeeper or accountant; getting the right insurance; and paying wages to name a few. The SMME’s were also taken on short tours of asphalt, bitumen binders and concrete manufacturing plants.
“The goal of the day was to upskill, train and mentor emerging contractors. This project is very close to our hearts. We believe we need to be relevant in our community and participate where we can,” said Craig Shearar, Mamlambo CEO.
In Lusikisiki, Mamlambo is providing the 11 SMME owners with NQF Level 4 training and their 11 supervisors with NQF Level 2 training on road construction.
“We want the SMMEs to understand there is more to running a business than to just building a road. We want them to see how a business fits together. It is important to expose the SMMEs to as much as possible in our industry for them to know where the products come from,” said Shearar.
“It is important for a business owner to know their industry intimately this way they can grow and become sustainable,” Shearar said.
Sipelele Msindwana co-owner of Nkungu Investments CC said while working on the SANRAL programme they have learned how to manage a business professionally.
“… We’ve recently completed our theoretical training, thereafter attended tendering workshops in preparation for contracts that will be awarded.
The whole process has been useful, as it turns out we thought we knew a lot but we learned more about the processes that must be followed. This week we set out a 280m road aside for practical training. This road will be incorporated into the actual roads we will work on,” said Msindwana.
Wandile Mngeni owner of WM Construction Projects registered his company in 2015 and admits to not knowing about road construction. I have learned theoretically a lot about the paper work and calculations needed for the company.”
Lindiwe Nokele, owner of Gandundu Trading, said as an SMME she has grown through the “intensive training” provided. “Our training focused on SARS, documentation, how to discipline staff and the importance of having a bookkeeper. As an SMME I now know a lot more what to do.”
Siyanda Mredlana owner of Khululaka Trading Enterprise said “I have learned a lot from this visit today. It is helpful to know what materials are used to build roads. I believe that the information provided during the training will help me win tenders.”
Andiswa Joyi owner of Eyamanjilo Trading said the site visit to Mamlambo has given her a deeper insight into how a construction business operates. “This was a valuable part of the training programme. Seeing how everything operates on site, has given me a deeper insight into how business work. I am passionate to become the next big contractor,” Joyi said.