After completing a three year construction programme, more than 35 emerging contractors from Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) area have graduated.
The young contractors were awarded the certificates during a graduation ceremony held at Coastlands Hotel in uMhlanga on Wednesday, 08 June 2016.
The ceremony came after the eThekwini Municipality, in partnership with Small Enterprises Development Agency (SEDA) and Construction Incubator initiated a training programme to address challenges faced by small businesses in the construction sector.
The purpose of the programme is to mainly provide contractors with relevant skills to create the necessary employment opportunities and achieve meaningful economic growth.
Speaking on behalf of Deputy Mayor, Nomvuzo Shabalala, Councillor Sbongile Nhlapho applauded the level of commitment shown by the contractors during their three year study.
“This graduation marks an important milestone in the history of eThekwini Municipality, SEDA and Construction Incubator branch in KwaMashu, which was opened four years ago,” she said.
Nhlapho said the construction sector plays a pivotal role in achieving socio-economic development goals by providing shelter and other infrastructure while creating job opportunities.
SEDA CEO, Mthunzi Nyandeni said the partnership with the Municipality, which started in 2012, has yielded positive results in reviving the sector.
“Together we had to identify challenges experienced by the sector. We then came up with a comprehensive programme that will assist emerging contractors with skills”.
“The programme includes both technical and business administration skills that are aligned with the introduction of modern technology, which will equip and enhance efficiency in management of their businesses,” he said.
Deputy Head of Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit, Thulani Nzama said the Municipality’s partnership with private and public institutions is to ensure that emerging businesses are supported.
“Hundreds of emerging contractors have been trained on skills, such as business and financial management, business plans and project management. The contractors have also been trained on technical skills such as bricklaying, plumbing and painting,” he said.
Nzama added that the Municipality established partnerships with various institutions who train emerging contractors on apprenticeship. More than 40 youth have been absorbed in these institutions.