The Department of Public Works in partnership with National Home Builders Registration Council (NHRBC) has set out to train and enhance developing contractors in KwaZulu-Natal in skills development. The various fields targeted are project management, finance, construction, bricklaying, plumbing and plastering. The departmental mandate behind this drive is to ensure that all contractors including emerging contractors in KwaZulu-Natal are well trained and are able to promote ethical technical standards and in essence become accountable for the work that they do for each of the projects that they participate in. Our first visit to profile this ongoing project was on Tuesday the 18th of April 2017 with Southern Regional office being the first point of project delivery.
The collaboration with NHBRC paves way to give opportunities for all contractors registered through and captured on the department’s Eyesizwe Development Programme (ECDP). The programme was implemented in 2014 and has assisted most contractors, especially potential contractors to gaining technical skills development in order that they become employable by the Department and other stakeholders alike. Once contractors have completed the NHBRC course, they receive accredited certificates, which are worth NQF level 3. As part of the training requirements, contractors are provided with working tools, safety clothes as well as lunch during the courses.
Above right is Pamela Shandu (43yrs) and Hlengiwe Mthembu (30yrs) showing off their plumbing skills.
Contractors such as Pamela Shandu (43yrs) and Hlengiwe Mthembu (30yrs) were amongst the few contractors that were interviewed by Communications. The two women were ecstatic about what they were learning in this course. Pamela, felt that this course had corrected her previous knowledge of plumbing while Hlengiwe found herself privileged to have been part of this movement. “To gain this kind of an opportunity as a young woman is very rare”, exclaimed Hlengiwe.
In the month of April 2017 the Southern Region will roll out a programme to train 20 ECDP registered contractors in uMgungundlovu, in plumbing, 25 contractors in Harry Gwala for bricklaying and 20 contractors for Ugu District which will be training in plastering. Other regions will also run similar training in the near future to ensure a wide spread knowledge impartation in KwaZulu-Natal.
The contractors have shown excitement about this learning opportunity because it was provided to them without any cost and allowed them to receive certificates of accreditation, which will set them up for their future life. Many of these contractors are youth and women. This promotes the changing South Africa, which allows for the liberation of women entrepreneurs. Economic development of the province have afforded the department to secure the services of Somvi General Services to conduct the training of the contractors in uMgungundlovu District, this company is accredited by Construction SITA and is led by a black women which once again promotes business success in women entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Happy Contractors wave thanks to KZN Public works for equipping them in technical skills to advance their careers.
The Department of Public Works always aims to enhance skills development in technical skills for the youth and women of South Africa. This is one initiative that will not only enable youth and women to provide for their families but also become competent business entrepreneurs that will create job opportunities for many more unemployed women and youth.