KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Jomo Sibiya, has assured local emerging companies in the construction sector that they will benefit from projects implemented by the department.
Sibiya made the commitment during an oversight visit to GJ Crookes Hospital at Scottburgh on Tuesday. This as members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works visited the hospital to monitor the refurbishment of the facility. An amount of R60 million has been budgeted for it.
The refurbishment of the hospital has created more than 54 jobs in various categories, including plumbers, brick-layers, carpenters, general labourers and drivers. Sibiya emphasised that local emerging contractors, especially those who were previously marginalised, must benefit from all government infrastructure projects.
“As the Department of Public Works, we wish to assure the committee, leaders of society and community members in various corners of the province that I am personally taking up the matter of localisation.
“We want to ensure that during the construction and refurbishment of public health institutions, emerging Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the construction sector at local level benefit from projects implemented by the Department of Public Works on behalf of government departments,” Sibiya said.
The MEC was pleased with the speed and efficiency in delivering social infrastructure projects that will ensure the provision of quality healthcare. He said the work at the hospital is a clear demonstration of the ability to deliver all infrastructure projects on time, and within budget.
Sibiya also acknowledged the weaknesses around the contractor development programme, due to regulations under COVID-19 alert levels.
“The sourcing of building material and equipment from local suppliers, especially for mechanical and electrical works was also challenging. This is the matter which we have offered to focus on, working with Mdoni Local Municipality as we move forward,” he said.
Eyesizwe Contractor Development Programme (ECDP)
The MEC said the inclusion of local contractors in the database under the Eyesizwe Contractor Development Programme (ECDP) would ensure the development, nurturing of local talent and ultimately job creation at local level. The programme is led and facilitated by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works as a means to implement successful Contractor Development Programmes (CDPs) within the province.
ECDP aims to increase and promote capacity, equity ownership, skills improvement, maintenance of capital works, sustainability and performance of registered and emerging contractors, with preference given to youth, women and persons with disabilities, and military veterans registered on the National Military Veterans database.
Sibiya said the department has also taken a firm position to be an integral part of enhancement of industrial development, through the stimulation of construction and manufacturing sectors.
“This is fundamental towards the creation of employment, economic growth in the province, as guided by the Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan announced by Premier Sihle Zikalala.
“We remain determined to ensure to build local economies in order to defeat poverty and underdevelopment. We will achieve this by improving the social infrastructure such as construction of schools, public health facilities and other social infrastructure,” Sibiya said.