“Women in SA need to be given the opportunity to participate meaningfully, including in the construction industry,” said Department of Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. “They are capable and can achieve anything they set out to achieve”. De Lille congratulated all the winners and saluted all contestants for their bravery and perseverance in a particularly male-dominated industry. “There are two words that we need to remove from our vocabulary: I can’t,” she said, adding that every woman can certainly do anything that they wish to do. De Lille delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) Awards 2020, an awards programme developed by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) to celebrate and encourage women in the construction industry and showcase women-led projects and achievements.
De Lille conceded there is still much to be done in the area of women’s empowerment. She revealed supply management has already provided input to National Treasury with regard to procurement regulations where the department is advocating for setting aside contracts for women at the level of a main contract rather than only in the 30% mandated subcontracting award. This, she said, was where the department was planning to move women into a higher cidb grade. Historically, just 20% of government construction tenders are awarded to female-owned entities. The hope, however, is that with more projects on the horizon as a result of SA’s drive to kickstart the economy with an infrastructure investment drive, substantial business development is within reach for women-owned entities.
The 2020 ERWIC Awards held on 26 August consisted of 10 awards categories that recognised construction entities for their role in developing women in the industry and also recognised entities and individuals who support gender transformation and mentorship of women in the industry.
In his opening address, cidb CEO Cyril Gamede said, “When a little more than a year ago, the possibility of these awards was first discussed, it seemed like an ambitious project. We certainly could not have predicted that we would bravely launch these awards under the most unusual of circumstances”. The ERWIC Awards aim to fulfil and implement an integrated strategy for the reconstruction, growth and development of the overall construction industry. “Key to this strategy has always been the critical target group of women, and in particular our women-owned construction entities.” The awards aim to recognise female-owned entities, mentors and promoters of women in construction.
In the category Project Delivery Excellence of the Year —Woman-owned Construction Entity, the grade 1 winner was Phindile Cindi from PCA Trading and Projects. Second place went to Nthabaleng Pitso from Rejangmmoho Multi Trading while third place was awarded to Dineo Letsholo from Dineo Ya Rona Trading.
The grade 2-4 winner was Mikateko Rosemary Mabunda from Mikateko Trading Enterprise. Joint second place was awarded to Thuli Ntanzi from Khalisi Holdings and Nkgomeleng Julia Petla from Amedzo Trading and Projects. Third place went to Patricia Satekge Masoko from Masoko Constructions.
The grade 5-6 winner was Nokuthula Mahlangu from Elezulu Construction, while second and third places were awarded to Rachel Molamu from Mercycon and Ouma Sophie Sibanyoni from Mamolato respectively. Thobekile Ndlovu from Thobethulani Trading and Impressing Designs was the winner in the grades 7 and up category.
Winner of the Rural Project of the Year was Rachel Molamu from Mercycon. Second place was awarded to Nokuthula Mahlangu from Elezulu Constructions while third place went to Mikateko Rosemary Mabunda from Mikateko Trading Enterprise.
The winner of the Mentoring Entity of the Year category was Ramatsobane Innocent Mpe from Ramatsobane Developers. Second place went to Lettie Mashau from Motheo Construction Group while third place was awarded to Nosiphiwo Sixhaso from Hlumantombazana Civil and Construction, trading as Ngamela.
In the Transformation Entity of the Year category, the winner was Lebogang Bridget Zulu from Tshitshirisang Construction and Projects. Second place went to Fana Skosana from Conscience Building and Projects. Winner of the Youth-owned Woman Contractor of the Year was Precious Seapose from Liviya Projects. Second place went to Ayanda Nkomo from Empower Electrical, while third place went to Sihle Makhanya from Makhanya Trading and Projects.
In the Woman-owned Contractor of the Year category, the 2020 winner was Revona Botha from Robus Engineering Training Services. Second place went to Lebogang Bridget Zulu from Tshitshirisang Construction and Projects, while third place was awarded to Celeste Margo LeRoux from React24.
The 2020 Woman Mentor of the Year was Celeste Margo LeRoux from React24, while second place went to Thobekile Ndlovu from Thobethulani Trading. Third place was awarded to Thato Mokhothu from RTT Construction. Duduzile Ellah Zulu from Qeda Contracting and Trading won the Woman with Disability Contractor of the Year award.
The prestigious Chairman’s Award aims to recognise an outstanding woman or woman-owned entity within the construction industry who has contributed significantly to the development and transformation of women in the South African construction industry through dedication, conviction, vision, commitment and leadership. “Although there were a number of impressive candidates put forward this year, one candidate stood out for her impressive career, commitment to women at all times and her outstanding leadership qualities” said cidb chairperson Nonkululeko Sindane. Dr Thandi Ndlovu had the 2020 Chairman’s Award posthumously bestowed on her. Before she died a year ago, Ndlovu ’s construction company, Motheo Construction Group, had built homes for more than 80 000 people.