On 25 February 2016 a two-year long construction skills development programme that formed part of a training partnership between the Limpopo Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure (LDPWRI) and multidisciplinary construction group Stefanutti Stocks, culminated in a closing ceremony held at the Meropa Casino and Entertainment World in Polokwane.
“We celebrate this partnership which showed and set an example for other private institutions to come forth and work with government with a common purpose of developing our communities,” said Mr AJD Ndou, the MEC of Limpopo Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure. “We appreciate the financial, time and technical expertise injected by Stefanutti Stocks into this partnership. The success of this programme is a testament of the commitment by the executive management of the company.”
The programme was developed to enhance the pool of construction skills within the province, with a specific objective of this public private partnership being to improve the volumes and standards of professionals, skilled workers and medium-sized construction enterprises within the built environment.
The programme consisted of three levels of engagement, including internships for graduates and undergraduates, practical work place experience; work place experience for bricklaying apprenticeships; and a Contractor Development Programme custom-designed to develop Limpopo-based, black-owned enterprises and assist them to gain experience, expertise and the skills (including tendering, pricing, site administration and operations) to empower them to improve their Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading.
The ten participants (seven of which are majority black-woman owned) that successfully completed the programme include Khazamula Civil and Construction, Makasana Construction CC, Malumash Enterprises CC, Mashrik Social Development, Mmagongwana General Construction, Nakiseni Business Enterprise, Nare Molebowe General Enterprises, PA Letsaola Construction Enterprises, Xiluvelweni Trading Enterprise and Zookie Construction and Projects. Each of these companies was awarded a certificate of achievement by Mr AJD Ndou, the MEC of Limpopo Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure.
“Feedback on the programme from all sides, in particular from the ten contractors, has been very positive and has demonstrated that we have achieved our original objectives,” says Andrew Hewitt, proposals director for Stefanutti Stocks Roads, Pipelines & Mining Services. “We have built great relationships with the participants over the past year, and are looking forward to continuing to engage with them.”
The programme was independently reviewed by the CIDB and given a score of 93 per cent, placing it as one of the best in South Africa. Other programme highlights included the placement of five apprentices at Stefanutti Stocks' Kusile site, as well as the placement of 12 student interns at the group’s Kusile and Sasol sites, with two placements resulting in permanent employment.