Hon MEC Babalo Madikizela held an engagement session with contractors in Mthatha, OR Tambo Region, focusing on the importance of growing Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) into well-established businesses that can help develop the infrastructure of the Eastern Cape.
Councilor Thokozile Sokhanyile: OR Tambo District Municipality Mayor, in acknowledging Contractors present in the session said “It is quite crucial that you share your inputs, state your challenges and share your sentiments in this session. Tell us what is it that the government is not doing right, give us your constructive criticism so that when we leave here, we go with a clear understanding and have clarity wherever it is needed. In those words I welcome you all” she alluded.
The Hon MEC encouraged the partnership with Municipalities for better service delivery.He also said that the people that should benefit from Eastern Cape projects are the citizens of Eastern Cape and that should be verified in making sure that indeed contractors from this Province do benefit.
Contractors were given a chance to raise their issues and concerns. They raised the issue of 30 per cent beneficiation where SMME’S feel that they are robbed by bigger Construction Companies. The other issue was not being paid within 30 days.
The Hon MEC addressed these issues “The department will do its best to deal with the payment of SMME’S within 30 days. The department has acknowledged all the mistakes of the past and the issues that you just raised will be implemented. We understand your frustration that is why we are here today “he added.
The department will collaborate with all relevant stakeholders in discussing critical issues such as: The Contractor business sector must interact with Regional Directors, and the forums must have one Regional team instead of individuals using Public Works as the nerve center of infrastructure delivery. “All these issues have been noted and they will be taken into consideration” said Hon.MEC Babalo Madikizela. He requested contractors not to close projects but engage with the department.
Article by: Zimbini Vobi and Ayabonga Nkalitshana
Pictures by: Ayabonga Nkalitshana