The inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) Awards took place late last month, celebrating women in the construction industry and showcasing women-led projects and achievements. Developed by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb), the awards programme consisted of 10 awards categories that recognised construction entities for their role in developing women in the industry and also recognise entities and individuals who support gender transformation and mentorship of women in the industry.
Patricia de Lille delivered the inaugural ERWIC Awards keynote address.
Department of Public Works and Infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille delivered the keynote address. “Women in SA need to be given the opportunity to participate meaningfully, including in the construction industry.
“They are capable and can achieve anything they set out to achieve,” she said.
Still much to be done
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 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, that substantial business development is within reach for women-owned entities.
Cyril Gamede, CEO, cidb
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.
2020 ERWIC Awards winners:
Project Delivery Excellence of the Year — Woman-owned Construction Entity
- Grade 1 winner: Phindile Cindi, PCA Trading and Projects
- Second place: Nthabaleng Pitso, Rejangmmoho Multi Trading
- Third place: Dineo Letsholo, Dineo Ya Rona Trading
- Grade 2-4 winner: Mikateko Rosemary Mabunda, Mikateko Trading Enterprise
- Joint second place: Thuli Ntanzi, Khalisi Holdings and Nkgomeleng Julia Petla, Amedzo Trading and Projects
- Third place: Patricia Satekge Masoko, Masoko Constructions
- Grade 5-6 winner: Nokuthula Mahlangu, Elezulu Construction
- Second place: Rachel Molamu, Mercycon
- Third place: Ouma Sophie Sibanyoni, Mamolato
- Grades 7 and up winner: Thobekile Ndlovu, Thobethulani Trading and Impressing Designs
Rural Project of the Year
- Winner: Rachel Molamu, Mercycon
- Second place: Nokuthula Mahlangu, Elezulu Constructions
- Third place: Mikateko Rosemary Mabunda, Mikateko Trading Enterprise
Mentoring Entity of the Year
- Winner: Ramatsobane Innocent Mpe, Ramatsobane Developers
- Second place: Lettie Mashau, Motheo Construction Group
- Third place: Nosiphiwo Sixhaso, Hlumantombazana Civil and Construction trading as Ngamela
Transformation Entity of the Year
- Winner: Lebogang Bridget Zulu, Tshitshirisang Construction and Projects
- Second place: Fana Skosana, Conscience Building and Projects
Youth-owned Woman Contractor of the Year
- Winner: Precious Seapose, Liviya Projects
- Second place: Ayanda Nkomo, Empower Electrical
- Third place: Sihle Makhanya, Makhanya Trading and Projects
Woman-owned Contractor of the Year
- Winner: Revona Botha, Robus Engineering Training Services
- Second place: Lebogang Bridget Zulu, Tshitshirisang Construction and Projects
- Third place: Celeste Margo LeRoux, React24
Woman Mentor of the Year
- Winner: Celeste Margo LeRoux, React24,
- Second place: Thobekile Ndlovu, Thobethulani Trading
- Third place: Thato Mokhothu, RTT Construction
Woman with Disability Contractor of the Year
- Winner: Duduzile Ellah Zulu, Qeda Contracting and Trading
The Chairman’s Award, which 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, posthumously went to Dr Thandi Ndlovu. Before she died a year ago, Ndlovu’s construction company, Motheo Construction Group, had built homes for more than 80,000 people.