Several small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the City of Johannesburg’s Region E will have the opportunity to get involved as sub-contractors in the multimillion-rand refurbishment of a Johannesburg Water property in Zandfontein, Kramerville.
Johannesburg Water is a City entity charged with the responsibility to provide water and sanitation infrastructure and services. The property, to be renovated at a cost of R9-million, is used to house some of Johannesburg Water’s female employees. The refurbishment project also entails the carrying out of remedial work and extensions to the existing property and its ablution facilities.
This was announced by officials of the City’s Region E and Johannesburg Water at a briefing session on Tuesday July 5. The officials told the packed hall that sub-contractors should not remain small companies but upscale. Johannesburg Water Project Engineer Reneilwe Maepa said the main aim of the project was to empower SMMEs so they could graduate into the mainstream and become competitive in the industry. “Sub-contractors here are Grade 1s. We want to move them to a higher grade. This is important to us as Johannesburg Water,” Maepa said.
During the briefing, participants said in big projects like this the main contractors tended to exploit the sub-contractors. They said they needed to be assured that this would not be the case in this instance.
Freddie Malema, a foreman at the main contractor SMEC, said the company understood the concerns of sub-contractors. He said training and capacity building would be provided to SMMEs during the implementation of the project. “Our main task is to capacitate them. I will personally be monitoring their work. They will be trained on the job. Next time they should be the main contractors,” he said.
SMEC is expected to give a monthly report on the progress. Sub-contracting work, which includes painting and tiling, is expected to be carried out over two months. The main project is scheduled to be completed by the end of September this year.