The Ministry of Works and Transport, in partnership with the Namibia Small Contractors Association, graduated 53 contractors in Ongwediva on Friday.
The chief architect at the Ministry of Works and Transport, Jawett Dzimwasha, said the SME Building Contractors’ training workshop lasted for two weeks. He said the workshop was only the second of its kind conducted by the ministry. The first was held in Windhoek at the beginning of the year.
The programme was initially planned to run for a week, but lasted for two weeks. “The SME building contractors comprised of 14 women. The graduates went through a training workshop that included tender processes and procedures and construction and management skills, among others,” he said.
Teaching contractors the important techniques of tendering will reduce the number of unqualified tender applicants that the ministry experiences, he said.
“One of the aims of the training is to enable the trainees to put what they have learned to good use, such that come 2030, Namibia will have indigenous building contractors to not just compete with, but to replace the so-called experienced and well-resourced category A contractors in Namibia,” Dzimwasha further stated.
He emphasised that the exercise came about after government realised that many SME contractors have to pay penalties for late completion of projects, meaning government has to pay more as a result of re-tendering and livelihoods are adversely affected by job losses as a result of disengagements after the untimely termination of building construction contracts, for example.
Dzimwasha said the programme is scheduled to be repeated elsewhere in the country. The next workshop is scheduled for Swakopmund in mid-May, followed by Otjiwarongo in June.
Executive director of Namibia Small Contractors Association Magreth Kazondunge said the certificates issued are accredited by the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).
Kazondunge further noted that by 2018 those participating in tendering should have a certificate of attendance of the training. “The Ministry of Works and Transport is the stakeholder for all construction companies and is driving capacity development in the country,” Kazondunge said.
She concluded that if interested entrepreneurs missed the opportunity to attend the recent training, the second intake in September should not be missed.