The Construction Indaba, hosted by the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit in the eThekwini Municipality, started on a high note at the Durban Exhibition Centre today (23/04/2013) with an attendance of close to 300 contractors.
 
The two-day conference and workshop, which ends tomorrow (24/04/2013), is aimed at empowering emerging and established contractors to become self-sustainable and also to help them through the industry’s most common challenges and factors that impact negatively on business growth and sustainability.
 
The Construction Indaba also provides an opportunity to discuss how contractors and developers, both emerging and established, can work with Government to contribute to the economy through creation of employment and reducing the number of rural-urban migration.
 
Manager in the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit, Anneline Chetty said the Unit was committed to the construction industry.
“This is evident with the programmes in eThekwini. SMMEs face many challenges and the biggest problem is lack of awareness and co-ordination of business services,” she said.
 
The purpose of hosting this event was for the Municipality to address the issues that were revealed by the Construction Research that the Municipality had conducted in 2008. The research identified lack of skill, both soft and technical, access to funding and access to information as the most prominent issues that affected the success of small and emerging businesses in the industry and especially the specialised trade contractors.
 
Some of the issues that the conference touched on included the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), joint ventures and incubation support for small businesses.
 
Other keynote speakers included Cyril Gwala from Tongaat Hullets Development, Mzwanele Memani from the Department of Trade and Industry, Siphokazi Kwakeni from the National Department of Human Settlements and Thobeka Mdakane for Gumbi Consulting.
 
The Construction Indaba continues tomorrow with breakaway discussion groups on construction development, access to funding and industry legislation.
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email:thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Silindile Maluleka on 031 311 4811/073 332 693 or email: silindile.maluleka@durban.gov.za