“No more lip service”: Department of Public Works and Infrastructure invests in tangible construction industry transformation

“No more lip service”: Department of Public Works and Infrastructure invests in tangible construction industry transformation

9 December 2020. In the coming months, 23 award-winning women in construction will undergo business development coaching with Grow South Africa, compliments of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. The Department have sponsored the Grow Master Class programme for the winners of the inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) Awards 2020, an awards programme developed by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) to celebrate and encourage women in the construction industry and showcase women-led projects and achievements.

Speaking at the Grow Master Class launch event at the Premier Hotel in Midrand yesterday, Naledi Stemela, Chief Director at the Department said, “In the construction industry, we know that the ground is not yet level. As women, we know you have to push and pull to level the playing field. It is with great pride that the Department sponsors this opportunity for you all to further yourselves, your businesses, and your careers. Let it be noted that when we speak about transformation, we are not just going to do lip service anymore. We need to make sure women participate. The awards showed us that there are capable, professional, and exemplary women in the construction industry, and this is just the beginning of the journey.” 

The coaching and strategy sessions run by Grow will see the award recipient develop in this regard. Grow helps businesses in South Africa to convert business success into economic growth through entrepreneurial leadership. By undertaking the coaching process, recipients will learn to grow their business through strong leadership, enabling them to set direction and achieve operational excellence, supported by a winning team.

Cyril Vuyani Gamede addressed the ERWIC Award winners at the launch, saying, “Reflecting back on the awards process, the entries, and the finalists, I can say that the calibre of the women in our industry is high, and next years’ entrants have big shoes to fill. However, we challenge you to not make the awards the highlight of your career. In fact, the awards programme was just the beginning. Our hope for you is that your businesses and your professional development continue to reach new heights, where you can further serve as champions and role models for other women entering this industry.” He encouraged women to “claim their space” in the construction industry. “We hope you embrace this opportunity for growth and are proactive in your business development activities. Welcome to the beginning of the next phase of your career.”

Concluding the programme for the launch, Sakhile Mkwanazi, Grow coach, addressed the launch attendees: “It is a privilege for us to be part of this, to be active and deliberate in effecting change in South Africa and to contribute to the country’s economic growth.” He said Grow’s goal is to unlock potential for growth, profit and expansion through a focus on leadership, setting direction, achieving operational excellence, and enabling a winning team. “We call this the growth formula, and this is what we will use throughout the Grow programme.”

The launch event continued with an introductory business coaching session from Mkwanazi, who emphasised the value of strategic focus and value-adding activities in both day-to-day operations as well as long-term efforts. The launch concluded with lunch and networking amongst the esteemed guests, the winners of the ERWIC awards.