Despite the construction industry’s clear desire to make itself more inclusive experts believe that many contractors remain frustrated because they don’t seem to be making headway.

Boitumelo Thipe, a representative from the Master Builders Association (MBA) north, believes the key issue is that many emerging contractors simply do not understand what they need to do to get the jobs.

Thipe says the public sector is committed to massive infrastructure spend, but smaller contractors often lack the knowledge that is necessary to get the tender.

Knowing what to look for

“There are many common mistakes that contractors make when tendering, and if they only knew what these mistakes were, it would be relatively easy to rectify,” she says.

Smaller contractors also have to learn how to engage with, and satisfy, the principal contractors who typically undertake the biggest projects in both the public and private sectors.

“Knowing what main contractors are looking for is half the battle,” she notes. “Contractors also need to know how to price a bid, and what specific things a main contractor is looking for over the course of a project.”

Emerging contractors’ indaba

In order to help emerging contractors overcome these challenges, the MBA (North) and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) will hold an indaba in Polokwane on 17 May for emerging contractors in the region. “Limpopo is open for business” has been designed to address these and other issues that affect CIDB Level 1-6 contractors.

Speakers from local municipalities, main contractors and others will advise on forthcoming projects, common mistakes that put contractors out of contention for tenders, and what main contractors are looking for. Other talks will cover how to price a bill of quantities and health and safety tips.

The indaba will conclude with a forecast of the growth opportunities in the construction industry for the year ahead, delivered by a leading economist.