LIMPOPO – The glittering event was held at Fusion Boutique Hotel and Saskia Restaurant in Polokwane on Thursday evening.
The event, which was attended by businessmen and women in construction across Limpopo, was poised to recognise the exuberant work done by Limpopo contractors within the province and beyond the province’s borders.
“This award means the beginning of hard work, commitment, dedication and teamwork with other emerging contractors in an endeavour to deliver more projects which would change the lives of the people of Limpopo and beyond for the better,” said Mabilu during his acceptance speech.
Mabilu, whose company Vharanani Properties won the best construction company in grade-9 general building and civil engineering, said government “preferred white people for huge tenders that involve millions of Rand”.
He added it was the norm that black constructors could not deliver huge projects, not because they don’t have the know-how but because they are still regarded as the underdogs in the construction industry.
Mabilu called on Limpopo Provincial Government, departments and its 27 municipalities to start taking black entrepreneurs seriously and to reward them with big projects.
He appealed to black businesses to form joint ventures in big projects in an effort to be recognised and trusted in the awarding of big projects.
He, however, appealed to black businessmen and women to work diligently in an effort to build trust and prove to those who still have doubts that blacks can also make it in the construction industry. Black Business Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Mofokeng, said late payment of invoices by government negatively affects service delivery.
He said this was demoralising and delayed the completion of the projects.
“It must be known that when government fails to pay a service provider, subcontractors and employees suffer the most.
“It must be borne in mind the money we are paid by government for work well done is going into the hands of many other people, some of whom are breadwinners in their families,” said Mofokeng.
“We appeal to the Limpopo government under the tutelage of the Premier and ANC Provincial Chairperson, Chupu Stanley Mathabatha, to continue doing the good work by paying our service providers on time. From our side we promise to deliver good work that would make Limpopo proud and change lives,” he said.
Treasury MEC, Rob Tooley, commended the work done by contractors in Limpopo saying their work was always a breath of fresh air.
Tooley, who spoke on behalf of Mathabatha, promised the contractors they would be paid on time, thus helping them remain motivated and determined.