Road project for SMEs - The Roads Authority (RA) yesterday signed a partnership agreement with Namibbeton (Pty) Ltd in a deal to benefit small contractors. The partnership agreement between the RA and Namibbeton is for the construction of a 25-kilometre gravel road costing a massive N$45.5 million.
The road will link Onayena to Omahenge. Namibbeton in turn, will enlist the services of five SMEs, whose combined contract value is 36 percent of the total cost for the road's construction.
The construction of the road is jointly funded by the government and the RA, which is a state-owned enterprise and work is expected to start next week Friday.
The construction project is expected to be completed within 15 months.
Speaking at the signing of the contract the acting CEO of the RA, Conrad Lutombi, said the Onayena-Omahenge road project is in line with the RA's empowerment drive of SMEs involved in the road construction industry.
'The RA Board of Directors approved the implementation of a policy on the development of SMEs in road construction and maintenance. The main objective of this policy is to develop capacity in roads construction and maintenance, and to assist motivated entrepreneurs in ... operating commercially-viable SMEs,' said Lutombi.
He said the policy would help SMEs to acquire the capacity to overcome the natural entry barriers in establishing successful businesses in the road construction industry. The five SME's that will benefit are Okasisiti Express; Creative Project Investments; Dankie Junior Investment cc; Monarch Construction cc and Ramamor Construction cc.
In addition to the contracted SMEs, the labour-based project is expected to create 300 temporary jobs during the construction phase for people living close to the Onayena-Omahenge road project.
During the 2009/10 financial year the RA has also been involved with 14 SME contractors in partnership with four civil engineering plant contractors in four labour-based road projects in the Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto and Kavango regions.
All labour-based road projects of the RA are structured in a manner to ensure that each SME contractor is in partnership with an established civil engineering plant contractor.
By Fifi Rhodes