Featured Project: Kaptis Hydropower Plant

Kenya

Description
Construction of the 14.7MW Kaptis Hydropower Plant in Western Region, Kenya.

 

Status Region
Procedural Kenya
Category Value
Infrastructure R 100 million+
Industry Timing
Power Grid, Industrial 2020 onwards
Sector Class
Private Open Tender / Pre-Qualification / Invited


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About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Challenges Women Face in the Construction Industry

There has been a large number of studies done since the 19th century, highlighting the challenges women face in male-dominated industries. An even more alarming amount of research was undertaken after “female friendlier” 20th century. Research in the 20th century focused on challenges women in the construction industry face, whether it is in entering or remaining in the industry. It was interesting to note that even though these studies were undertaken independently of each other, there were a few common factors in all the papers that highlighted. These key papers and factors challenged the status quo and put to question other issues women deal with.

The factors I have identified in my research are presented in this blog with elaboration on each factor. The overall aim in putting together this blog was not to leave female readers feeling defeated but rather, I hope that it becomes a part of a narrative that encourages women in this sector to carry on holding it down and changing the outdated social behavioural norms this industry is built upon despite the hardships. Their time of existence is up!

Factors discussed include:

  • The image of the industry,
  • Career knowledge,
  • Culture and working environment,
  • Male-dominated training courses and
  • Family commitments.

The studies showed that the general image of the sector was a huge deciding factor for both men and women however, it presents more pressures to women. Studies found to illustrate the sector’s image as highly militant as it is a male-dominated sector requiring brute strength, good tolerance for outdoor conditions, inclement weather and bad language and experts have suggested that it is mainly this image that makes females uninterested in gaining entry in the sector.

To add fuel to the fire, the sector has also been infamously defined as being among the most chauvinistic with an extremely macho culture which is hostile and discriminatory to women. This often results in women having to act like men to be successful, or leave if they are not adaptable to the culture. Or they remain in the industry without behaving like men but then they maintain unimportant positions with no real power to make impactful decisions.

The academic training offered by institutions and training organizations create a host of problems for women where they are faced with general disbelief either while in school from the instructors or when they enter the working world from their colleagues that they could be technically competent. My findings also illustrated that women tend to lack access to informal networks that provide access to high-profile development opportunities. Furthermore, women have limited offers presented to them or limited access to a range of developmental experiences and activities that build the credibility they need to advance in this industry. I am uncertain though if the latter finding is due to the academic structures of the sector or the companies hiring these females just not being open to offering these opportunities to them.

And finally, the child-bearing problem, a never-ending issue for women with career aspirations in any sector. I did not need to do much research on this last factor as it touches a personal aspect of my life. The demands the construction industry places on personal relationships is tremendous and damaging. My father was a civil engineer, employed a director in the Department of Transport KZN. The constant site meetings, inspections and whatever else he had on his plate put a strain on our father-daughter bond. Simply put, he was never home and this is a reality for a lot of site-based employees, they are usually subject to the location needs and potential change. As a result, I moved around a lot as a kid and just working at Leads 2 Business and interacting with professionals daily-basis, I am sad to say that the industry is still failing to appreciate some of the issues associated with combining work and family commitments and because of the childbearing innate character in most females, finding a balance between work and family could be a huge factor that poses difficulties for women in the industry.

In closing, I will use the words by Zara Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, the architect-designer for the London Aquatics Centre for the Olympic Games.

It’s still very difficult for women to operate as professionals because there are still some worlds women have no access to. No matter what you do, because you’re a woman, you cannot enter. Sometimes the difficulties are incomprehensible. You cannot believe the enormous resistance I’ve faced just for being an Arab, and a woman on top of that. The moment my woman-ness is accepted, the Arab-ness seems to become a problem. I’ve broken beyond the barrier, but it’s been a very long struggle. It’s made me tougher and more precise – and maybe this is reflected in my work. I still experience resistance, but I think this keeps you on the go.”

I think that sums up the rewards of perseverance in the industry. Just keep going. It will pay off!

Sources:
B Constructive
Semantic Scholar
The Guardian
Building Professions, (University of Sussex: Institute for Employment Studies/CIOB)


To view more Articles, please visit our Leads 2 Business Blog.
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About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Featured Project: Rusizi 4 Hydropower Dam

Rusizi 4 Hydropower Dam

Description
Construction of the 230MW Rusizi 4 Hydropower dam for Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project will cost US$700 million.

 

Status Region
Procedural Central Africa
Category Value
Infrastructure R 100 million+
Industry Timing
Infrastructure Completion due in 2024.
Sector Class
 Public Private Partnership Open Tender / Possible Pre-Qualification


If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details about this Featured Project here
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Featured Project: Mountain View iCity, Cairo – Creek Park

Mountain View iCity, Cairo – Creek Park

Description
Construction of residential units in Creek Park, one of six distinct parks that make up an integrated urban community, mixed-use development containing 18 000 housing units built on an area of 500 acres in New Cairo City, worth $3.6 billion. Creek Park has their own architectural style, landscaping and lifestyle personality. The units are designed like villas, but sized like apartments ranging from 100 to 500m², each with its own entrance, green space and parking.

 

Status Region
Underway Egypt
Category Value
Building R 100 million+
Industry Timing
Residential 2017 onwards.
Sector Class
Public Private Partnership Invited / Negotiated


If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details about this Featured Project here
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.
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About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

How Funding affects Construction in Africa

posted in: General 0

Construction is a vital sector of any country’s economy because the physical construction of the developments become the backbone of the nation’s economy that enables goods and services to be distributed within and outside the country.

Furthermore, the functionality of the designs and construction of the developments have an impact on the productivity with which other business activities can be undertaken. Thus it can be said that the infrastructure of a country influences the competitiveness of enterprises and the country’s abilities to attract foreign investment, which is important in an era of globalisation as nations compete to attract foreign domestic investment.

However, with the general economic weaknesses Africa faces as a developing continent it means that we do not enjoy the realities of the above utopia.

Construction in Africa is predominantly funded through the following four Funding mechanisms

Government Funding
The Government is spending the “peoples money” to fund the project.

Private Funding
A project which is funded by a private developer which can be a private individual or company.

Loans
Financial assistance provided by an international bank or international financial institution to the government which is repayable after some time with interest. e.g.   a loan from the African Development Bank or a generous loan from generous ‘ China ’

Public-Private Partnerships
A contract between a government institution and a private company, in which the private company bears significant risk and management responsibility, and payment is linked to performance.

Regional Construction Focus

East Africa

With 166 underway projects on our website: East Africa accounts for 23.4% of projects on the continent.

Southern Africa

With 1229 underway projects on our website. The region accounts for 30.7% of all projects in Africa.

Central Africa

With 14 underway projects on our website. The region continues to be negatively affected by lower commodity prices, as all countries in the region are resource dependent. In total Central Africa is home to a few major public projects worth about US$9.8bn.

West Africa

With 66 underway projects on our website. The region accounts for 26.1% of all projects in Africa.

North Africa

With 50 underway projects on our website. The region accounts for 13.2% of all trackable projects on the continent.

Just taking into account the 1 525 projects that are marked as underway on our website out of the 6 412 captured,(with a cidb grading value 8-9. In stages between Conceptual – Underway) we can deduct that Africa requires an unprecedented magnitude of funds that individual countries do not have or just cannot afford to fully invest in. Furthering the dependency of international loans that we receive from the likes of China. This then minimizes the opportunities for local companies to make a sizeable splash in the construction pond.

The lack of funding or rather the ability for African nations to allocate more of their financial resources into construction has also cultivated a culture of non-payment of accounts. The amounts due to construction companies and a failure to make payment in time, lead to horrible liquidation or business rescue of established first-tier companies that boost the sector.

Furthermore due to the general economic weakness in the continent and a high need for infrastructure development means that we see more contracts that are uneconomical if work was to be given to local contracting professionals.

We further see delays in the completion of contracts within the scheduled times, if ever because of a lack of funds: which adversely affect the chances of any African nation attracting good and healthy direct foreign investment to boost the overall economy of the country. Furthermore, it affects local construction professionals because it becomes hard for them to afford to take the work.

Africa’s construction industry deficit is a cause of great distress. The problem of internal funding shortage and the large size of the infrastructure needs, require a lot of funding options. That we have! However, it would be great if we had ones that lessen the over-dependence on international loans because this allows excessive exposure and vulnerability of the continent and its resources.

Responsible lending and borrowing behaviour are required on the part of Africa and its development partners to avoid unsustainable external debt levels which are detrimental to Africa’s construction industry growth.

No matter what cause I pick for my topic, the prevalent effect seems to mimic a viscous airtime advance system cycle: You borrow airtime. Load airtime to pay back the service provider. Clear your debt. Be left with nothing. Then you have to borrow airtime again to survive and in the end, you have not looked after your own interests. In my opinion, the health and growth of the local construction scene by our own labour should be of main interest for the decision makers when funding the sector is concerned.

Concluding I have to admit, I would fail to propose a well developed, practically applicable solution model to the effects I have presented above. However as much as there are a whole lot of challenges surrounding construction operations in Africa, there is potential for growth. If we would just find suitable and positive investment strategies that will work for a developing continent, without harming the wealth of business knowledge, skills and labour we already have, in years to come the industry could be so well developed it would practically fund itself.

 

Sources:
George Ofori, Ph.D., D.Sc., Funding Construction Industry Development
Deloitte, Africa Construction Trend Reports
BDO South Africa, Saving the Construction Sector
African Business, Boosting development through sovereign wealth funds
Wikipedia

 


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About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Featured Project: The Crown Grant – Building

The Crown Grant – Building

The Palms

Description
Construction of The Crown Grant holiday resort.

 

Status Region
Design Western Cape
Category Value
Building
Unknown At This Stage
Industry Timing
Hospitality & Leisure 2019 onwards
Sector Class
Private Invited / Negotiated

 

The Crown Grant - Building

Please visit Leads 2 Business for more information on this project.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.
To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.

About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Featured Project: The Giant Flag project

The Giant Flag project

Karoshoek Solar Valley Development

Description
Construction of The Giant Flag project at the Valley of Desolation at Graaff-Reinet, in the Eastern Cape Province.

 

Status Region
Procedural Eastern Cape
Category Value
Infrastructure R 0 Million – R 30 Million
Industry Timing
Power Grid 2018 Onwards
Sector Class
Public Private Partnership Open Tender / Pre-Qualification / Invited

 

Please visit Leads 2 Business for more information on The Giant Flag project
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.
To view more articles, please visit the Leads 2 Business Blog.

About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.

Featured Project: Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre

Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre

Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre

Description
Construction of a dinosaur interpretive center at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, in the Free State.

 

Status Region
Awarded Free State
Category Value
Building R61 Million – R100 Million
Industry Timing
Institutional July 2018 to October 2019 (15 months).
Sector Class
Public Open Tender

 

Leads 2 Business: Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre

 

Please visit Leads 2 Business for more information on the Golden Gate Dinosaur Centre project.
If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit Leads 2 Business.
To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit the Leads 2 Business Wiki.
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About Minnie Zondi

I am an insanely optimistic ambivert that does everything from the heart instead of the mind. Deeply interested in people and matters that pertain to mankind.