Eskom Development Foundation chief executive officer Cecil Ramonotsi is calling on owners of small businesses in the construction and engineering sectors to enter Eskom's Business Investment Competition.
As the country gradually recovers from the economic devastation of Covid-19, the construction industry, which suffered a knock from the hard lockdown from March 2020 is expected to grow by 6.2% in real terms in 2021. PwC reports that the construction industry accounts for around one-tenth of the world's gross domestic product, 7% of employment, half of all resource usage and up to 40% of energy consumption. However, the industry also grapples with issues of sustainability owing to environmental, safety and social concerns.
“Through our enterprise development interventions, such as the Contractor Academy and the Business Investment Competition, Eskom seeks to address such challenges,” says Ramonotsi. Launched 13 years ago, Eskom’s annual Business Investment Competition (BIC) targets small businesses in the manufacturing, agriculture and agri-processing, construction and engineering, and trade and services sectors which have been in operation for a minimum of two years or more.
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“South Africa faces a skills shortage in the engineering sector and continues to lose engineers who migrate for better opportunities elsewhere in the world. We need to create a conducive environment for the engineering sector to thrive here at home, as well as assist the small players with the prerequisite skills sets to compete over the long-term,” said Nthato Minyuku, Eskom’s group executive for government and regulatory affairs.
Qualifying businesses are encouraged to enter at www.eskombic2021.co.za
until midnight on 31 October 2021. Winners in each category will receive cash prizes. All entrants also benefit from a two-day Business Connect workshop that focuses on building various business skills.