The Department of Infrastructure (DOI) provided contractors with important information about government procurement requirements and procedures at the Construction Information Session and Exhibition (CIS-EXPO) held in Khayalethu, Knysna, on 13 September 2023. A number of other role-players also participated in the event.

To be considered for any government tender, bidders must meet essential procurement system requirements. DOI officials provided contractors with information about the Electronic Procurement System (EPS), where information about tenders can be found, and the Central Supplier Database (CSD), which provides a list of eligible contractors and whether the information they have supplied is up to date.

The CIS-EXPO forms part of the DOI’s Contractor Development Programme (CDP), an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) initiative aimed at developing skills and promoting business sustainability for emerging contractors in the construction industry.

CDP beneficiaries include contractors with a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of 1–5, particularly youth and women. CDP training programmes include Foundation Phase training for CIDB Grades 1–2, and Advanced Training and Mentoring for CIDB Grade 3–5 participants.

“We assisted contractors with information on how to be compliant with government regulations so that they are able to compete in the market”, said Ntombi Zwane of the CDP. “The session was also a networking and business advancement opportunity,” she added.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s (DEDAT) Enterprise Development, Office of the Consumer Protector, and Red Tape Reduction units participated in the event to shed more light on working in the industry.

Other organisations exhibiting at the CIS-EXPO were the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (NDPWI), the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), Knysna Local Municipality, and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA).

This platform gave contractors the opportunity to ask about training, funding, and tendering opportunities, and to engage with the BCCEI about the negotiation of wages and conditions of employment, ensuring compliance with negotiated collective agreements, and the prevention and resolution of labour disputes within the industry.