“They are capable and can achieve anything they set out to achieve”. De Lille congratulated all the winners and saluted all contestants for their bravery and perseverance in a particularly male dominated industry.
“There are two words that we need to remove from our vocabulary: I can’t,” she said, adding that every woman can certainly do anything that they wish to do. De Lille delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction (ERWIC) Awards 2020, an awards programme developed by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) to celebrate and encourage women in the construction industry and showcase women-led projects and achievements.
De Lille conceded there is still much to be done in the area of women’s empowerment. She revealed supply management has already provided input to National Treasury with regard to procurement regulations where the department is advocating for setting aside contracts for women at the level of a main contract rather than only in the 30% mandated subcontracting award.
This, she said, was where the department was planning to move women into a higher cidb grade. Historically, just 20% of government construction tenders are awarded to female-owned entities. The hope, however, is that with more projects on the horizon as a result of SA’s drive to kickstart the economy with an infrastructure investment drive, substantial business development is within reach for women-owned entities.