Roads Agency Limpopo Seal R75 Million Deal with Skills Development Authority
Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) and the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), a quality assurer and skills development authority, recently signed a R75 Million strategic partnerships agreement.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) seeks to support skills development and poverty alleviation amongst the youth, women and people living with disabilities in the Limpopo Province transport sector, as well as offer public awareness and road safety education.
TETA sees this partnership with RAL as an opportunity to intensify its reach and impact. In terms of the MoU agreement, RAL will offer Optional Practical Training (OPT) opportunities in its various programmes and projects for the next 12 months.
The three areas to be covered include; Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), which will target 400 artisans and backyard companies, and Small Business Development and Support, which will target 1 000 emerging contractors and a further 100 beneficiaries per district of the five Limpopo district municipalities, namely Capricorn, Mopani, Sekhukhune, Vhembe and Waterberg.
According to RAL CEO Maselaganye Matji, the Small Business Development and Support element fits directly into the Agency’s Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) programme.
“In the organisation (RAL), we have a dedicated unit for SMME development, monitoring programmes in all the projects that we are running and ensuring that we get reliable data that can inform our strategy for SMME development,” says Mr Matji.
TETA will use its skills development funds to fund programmes related to roads and transport sector as a top up to RAL programmes for road infrastructure delivery.
There will also be driver training and road safety education aspect, the third area of focus, which will target 120 government officials including but not limited to those in the Limpopo Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure; Limpopo Department of
Transport and Community Safety; Roads Agency Limpopo; and the five Limpopo district municipalities.
RAL and TETA will establish as Joint Working Committee (JWC) to develop an annual joint programme of work.
Dr Cornelius Reuters for RAL said this is the beginning of a greater partnership between RAL and TETA. “Limpopo faces a lot of traffic and a lot of issues from the roads perspective. And the identification of the areas of focus that we need for the province was imperative,” said Dr Reuters.
TETA has appointed Camissa Institute of Human Performance, who have experience of working on the ground in Limpopo Province, to facilitate the three programmes.
As a road infrastructure delivery parastatal, RAL plays a key role in the socio-economic development of the province. “RAL use roads as vehicle for driving and growing the economy, creating jobs and supporting rural development in areas where it implements its projects,” says Mr Matji.
The main contractors are required to subcontract 30% of contract value to local SMMEs and spent 10% of contract value to employ local labourers.
In the period 2015 to 2017, a total of R460 million and R76 744 million were spent on local SMMEs and labourers in project areas respectively. And a total of 3 833 job opportunities were created in this regard.
Part of the budget that is ringfenced for the development of local SMMEs and labourers is used to offer local labourers on-the-job and accredited training. And also in the period 2015 to 2017, RAL has equipped a total of 1 033 locals – 60% of whom are women and the youth - with accredited training.
These figures are independently audited.
According to Mr Matji, this is a way to uplift and leave skills in communities.
“We ensure that local SMMEs understand business principles to better run their businesses and to better equip local labourers to participate in future projects.”
Added to the on-the-job training, which focuses on road construction projects, RAL has for many years supported a considerable number of students pursuing theirs studies in Civil Engineering with bursaries and internships.
“It is the priority of the current RAL leadership to continue to make a difference in the lives of the youth of Limpopo Province and South Africa. And this agreement with TETA will go a long way in achieving that objective,” said Mr Matji.
“IT IS THE PRIORITY OF THE CURRENT RAL LEADERSHIP...TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THE YOUTH OF LIMPOPO PROVINCE...”
Director at Camissa Institute of Human Performance (TETA facilitators) Trevor Taft and Roads Agency Limpopo CEO Maselaganye Matji flanked by RAL’s Head of Engineering Cornelius Reuters (far left) and Pakiso Moema (far right), also a director at Camissa Institute, during the MoU signing.