Visitors at the one-day event were drawn from different communities surrounding AfriSam's Jukskei and Eikenhof quarries.
AfriSam says the training programme is important as the correct use of cement in construction projects can improve profitability and deliver quality structures for SMME (small, medium and micro enterprise) construction companies. The training was held at the AfriSam Business Development Centre in Roodepoort, Gauteng province.
The training forms part of the company’s Enterprise and Supplier Development support programme provided to SMMEs. The skills and services offered by the AfriSam Business Development Centre are meant to empower previously disadvantaged businesses by equipping the owners with knowledge and expertise to improve how they render products and services for various construction projects.
“With this training, we hope that small businesses can get better value out of the materials they purchase and deliver greater quality and be able to compete with big companies for bigger projects," says Betty Masinge, community development manager at AfriSam.
One participant at the training event was Percy Baloyi who is director of the Greengate Projects company that specialises in construction of concrete columns, slabs, installation of staircases, building of houses and other structures. Baloyi, who is originally from Limpopo, says he now understands the different cement types, strengths usage and mixing ratios. He plans to use the knowledge to manufacture quality bricks and slabs to pave the dusty roads in his hometown.
AfriSam’s technical trainer Leslie Mchunu facilitated the training which focused on the correct mix and use of cement, concrete, plaster, and mortar applications to achieve superior quality in construction projects.
Peter Molete, founder of Molete Projects and Services which specialises in building construction and civil works, has been attending various AfriSam training programmes since 2019.
“When I started my business, I had limited skills, no funds, no mentor, all I had was a dream," Molete says. "I have gained invaluable knowledge and expertise through the AfriSam training programmes and my skill set now range from corporate branding, marketing and financial management to brick laying, paving, plastering and now the correct use of cement in concrete, plaster and mortar applications."
Thabisile Jabu Magoda, founder of NTN Magoda General Trading, believes that her new skill set will enable her company to build better, stronger and more lasting structures and has put her in a better position to perform in a previously male-dominated environment/industry.
At the end of the programme SMMEs received certificates to prove that they have basic knowledge about cement, aggregates, and ready-mix. Based on performance, a few will be selected to develop accredited learnings through the Concrete Cement Institute of South Africa, fully funded by AfriSam.