NELSON Mandela Bay small businesses yesterday flocked to New Brighton’s Nangoza Jebe Hall hoping to convince major subcontractors working on the R1.7-billion Baywest Mall development to use them on the project.
Subcontractors involved in the massive development next to the N2 freeway met SMMEs who were hoping to benefit from work on site at the Baywest Subcontractor Expo.
Murray & Roberts transformation manager Sheldon Mayet told SMMEs the opportunity was a first for small businesses in the region. The construction firm is the mall’s principal contractor.
“Murray & Roberts have not done something like this before. This is an opportunity to network with the subcontractors which match your skills.
“The opportunity is yours. Our subcontractors want to be able to transfer their skills [to small businesses],” Mayet said.
Five Star waterproofing SMME owner Leonardo Petersen, who attended the expo with employee Lee Boucher, said it was a great chance to market his business to larger subcontractors, not just for the Baywest project, but also for future projects.
“This has been useful because it’s more than just my name on a database, it’s a chance for me to market myself directly to the subcontractors on the project.
“It has also allowed me to find out what the subcontractors’ needs are and where my business can assist,” Petersen said.
Baywest waterproofing subcontractor Michael Crafford, of Aspect Waterproofing, said the expo exposed SMMEs to more business opportunities.
Baywest project manager Chris Beech said one of the priorities of the mall’s developers, Abacus Asset Management and Billion Group, was to involve as many previously disadvantaged people and black businesses as possible.
“We are making every effort for as much skills transfer to local businesses as possible within the short construction period,” Beech said. – Business Reporter