Female contractors appeal for Govt support

LACK of support for women in the construction sector has become a hindrance for marketing local contractors to boost a lot of construction companies run by women in the country, says NASI industry CEO Namakau Siyanga. Ms Siyanga said it was difficult for women in the industry to penetrate into the market because they lacked support. She said the local contractors needed to be given a priority so that the country did not lose colossal sums of money to other countries. Ms Siyanga said a lot of people especially women were scared of going into the construction sector because it was not well marketted in Zambia as they (women) were underrated. “People think construction is meant for men alone, but this is the sector where women with skills can do well and my appeal is for support to this sector so that more women could be encouraged to do work men can do,” she said. Ms Siyanga said the Government’s continued commitment to empowering women through policies and directives should also extend to the construction sector so that a number of women were attracted. She said the construction jobs were given to international companies when the local ones were regarded as less experienced to be allocated local road tendering contracts. “We are proud women who can do wonders if we were given such opportunities. The relevant authorities must show the faith and confidence in the local contractors through support for them to do a commendable job,” she said. She said awarding contracts to the locals would motivate women to participate in infrastructure development across the country, saying she was hopeful that the new Housing and Infrastructure Development ministry would reconsider to bridge the gaps and perceptions about awarding contracts to local contractors. Ms Siyanga said women contractors had been tendering for various road works and buildings to be done but were not awarded. She said women were anxious to work and contribute positively to the country’s economy through various activities.