Seda Construction Incubator (SCI) is a public benefit organisation mandated to develop and mentor emerging construction companies in South Africa. The core business of SCI is to develop emerging contractors through the infusion of both technical and business administration skills that are aligned with the introduction of technology in order to enhance the efficiency and efficient management of the businesses.
The Incubator is aimed at providing support to selected participants for a period of three years by which time each Emerging Contractor should have advanced by at least one financial level above their entry point on the CIBD register and be capable of operating unassisted in the open market. Should a particular contractor not wish to advance more than one CIBD financial grading, an alternative primary indicator will be agreed, possibly “gross income/turnover” if multiple smaller projects are deemed to be the niche market of the particular contractor.
Particular emphasis will be placed during the contractors' third (and final) year of tenure on consolidating capacity in preparation for his/her exit from the Incubator. This will involve building capacity and skills around the individual contractor's identified weaknesses, further developing business strategies which take advantage of his/her strengths, ensuring that administrative and management protocol follows accepted norms and production systems are optimised.
There is no doubt that there is a great need for meaningful and structured interventions when it comes to emerging contractors in the areas identified. The Incubation model is one of the interventions, if not the only one that can make a significant impact to addressing the challenges faced by emerging contractors in the South Africa. Based on this knowledge, most construction businesses (SMME) veto the services offered by the SCI as one of the solutions with regard to skills shortage.There is consensus amongst the majority of client bodies that the model offers a good strategy to assist emerging contractors. The level of formality the model brings to the industry is also widely acknowledged and appreciated.
Under the SCI model we focus on mentoring in three areas of the construction industry. They are the Civil, General Building and Electrical sectors. Projects will typically include the building and installation of roads, drainage, township services, community halls, clinics and recreation facilities, but may also include mechanical and electrical engineering projects.
SCI provides support in three phases of development for emerging contractors: tender phase support, construction phase support and general administration support. We have identified these areas as being the most critical in terms of need for development and mentorship interventions.