Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Hon. Zou Kota-Fredericks today announced the launch of the 2016 National Home Builders Registration Council’s (NHBRC) Women Empowerment Programme (WEP). The announcement was made during an event in Itsoseng, Ditsobotla District in North West Province. It was during the occasion when she was handing over 60 housing units to elderly beneficiaries to commemorate 60 years since the 1956 Women’s March. This forms part of the annual Women’s Build 2016 project, created specifically to mainstream women into the homebuilding and construction as a contribution to South Africa’s economic transformation strategy.

Hosting the event was the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements led by MEC Galaletsang Gaolaolwe who together with the Deputy Minister handed over the units – all built by women contractors. Other dignitaries present included Ngaka Modiri Molema District Mayor, Cllr Tshepo Justice Makolomakwe, Ditsobotla Mayor, Cllr. Daniel Buthelezi and local municipality councillors.

Many of the contractors involved in the project were part of the WEP – a national programme which was created in 2013 by the NHBRC to empower women to access the build environment and specifically the home building sector, a cause the Deputy Minister has a passion for. To date, 100 women have benefited from this education and training programme managed by the University of Pretoria aligned Gordon Institute of Science (GIBS).

Speaking at the event, Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks said that housing was a basic human right and that the women contractors had given hope to the hopeless. “Once completed, the build programme will deliver 1956 units in the Districts of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Bojanala and Dr Ruth Mompati in North West, “ she said.

The Minister called for women-owned business entities to participate in this year’s programme. “Women from all provinces are invited to apply. You need to take advantage of these government sponsored programmes in order to gain economic emancipation as symbolized by the women’s march to the Union Building in 1956, ” she emphasised.

Thandiwe Ngqobe, Chief Operations Officer of the NHBRC said that the Women Empowerment Programme was in line with the NHBRC’s social transformation strategy. She urged women contractors to act quickly as potential candidates have until September the 2nd to send in their applications.

“The successful candidates will attend a five-month academic programme which is delivered in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science. The training is led by leading academics and key influencers in the industry and also includes a mentorship programme, “ she said.

For more information, please contact Molebogeng Taunyane on 011 317 0070 or

About the Women Empowerment Programme Application process:
Potential candidates who wish to apply for admission into the Women Empowerment Programme should fulfill the following selection criteria:

• The delegate must be a woman who owns at least 51% of a construction or construction-related company (preferably in home building) and is actively involved in the running of the business;
• The business must be registered with the NHBRC or be registered with the NHBRC by 31 March 2017;
• The business must have been in active operation for at least two consecutive years and have an annual revenue of between R300,000 and R15 million;
• The business must have at least 2 fulltime employees;
• The delegate must commit to attending all 14 days of business training over 5 months and all the support services commitments during the following 5 months;
• The delegate must be able to develop a comprehensive business plan for her business at the end of the training to graduate;
• The successful delegate to sign a contract with the NHBRC, in acknowledgement of the obligation to repay the bursary in full or part thereof should she leave the Programme before completion.