Inyatsi Construction Ltd, in Swaziland, has been awarded some of the most high profile civil construction projects in the country and is in a prime position to capitalise on the anticipated rise in business over the coming years.
From its humble beginnings in 1982, the wider Inyatsi organisation now has a presence in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique carrying out road construction, building and civil engineering works for a range of governmental organisations, PPPs (Public-Private Partnerships) and international investors.
The quality, consistency, and ethos remains the same across the board though, with Swaziland now the key hub of the business, and projects such as the ongoing work on and around Sikhuphe International Airport indicative of Inyatsi’s thriving reputation.
Sikhuphe International Airport has been a vital project for Inyatsi Construction Ltd over recent years, resulting in a sizeable proportion of the works undertaken by the Swaziland team.
This stems directly from the company’s key client in the form of leading, civil, governmental organisations in the country; in this case, The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.
“We’ve been active on the Sikhuphe international airport since its inception and are currently constructing the green-fields 16 km dual carriageway, access road and interchange which is another prestigious project for Inyatsi,” Ferreira explained.
This project is 80 percent complete and surfacing has commenced to be in line with the final commissioning of the airport itself.
Winning such contracts is done through an open based tender system, where companies such as Inyatsi compete in the construction market with its the value of tender and reputation of quality, further testifying to the company’s abilities and standing in the region.
As one of the company’s foremost clients, the faith that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development has placed in Inyatsi’s abilities as an indigenous Swaziland company is also being seen through an EU-funded, 14 kilometre road at Mananga, upgrading the surface from gravel to tar for the local sugar cane farmers.
Swaziland Water Services and Corporation has similarly put its trust and capital into Inyatsi’s capable hands in the form of two new treatment plants and linking lines, for sewage in Matsapha and potable water in Nhlangano, respectively.
And now, with the African Development Bank predicting a rise in infrastructure funding being made available in the next few years, Ferreira is optimistic that Inyatsi will continue to be at the forefront of the construction sector in Swaziland.
“Swaziland will continue to develop at a steady pace with the additional excitement of mega projects buoyed by international investment into Swaziland” he said. “Furthermore, everyone is aware of the developments between South Africa and Swaziland for a new rail infrastructure project that will cross through Swaziland and we certainly see ourselves as leading Swaziland contractor, with the backing of our local suppliers, to be in a very competitive position to partake in it.”
Ferreira has 25 years of experience in the construction industry from his previous tenure in South Africa, and was lured to Swaziland by Inyatsi’s stimulating culture and values, when he saw the extent of SCI and staff wellness programmes, among others, and the transference of skills and education emanating its way through the company’s ranks.
A few years ago there was a shortage of Swaziland engineers and Inyatsi implemented vigorous staff development and training initiatives to develop young engineering candidates in the construction sector.
“Readymade engineers don’t fall into your lap in Swaziland, one has to locally develop them,” the MD explained. “And, with engineers the backbone of our company, we have made sure that our HR department with the backing of strategic partners, do a fantastic job in developing our Swaziland team across the board, not just for the immediate needs of the company, but for their own long term career paths as well.”
Combining this commitment to internal progression with effective remuneration, HR policies and internal training programmes has ensured that Inyatsi Construction is an employer of choice, forming a balanced workforce that has circumvented the organisational “generation gap” seen in some areas of the SADC region.
Ferreira added: “It’s a goal for us to grow our Swazi engineers and make them the future leaders of the company.
“As an example, we were very proud to recently promote, for the first time, a Swazi junior engineer firstly from engineer to Site Agent, and now to the position of Contacts Manager, which is essentially one level before becoming a Director.”
Reasons for optimism
A dedication to internal development is integral to the future of Inyatsi Construction, both in Swaziland and the wider region, and this stands true also in terms of its approach to logistics where local suppliers are engaged as a priority.
This is also the case with technologies and management systems, where the company has worked hard in refining in-house systems to become ISO 9001:2008 and NOSA 5 Star Safety System certified in 2013.
With both of these objectives resoundingly achieved, the business continues to turn its attentions to surrounding communities through an array of CSR initiatives and staff wellness clinics, which recently incorporated an HIV awareness day, attended by more than 1,500 employees at the Mavuso stadium.
Taking into account all aspects of Inyatsi’s work in Swaziland, from its trademark construction projects, to its community aid, Ferreira has every reason to be optimistic about the company’s sustainable future, backed up by the industry potential and influx of contracts gracing the sector over the next few years.
“I’m hugely optimistic, not just about Swaziland but about the whole region,” he said. “The need and demand for infrastructure development in Africa is so great, the only restricting factor at this stage is funding.
“That is why we’re turning our attentions and focus towards getting more involved with PPPs, because with things happening so fast in the modern world, the demands on infrastructure development are far greater than in the previous century and traditional government funding structures can’t necessarily keep pace with this any longer.
“That is what PPPs are there for and why they will be so focal, and I believe we will be able to take advantage of where we are in Swaziland in opening up the rest of Africa to us with these opportunities.”
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