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cidb ERWIC Awards – empowering women and transforming construction businesses

What started as a celebration of the achievements of women working in the field of construction, the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) ERWIC Awards has grown to become a platform that encourages women to be fully recognised and celebrated as leaders and drivers of change in the construction industry.

Mafani Nelly Dasheka – 2022 ERWIC Awards winner. Image supplied by cidb
Mafani Nelly Dasheka – 2022 ERWIC Awards winner. Image supplied by cidb

The ERWIC (Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction) Awards encompass various categories that recognise women mentors, women-led projects and youth ownership amongst women. These accolades celebrate women across various disciplines and skills within the construction arena, where the goal is to celebrate, support, inspire and uplift extraordinary women who are dedicated to building the nation.

Entering the construction industry has not been easy, explained a previous cidb ERWIC Awards winner, Mafani Nelly Dasheka, who started her construction business in the Free State in 2002. “People often ask how you move from living in an informal settlement in Botshabelo in the Free State, to where you are now.”

Dasheka explains: “It’s an evolutionary journey that starts with the realisation that life doesn’t have to be this way and that you must have the commitment and drive to turn dreams into a reality – to have the desire and burning ambition to want to be part of building a great nation by recognising opportunities that come your way, and not be blinded by the stereotypical view of the construction industry.”

Being an ERWIC Awards winner brings more than just a glow of satisfaction from being recognised for excellence by peers in the industry, she added.  “This award has further built up our business confidence to undertake more complex projects and like a wave, carries likeminded colleagues along with it – all striving to do better – it’s contagious!” she expounded.

Bongani Dladla, CEO of the cidb, expressed his enthusiasm for the ERWIC Awards stating: “Our aim is to use the awards to encourage the empowerment of women and transformation of businesses in the construction industry. The first awards ceremony was held in August 2020 to draw attention to gender empowerment in transformation by recognising excellence among women in construction. We are proud of our milestone so far and are just as excited and look forward to witnessing who the winners will be this year.’’

Distinguished leaders within the construction sector will serve as judges for these prestigious awards. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 24 August 2023, coinciding with Women’s Month, in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.

The cidb, as the construction industry regulator, firmly believes that this year’s awards process will once again raise the bar, showcasing the quality projects they have completed within the previous year, as well as their positive impact on the industry.

Its vision reflects the importance of the organisation as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation in South Africa. The emphasis is to build an industry that is inclusive and reputable, while promoting gender equality, where all participants can equally drive the construction industry – the cidb ERWIC awards do just this.