South Africa's construction industry is still male-dominated, with very few of the big companies having women as owners or managers. Pic: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's construction industry is still male dominated, with very few of the big companies having women as owners or managers, while females still lose out to males in getting tenders, a government official has said.

Communications manager for the department of water and sanitation in the Free State region Larry Crisp said a workshop on women in the water business and construction in Mangaung heard that female company owners were only qualifying for small jobs while their male counterparts got the bigger chunks.

"Women emphasised that there should be a shifting of the mind and political intervention is desperately needed in relation to the empowerment of women in business," Crisp said in a statement.

The workshop took place under the theme “25 years of democracy: growing South Africa together for women’s emancipation”.

Civil engineering technician in the department of water and sanitation Xolisa Mfingwana urged women to empower themselves by taking courses relating to water and sanitation.

“The water industry is very specialized and not just everybody can be given an opportunity to work with water that is consumed by communities as there is a danger factor, there are a number of short courses available start empowering yourself," Mfingwana said.

“We need to do stellar jobs that are of the best quality so that men never doubt us when we bid for the same work as them."

Supply chain manager for the department Evelyn Bosch told participants that many companies, irrespective of being male or female owned, often bid for work from the department but did not deliver the services after qualifying, leading to their being blacklisted.

"Owners of business should bid only when they know they can deliver and also be able to communicate if they will not be able to due to financial constraints," she said.

- African News Agency (ANA)