Women in the construction industry have appealed to the Eastern Cape government to give a substantial number of its housing projects to female-owned companies.

They say females are still struggling to make a breakthrough in this male-dominated industry.

This has emerged at the handing over of housing units at Ndevana outside King William’s Town. The units are part of 21 RDP houses that were built by emerging female contractors.

Boniwe Kalo and Nondumiso Ngqawana say they are still struggling to get financial support.

“And we started with our own money, there are institutions that are supposed to assist but it’s not easy to get finance from those institutions hence we started with our own money. If we can get funding we don’t have a problem because we’ve got experience.”

“The communities as well when we were introduced as female contractors most of the locals they did not believe that we can build houses,” say Kalo and Ngqawana.

The Human Settlements MEC Nonkqubela Pieters has promised that her department will make women in some of its housing projects its priority.

“As the department we are supporting female contractors because we know that if we give business to SMME’s they are able to employ people. So we are reducing the high unemployment and poverty rate and we are addressing the inequality that is there because construction is not a male thing, it is everybody’s thing as long as you are a human being you are able to get into the industry,” says Pieters.