WITH increased investment in infrastructure, there is higher demand for competent local contractors to manage large scale projects.
To meet the demand local contractors need to possess enough capital to procure standard equipment for undertaking the projects timely and at good quality that reflects value for money injected by the client.
Lack of strong economic muscles for local constructors has freely given foreign counterparts dominance of the lucrative construction sector and repatriating millions of money, while experts warn that the country will hardly develop economically unless the unhealthy trend is addressed.
Local contractors, according to the Contractors Registration Board (CRB) constitutes more than 90 per cent who still execute below 40 per cent of the construction projects in the country with their foreign counterparts taking more than 60 per cent of the market share.
As part of the efforts to reverse the situation by empowering local contractors, Mantrac Tanzania last week held two day exhibitions aimed at showcasing the full range of CAT construction equipment as well as unveiling other ways to support them.
The Mantrac Tanzania Team Leader, Used and Rental machines Mr James Malonga told participants that the two-day exhibition that started in Dar es Salaam on Thursday at the Mantrac grounds would avail contractors from across the country an opportunity to learn on the quality of caterpillar machines used in undertaking various construction activities.
"The exhibitions are a unique opportunity for small medium and large contractors in the country to learn more on the CAT equipment distributed by Mantrac Tanzania to get informed on the quality, if they are to accomplish the projects in time," he noted.
Mantrac Tanzania Ltd is the sole authorized dealer for Caterpillar products in Tanzania. It distributes and supports the full range of CAT construction equipment including wheel loaders, skid steer loaders; dump articulated trucks, backhoe loaders, excavators, motor graders, track-typetractors and BCP products.
Similarly, he said from the show, contractors would learn about available opportunities to access credit facilities by the Mantrac Tanzania and Stanbic Bank. Such opportunities will give contractors capacity to take informed decisions on the equipment to be procured.
Mr Malonga added that all contractors are urged to explore the loan opportunity provided by Mantrac Tanzania to procure global standard machines that will help them withstand the current market competitions in the construction industry.
"Limited capacity and high prices of the construction equipment have been hampering most small scale contractors to pursue big projects that could at times signify an automatic elimination from the tender process," he said.
The Bona and Hubert Engineering Limited Managing Director, Mr Hubert Chuwa, said CAT equipment were of highest quality which help contractors to pursue and complete construction projects timely.
"Since CAT is among the oldest company dealing with manufacturing construction equipment, I urge other contractors to procure caterpillar equipment, if they want to accomplish quality and timely projects," he added.
With the product line of more than 300 machines that reflects the increased focus on customer success Caterpillar has the best distribution and product support system in any capital goods industry.
Since the ability of local contractors to tender internationally remain minimal due to limited capital and skills, the government empowerment tool should be introduced to enhance the capacity of local firms to win internal tenders.
Also the long term public and private investments in the construction sector especially in roads and bridges construction, residential and non residential constructions could lead to outstanding performances of the industry.
Most foreign construction firms particularly from Asian countries are largely preferred and having been posing excessive competition over local companies due to their comparatively low bidding price, observed an expert in the construction industry.
Major contracts are awarded to these companies that make the construction business highly competitive.