English: Construction management competencies are essential to realise sound practices among and to realise optimum performance by, inter alia, emerging civil engineering contractors. Such competencies enable the success of the business of construction and the management of projects, with increased efficiency and reduced costs as a benefit. The article presents the findings of a Masters study, the objectives in general being to determine the current practices and performance of emerging civil engineering contractors in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole. The descriptive method was adopted in the empirical study. The salient findings of the study are: most of the emerging civil engineering contractors do not possess civil engineering related qualifications; construction resources are inappropriately managed leading to construction failures; skills programmes are not well structured and supported; there is a lack of capacity at all management levels of the organisations in terms of managing the business of construction and projects; the nine functions of organisations in the form of general management, technical or production, procurement, marketing, financial, human resources, public relations, legal, and administration and information technology, are not comprehensively represented; and self-ratings indicate inadequacy relative to the controlling function of management work, and relative to certain activities of the organising function. The article concludes that emerging civil engineering contractors lack the requisite competencies and resources to realise sustainable contracting organisations. The article recommends that formal civil engineering and construction management education and training should be promoted throughout the industry for all categories of civil engineering contracting organisations. The article further recommends that all nine functions should be adequately staffed with suitably qualified people in order to manage and undertake the work successfully. Organisations should have the requisite construction-related resources, and owners and managers should market their organisations to ensure the sustainability thereof.