Oct 08, 2010
Minister encourages students to enter built environmentBack
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Environment|Eskom|Nuclear|PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|Africa|China|South Africa|United States|Energy|Nuclear|Geoff Doidge|Infrastructure|Power|Wellington Thwala|The FIFA World Cup
© Reuse this
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, SACPCMP's Dr Wellington Thwala said that the council had identified a challenge faced by the built environment in recruiting candidates for the project management and construction management professions.
He added that often graduates also found it difficult to enter the industry and to gain the relevant experience.
This ‘Student Chapter' initiative is a practical step to address this gap in the industry, also taking into account that while some qualified people were finding it difficult to find employment, South Africa had to import a lot of skills to build the infrastructure for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Speaking to Engineering News Online at the event, Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge said that the government welcomed this initiative and would be more than willing to take on the students in relevant public projects that were currently being rolled out.
The Minister noted that the public sector was also struggling to gain and retain skilled project managers to run all its different projects.
The South African government is the third-largest, per capita, investor in infrastructure development in the world, only behind China and the US.
In fact, government has committed to spending R847-billion on infrastructure development between 2010 and 2013. Further, Doidge noted that the Department of Energy announced on Thursday that the country planned to build six new nuclear power stations by 2023, which would see additional spend of well over a trillion rand.
"This would see a significant rise in demand for project managers and other skilled professionals in the industry, which means that we need to do what we can to get these young people to enter and develop within the market."
However, some concerns were being raised by the construction industry about big government projects not coming through. Doidge said that the lull was mainly attributable to budget allocation and planning that was still in process.
"For instance, around 40% to 50% of the infrastructure development budget had been allocated to State-owned power utility Eskom, that needed a lot of planning to go ahead with its respective projects. However, Public Works is busy with a number of projects that generally have a faster turnover."
Nevertheless, he emphasised that the money had been allocated and that the construction and built industry should prepare for a second construction boom.
Meanwhile, Thwala noted that while the number of professionals being registered at the council were slowly ticking up, it was not really an equal geological spread, with Gauteng province being the highest at 1 123 registered people, and North West province being the lowest with only 46 people registered.
He also said that the numbers did not reflect the true demographics of South Africa. In total, 2 196 white people were registered at the council, followed by 623 blacks, 136 Indians and 111 coloureds.
The Minister agreed, saying that the statistics were still "shockingly" skewed and said that government was working on initiatives to assist transformation. However, he encouraged students of all races to continue their studies in the construction and built industry, especially in the advanced field of project management.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
US-based beverage producer Pepsi this month set up operations, with about 300 employees, at a new R70-million high-tech, custom-built headquarters at OR Tambo International Airport’s Aerotropolis precinct in Johannesburg. Pepsi, through its South African company...
Updated 2 minutes ago A debate over the impact on the industry of the local content regulations governing solar water heaters (SWHs) has heated up as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and industry body, the Sustainable Energy Society Southern Africa (Sessa) stand firm on their...
Updated 56 minutes ago State-owned power utility Eskom on Monday urged consumers to save electricity as it implemented stage one load shedding, owing to unforeseen technical problems at some of its power stations.
Updated 1 hour 35 minutes ago A strike is looming at commercial airline Comair, affiliate of Kulula and British Airways airlines, after salary negotiations with its cabin crew failed. Negotiations between Solidarity and Comair started in September 2014, and, in December, the union referred a...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...