Jul 04, 2012
Nxesi appeals to skilled professionals to join Public WorksBack
Construction|Africa|Contractor|Environment|Projects|Training|Africa|South Africa|Thulas Nxesi
© Reuse this
Speaking at the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) national stakeholder forum, held in Kempton Park, he said that over the past few years, the department had failed to respond to the challenges the construction industry faced.
The department required technically skilled professionals to run it, Nxesi said, adding that currently, those skills could only be sourced from the private sector.
He also called on the CIDB to approach industry and attempt to draw the required skills into the public sector “even if only for a year” to whip the department into shape. Nxesi added that there would be an attempt to match private sector salaries.
He argued that an ineffective department negatively impacted on industry, citing undercapacity, poor management, so-called tenderpreneurs, corruption, collusion, lack of support for emerging contractors, lack of financial control such as misappropriation of funds, underspending and late payments, as well as lack of skills and inadequate job creation as contributors to the decline of the sector.
“We need skills in the department to deliver the industry you want,” he said, addressing the forum of construction specialists.
Nxesi stated that delays in addressing challenges were a result of the lack of guidance from the DPW and that, currently, the DPW would not be able to deliver on its mandate. The mitigation of many challenges would continue to be delayed in the short term as the department attempted a turnaround, but he stresses the department “will be there for industry”.
He noted that many policies, amended legislation or regulations and documents would not be approved just “for the sake of signing” them off. Given the historical issues of the department, policies and regulations would be fully considered.
“DPW is known for scandals and to turn the department around, we need to scrutinise everything,” he pointed out.
He invited industry to share the challenges and issues and what the department could do to rectify them to the benefit of South Africa.
He further stated that corruption would need to be dealt with at both a political level and by the business sector, as corrupt officials were being enticed by businesses.
The DPW has also withdrawn the lease and contract signing privileges of officials, following the identification of a number of irregularities.
To date, 22 lease contracts valued at R64-million were found to be irregular and the department was in the process of opening civil and criminal cases against officials and businesses, and more were expected.
Meanwhile, the CIDB was working on amending the contractor registration regulations, which had emerged as a key issue for stakeholders during a number of nationwide forums over the past six months.
The proposed amended regulation was currently tabled with the Public Works Minister, but was expected to be published for comment by the end of July.
The amendments target concerns such as, besides others, costly employment of qualified registered professionals in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9; onerous requirements for financial capability; steep transition requirements to higher grades 7 and 8; registration fees; and downgrading.
It was expected that the amendments would improve the register and align registration requirements with the business and operating environment in the construction industry.
Contractor development was identified as another concern for industry, particularly the role the CIDB played in developing contractors.
The industry requested that CIDB promote partnerships in contractor development; invest registration fees in training; prohibit large contractors from competing with emerging contractors for small projects; monitor and evaluate contractor development; and prevent subcontractor exploitation by large contractors.
The development board was also targeting several other issues raised, such as the construction procurement environment, and has set a timeline for their resolution.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...