Aug 02, 2012
Shoddy low-cost housing construction costs State R50bnBack
Construction|Africa|Building|Housing|Projects|Systems|Training|Africa|South Africa|Possible Solutions|Solutions|Systems|Infrastructure|Tokyo Sexwale|The FIFA World Cup
As a result of this, he again posed the question of whether it was time to establish a State-owned construction company to undertake the many housing projects in the country.
However, he stressed that the concept was not set in stone and he wanted to engage the construction industry in debates for possible solutions to the subpar-construction challenge.
Sexwale also noted that a State-owned construction entity need not be 100% controlled, or even run by the State.
The department would continue analysing other countries that have successfully established State construction companies and examine its relevancy to South Africa.
“If it [the concept] works, we will move ahead; if it doesn’t we will scrap it,” he commented.
Speaking at a construction sector breakfast, Sexwale said he was hesitant to spend any of the R25-billion set aside in his budget for housing projects until the issue of substandard work was resolved and he received certain assurances from the sector.
The Minister said that, based on the fact that an upsurge in infrastructure spend in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010 lessened the impact on South Africa of global economic instability, the government’s R850-billion plan to develop infrastructure would play an important role in further cushioning South Africa from international economic instability. He added that low-cost housing developments were a significant part of this.
“We have to give the country a fighting chance not to fall like the other countries.”
Inexperienced, less-than-credible “shovel, wheelbarrow and bakkie brigade” construction groups involved in the tenders for government's housing programmes were delivering “shoddy” workmanship and many of their constructions were falling apart.
Black economic-empowerment was not a licence to deliver substandard or poor-quality work, he said.
Sexwale reported that there were about 2 000 people at national level which were believed to be involved in corruption and the awarding of tenders before many had a chance to bid. But it did take two to tango, he noted, adding that this was something the department was looking into.
He believed that involving a few of the large, more credible established and competent players in South Africa, and even internationally, in the low-cost housing projects, and their partnerships with the smaller, genuine and committed, albeit inexperienced, or capacity-strained, companies, would go a long way in ensuring quality work, while transferring skills.
Sexwale also pointed out that many options were available to shape up the low-cost housing-construction sector but engagement with the industry would produce many more.
Delegates at the industry breakfast suggested the need for an investigation into the root cause of these challenges and deal with them instead of treating the symptoms – as one delegate suggested the concept of the State-owned construction company would do.
Monitoring systems and the blacklisting of fly-by-night contractors were some of the suggestions that emerged from the meeting.
Others commented on a number of issues in the industry, including unclear building specifications, the lack of sufficient and competent inspectors for large contracts, lack of partnerships, the need for training centres and skills transfer, poor-quality material, and continued lack of implementation of ever-mounting policies and regulations.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...