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
© Reuse this
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© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
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.
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...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...