Twenty-nine of South Africa's professional, contractor, supplier and other bodies within the construction industry have united to form a single umbrella organisation, called the Construction Alliance South Africa (CASA).
Industry stalwart John Matthews has been appointed as CASA chairperson.
CASA’s origins can be traced to the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team, which was established in April.
This task team, with its more than 30 organisation members, provided a collective construction industry response to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and other matters emanating from the pandemic.
The task team was key in developing a coordinated industry response to the pandemic, including the safe reactivation of construction sites as lockdown restrictions were eased.
The team was also instrumental in coordinating and presenting the industry’s thinking on the national economic recovery plan.
Following the success achieved through the joint effort, the industry was in agreement on the need to form an alliance built on the shared goal of rebuilding the sector.
This task team recognised the value of a coordinated and collaborative effort and the need for broad-based ongoing collaboration, consultation and engagement with relevant industry stakeholders to achieve the ideal of a sustainable construction industry, explains Matthews.
He notes that the alliance is an important step towards uniting the voice of the industry and in facilitating smooth dialogue with government.
“The need for unity in the sector cannot be over-emphasised, and because we all have the shared vision of an innovative, competitive and transformed industry, the formation of CASA is a historic and welcome achievement.
“It is also important as it comes at a crucial time when the industry is engaging the Presidency on the rollout of Strategic Integrated Infrastructure Projects to revive the economy.”
Gregory Mofokeng, of the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE), serves as the deputy chairperson of CASA.
He notes that it is important for the industry to forge a united front to demonstrate a serious commitment to collectively respond to industry issues.
It is expected that the CASA alliance will lead the post-Covid recovery of the construction industry, while it will also tackle other long-standing industry issues, which include the accelerated transformation of the sector, protection of the industry from “subsidised foreign competition”, as well as dealing with corruption and unethical business practices.
“We are confronted with the enormous challenge of rebuilding the construction industry out of the rubble of Covid-19, and to make it more inclusive, transformed, innovative and competitive,” says Matthews.
“Our industry was already in dire straits in the pre-Covid era, characterised by few work opportunities, increasing foreign competition, extortion and violence, company closures and continued calls to speed up transformation.
“These issues are beyond any individual person of organisation.”
CASA consists of the following members:
Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa
Association of Construction Health and Safety Management
Association of Construction Project Managers
Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of South Africa
Black Business Council in the Built Environment
Consulting Engineers South Africa
Chartered Institute of Building
Clay Brick Association of South Africa
Concrete Manufacturers Association
Construction Management Foundation
Cox Yeats Attorneys
Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa
Master Builders South Africa
National Construction Incubator
National Spa & Pool Institute of Southern Africa
South African Affordable Residential Developers Association
South African Association of Consulting Professional Planners
South African Black Technical and Allied Careers Organisation
South African Geomatics Institute
South African Green Industry Council
South African Institute of Architects
South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners
South African Paint Manufacturing Association
South African Property Owners Association
South African Women in Construction and Built Environment
The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors
The Concrete Institute
The South African Institution of Civil Engineering
Western Cape Property Development Forum
Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, which serves as the convenor