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Bepec expands membership base, aims to further SA Inc approach in Africa

2nd February 2017

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The Built Environment Professions Export Council (Bepec) has expanded its membership platform to include the construction services sector in an effort to have a united South Africa Inc expand into the rest of Africa.

The council’s broadened base unlocks all the Bepec export promotions and export-enhancing offerings of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Trade Investment Africa to companies operating in the construction services sector and will enable the exploitation of several opportunities outside South Africa’s borders.

“We need to start operating and feeling our way [through opportunities in Africa] as SA Inc. We have been walking into Africa [in] pockets,” Bepec chairperson Kribbs Moodley said at the launch of the new council in Pretoria on Thursday.

This newly expanded export council will be taking the collaborative approach to help the industry access a continent with a $93-billion infrastructure market.

“There is a need to develop and nurture our companies so they are not excluded from the long-term development of Africa moving forward,” he added.

With ambitions of capturing 1% of total global exports by value by 2030, it is evermore critical for South Africa to coordinate collective trade and implement those what is embedded in South Africa’s economic strategy.

In line with this, it made “absolute sense” to have the expanded membership base, said Bepec CEO Con Korsten, pointing out that it made for more effective securing and implementation of projects as SA Inc and paved the way to the creation of consortia of combined disciplines for such projects.

Bepec was established in 2008, with initial members hailing from Consulting Engineers South Africa, the South African Institute of Architects and the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors.

The newly revamped council, which will be rebranded and renamed, will now include associations such as Master Builders South Africa, the Black Business Council in the Built Environment and the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, for which three new board positions will be created within Bepec.

The Bepec move opened up several benefits for the construction services sector, including network opportunities, enabling easier access to trading and project opportunities, support while contracting in a foreign country, a voice in government for the private sector and opportunities to participate in the various DTI missions to Africa.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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