In keeping with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for a “new dawn” in South Africa’s economy, Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) says it would like to see the reinstatement of stakeholder engagement processes particularly in the construction industry.
These processes are aimed at creating a transparent environment, setting the stage for economic growth that is underpinned by investment in infrastructure development, resulting in improved service delivery, explains Cesa CEO Chris Campbell.
“It is imperative that we develop trust between the public and private sectors for our country to be able to gear up for the demands of future growth.
“To be prepared for this growth, professional service providers need to be able to plan and ensure they can adequately respond to the needs for improved service delivery. This will require government to provide sight of the country’s infrastructure development pipeline through increased stakeholder engagement.”
Campbell adds that, if government’s infrastructure rollout plans are shared early enough, it will allow professional service providers to adequately prepare and ensure there is sufficient capacity to handle demand.
This will effectively mitigate the impact of suddenly placing big demands on the industry.
Moreover, Campbell suggests that most previous infrastructure plans will need to be re-evaluated, based on the country not having reached predicted economic growth targets, coupled with the negative impacts of a global economic downturn and the US-China trade dispute.
Such revised planning requires a strong partnership between government, investors and professional service providers.
“Consistent with the ‘new dawn’ approach, we need to work on implementing healthy processes in building relationships that make for good service delivery of infrastructure projects.”
Campbell believes there needs to be broad stakeholder engagement and not just engagement of a select few based on personal relationships.
He conveyed Cesa’s eagerness to partner with others on capacity building in the public sector.