Construction Industry perspective on State of the Nation Address

Posted On Tuesday, 18 February 2014 14:09 Published by
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In his recent State of the Nation Address, president Jacob Zuma said, “In 2012 we unveiled the National Infrastructure Plan, led by the President through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.

Rob Johnson

We have subsequently invested one trillion rand in public infrastructure over the past five years.

Many of the projects are completed or are nearing completion.” He declined to present the programme of action for the current financial year, stating “that programme will be presented by the new government after the elections.”

We have subsequently invested one trillion rand in public infrastructure over the past five years.

Many of the projects are completed or are nearing completion." He declined to present the programme of action for the current financial year, stating "that programme will be presented by the new government after the elections."

"While the construction industry is grateful for the contribution the government has made, it is disappointed that there are no plans,as yet, for it to continue in this vein," says Rob Johnson, Executive Director of the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC), a registered trade association for employers in the building industry.

He continues, "The industry is still recovering from the effects of the global recession and needs to have some measure of reassurance that the government, regardless of whether it remains in the hands of the ANC or is taken over by another party, will continue to support it.

Government is in the best position to deliver a consistent workload to the construction sector and thereby reduce the effects of economic cycles.

Our industry has the capacity to absorb large numbers of unemployed people,and thus enable the development of skills,if a steady workflow can come from government."

"In terms of training and skills development,we commend the government's achievements, particularly the increase in the number of enrolments at tertiary level, the much-improved matric pass rate and interventions aimed to better maths and science.

We also applaud their efforts to make further education more accessible both through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and the construction of additional FET Colleges," says Johnson.

"We will continue to support government's efforts through ourartisan, skills and bursary programmes. However, these can never be on the scale required to service the industry as a whole," adds the Executive Director.

"It is our hope that the party elected on the 7th of May 2014 will continue to build on the foundations laid by the current government," concludes Johnson.

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