Construction 45% black by 2009 Sigcau

Posted On Wednesday, 06 October 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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PUBLIC Works Minister Stella Sigcau said yesterday that 30% of the construction industry should be required to be in black hands by 2008, and the figure should be increased to more than 45% from 2009 onwards.

Stella SigcauPUBLIC Works Minister Stella Sigcau said yesterday that 30% of the construction industry should be required to be in black hands by 2008, and the figure should be increased to more than 45% from 2009 onwards.

The construction industry has been perceived as lagging behind other sectors with regard to transformation.

Sigcau's figures are working targets which still need to be discussed by a team of government and sector representatives, which was announced yesterday. It is expected to report back to the minister by September next year.

With government intending to raise fixed investment as a percentage of the gross domestic product to 25%, the construction sector is likely to benefit from expected public sector spend.

The industry also stands to benefit from increased infrastructure development in the build-up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"From now on, it will not be business as usual," the minister said at the launch of the industry's transformation charter in Pretoria.

"To demonstrate government's commitment to empowerment, I challenge the industry to produce a charter with a scorecard that would put a weight of no less than 30% on direct empowerment in the first three years and no less than 45% after that.

"I know a lot of people are nervous about the scorecard. But if it is not there as a guideline, there will be a lot of neglect and a number of issues may fall by the wayside," she said.

Brian Bruce, CEO of engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts said he expected problems in the development of the charter because of the fragmented nature of the industry.

Bruce, who is also chairman of the Construction Industry Development Board, a statutory body aimed at addressing growth, performance and transformation in the sector, said the five construction companies listed on the JSE Securities Exchange SA accounted for less than 20% of the companies in the industry. "That means there are thousands of small companies which make up the other 80%. That is going to create difficult conditions in the development of the charter."

Bruce said transformation charters in industries such as mining, financial services and information and communications technology industries would affect how the construction industry developed its own charter.

Construction companies had clients in the mining and financial services industries and "charters in these industries affect us". He said the proposed charter would have to be in sync with similar initiatives in other sectors.

Aveng CEO Carl Grim expressed support for the development of the charter, but declined to comment on Sigcau's challenge for a 30% direct empowerment in the first three years of the charter.

The charter committee will be co-chaired by Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon CEO Mike Wylie and Matingi and Associates MD James Ngobeni.

Last modified on Monday, 21 October 2013 19:29

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