Construction 'in a spin over procurement rules tangle'

Posted On Thursday, 27 January 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Engineers' body urges co-ordination

Construction IndustryTHE construction sector is reeling under a raft of new legislation introduced to improve the procurement and delivery of government construction work, the industry said yesterday.

The swathe of new rules had left the industry and its clients confused, and had created friction between the parties, said the South African Association of Consulting Engineers , a lobby group.

Association president Althea Povey said the intention of the new legislation was good, but there was an urgent need to coordinate its various parts.

"We're not saying it's bad the intention to have uniformity is a good thing, but it is enormously complex," Povey said.

The new rules, which the industry said wasted time and money, were introduced in response to complaints by the industry about the lack of uniformity in government requirements when procuring construction and related work.

Povey, recently appointed head of the association, said that co-ordinating the new rules was a priority of her term in office.

Concluding a charter to transform the industry was another.

The committee driving the development of an empowerment charter for SA's white-dominated construction sector is due to meet today to finalise a draft that would be presented to the industry in the next few weeks.

The domestic construction sector lags other strategic sectors on black ownership and management progress, despite winning government contracts worth billions of rand each year.

The industry hoped to release the draft last month, but some unresolved issues remained, said Pierre Blaauw of the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors yesterday.

Despite the delay, Blaauw said all was on track to meet the June deadline set by government for the construction industry, along with six other sectors including agriculture and transport .

The charter and other prominent issues in the construction industry will come under the spotlight at a construction summit planned for October this year.

Another pressing issue is the ability of the industry to cope with growing demand as government hikes capital expenditure .

One avenue for this spending is the Expanded Public Works Programme, which aims to create about 1-million short-term job opportunities by 2009, with local, provincial and national government spending R15bn on labourintensive projects.

Total construction spend exceeded R57bn in 2002, and government expenditure accounted for about 44% of this.

Povey also called on the construction industry whose 16 largest listed companies earned about R40bn and employ about 122000 people to start speaking to government with one voice.

Relations between the various parties involved in construction work such as consulting engineering, architects and construction companies were historically adversarial , Povey said.

She said improved communication with government was vital if the industry was to deliver on government's requirements, such as new infrastructure needed for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Povey is the first female president of the association.


Last modified on Monday, 21 October 2013 14:09

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