Economic transformation in the South African construction sector and the impact of ratings downgrades on the development and future of the industry, are topics that will be discussed at the annual Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) Congress, taking place on 11 and 12 September 2017 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.
The Congress, now in its 112th year, has become an important platform for addressing issues and opportunities within the South African building and construction industry with input from government, building industry leaders, economists and other relevant stakeholders. Under this year’s theme of Building South Africa Together, speakers from these and other sectors will be exploring matters currently impacting the industry.
Kicking off the Congress will be a representative from the Ministry of Economic Development, who will discuss the status of the National Infrastructure Plan along with its implications and opportunities for local contractors.
This will be followed by what is bound to be a lively panel discussion on The State of the Construction Industry in South Africa, with panellists including MBSA President, Bafikile Bonke Simelane; CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council, Thabo Masombuka; the Competition Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele and the General Secretary of the Black Business Council in the Built Environment, Gregory Mofokeng. The conversation will consider if the new Construction Sector Codes adequately address transformation gaps in the sector, as well as the effects of anti-competitive behaviour, amongst other issues.
The future of the industry will be unpacked throughout the course of the Congress by speakers such as Craig Lemboe, Senior Economist at the Bureau for Economic Research, who will be unveiling what’s in store for the industry and country going forward in his talk on South Africa’s Economic Outlook. The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe, will also be exploring avenues for future industry growth in his address on Regional Integration for African Cooperation and Development.
The Deputy Minister will be participating in a panel discussion on Industry Opportunities together with Chairman of WBHO Construction, Mike Wylie; CEO of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, Webster Mfebe; MBSA Executive Director, Roy Mnisi; CEO of the Built Environment Professions Export Council, Con Korsten and President of the National African Federation for the Building Industry, Aubrey Tshalata. They will be exploring construction opportunities in the region and the roles of financing institutions and voluntary associations in the development of the construction industry and increasing SMME market access.
A key feature of every Congress are the technical breakaway sessions which enable teams of experts from various aspects of the industry to debate the issues of Construction Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), Skills Development and Regulatory, Contractual and Legal Matters in the Construction Industry. This year’s participants will include Chief OH&S Inspector at the Department of Labour, Tibor Szana; Chief Director of Artisan Development at the Department of Higher Education, David Mabusela; and Programme Manager at the Construction Industry Development Board, Dr Rodney Milford.
Another regular highlight is the exhibition which coincides with the Congress and showcases the latest developments in and services available to the industry. This year, for the first time ever, entry will be free of charge to all contractors in and around the Western Cape.
MBSA Executive Director Roy Mnisi says: “I invite all members of the building and construction industry, suppliers and service providers to join us at this year’s Congress to learn about how we can all play a part in building South Africa together.”