CIDB mulls end-to-end driving of Contractor Development Programme
In December South African Builder spoke to Mr German Mphahlele, Acting Programme Manager: Provincial Offices and Contractor Development (PCD) of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) about the current role of the CIDB in the support and development of Emerging Contractors – and the Board’s vision for future development of contractors.
Presently the role of the CIDB in Contractor Development is that of providing leadership, guidance and direction in the development of emerging contractors. “Our objective is to make contractor development more sustainable – to the point where these Emerging Contractors progress and enhance their capabilities and competencies which will ultimately enable them to improve their performance,” said Mphahlele.
He explained that, whilst the CIDB can boast significant success in creating an enabling framework that promotes contractor development, the inconsistent implementation and the slow uptake of best practice contractor development principles is of great concern.
“The current CIDB Contractor Development Programme (CDP) has to date been focused primarily on public sector infrastructure clients such as departments of public works municipalities and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).” continued Mphahlele. “As there is a need to embrace both the public and private sectors to the full – to same level of Contractor Development – we have analysed different contractor development models in the construction sector and have developed guidelines for a uniform, coordinated and over-arching Contractor Development Programme complete with set Standards and Best Practice procedures.”
The Future of CPD
It is against this background that, with the contractor support framework and grading system firmly in place following extensive development over recent years, the CIDB is now poised to broaden that framework. “We are ready to move beyond the supporting role to the actual driving of Contractor Development to the full,” explains Mphahlele. “And we are exploring ways and means of playing a leading role in taking contractor development to the next level.”
To this end a CIDB think tank is working actively on setting standards for contractor development, the CIDB has published the CIDB Competence Standard for Contractors. The standard establishes the competencies of a contracting enterprise which need to reside with the owner and/or key nominated representative of the contractor. It is a requirement of the CIDB contractor development framework that, to graduate out of a development programme, a contractor must meet the requirement of the CIDB Competence Standard for Contractors.
These standards have changed perspectives on contractor development and will enable and encourage construction entities to engage with and employ registered sub-contractors. It follows therefore that a Register of all contractors will be a crucial requirement, i.e. including sub-contractors.
Going forward the CIDB development support strategy will be enhanced by providing development support through the proposed CIDB Best Practice Fee.
Such a support will incorporate a coordinated mentoring of contractors, assessment and top-up training in line with the CIDB competence standard for contractors, implementation of Construction Management Systems coupled with CIDB financial support.
In addition, close collaboration and partnerships with industry bodies and stakeholders such as Master Builders South Africa (MBSA), Black Business Caucus in the Built Environment (BBCBE) the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), the Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa (AAAMSA), the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) and others, is essential.
“It is hoped that a full definition will be achieved by mid-2019 with implementation set to be initiated by year end,” concluded Mphahlele.