KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association held its 118th Annual General meeting on 25 June 2019. Mrs Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, Honourable MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works was the keynote speaker at the AGM. Bhekisisa Samson Ngcongo of Dambuza Community Development Trust was appointed as President of the Association.
In her address, outgoing President Joyce Dolly Tembe stated that the 2018/2019 financial year was one of the most challenging periods in recent South African business history with destabilising factors including an economic downturn, political instability, uncertainty about land expropriation and low investor confidence, leading to the collapse of several construction industry giants. Ms Tembe reiterated that the strategy of the Association was to be at the forefront of influencing a more positive and sustainable business environment and for this reason, stakeholder engagements had intensified during her tenure.
The incoming President, Bhekisisa Samson Ngcongo, expressed his unrelenting commitment to continuing the good work of his predecessor. He confirmed that the Association strategy would be prioritised with particular emphasis on the following:
High level intervention towards a sustainable construction industry
Growth, development and transformation of the construction industry
Skills development, education and training
Prioritising health and safety compliance and quality infrastructure
Membership growth and promotion of our Members
Keynote speaker, KZN MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, Ms Peggy Nkonyeni, announced that she was honoured to address the construction industry and spoke of the critical role the construction sector plays in driving infrastructure development and job creation. She reiterated the call from President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise the National Development Plan (NDP) and informed the industry that her mandate is to align the objectives of her department to deliver on this national imperative in the KZN province. The MEC also spoke of the need for radical economic transformation through social cohesion and stated that criminality, violence and intimidation would not be tolerated by the KZN Government. The Association welcomed an invitation from the MEC for further engagement on industry related matters.
Executive Director, Vikashnee Harbhajan, presented on the Association activities over the past year. It was pleasing to note that the Association had performed well despite a constrained economy, once again boasting an unqualified audit.
In her address, Ms Harbhajan reiterated that the industry had faced severe challenges and that it had become abundantly clear that a greater level of cohesion, consensus and professionalism was urgently required from all industry bodies. The Association had vigorously pursued collaborative strategies and was instrumental in establishing the KZN Good Practice Committee securing participation from key industry stakeholders.
The Executive Director encouraged members to comply with the Member Code of Conduct which is underpinned by ethical business practice. The Association had also finalised a Code of Good Practice which is a guideline for the implementation of the Construction Sector Code and Preferential Procurement Regulations.
The 2018/2019 year ended with 754 members on the membership roll. Health and safety remained a priority with safety checks, star gradings, advice and assistance requested throughout the year.
Referring to the Emerging Contractor Programme, Bursary fund and the Vuka Makhi programme, Mrs Harbhajan highlighted the success of the Association’s transformation initiatives. “These programmes are designed to help transform the industry and assist our members, students and learners in becoming key contributors to the sector. Since the inception of these special projects, about 394 beneficiaries have been impacted,” stated the Executive Director.
Bhekisisa Samson Ngcongo, Dambuza Community Development Trust – (President)
Joyce Dolly Tembe, Sakhisizwe Development Training – (Immediate Past President)
Vic Naidoo, Sibonele Africa (Pty) Ltd – (Vice-President)
Patricia Moodley, Globacon (Pty) Ltd – (Vice-President)
Lance Ridl, Ridl Construction – (Vice-President)
Moegamat Behardien, MET Development (Pty) Ltd – (Vice-President)
Marcus Gonzalves, FS Gonzalves Construction
Thobekile Ndlovu, Thobethulani Trading CC
Thys Blom, Plankonsult
Craig Gainsford, GVK-Siya Zama Building Contractors (Pty) Ltd
Francois Louw, MET Builders