When the going gets tough…
The tough get going…
And that’s just what we in the construction sector are doing.
We South Africans are renowned for our resilience and survivability in the face of adversity. And to that I would like to add innovation.
We have a myriad obstacles thrown at us ceaselessly in these difficult times, including dodging the junk status allocation; simmering political uncertainty; crisis in the steel sector; low economic and employment growth; rising inflation and higher interest rates; ever shrinking margins; non-payment issues; and sadly, the crippling drought.
Add to this the frightening rate of retrenchments taking place in our sector, estimated at 20 000 or more over the past six months, not only by the so called Big Five construction companies, but also small and medium sized construction and contractor companies across the country. And the attrition is set to continue. In this vein IOL reported in December that “Unions had been overwhelmed with retrenchment notices, with unemployment edging closer to 40 percent,” and that “job losses in mining, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and the farming sectors are projected at more than 200 000 into 2016.”
Yet through this maze of seemingly insurmountable difficulties, a Master Builder in the Western Cape, Garden Cities developers, have demonstrated that innovation, dedication and collaboration can deliver outstanding results in the establishment of private/public sector partnerships (PPPs).
This initiative, led by John Matthews of Garden Cities, has resulted in the launch of the Greenville housing project, with the first of 70 000 houses having been delivered (read more here http://www.sabuilder.co.za/2016/04/19/greenville-garden-city-launches-ahead-of-huge-population-influx/).
We as Master Builders must sit up and take note of such vibrant go-getters, join hands with municipalities and government departments in far closer collaboration to use working examples of PPPs across government housing projects, infrastructure and civils to produce future models with which to drive our National Development Plan (NDP).
Let us work together with our follow construction industry bodies and member companies, to bring our combined resources to bear on the orchestration of, and the setting up and driving of these PPPs, building them as the successful projects our industry and nation so desperately needs.
Making the NDP work is up to us.