Minister Davies approves Draft Construction Sector Code for public comment

Minister Davies approves Draft Construction Sector Code for public comment

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

7 October 2016

This morning it was with a combination of relief and excitement that I read the letter from Thabo Masombuka, CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC), confirming that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, has approved the publishing of the Draft Construction Sector Code (DCSC) for public comment.

This comes hot on the heels of MBSA’s Transformation Declaration signed at our recently held Congress in Durban last month. We are confident that the two documents are congruent with each other.

The publication and gazetting of the DCSC will be yet another significant milestone in this long, arduous journey but necessary and absolutely critical journey of transformation and will provide much-needed policy and regulatory guidance and certainty for the sector.

It will also go a long way towards relieving the anxiety and apprehension felt by most of our members and the sector in general regarding the prospect of being verified under the Revised Generic B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice – notwithstanding that for some this development did not come early enough depending on the expiry of their current B-BBEE Certificates.

We urge all our members, large and small, as well as all other interested parties, to offer the new DCSC their full support and use the 60-day public comment period to help enhance the final implementation of the various aspects of the DSCC.

In the same vein, I would like to also remind our members, through the various MBAs and Corporate Affiliates, about the importance of responding and commenting on the CIDB’s Survey on “Cutting of Red Tape in Public Sector Procurement of Construction Works” so that we can make our voices heard and contribute not only to the efficiency and competitiveness of our sector but its sustainability too.

Speaking of sustainability, and as we apprehensively await the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) later this month, I would like to share an excerpt written by Dr Adrian Saville of Citadel Investment Services entitled: “From Muddling to Miracle” which reinforces and underscores the SMME aspect of our Transformation Declaration as well as the DSCS referred to earlier.

This is in the context of macro-economic forecasts and monetary policy data recently issued by Stats SA, the South African Reserve Bank as well as the IMF and a slew of economists with specific to reference to various consumer and business confidence indices.

There are essentially two issues that the ratings agencies are looking at when reaching a sovereign rating decision on South Africa, namely: economic performance by getting our house in order and the context and structure within which the economy is functioning, which is to say keeping our house in order.”

There is a silver lining to the seemingly dark cloud: the recent weak growth experienced in South Africa has been a function, overwhelmingly, of exogenous or once-off factors. Commodity prices are perking up, the drought is working its way out and the power deficit is becoming a surplus as demand management continues and the renewable energy independent power producers (REIPPs) start to feature.”

With these three effects reversing, we are on the cusp of a reversal in economic growth fortunes: the South African economy could see growth of 2%, or modestly more, in the next 18 months.”

We need to create jobs, which means the development and support of small and medium sized enterprises. As much as large businesses can drive economic growth, it is only mid- and small-sized firms that are able to establish and sustain job creation on the scale the country desperately needs.”

If we get these and other structural elements right, the rating agencies will go from being on our backs to backing us. It will completely change the narrative around South Africa and return us to the “darling” status we enjoyed in the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s.”

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

Posted in MBA and MBSA news.

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