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Poor-quality projects, site invasions and inadequate transformation are some of the key issues that will be addressed at the inaugural Built Environment Indaba, which will be held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, on April 4 and 5.

“We have a lot of incomplete projects. We also have a lot of projects that are completed but of poor quality. The responsibility for that comes straight to our door as the built environment sector. It is our contractors and our built environment professionals who deliver those projects.

“So, if those projects are not of good quality or they’re not completed in time, or some are just left halfway, it is our responsibility that we need to take those challenges head-on,” Black Building Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE) president Danny Masimene said on March 12, in Johannesburg.

The event, hosted by the BBCBE in partnership with the Construction Education and Training Authority, the Construction Industry Development Board, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and other strategic supporters, is themed “Building a transformed built environment through collaboration, procurement and skills development”.

The indaba is aimed at providing a platform where all practitioners in the built industry can discuss and find solutions to the challenges faced by the built environment industry, with clear timelines for implementation.

“We’re not just going to have a talk show. Every resolution that we take, it will make sure that there will be a champion who will be driving it, making sure that it is implemented. And it must have clear timelines. It’s not going to be open-ended,” Masimene said.

The BBCBE will monitor the implementation of the resolutions taken at the indaba through facilitation and convening of the quarterly work stream sessions. Resolutions achieved in progress and those not achieved will be presented to the indaba in the following year for progress and monitoring.

“The intention is that we have the same kind of indaba every year so that we’re able to take stock, we’re able to deal with new challenges and when there are legislations that are not enabling for the practitioners in the industry, we are also able to draft and influence those types of legislations and regulations,” Masimene said.

He explained that the indaba would be a platform to promote, develop and ensure greater economic transformation and empowerment in the built environment sector, to ensure that women, youth and people living with disabilities have the capacity and the requisite skills base for effective participation in the economy.

He added that the indaba would seek to create a platform to influence the implementation of appropriate legislation to build a more enabling environment for the construction industry to have more meaningful transformation, including further up the value chain, such as in the manufacturing and material supply industries.

Another aim of the indaba is to find ways of expanding the sector’s reach in impoverished communities that do not have access to basic services such as clean watersanitation, electricity and reliable public transport.

In addition, Masimene said the hope was the indaba could lead to the developing of scarce skills, create employment and economic opportunities and provide sustainable solutions to address the country’s aging and incapacitated infrastructure.

“These infrastructure projects, they need to help the country in making sure that they decrease the unemployment rate. We cannot have a situation where a project that is being awarded to an international company and we find ourselves having almost 70% to 80% of the human resources coming from outside that country. That cannot be correct,” Masimene said. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Photos by Creamer Media

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