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SAFCEC President, Thembinkosi Nzimande addresses key challenges & making a positive impact in 2015

Sunday, 25 January 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAFCEC Communications
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President's DeskSAFCEC President, Thembinkosi Nzimande addresses the key challenges and making a positive impact in 2015

I would like to thank Mr Norman Milne and Council members for their leadership and support culminating in my appointment as SAFCEC President at AGM.
No industry has a higher direct impact on the fortunes of the country like the construction industry. The thread across the NDP is infrastructure investment enabling economic growth and competitiveness. The other thread is the social paradox that runs across our nation of 1st world and 3rd world all in one; here too our industry is the foot soldier for unraveling the paradox. We have to show leadership and avail ourselves to co-create the solutions for the delivery of the National Development Plan’s infrastructure programme.

In our engagements with key stakeholders and clients there are a number of positive perspectives around the different models for packaging and contracting projects, however the onus is still on us to nurture the relationships that enable the industry’s bottom up knowledge and capability to be a trusted positive contributor in the highest seats of infrastructure development and planning. This is a challenge I take up with our ManCo, and a challenge I put to all the regional management committees.

Sites are a contractual boxing match, when I step on site my boxing gloves are more relevant that my hardhat as the ability to go toe to toe on contractual management will determine the company’s success or failure on that site and thus the project itself. Generally where there are high quality documents, even handed contracts and collaborative planning those projects have a higher probability of success in terms of on budget and on time.
The contractual eco-system has to work for clients and contractors towards the common goal of project success. Contractual harmony on construction sites is probably an impossible goal but one that incremental improvements towards it, is of immense value to contractors and clients. There are a number of stakeholders that are our core partners in the unending journey towards contractual harmony, stakeholders such as CiDB, Consulting Engineers, Treasury, Clients etc.

Financial viability of construction companies has become a concern especially in the regions and our smaller to medium companies. There are positive developments and pronouncements on the issue of payment to contractors, however we need to continuously engage with this matter until our members experience an improvement on the ground.
I also intend to open more dialogue on the issue of funding and finance instruments with clients, formal banks industry body and the DFI’s – (development finance institutions) on solutions for construction industry in context of the nature of construction and its challenges. While the issue of margins and rates etc. is a company specific competitive issue there is a broader discourse to be hand around the factors that lead to unprofitable construction contracts, which have put a number of companies in distress.
As the New Year starts I am humbled and energised by the challenges and responsibility that members have entrusted to me at AGM. I look forward to working my ManCo and the regions to make a positive contribution to the industry. I wish all our members and the construction community a productive new year and will see you soon in the regions.

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