Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:00

BIBC comment on 2013 budget

The Building Industry Bargaining Council welcomes Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's announcement of government's plan to spend R827bn on infrastructure, over the next three years. "Investment into building new and upgrading existing infrastructure is the very cornerstone of our industry and is desperately needed during this period," said Arnold Williams, Secretary for Building Industry Bargaining Council (Cape of Good Hope).

The Council has warned, however, that making an allocation for spending is only part of the solution and that government's poor history of spending infrastructure budgets needs to improve. Gordhan's reproach of the government departments and municipalities' inability to adequately spend the allocated budget will hopefully induce the allocation. "The minister has addressed government's need to improve infrastructure spending, admitting their inability in the past to do so," added Williams.

Whilst the BIBC is pleased with the announcement of individual income tax relief to the tune of R7 billion, which will no doubt assist the residential building sector, the increase in the fuel levy will no doubt have a negative effect on the building and construction industry as a whole.

"We have previously stated that the recovery of the Building Industry is vastly dependant on Government's approved infrastructure upgrades provided that the tendering processes are transparent and that only socially responsible contractors compliant with all laws (such as the BIBC) are awarded tenders," commented Williams. He concluded that, ""It is important to take into account that this will lead to substantial job creation in our sector, which is desperately needed".