The building industry is still recovering from the effects of the 2008 global recession and government needs to provide the industry with some reassurance that it will provide a consistent workload to reduce the effect of the economic cycle, says the Master Builders Association Western Cape (MBAWC).
MBAWC executive director Rob Johnson notes that, in his State of the Nation address last month, President Jacob Zuma highlighted that, in 2012, government unveiled the National Infrastructure Plan, which is spearheaded by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC). The President noted that the PICC had invested R1-trillion in public infrastructure over the past five years, adding that many of the projects had been completed or were nearing completion.
- There is concern about Zuma not mentioning the plan of action for the 2014 financial year, noting that the President announced that government would present the programme after the national elections
- The MBAWC highlights that the unclear roll-out of work creates a great deal of uncertainty and, as a result, companies that rely heavily on government projects to remain afloat are in a precarious position.
- The construction industry has the capacity to absorb large numbers of unemployed people and, therefore, facilitate skills development, should a steady workflow from government be available.
Meanwhile, the MBAWC mentions that, in terms of training and skills development, it commends government's achievements, particularly in increasing the number of enrolments at university level, as well as the much-improved matric pass rate and interventions aimed at improving mathematics and science at schools.
The association also applauds government's efforts to make further education more accessible through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and the construction of additional further education and training colleges.