At the end of April, the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CC19RRTT) submitted proposal medium-term plans for the development and construction industry post-COVID-19.
Below is a synopsis of the proposal. The full proposal document is available below.
Short-term interventions include re-activation of construction sites and processes with a focus on health and safety measures to assist the safeguarding of construction workers and suppliers.
Medium and longer-term interventions are required to support the built environment and construction sectors to ensure contributions to economic recovery and growth.
The Public Infrastructure builds, together with private sector investment, plays a key role in creating employment opportunities in the sector and its regulation determines the successes or failures of the Built Environment sector.
The property development sector, both private and public, is responsible for fixed capital investment that addresses both social and market needs and, importantly, reflects medium-to-long term confidence in the future of the country.
Government contributes towards public infrastructure builds and regulates the sector through various entities, guidelines and provisions which play a key role in creating employment opportunities in the sector.
The Covid-19 situation happened at a time when the entire building industry was in a crisis, bringing focus and urgency to the need to review some of the regulatory framework and procurement environment for which Government is responsible.
More than two-thirds of any development process is currently being spent on obtaining statutory approvals, twice as long, if not longer than it takes to construct a typical development. Construction can only commence once statutory approvals are in place. If one were to support the construction industry, one cannot but address duplication of statutory processes and delays in the statutory approval phase of a project. Such delays also inhibit any national economic turnaround.
The submission is structured along with the following main themes:
The need for the alignment and merging of all statutory approval processes into a single application process.
The empowerment of qualified and registered design professionals to self-certify their work, or alternatively peer certification on a rotational basis.
Restructuring of public procurement processes under the guidance of the quantity surveying, architectural and engineering professions who are responsible for procurement processes in the private sector daily noting the need to acknowledge the broad intent of the current PFMA & MFMA’s. The shortcomings of these policies in the procurement of professional services also should be acknowledged and reviewed.
Establishing a supply chain environment which differentiates between the procurement of goods and procurement of professional services.
Creating a regulatory framework which supports the industry to be sustainable rather than contribute to its collapse.
Increase public-private partnerships for the provision of infrastructure projects.
Facilitation of development finance to ensure that more projects get to the bankable feasibility stage.
The medium-term plan calls for a fundamental change in government and public engagement in order for more construction projects can take place, thereby delivering all the benefits that the construction industry can achieve as an economic multiplier in terms of creating employment ultimately resulting in the recovery and the future of the country.
The construction industry is paramount in achieving any future economic growth and the proposed plan will most certainly assist in its activation post-COVID-19.
The Full Proposal Document
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