CESA responds to 2019 Budget Speech – promoting ‘Value for Money’ Procurement

25 February 2019

While Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) supports
the provisions of Minister Tito Mboweni’s 2019 Budget presented in his speech
today, the organisation believes that Government needs to urgently revise its
Procurement Practices for Consulting Engineering Services related to the
development of Infrastructure, ensuring proivision of ‘Value for Money’ infrastructure
that is safe and durable.

CESA CEO, Chris Campbell, states: “We would like
Government to focus on ‘Value for Money’ when procuring the services of
consulting engineering firms.  We know we
have less money available for infrastructure and we need to ensure we get “more
long-term bang for our buck”.

The problem often lies between the Client, who
provides poor scope definition and seeks out the least cost professional
service providers and the Professional Service Providers, aggressively
underpricing their services simply to secure the project and compromising their
ability to manage the design and construction supervision to provide quality
services whilst managing the construction process to minimise cost overruns and
time delays.

Open tendering for such professional services and
the expectation from public sector clients for fees to be discounted
exacerbates this problem.

Consulting contributes 3% to the costs of
developing an infrastructure asset over 3 years, Construction contributes up to
30% of these costs over say another 3 years, then the asset owner is left to
manage operations and maintenance for the remaining 25 years, costing potentially
67% of the asset cost of ownership.

A Consulting Engineering company providing quality
professional services at 3% will be able to assist in reducing cost in the
downstream phases whilst ensuring sustainability of the infrastructure.

Although CESA is in full support of competitive
service provisioning, they believe that firms should not take on work for which
they are not able to deliver quality professional services as this compromises
the integrity of the industry and places the public at risk.

For Government to ensure that South Africans
receive ‘Value for Money’ the personnel procuring professional services need to
be technically competent to do so.

“Following on from the State of the Nation address
it is heartening that technical competence in Government will be increased and
that infrastructure promotion will be driven further through the Infrastructure
Fund.  These are positive steps that CESA
supports and is willing to become active participants in,” states Neresh
Pather, CESA President. 

CESA’s theme for 2019 includes Delivering Purpose
and Engagement – Establishing Trust and there is a strong focus within CESA on
working with and supporting Government, with increased collaboration with
National Treasury on Procurement, the Auditor General’s office on compliance
support, together with partnering agreements with Client Bodies like SANRAL,
Transnet and COGTA allowing CESA.

More information from  Bonolo Nkgodi, Tel: 011 463 2022 /                                   

[email protected]

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