10 July 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa is
expected to address delegates at a Master Builders South Africa (MBSA)
construction conference in September, where a joint action plan will be
developed to deal with the sector’s challenges.

The industry association said events like these
were necessary considering the collapse of several large construction firms in
recent months, leading to unprecedented job losses in the industry.

“The issues of late and non-payment of contractors
and the illegal work stoppages on construction sites remain significant threats
and we still have companies closing down and jobs being lost as a result,” said
MBSA executive director Roy Mnisi in a release on Tuesday.

In the first quarter of the year, the construction
industry lost 142 000 jobs.

Mnisi said the industry could only be revived
through continuous, genuine and pragmatic public–private sector dialogue.

The conference, to be held at Emperors Palace, in
Gauteng, will be themed ‘Building a Sustainable, Innovative and Transformed
Construction Industry’ and will include two panel discussions involving
construction professionals, contractors, community business forums, the South
African Police Service and various government departments.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation
Address last month committed R100-billion to start an Infrastructure Fund,
which will be managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the
Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

“We expect this conference to be the appropriate platform to come up with firm industry resolutions on how this fund will be operationalised to save jobs and companies,” stated Mnisi.

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