Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) envisage that President Jacob Zuma will use the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to emphasize that a rigorous and accelerated implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) is key to growing the economy of the country and addressing the three triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The NDP was created in order to develop South Africa’s economy. Government through the NDP has identified infrastructure development as key to the socio economic development of the country and CESA strongly believes that its objectives will never come to fruition unless there is involvement of consulting engineers at the forefront of this development.
“If we are serious about moving the country forward, it is time to bring those 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects on stream. We are looking forward with eagerness to the roll out of these projects so that consulting engineering firms will contribute in designing world class structures that will stand the test of time to improve the quality of life of the people of the country. We urge the strengthening of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee by introducing a Public Private Partnership of a difference, not at the transactional level but at Project Development, Facilitation & Monitoring Agency level,” contends CESA CEO Lefadi Makibinyane.
CESA recommends that this Agency be formed below the secretariat level of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee and must have dual reporting responsibility to Government as well as Business through the various business representative bodies (BUSA, BBC, BLSA, CESA, SABTACO, etc.).
Makibinyane assures that CESA is committed to partnering and working with Government to design new infrastructure and maintain existing infrastructure as well as addressing challenges that affect the consulting engineering sector. CESA commends President Zuma for initiating the Presidential/Business Bilateral for Inclusive Growth and hopes that this will be highlighted during the SONA.
“This initiative shows that the President has the foresight to institute elements that can propel the economy of South Africa forward by inviting business to work together with Government in bringing forward solutions to overcome impediments to successful business investment and providing a conducive business environment. This will undoubtedly increase investor confidence in South Africa and is a sure way to succeed in achieving the objectives of the NDP. I would like to urge the President to continue in his fifth term of administration with regular interaction with business sector through this great initiative and dispel the negative critique by those who wish to see the NDP fail", argues Makibinyane.
Education is another challenge facing the industry. Basic education is key to the development of mathematics and science capabilities within the country forming the foundation required for the development of engineers. CESA proposes that English Higher Grade be introduced at Primary schools as it underpins better understanding of Mathematics and Science.
“We hope that the President will also shed some light in charting the way forward by outlining bold steps to deal with the current procurement regime, corruption, as well as the regulatory framework that is constraining our members in practicing their profession as well as how their services are procured.”