MASTER BUILDERS KWAZULU-NATAL 113TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association held its 113th Annual General Meeting on 17 June 2014, at the Master Builders Centre in Westville. Mogamat Behardien was elected to a second term as President of the Association. It was reiterated that the focus of the Association is on strengthening industry transformation initiatives both in KwaZulu-Natal and nationally.
It was noted that throughout the year emphasis was placed on improving relations with other institutions and the Provincial Government. Establishing key relationships with relevant stakeholders is critical to effectively opening the door for engagement and a more productive industry.
Keynote speaker for the occasion was the newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance Ms Belinda Francis Scott, who graciously accepted the invite to address the building industry. The MEC appreciated the role of the Association in its contribution to small and informal businesses, occupational health and safety and the clinic model. Attention was drawn to a process which was designed to standardise the approach to contracts entered into in Government. The MEC called on Master Builders to partner with the department in a process of reviewing of contracts entered into between government and service providers. The Department Master Builders AGMconveyed that they are serious about infrastructure delivery and a programme to blacklist contractors where relevant, is in process. The MEC expressed her commitment to construction and working with the Association to drive infrastructure delivery in the Province.
Executive Director, Vikashnee Harbhajan informed Members that during the period under review, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal reached several strategic milestones. Growth in membership was achieved while member retention improved significantly, auguring well for the local building industry.
Harbhajan stated; "the Emerging Contractor Programme is a flagship programme of the Association, providing training, support, advice and mentorship to emerging contractors."
It was further noted that the Association implemented an anti-corruption programme in its efforts to promote fair and ethical business practices. Moreover, a Quality improvement programme was created which brings industry stakeholders together to enhance standards in the KZN Building environment.
MEC Scott, in her address stated that the issue of poor quality impacts on the fiscus. She further stated, "We are serious about infrastructure spend as the province will be spending a total of R46.317 billion over the next coming three years. In provincial treasury, we are in a process of reviewing contract management and policy development which is in three phases. Phase one looked at the contracts, and we have came up with a comprehensive list of all contracts in the province. We are now working on extending this to our municipalities. We are now on the second phase where we are in the process of doing contract reviews, which is easy because we have all the information at our fingertips as we know all the Master Builders AGMcontracts in each and every department now. The challenge we are realising in this phase though is that most departments do not have necessary skills ending up asking private sector to draft contracts for them, ending up being ripped off by some in the private sector, which is why we are now going through all our government contracts to identify gabs and where problems are".
"This process will culminate with phase three where with speed we are embarking on project management. For particular items like construction of roads; building of schools etc, we want to have draft standard contracts with government, which are easily monitored. However we are cognoscente of the fact that we need skills to monitor this process but this is where we are going as Provincial Treasury to try and get a standardised approach added into infrastructure in government which will not only be security for us as government but it will also create certainty within the private sector because they will know that if they do not adhere to the contracts we are going to impose penalties and we are not waiting for departments to impose those penalties. What I would also like to see as part of this vision is that we actually employ a specialist team of legal people that will be heading this process of ensuring that penalties are imposed" concluded MEC Scott.
The Association proudly launched the Master Builders occupational Health clinic, which was formally opened by the MEC: Finance prior to the commencement of the AGM. The clinic complemented the mobile clinic service of the Association which was designed to minimise downtime by conducting medicals on site.
The Executive Director took the opportunity to assure Members that the Association would continue to serve in their best interests and thanked them for their support and participation.
The Executive Council for the next term of office is as follows:
- Mogamat Behardien, NMC (President)
- Francois Louw , Met Builders (VP)
- Joyce Dolly Tembe, Sakhisizwe Development Training (VP)
- Chris Cusens, WBHO (VP)
- Mpume Mhlongo, Microvulintuthuko Business Enterprise(VP)
- Vic Naidoo ,C & R Contractors (Immediate Past President)
- Mike Bekker, MCB Projects
- Ash Maharaj, Edison Power
- Chris Nott , Notts Projects, T / A Unicon
- Ryan Benians, Bencon Projects
- Marcus Gonzalves, FS Gonzalves Construction
- Steve Poorter, Aveng-Grinaker LTA
- Ayanda Notshweleka, Masakane Construction
- Thabile Gidigidi, Khosi Development and Construction
- Phumelele Bam, Zenzulwazi Plumbing and Contracting
- Kevin Dicks, Dicks Construction
- Brian Chetty, Pilosio SA
- Clive Dwarika, 2c Projects