Ramaphosa applauds Safcec’s efforts to transform the country’s built environment
17th October 2017
By: Anine Kilian
Contributing Editor Online
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“I applaud the forum for leading the voluntary rebuilding programme, which led to a landmark agreement with our government exactly a year ago,” he said at the Safcec gala dinner on Monday.
The initiative has earmarked R1.5-billion for supporting emerging contractors and will support black engineers and artisans and provide social upliftment programmes in poor and needy communities.
Ramaphosa encouraged other established businesses to follow in the footsteps of the forum to develop the capabilities of this diverse nation and to support emerging black businesses in the sector.
“Infrastructure is critical to the growth of our economy, the expansion of our economic potential, the creation of jobs and the improvement of people’s lives,” he said.
Ramaphosa added that this required effective collaboration between government and the private sector, efficient deployment of national resources and the effective marshalling of the country’s engineering and other skills.
Through the significant investments made by both the public and private sectors, the apartheid landscape is progressively changing, he said.
“We are aware of the challenges that the sector faces as it is presented with technologies and innovations that could potentially replace the jobs that are so badly needed in our economy,” he noted, adding that to grow and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, more black and female participants were needed in the infrastructure sector.
It is in infrastructure development and spatial planning where the public and private sector are inextricably linked, he said.
“This means recognising that our progress as a nation is linked to this relationship.”
He stated that, as a developmental state, the private sector cannot see its role in this relationship as only making huge margins at all costs.
Collusion and anticompetitive behaviour, he pointed out, was a form of corruption that undermines the proper management of public resources and undermines social cohesion.
“We must exorcise from our thinking the idea that government must pay more for goods and service. Government, which buys on behalf of the poor, should be able to procure at competitive rates,” Ramaphosa said.