CESA Infrastructure Indaba Day 2 – Stakeholder leadership and collaboration for infrastructure deliv
INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS / 08 MARCH 2018 - 13.02 / STAFF REPORTER
The second day of the 7th Annual CESA Infrastructure Indaba saw the focus move from infrastructure delivery among other things to leadership and the politics of infrastructure.
The first session dealt with delivering value for money in infrastructure procurement and first to speak was Dr. Ron Watermeyer from Infrastructure Options who stated that infrastructure spend was key to growing the economy, creating jobs and providing for communities.
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“Innovations and practices that contribute to successful project outcomes include governance; procurement and putting in place the ‘super client team’ providing value for money and a winning solution.”
Dr. Watermeyer said they were in the process of developing a Client Guide to Improving Project Outcomes and that courses needed to be run to build capacity within the public sector. He further encouraged consulting engineering firms to provide support I this regard.
Dr. Samuel Laryea from Wits University discussed the importance of having a good construction procurement strategy and noted that the key for delivering value for money in construction procurement is an innovative construction procurement approach.
“The client is the leader of the infrastructure delivery process – the role of the client is the single most important determination of success and value for money in Infrastructure projects”.
Industry integration and engineering collaboration
Professor Alison Lewis, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at UCT facilitated the Industry Integration and Engineering Collaboration session and noted during her introductory remarks that one of the industry’s leadership challenges was the promotion of the engineering profession.
“We have seen a lot of opportunities lost – Where were the Engineers in the current water crises?
Engineers need to be involved in unpacking issues around the current Cape Town Water Crises in assisting and educating the public. We need Engineers to be regarded as “Superheroes” if we are to command the respect that medical and legal professionals do,” she said.
Eric Manchidi, President of the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Profession (SACPCMP) added that buuilt environment projects could only be delivered in an integrated collaborative environment.
“Although we can’t do away with specialisation within the built environment industry, we need to ensure that there are degrees of integration to ensure collaboration within the project team.”
Dealing with the challenge of fees
According to Cyril Gamede, President of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) explained their role as the Regulatory Body for the Engineering Profession the challenge of fees and their guidelines can be resolved through collaboration between CESA and ECSA to ensure the maintenance of engineering standards through viable and sustainable fees.
He further referred to the option of using the fee guidelines published by the Department of Public Works and The Department of Public Service Administration in the absence of such guidelines being published by ECSA as an interim measure.
Transformation and skills development
Clint Koopman, President of the South African Black Technical and Allied Careers Organisation (SABTACO) pointed out the importance of transformation as a topic.
“If we want to solve the problem let’s be aggressive in the way we approach it, we have to look at the value for our country in embracing this challenge”. He further emphasised that skills development was everyone’s business. “The Construction Industry Sector Scorecard compels all companies to invest in training”.
The politics of infrastructure
Turning to the politics of infrastructure Political Analyst Ralph Mathekga said in order to lobby Government, the industry must understand the system.
“If the ANC maintains a weak majority of less than 60% in the 2019 elections there will be space to influence and lobby policy but that the Consulting Engineering industry regardless of this, needs to continue with its lobbying efforts,” he noted.
Neresh Pather, President of CESA Neresh Pather, CESA’s President, summed up the outcomes of the conference noting the strong theme of Collaboration for Infrastructure Delivery that emerged from the conference with Government calling on the private sector to assist in providing leadership, knowledge and capacity to Local, Provincial and National Government levels.
“There is a definite need for CESA and our over 540-member firms to provide support to ensure that as a country we get ‘value for money’ in rolling our infrastructure projects aimed at providing cost effective solutions,” he concluded.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER