In South Africa, 29 construction bodies have joined forces to form an umbrella body dubbed Construction Alliance South Africa (Casa) to better responds to industry issues.
The chairperson of the new body John Matthews called the move a “historic moment” with far-reaching effects that will transform, grow and improve the industry.
“Its formation is also notable because it comes at a crucial time when the construction industry is leading the country’s economic recovery efforts, through the rollout of Strategic Integrated Infrastructure Projects to revive the economy,” said Mathews.
The move comes at a time when the construction sector in South Africa is struggling to survive in the wake of the new Covid-19 pandemic. Industry survey have painted a gloomy outlook for the industry that was mostly affected during the national lockdown.
Industry leaders have urged for increased government spending on infrastructure projects to help the sector gain stability and eventually recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“The need for unity in the sector cannot be over-emphasized. We are not only confronted with the enormous challenge of re-building the construction industry out of the rubble of COVID-19, but also to make it more inclusive, transformed, innovative and competitive,” added Mathews.
But some industry bodies have said they were not consulted on the new body.
A Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) CEO Webster Mfebe claims the three largest and most important structures in the construction sector were never invited or informed about the new forum.
Mfebe said these structures were Safcec, the National African Federation for the Building Industry, which is by far the biggest representative body of black contractors in South Africa, and the newly-established Black Business Federation formed from disgruntled black construction businesses.