JOHANNESBURG - The SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) claims the delay in promulgating the construction sector codes was making some companies uncompetitive for public sector contracts.

Safcec executive director Webster Mfebe called on trade and industry minister Rob Davies to without any further delay promulgate the codes, which were agreed by all stakeholders in May last year.

“This unnecessary and punitive delay confirms the hard reality of policy uncertainty, with ghastly consequences for business continuity and employment as some companies are rendered uncompetitive for public sector contracts, based on a generic scorecard,” said Mfebe at a Safcec dinner following its national conference on Monday.

Mfebe stressed the relationship between politics and the performance of the economy, adding that politics influenced the macroeconomic environment within which an economy could either thrive or dive.

Mfebe said corruption and state capture required a pointed and unequivocal response driven by unadulterated honesty and openness.

“To this end, the immediate establishment of an independent judicial commission of inquiry into state capture becomes more urgent every passing minute.

“It can only be uncivilised, crude, savage and brazen individuals who plot, plunder and pillage state resources wantonly and unworthily with unmitigated greed and cruelty, aided by seemingly unfettered access to state secrets and power in a blatant conspiracy with those entrusted with the supreme responsibility to constitutionally protect the nation’s resources and sovereignty,” he said.

Mfebe said this “sorry state of affairs” had a negative impact on economic prospects for South Africa’s young democracy and the country was already suffering from, among others, the consequences of junk status from two ratings agencies.

Business confidence was very low, which among other things affected investor appetite to invest in the economy, the corollary of which was sluggish economic growth and low employment.

“We cannot keep our mouths shut when our economy is being dragged down the drain by, among others, policy uncertainty and fractious politics within the ruling party, and between itself and its alliance partners,” he said.

Mfebe said state institutions were today facing the triple challenges of juniorisation, mediocratisation and capture and called on the government, the ANC and its alliance partners, to urgently address these challenges.

Mfebe said this would effectively restore South Africa’s pole position as a beacon of hope for the African continent and beyond in terms of its ethical leadership in democracy and the economy.

He said juniorisation manifested itself through the appointment of individuals with no track record, the marginalisation of experienced and loyal individuals, the inexplicable meteoric rise of new and unqualified individuals and condonation of gross insubordination to seniors by politically connected juniors.

Mfebe said mediocratisation manifested itself through the blatant, unmitigated celebration and worshipping of mediocrity, the orchestrated purging and persecution of excellent and loyal performers, the lack of consequence management for glaring sub-standard performance and the defiant retention, recycling and/or promotion of poor performers.

He said capture manifested itself through the relevant authorities turning a blind eye to glaring corruption and brazen daylight looting of state resources, the falsification and fabrication of public interest reports to incriminate and/or humiliate targeted individuals and organisations.

And he called the “blame game” on white monopoly capital as a new “wit gevaar” (white danger) which was akin to the apartheid era’s “swart gevaar” (black danger) to divert attention away from daylight looting of state resources and high treason through the appropriation of state power to unelected and illegitimate individuals.

- BUSINESS REPORT