DURBAN - At this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa once again emphasised the need to shift state expenditure from debt servicing to infrastructure and other forms of productive activity likely to create growth and jobs.
He also announced that the funding available for infrastructure had ballooned from R100 billion to R700 billion. But, said, Mohau Mphomela, Executive Director, Master Builders Association (MBA) North, these plans are not translating into projects with sufficient rapidity.
"For the past three years, the President has used SONA to announce the need to revitalise the economy and the key role that infrastructure will play in that process. Although there has been a series of consultation between the construction industry and government, few tangible projects have resulted." said Mphomela.
He added, "The fact is that the past three years has seen several of our leading construction firms going into business rescue or going out of business entirely: big infrastructure plans are not translating into work for the construction industry".
Group Five, Basil Read, NMC Construction, Esor and the Liviero Group are just some of the big names who have had to file for business rescue or declare bankruptcy in last few years. These companies in turn support a wide range of smaller contractors which collaborate with them on massive projects. These sub-contractors not only employ thousands of people, they also represent the next generation of empowered businesses.