Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko ordered officials in his department to urgently resolve all complaints of non-payment of contractors. File picture: Tracey Adams/Independent Media

Johannesburg - Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko on Wednesday ordered officials in his department to urgently resolve all complaints of non-payment of contractors as the failure to do so "undermines the country’s development objectives". 

The instruction follows Minister Nhleko’s engagement with officials and contractors in the KwaZulu-Natal region that kick-started the Minister’s regional visits aimed at mobilising stakeholders towards a shared goal and conscientiousness to develop South African society.

On Monday, Nhleko met in Durban with contractors, public works officials, construction industry development board, council for the built environment and independent development trust officials.

“We will be perpetuating poverty and instability if we do not take deliberate steps to grow and develop contractors from historically marginalised groups. There is a relation between the pace of development and sustenance of society. The have-nots will rise against the haves if we are not deliberate about transformation,” warned Nhleko.

The minister said that the country has to mobilise and coordinate resources towards meeting its overall objective to eradicate poverty, inequality and underdevelopment while also being conscious about the need to remove impediments for small medium and micro enterprises to grow.
 
KZN Contractors Forum Chairperson Sanisani Mkhize said public servants needed to improve their work ethic and become more efficient.

“Contractors can no longer afford to wait for payments for over two years. The set-asides for historically marginalised contractors give us hope that real empowerment which has evaded us and benefitted big business is about to happen,” said Mkhize.
  
African News Agency