Master Builders SA expect Construction Health and Safety Manager registration and Agents to prevent building incidents.
Master Builders SA executive director Itumeleng Dlamini said the new Construction Regulations Amendment of the DOL “will improve the safety of the labour force on site, and this along with the new requirements of Construction Health and Safety Manager registration, and Construction Health and Safety Agent registration, will undoubtedly address the increasing occurrence of building collapses.”
Speaking in an interview with Construction Wise published by the Nelson Mandela Metro University in Port Elizabeth in January 2015, Dlamini expressed concern about low levels of skills and ethics in the sector.
However she did not specifically mention the contentious issue of the DOL’s scheduled provision for employers to appoint registered Construction Health and Safety Officers. Ironically, employers are not required by the Construction Regulations or any law to appoint construction OHS Managers.
Construction OHS Agents, on the other hand, may well opt to add OHS designations to their engineering and managerial registrations, instead of adopting the SACPCMP as an additional registrar.
The scenario leaves generalist officers, most of whom have only a number of short courses, in the firing line as some employers start advertising for OHS officers with ‘professional’ registration. The DPW is expected to enforce the rule after August 2015, on state constructoin projects.
Among the pressing issues in the building industry, “particularly in the wake of the increasing number of construction disasters”, Dlamini noted these construction industry priorities;
 dwindling level of skills
 education and training
 development of emerging contractors
 promotion of ethical practice
 integration of the industry in engagements with government
 unlocking investment into infrastructure development.
Construction industry reform
Questioned on strengths and weaknesses in the building industry, Dlamini said; “much progress has been achieved through cooperation and engagements between government and organised business and labour.
“Such progress is reflected in the construction industry Charter, the skills and training projects by the CETA, and reform policies by the CIDB and the SACPCMP.
“I am also very encouraged by the recent Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance who has allocated a very significant portion of the budget to infrastructure development. This is an indication that building and construction is one of the key sectors that drive the development of our economy in South Africa.
“It is now up to the sector to lobby government to distribute its procurement spend equitably to medium and small businesses in the industry, to unlock growth potential in the industry.”
* Source; Master Builders SA executive director Itumeleng Dlamini in interview with Construction Wise, NMMU, January 2015.
• Itumeleng Dlamini is an attorney specialised in commercial and corporate law, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. She had worked for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Organising committee of SA in various senior management positions. She was on the board of Tourism Enterprise Partnership, and of Cida Empowerment Fund.
Her Master Builders brief is to strengthen relations with key stakeholders, and represent the building industry in engagements with government and state entities and regulators.
* See a post on Prof John Smallwood’s detailed views on construction reform, forthcoming on Sheqafrica.com
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