Empowerment in the construction sector must be measured against its sustainability

08 September 2014

Despite the ‘Construction Sector Charter Council – State of Empowerment 2009-2013’ offering an optimistic view of growth within the construction sector, Brian Africa, Executive: Marketing & Business Development at Performance and Customs Bond Services (PCBS), a specialist guarantee construction underwriting management agency, questions whether this growth is in fact sustainable.

“While PCBS’ own figures do show an encouraging trend towards the emergence of a growing number of black- and woman-owned companies in the sector, fluctuating employment figures, erratic movements in business confidence levels and the sporadic implementation of public infrastructure projects continue to impede the growth and sustainability of SMME contractors as well as the implantation of the skills development objective.

“The spike in liquidations of established construction companies including a few companies listed on the JSE illustrates that even empowered organisations fall victim to the effects of an industry that on the surface illustrates growth but in reality falls short of long-term sustainable growth,” he explains.

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