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        Construction sector charter ‘has failed to take BEE forward’

        Fecha:Nov 6,2012

        THE Construction Industry Charter was not doing enough to promote black economic empowerment (BEE), Department of Trade and Industry deputy director-general Sipho Zikode said on Monday.

        Though the charter was gazetted in 2009, black-owned businesses and professionals in the sector continued to face many problems, he said. These included lack of access to finance and big private sector and government contracts.

        Other challenges included fronting, and late payments from big companies and the government. Late payment had caused the demise of many small companies.

        Further, professional industry bodies were mainly run by whites.

        Mr Zikode said a council that had initially been proposed to monitor the charter did not meet and did not have the resources to execute its work. It was the responsibility of the industry to ensure that it functioned properly, he said.

        Mr Zikode said he did not expect the charter to be replaced when the new black economic empowerment codes of good practice, which would be considered in Parliament soon, were made into law.

        The immediate past president of the Engineering Council of South Africa, Chris Campbell, acknowledged that construction industry organisations were run mainly by white people. This he said was because older white professionals had the time and financial resources to spend time away from their companies and work in industry institutions.

        Young black professionals in the built environment tended to need to work on keeping their relatively smaller companies viable.

        Mr Campbell said professionals in the engineering profession could not be fast-tracked, as their work affected the health and safety of the public. It took an engineer about 8-10 years to gain enough experience to be considered a professional.

        Categoría: news

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