The Master Builders SA (MBSA) seeks clarity on tender moratorium

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The Master Builders SA (MBSA) plans to convene a meeting with Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde to obtain clarity about the minister's statements to impose a six-month tender moratorium on the building industry.

Says Pierre Fourie, its chief executive: "The minister's announcement, that 'The Department of Public Works has instituted a six-month moratorium on all new tenders while it undertakes an internal assessment to improve efficiency', is of extreme concern to MBSA".

"We are investigating the impact of such a decision and will be making a further announcement in this regard shortly."

Fourie said that, although the mood in the building industry showed signs of improvement, as reported by First National Bank and the Bureau of Economic Research in a recent building confidence survey, the general consensus was that the market was still subdued. Fourie pointed out that such a move by the ministry would potentially undermine the industry.

MBSA, which represents more than 4,000 contractors and affiliates, held the crisis summit early this year and proposed guidelines for the creation of sustainable construction industry businesses.

The summit decided, among other resolutions, to form a task force to unpack the 800 billion rand government infrastructure budget to be spent over the three-year period, and determine the impediments to its delivery.

However, Fourie said the challenges highlighted in the various resolutions formulated at the crisis summit remained unresolved.

"It is our belief that until these are addressed by all stakeholders in our industry and government, the building industry will continue to perform poorly or at best mediocre. This is a sad loss of opportunity for our country, where the building industry could be the engine for growth and job creation," he said.


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