The Public Works Minister, Nathi Nhleko, has said public private sector partnerships are critical to unlock infrastructure bottlenecks as well as create capacity and address skills shortage.
Nhleko, disclosed this at the Captains of Construction & Infrastructure Leadership Forum and African Construction and Total Concrete Expo held at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand on Tuesday.
Nhleko made the passionate appeal for private sector involvement in the delivery of the National Infrastructure Plan (NlP) in a speech presented by the Chief Director for Construction Management, Wasnaar Hlabangwane on his behalf at the Expo hosting over 2 500 small contractors and 9 000 participants.
“If we are to realise radical economic transformation that will see the economy begin to pick up, there will be increasing demands for professional services, and the pool of skills represented by built environment professions should accordingly increase to bring the historically marginalised into the mainstream of the economy,” highlighted Nhleko
Current trends in the built professions indicate that the important skills base is in decline, with very few new entrants compared to the large numbers who have left the profession, he said.
“That is why it is vitally important to continuously and urgently replenish the human resources in the built environment with young, enthusiastic and determined young people,” he stressed.
Nhleko said that it is important to massif skills development across the continent to meet the acute shortage.
He emphasized that infrastructure projects need good governance, meaningful civil society participation, and real accountability to be sustainable and deliver real benefits to our communities.
The NIP was kick started with a budget of R827 billion in 2012 to transform the economic landscape while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs, and strengthening delivery of basic services.