Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo has said Gauteng is primed to be the next big destination for construction in SA despite industry concerns with the prevailing business conditions.
Mamabolo has explained that he is unsurprised by the recent FNB/Bureau of Economic Research Civil Confidence Index, which has been below 20 for more than a year and saw more than 80% of index respondents in the third quarter of 2018 respond that they are “dissatisfied by the prevailing business conditions”.
According to Mamabolo President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announced stimulus package, which includes plans to spend R400bn in infrastructure over the next three years, and draw in further private sector investment from pension funds and financial institutions, has not kick started a wave of enthusiasm from the construction industry as most are worried about efficiency and a lack of transparency.
“Investors find ‘black boxes’ where they can’t see what’s going on,” he said, adding, “They find Stone Age methods of delivery, lack of transparency … they can’t see where every rand is going.”
He explains however that Gauteng has taken a number of steps to answer these concerns, and now believes the province to be in a prime position to benefit from construction.
He specifically mentioned the drone system that Gauteng has been using since May to monitor projects as being a “game changer in the infrastructure industry”. The system, developed in partnership with the University of Johannesburg allows for 3D modelling of construction sites using drone footage, which allows users to assess whether projects are on time, within budget and built to the necessary quality levels – information, which was previously difficult to obtain due to miscommunication and distances between projects.
“We can give them the best value for money, we can account for every rand and cent, we can account for the drawings and the progress made,” he said.