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Construction industry needs to adapt to survive, cautions Dept of Labour

Mar 9, 2017
Construction industry needs to adapt to survive, cautions Dept of Labour

The Construction industry is on the throes of becoming one of the most dynamic industrial sectors in the next 15 years, and this calls for it to adapt to many challenges, said Department of Labour Chief Inspector, Tibor Szana. 

He told a construction seminar today that the industry cannot divorce itself from the government's programme of action in relation to the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP is the country's overarching blue print plan for vision 2030 to eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and unemployment. 

Szana said there was a need to move to make the construction industry processes more coherent and less fragmented. He said government and the construction industry will need to develop a joint strategy in occupational health and safety (OHS) with the overall aim of improving the close working relationship that exist. 

The Department of Labour is hosting a two-day Construction Seminar which ends tomorrow. The seminar is held in partnership with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) at The Square: Boutique Hotel and Spa in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal. 

The Construction Sector Seminar brings together industry experts and role players to discuss health and safety matters afflicting the sector.

Szana said South Africa was in dire need of a national construction strategy that will be matched by an innovative and supportive OHS Strategy for this industry. He said the industry needed to choose between change to survive or remain dormant and die. 

"We need to think about the future to develop new paradigms. Global Construction 2030 forecasts that volume of construction output will grow by 85 percent to $15,5 trillion worldwide by 2030. China, US, India - will be leading the way and accounting for 57 percent of all global growth," Szana said. How do we change the construction industry to our benefit, asked Szana.

Department of Labour Deputy Director-General, Aggy Moiloa described the cost of life and injuries sustained in the industry as staggering. Moiloa said coupled with that was the suffering from emotional, psychological, and social costs that cannot be quantified.