The Honourable Minister of Public Works, Mr Thulas Nxesi at the inauguration of the CBEs 5th term Council on Wednesday 16 January 2019 expressed his Department’s expectations of the CBE, specifically that of transforming the South African Built Environment sector. During his address the CBE was reminded of its priority mandate to be the leader and driver of transformation in the built environment. These issues would be further interrogated at the CBE’s second annual Transformation Indaba, set for 7-8 February 2019 at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria.
The Minster called for a renewed and sustainable approach to address the slow pace of transformation and working in silos so prevelant among sector stakeholders. To this effect the CBE will act as lead sector coordinator of the South African built environment, with a specific focus on building public / private sector partnerships while drawing on the active participation of the academic sphere of our country.
The Minister stressed the importance that transformation initiatives, although aimed at uplifting the previously disadvantaged, cannot and should not only be racial and or gender specific. Interventions to assist the youth and future of our country should also consider the impoverished white section of the population and also assist them in reaching their full potential. No transformation initiative should be implemented in line with the notions of reversed discrimination as this could exacerbate racial instabilities
Pivotal to the Department of Public Works’ expectations of the CBE is for the unblocking of the built environment skills pipeline, with a specific focus on scarce skills required in the built environment sector. This specifically speaks to facilitating the establishment of appropriate training programmes as and when required, and guiding appointed service providers according to the CBE’s quality assured structured workplace candidacy framework, piloted since 2014 and now moving to large scale implementation.
Finally and as the key custodian of information and knew knowledge in the built environment, the CBE is expected to become the driver of the research agenda within the sector. Additionally the CBE should become a repository of information, specifically key findings from seminal research conducted in the sector and through a multitude of stakeholders. Such information should be disseminated on a frequent and regular basis on a number of relevant platforms and to all key stakeholders.