Our industry of Building and Construction continues to be one of the highly constrained sectors of our country’s economy. Therefore, as an Association, we are a mirror image of what takes place in our industry. The year 2023 was one of the most challenging years experienced by the Association, having survived the ordeal of COVID-19 very well, we are now starting to feel the impact thereof very seriously on what was an already constrained sector prior to that world pandemic.
Although we continue to attract and recruit new entrants or new members, it is certainly at a far slower pace than we have experienced before. The sad part though is that we also continue to see a loss of long existing and well-established main contractors of our membership through liquidation and what devastating is that these companies have lost legacies that they have been building for many years, and the employees of these companies have lost whatever means these companies were helping them with to sustain their families. We pay our respects to these companies that have contributed so much into the South African Building Industry for many years.
Not only are we seeing a loss of main contractors, a number of our sub-contractors have also had to close their doors due liquidation of main contractors, scarcity of construction projects, and many other reasons. Some have had to cancel their membership with the Association due to the above-mentioned reasons. The Association lost a great number of member subscriptions in the year 2023, and unfortunately terminated close to 200 members after having owed the Association for over a period of 2 years. This left the Association with a deficit of 1.5 million rands on annual member subscription. The Association started a subscription collection drive which took place in May-June, and we were able to collect close to R800 000, moving us from a deficit of R1, 500 000 to R700 000 on annual member subscriptions.
Despite the tough year, our CHS department, under the leadership of Mr Roets, performed exceptionally well in the year 2023 where they exceeded their annual budget/target by R500 000! They carried the Association, and we give thanks to members like TriStar Construction, JC van der Linder Venter, ENZA Construction, Edelweiss Aluminium, etc. who continue to support us by using our CHS services. We are truly grateful to these member companies, and we would like to encourage all our members to use our affordable CHS, Legal and Contractual, and Training services. We also encourage our members who have their own CHS departments to use the Association for their external audits, so as to ensure that they have an independent view and perspective on their sites.
The Association also successfully hosted big events like the MBA North Annual Golf Day and the combined MBA North CHS Awards and MBA North Annual Dinner where we celebrate all our members for their efforts and dedication to compliance and we also celebrate all our long-standing members, stakeholders, partners, sponsors, and the MBA North team. We also participated in stakeholder engagements, where the team and I attended the FEM Safetember, First Thursday hosted by TriStar, Tiber & Washirka3O Best Projects events, Construction World hosted by AfriSam, Dept. of Employment and Labour Conference, etc. we will always support our stakeholders and partners where we can.
Our focus for the year 2024 is to continue fighting for the wellbeing of our members and that of the industry and continue being a solution-based Association for our members, building strong and valuable relations with our members, and ensuring that we eliminate any delays and hurdles that may prevent them from continuing building South Africa. I would like to pass my utmost gratitude to all members of the MBA North, the Office Bearers, and the Executive Committee for their unwavering support, and last but not least, a big thank you to the MBA North team for working tirelessly to ensure that the Association gives value to members and their dedication to elevating the Association to greater heights.