Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: SIYABULELA DUDA
Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: SIYABULELA DUDA

Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has unveiled a holistic programme aimed at improving the efficiency of his department and making sure that initiatives implemented by government benefits local communities.

Nhleko presented his strategy at a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday. The strategy comes after a lengthy process followed by the minister since taking over the department in April. He looked at which areas needed attention to achieve the objectives of "radical economic transformation".

One issue to be addressed is to fill vacant board positions for the South African Council for the Architectural Profession‚ the Council for the Built Environment, and the Construction Industry Development Board.

Other issues to be prioritised are auditing the scoping and procurement of all information technology; monitoring the implementation of the auditor-general’s recommendations; developing a communication and marketing strategy for the department; and improving the image of the department and its entities.

Nhleko said another priority is to implement the new preferential procurement policy framework regulations for historically disadvantaged people‚ as well as for women‚ the youth and people with disabilities.

"To fully implement the regulations‚ we have published mandatory pre-qualifications for quotations and tenders. All tenders greater than R30m are subjected to mandatory sub-contracting of 30% of the value of the tender," he said. "These measures are about development. It is important to put an emphasis on localised participation. In certain areas there has been an uprising by communities who felt they were being excluded in the development taking place in their area."

Nhleko said local sub-contractors will have to meet certain requirements to mitigate the risks of under-performance, which include relevant accreditation; registration with relevant bodies; possessing the necessary capabilities to deliver the sub-contracted work; meeting requirements in terms of the stipulated designated groups; and being geographically located where the project is being delivered.

Later this month‚ the department will hold an indaba, hosted with the construction sector, to deal with issues of transformation.

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