Limited awareness on new construction codes may hinder empowerment

While the Amended B-BBEE Construction Sector Codes carry the promise of effective transformation experts fear that limited awareness on the code could hinder the sectors empowerment.

Vash Singh, Managing Director of Xcelerate Verification Agency, a major expert in the field, says Informing and empowering professionals is now crucial to avoid companies being negatively affected by the new provisions.

“Construction is a BEE sensitive industry. Everyone in the sector needs to take heed and implement the requirements as soon as possible,” he notes.

Implementation no easy task

The new codes provide an organised scheme to assess annual progress through a balanced scorecard.

Going forward, shareholding, management representation, professional registration and inclusion of specific groupings, skills enhancements, and mentorship has to be measured and verified. Proper assessment is expected to take place both internally and externally. Any future procurement also needs to consider the profile of supplier companies for effective community development.

Implementing the new codes is therefore no easy task.  “The Codes have been through an extensive commentary and negotiation process. As a combined effort from organisations across the sector, they are quite complex, especially the Large Enterprise scorecard,” Singh explains.

“This definitely requires an intense implementation effort.”

Transformation corner

An answer to the awareness issue will come at the Transformation Corner on 17 May at the African Construction & Totally Concrete Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The construction event is setting up a wide educational program that includes free workshops and a keynote session to help the sector realise its transformation promise.

The show’s Transformation Corner talks will unpack the various aspects of the B-BBEE Construction Codes. These will be presented by prominent experts, including Singh.

“Skills development and mentorship will go a long way in reducing the competence gap,” she concludes.