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SACAP Convention - Dry Run details for 4pm today

Draft Speech by Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to the South African Council for the Architectural Profession. SACAP Stakeholder Convention 2021

26 August 2021.

Programme Moderator:

President of the South African Council for the Architectural Profession, Mr Charles Nduku and your fellow Council members

Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and the team from DPWI Panelists and esteemed guests

Ladies and gentlemen

I greet you all on what has been a very different women’s month. Different in the sense that it is the second women’s month held during the reign of the Covid-19 pandemic period which resulted in Government putting into effect control measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

We are now seeing a decline in the numbers of those infected by the virus after experiencing the most devastating wave of all the three waves that have come our way. It is for this reason that we are having this event in a virtual platform. The decline in the numbers does not necessarily mean we can now return to business as usual. The danger is still very much present and therefore we must remain vigilant and observe all the protocols that are set by Government, including keeping a safe distance from one another, wearing a mask, sanitising and washing our hands as often as possible.

Also, vaccines have been made widely available and it is advisable for people to get vaccinated. Although this will not guarantee that one is not infected, it will go a long way to averting fatalities and at best hospitalisation. I will not get into the science of communicable diseases and viruses, save to say that we have seen in countries that have achieved the mass vaccination of the population how they have almost been able to return back to normal. This sends a clear message that vaccines do work.

Programme Director

I wish to commend the Council for preparing an event that brings professional speakers from within our continent and across the globe, Academia, Government/Public Sector, Voluntary Associations, Registered Persons, Suppliers of Products, Media, SACAP-Committees, Staff members, together in discussing challenges confronted by the architectural profession, yet not only to discuss challenges, but to bring heads together to think about innovative ways to promote and re-imagine the world through the lens of the architectural profession. This therefore is a session to affirm what the late Dr John Tibane in his book “Master Your Thoughts Transform Your Life” advises us about when he refers to what strategic leaders do”

  • Redefine their purpose
  • Rethink their possibilities
  • Reaffirm their proposition
  • Re-evaluate their partners
  • Revitalise their people
  • Redeploy their power
  • Realign their priorities
  • Redesign their processes
  • Refocus their passion
  • Reinforce their performance

And therefore it is exciting to be part of this noble cause.

On the 6th of August I was invited and attended another SACAP event,which was more to celebrate the achievements of women in the profession. There I highlighted how the profession is still very much male dominated, with an overwhelming 77 percent. This surely does not represent the demographics of the country. The big challenge therefore is to improve the pipeline to ensure that girls from all corners of the country can access opportunities to be trained and qualify to practice as architects. I would like to challenge everyone who is a registered professional here to make themselves available to provide mentorship to registered candidate, especially young women. Even if one does not have a candidate that they can mentor immediately, one can look at how you can individually contribute to growing the profession, including by advocating and championing for the cause through motivational talks at schools, so that learners can be exposed to what it is that you do and therefore develop an interest in the profession.

In his address to a Joint sitting of Parliament in October 2020, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, tabled the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). In that address he noted that “infrastructure has immense potential for stimulating investment and growth, to develop other economic sectors and create sustainable employment, both directly and indirectly”. When one looks into the introduction of the document on the ERRP, it is reflected therein that “for the past decade, the South African economy has experienced stagnation, which has put a strain in the effort to tackle the historical structural inequalities, unemployment and poverty.”

In an effort to rid the South African population of the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and set the country on a path of economic recovery, the Plan outlines key priorities to be addressed, chief among which is “aggressive infrastructure investment”. The Plan also explicitly states that to achieve success in implementation, it will be key to among others, ensure a capable State and focus on skills development.

You will recall that the Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) was approved by Cabinet for implementation in May last year. The IIP provided for, inter alia, the establishment of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) as a single point of entry for infrastructure development to ensure that there is consolidated

capacity to drive infrastructure-led economic growth through investment and implementation for South Africa, as envisaged in the Infrastructure Development Act (IDA). In addition, the Infrastructure Investment Plan provided for the introduction of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) methodology to appraise and evaluate infrastructure investment projects to ensure that they attract funding and financing. The inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium SA (SIDSSA) was used to unveil a total of 50 such projects with the rand value of R340 billion and another 12 special projects were identified and gazetted as Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) in July 2020, that covered network industries as well as human settlements and agriculture and agro- processing. On 6th and 7th October this year, the President will be convening the second instalment of the SIDSSA to unveil the next wave of infrastructure projects.

The IIP comes on the back of a recognition that there has been a massive underspending in infrastructure by all spheres of Government and State- owned Entities. Research shows that underspending can have an adverse impact on job creation. For example, if around 5 percent of the annual infrastructure allocations are not expended, about 37 000 jobs are lost annually. Also, the construction Industry has been the most severely impacted on by the downgrades in the economy and Covid-19, yet this is one sector that has a major potential to serve as a catalyst for positive gross domestic production (GDP) contribution, sustained economic development and job creation.

In her Budget Vote Speech on 25 May 2021, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Ms Patricia de Lille, indicated how 84 projects and programmes which have been on hold, have been identified, and would be sent back to their project owners to advise them to resubmit their infrastructure projects following the SIDS methodology. This uncovering of stagnant projects is a result of Government’s vision of taking a decision to have a single-view of the country’s infrastructure project pipeline, with a view to improving performance and unlocking bottlenecks to

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