CESA responds to SONA – Collaboration is key | Infrastructure news

In response to the State of the Nation address, Chris Campbell, CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), states, “We are pleased to see that our voice is being heard with the imminent finalization of the public procurement bill to address weaknesses identified by the state aimed at improving efficiency, value for money and transparency in our procurement system”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday, 9 February 2023. For the second consecutive year, the address took place at the Cape Town City Hall due to ongoing repairs of the National Assembly Chamber

President Ramaphosa’s 21-page State of the Nation Address looked at how to improve the living conditions of South Africans. At least four of the announced plans will play a critical role in effecting real change.

Some key announcements:

  • Load shedding: Ramaphosa announced a National State of Disaster for the energy crisis and will be appointing a Minister of Electricity in the Presidency to manage the power crisis. 
  • Infrastructure South Africa has been allocated R600 million for project preparation, specifically in rural and under-resourced areas. This investment will substantially benefit the construction industry and enable large-scale job creation, skills development, and poverty relief, especially in nearby rural communities.    
  • The National Skills Fund will provide R800 million to develop skills in the digital  and technology sector through an innovative model that links payment for training to  employment outcomes
Campbell said that CESA is pleased with the continued focus by the government on professionalising of the public service, which will be staffed by skilled committed ethical people critical to an effective state and ending corruption and patronage as well as wastage while ensuring that qualified people are appointed to senior management positions and to move towards creating a single harmonized public service.

Campbell went on to state that, “While we agree that we need all hands on deck to deal with the macro infrastructure issues such as energy and water security, we need to simultaneously accelerate the pace of fixing our micro infrastructure delivery systems”.  

“Even if we get enough water from other sources as a water-scarce country if our local municipal distribution systems do not work there will be no water for the people.

“Similarly, even if we get enough power onto the grid, and if local power distribution systems are unreliable, there will be no power for the people either. All too often citizens have no electricity and go hours and days even after loadshedding cycles have ended. We need to fix this at all levels”.

Campbell believes that there is still much work to be done and in order to achieve this collaboration is key, as we are united by a common purpose.

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy