Pretoria – Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko has urged the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) to continuously replenish human resources in the built environment with youthful, enthusiastic as well as determined young people.
Minister Nhleko made the call on the first day of the two-day 6th Construction Management Summit, which ended on Tuesday in Durban.
“If some of our professionals were not clouded by social prejudices, fewer challenges of integration and mentorship would be experienced, particularly within the construction management profession,” Minister Nhleko said.
The summit coincided with Youth Month, where issues linked to youth development are thrust into the spotlight. June 16 marks the day where South Africa pays tribute to the youth of 1976, who bravely fought against the apartheid regime.
Minister Nhleko said government is concerned about the extent to which the decline of the skills base within the built professions is slowing down sustainable development. He said South Africa requires a strong, integrated construction management profession to deliver on the development goals and maintenance of national infrastructure.
He said that it is critical that professionals in the built industry share knowledge and skills for growth and development of the profession.
“If we are to realise radical economic transformation that will see the economy begin to pick up, there will be increasing demand for professional services,” he said, adding that the pool of skills represented by built environment professions should accordingly increase to bring the historically marginalized into the mainstream of the economy.
The Minister appealed to the private sector to work with his department to support development in the built environment sector.