Transform construction sector, says Thulas Nxesi

2014-07-04 08:27

The country’s construction sector needs massive transformation, says Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

“The industry has to transform and include black professionals. Engineers, surveyors and all sorts of artisans in the sector are male and white,” he told delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) central executive committee meeting in Joburg.

“There is no transformation in that sector from where I am sitting.”

A number of industry associations in construction refused to accept collective bargaining, he said.

“NUM is the largest union in the construction sector. You need to organise and make sure social transformation takes place. You must ask yourselves how you are going to force these associations to accept collective bargaining,” said Nxesi.

Job losses in the sector needed a coordinated plan. The industry had the worst fatalities and injuries, he said.

“We need a social plan for the industry to mitigate job losses. As workers lose jobs, training programmes in the EPWP should be in place to ensure that the EPWP absorbs these workers,” he said, referring to the expanded public works programme.

The sector education training authorities (Setas) also needed to start showing good results.

Nxesi said most Congress of SA Trade Union affiliates sat on Seta boards, but there were no returns.

“It cannot be that leaders from affiliates sit in Setas, but we do not see any results.”

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