BBC lashes out at govt over development deal

(iStock)
(iStock)

Johannesburg – The Black Business Council (BBC) says its exclusion in an agreement between government and major construction companies is “regrettable”.

Government recently signed an agreement with seven construction companies for a R1.25bn development fund to improve transformation within the construction industry. Government will be working with Aveng Grinaker-LTA, Basil Read, Group Five, Murray & Roberts, Raubex, Stefanutti Stocks and WBHO Construction.

The BBC said the agreement was initiated by its member, the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE) in 2012. “It is regrettable that the final agreement was only signed by government and the construction companies,” said BBC CEO Mohale Ralebitso, in a statement.

The BBCBE presented government with a list of non-negotiable conditions for it to support the initiative. Ralebitso stated that the BBCBE could not support the programme because it “falls short” of these conditions.

This includes having a programme that is broad based across all services.

Public sector bodies are to blacklist companies found guilty by the competition commission. Subsequently, the Construction Industry Development Board must deregister these companies.

The BBCBE wants to be included in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. The BBCBE also wants to evaluate potential Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) equity partners to ensure there is “meaningful transformation” and empowerment of black people.

Incoming empowerment partners should ensure over the next five years black executives are appointed in “core divisions” of investee companies and ensure that black suppliers and manufacturers are supported. In turn, investee companies must meet the minimum targets set by construction sector codes, annually.

The BBCBE plans to engage with government and its partners to the agreement to meet these conditions.

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