By Manqoba Makhubu | 2017-10-09

THE Construction Industry Council (CIC) expects industry associations to encourage members to adhere to existing procurement laws, regulations and procedures through their constitutions, code of conduct and other internal instruments with repercussions for deviations.

This is contained in the CIC Industry Association Regulatory Policy 2016. The council said it expects associations to occasionally facilitate training programmes aimed at improving adherence to national and industry laws, regulations and procedures on construction procurement. “It is government’s policy to support the use of locally manufactured and traded material in the construction industry and as such, the council promotes this policy position through encouraging the sourcing of construction material from local suppliers unless it can be proven that such material is not available in Swaziland.” “To this end, the industry associations are expected to discourage their members from importing material that is available in Swaziland through various means, including reporting the practice to the council where noticed,” said the council. Instead, the council stresses that the industry associations are expected to support local sourcing of building materials, contractors and expertise over the importation of those for construction projects.

The council further advised industry associations to further encourage members to create joint ventures, in order to enhance their ability to bid for larger construction projects that would otherwise be awarded to foreign contractors over local contractors. “This shall be the case even when it comes to manufacturers and suppliers of construction material,” said the council. The CIC has four industry affiliated associations; the Swaziland Contractors Association (SCA), Swaziland Association of Architects, Engineers and Surveyors (SAAES), Swaziland Association of Indigenous Engineers (SAIE) and the Building Material and Suppliers Association (BMSA). The council said some of the regulatory challenges facing the construction sector included clarifying the role of the four construction industry associations, as well as ensuring that they operate within a framework that was commonly agreed and shared within the construction industry.

“Consultations with various industry stakeholders, including the leadership of the industry associations and a selection of its membership revealed that the industry has a number of challenges some of which this regulatory policy should address,” said the CIC. The CIC said the policy specifically addresses the functions of the industry associations, the governance of the industry associations-including issues around the constitutions and code of conduct, fees charged to membership, conflict resolution, the interaction of the CIC and the industry associations, as well as funding of industry associations.

The CIC said the broader objectives of the policy were; to facilitate effective collaboration and engagement of industry players with the council through industry associations in order to create a vibrant construction industry in the country; ensure members of the industry associations get value from membership including getting a platform for engaging and voicing out concerns, making input into how the industry could improve and benefit the entire country; to ensure effective participation of industry players in industry dialogues and matters affecting their work; to ensure that industry associations operate professionally to the benefit of its membership, following best practices in democratic governance and coordination; to introduce and drive an agenda of self-regulation within industry associations as part of the broader mandate of industry regulation of the council; to systematically structure the entrance to, participation in and exit out of the construction industry, weaving out unfruitful and unproductive participation detrimental to the economy; to continuously obtain input and feedback from industry participants through the industry association structures thereby improving chances of dealing with regulatory issues affecting industry participants and to regulate fees paid by participants in the construction industry.

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