Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is hosting its annual Infrastructure Indaba from the 5-6 March 2018 in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. The two-day session will bring together leading experts including government officials, consulting engineers and built environment professionals for the purpose of improved delivery and management of public infrastructure.

The Indaba aims to foster partnerships between government and the private sector, particularly the engineering sector, and capacitate the channels of service delivery through cooperation and the development of common goals. The CESA Indaba 2018 will be a platform to engage, network and share best practice required for improved service delivery within the built environment.

Obsolete and poor infrastructure is a critical barrier to accelerating growth and delivery of service to the people. Infrastructure is a key component of the investment cycle by reducing the cost of doing business and enabling people to access markets more effectively. On average South Africa has spent 6% of our GDP on Infrastructure over the past 16 years. This loosely translates to about R300-billion each year.

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo will deliver the keynote address at the CESA Infrastructure Indaba.

A session has been set aside to discuss water security and the role which clients play in improving water security. Experts participating in this session include Water and Sanitation Deputy Director General Emergency Projects, Trevor Balzer; the Commissioner of the National Planning Commission, Percy Sechemane; and ERWAT’s Fortune Mabunda, while Ralph Mathekga will analyze the political environment in relation to infrastructure delivery.

Consulting Engineers provide the essential services required for infrastructure planning and development fundamental to maintaining and improving the quality of life for modern society. It is imperative for consulting engineers to be able to establish strategic partnerships with government and contractors to ensure the required technical capacity on which the successful implementation of these programmes depends.

CESA President Neresh Pather says it is a fallacy that “Increased spending on infrastructure will address our current industry problems. Spending correctly and in the correct areas will afford us these benefits and is more important.”

He adds that on the face of it procurement is at the heart of many of the current blockages. Studies from various parts of the world including South Africa and references to the BS13500 standards from the UK reference the “Role of the Client” as being fundamental in the success of Infrastructure Projects.

“The National Planning Commission through its workings found that the emphasis of government procurement focused on compliance by box ticking which made the system costly, burdensome, ineffective and prone to fraud. These systems placed an excessive burden on weak support functions and focused on compliance instead of value for money.  The current processes result in lengthy delays and blockages in the pipeline affecting delivery of projects. By virtue of the large government expenditure required we need to ensure that the correct objectives are driven,” avers Pather.

Speakers and delegates will engage and deliberate on: Engineering the Future; Infrastructure Development; Public & Private Investments – Capital Intensive Infrastructure Projects; Water Security – “Water is Life for Communities”: Role of Clients and Consulting Engineers; The Transformation Journey; Leadership: Delivering Value for Money in Infrastructure Procurement; Leadership: Industry Integration and Engineering Collaboration and The Politics of Infrastructure.

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