By Bahle Gama
The minister of Public Works and Transport Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe has tasked the newly commissioned Construction Industry Council (CIC) Board to hire a CEO as a matter of urgency.
The CIC has been without a permanent CEO following the resignation of Nhlanhla Dlamini who is now the CEO of Eswatini National Petroleum Company. The Acting CEO, Maqhawe Mnisi has been in the position for over seven months.
The minister issued this instruction during a press conference held at the Hilton Garden Inn Garden Hotel on Monday when he announced new Board members, stating that this was the first task he was giving to them and hoped it would be tended to immediately.
As per the CIC mandate, the council is expected to regulate the construction industry giving priority to Swati firms and companies through policy implementation, the establishment of ethical standards, practices and procedures and to set and promote safety standards.
Other duties will entail promoting the construction industry and enhancing professionalism through the training of persons engaged in the industry. The Council will also excise disciplinary control over the conduct of any person engaged in the construction sector and all members will be in office for a duration not exceeding four years.
“This is the first task that I would like to give to the Council. The last CEO resigned from the company after having moved to another entity, and we wish him well. We are most thankful that whilst at the CIC, he was recognised by his current employer which means he was in the right place. I’ll ask that you take the initiative to recruit a new CEO so that the work done will be in alignment and in order so that the board can also be able to work knowing whom to assign duties to,” he said.
The new board is chaired by Sandile Makhubu, Nolwazi Dlamini as Vice Chairperson with six members namely: Mariana Pulle, Percy Mazibuko, Bambo Kunene, Lawrence Bhekisisa Mavimbela, Vincent Dlamini and Maxwell Sithole.
The Minister stated that the Board, which has been appointed in terms of Section 6 of the Construction Industry Council Act No.14 of 2013, should have been commissioned months ago, but due to several aspects of administrative imperatives, it had been delayed.
“These issues were and are still indeed very important, but we think we should go beyond non-constructive antics, and remain committed to the course of the industry by constantly asking ourselves if our disagreements are growing the industry or counter-development to the detriment of the sector and the Eswatini economy at large,” he said.
He stated that as a parent ministry, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is committed to supporting the construction industry’s aspirations and drive to make Eswatini infrastructure the best in the world.
“Construction is the springboard of the economy, it is the only sector with the widest footprint of entry-level labour and widespread artisan demand, entrepreneurship, and production inputs. The building industry built environment is the engine of the economy. This is a community engine, starting and steering is a collective effort. Each one of the players in the industry may have the freedom to act but must do so in perfect balance with the interests of other stakeholders. We, therefore, encourage selflessness and focus on the common good of industry players,” said the Minister.
He told the Chairman of the Board to focus on the mandate as detailed in the Construction Industry Act, adding that they must be cognisant that other parties consume council decisions that do not part take in the decision-making process.
“So be considerate, patient, and consult extensively. I urge you to put the interest of the industry and the national economy first, this to be achieved by rising above personal interest and self-serving ambitions,” he said.
He further assured that the ministry would work together with the board to review the CIC legislation and regulations in the shortest time possible, “but most importantly it is of great importance that you observe the highest standards of corporate governance, set clear strategic
goals for the industry and hire a CEO as a matter of urgency.”
Making his remarks, Makhubu stated that they intended to assess and put into action everything that had been said by the Minister.
“Ours is to take everything said by the Minister and put them into action with a proper response,” he said.
He stated that the duty allocated to each of them was something they did not take lightly and believed everyone would play their part in the industry.
“I am sure that this team will ensure to implement and fulfil the mandate by the Act in our duration in office. Most of us are from associations and are now tasked with properly representing them and, in the process, ensuring that we consult on whether we are still on the right path, at the same time whilst considering the interests of the council. We will try to ensure that we do not lose sight and forget the people we are coming from or representing and ensuring that the current management is assisted in leading the organisation,” he added.