South Africa’s construction, architecture and engineering industries have been tipped over the abyss following the resignations of the CEO, COO and Legal Compliance Officer at the at the Council for the Built Environment (CBE). All three posts will become vacant at the end of June 2021 and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia De Lille seems unbothered by these major vacancies.
The CBE is the overaching body that coordinates six Councils for Built Environment Professions – Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Property Valuers, Project and Construction Management, and Quantity Surveying. These are at the very heart of the construction industries, which are primary socio-economic drivers and job creators. The CBE, therefore, cannot find itself with such a dramatic leadership deficit.
The DA calls on Minister De Lille to play open cards on the true state of affairs at the CBE as up to now there has been a thundering silence from the her.
What’s worse, Parliaments Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure was not even informed about these major resignation. The Committee had to learn about these imminent departures from the media!
Adverts appeared – both on the CBE website and in various weekend newspapers – for an Interim CEO post for three months; a full-time CEO position; Chief Operations Officer and a Legal Compliance Specialist positions. These vacancies follows hot on the heels of the resignation of a number of CBE Councillors in December 2020 – facts again not made known to the Portfolio Committee, but which have been communicated to the DA in the strictest confidence.
Minister de Lille has not taken charge of her responsibility to ensure that the Boards of these Councils function professionally, meet regularly, are quorate, and operate in line with the necessary statutory determinants. These Councils are crucial to the health and professionalism of members of the Built Environment Professions (BEP) to which they must be registered. Failure for BEP members to register with their respective Councils could render them unemployable – in a country with an unemployment rate of 43%.
The deficit and instability of leadership in Minister De Lille’s own department and entities clearly has far-reaching consequences for the DPWI and the Built Environment Professionals Councils.
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