DAVID AND GOLIATH OF CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
We have recently upgraded and re-launched our website to be compatible and responsive to mobile devices. We live in the era of information age and likewise business is characterized by the digital revolution. Through digital era we acquire knowledge and the know how of various industries and most importantly we are able to liaise with our beloved customers efficiently. On the other hand, we can also influence government policy, communicate our plights and advocate for the advancement of our businesses.
Recently the Competition Commission investigated into collusive and anti-competitive practices in the construction industry. Small construction businesses, whether working in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors face major challenges and are at the mercy of the economy which dictates whether opportunities will be plentiful or scarce. Hence, the investigations were targeting those who benefited from big projects prior 2010 world cup, rather than us.
There is a perpetual problem of late payment to contractors by some government departments and in the private sector alike, which continues stalling any hope of sustained growth. In the interim the solution to this problem of late payments will be the strict implementation of the JBCC clause of adhering to the payment period stipulated thereto, whilst industry bodies continue to fight the Department of Public Works to urgently process the Draft Regulations on prompt payment and promulgate it to law.
The biggest problem in the industry, still after years of banning apartheid and propagating for reconciliation, is the fact that the bigger construction companies through collusive behaviour are indirectly denying smaller construction companies the equal opportunity to grow, to expand and to overcome challenges such as skills shortage, cash flow issues etc.
So many small construction companies in South Africa have the potential, the motivation and, and at times the skills but are denied opportunity by their big brothers to grow in the construction industry. Sadly some of these companies will never achieve their full potential, not because of inability but because of inequality, corruption, late payments, favoritism, nepotism and the list goes on…..
It is discomforting that the preaching of our icon, the late Nelson Mandela of growth, free, fair and equal opportunity for all is not practiced after two decades of our democracy. Indeed his vision which all the wise believe in can create better life`s for all and the future of a growing democracy.
I have pondered on the decision made by the competition commission of fining the Goliath of the industry a mere R1, 5 billion and wonder if they contemplated on downgrading their CIDB rating or forcing them to implement enterprise development and transfer skills to the benefit of the up and coming David’s.
I presume that David knew that he had to get rid of Goliath in order for the Israelites to live in peace and harmony and to praise and glorify their Lord eternally. Perhaps reconciliation was not an option, after all there will always be underdogs.
The story of David and Goliath is there to give us hope that we shall overcome and Malcolm Glad well’s latest book on the topic has given a better perspective of the scenario. Hence, I recommend all my buddies in the small businesses to read the book. We are the liberators of the economies globally and through our underdog business we can eradicate poverty and reduce unemployment.
Have a pleasant and blessed month!!