12 April 2010 | Neil Oelofse
A means to match deals to the best available contractors has been set up to help public sector building companies improve infrastructure delivery in South Africa.
The “gateway process” from the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) aims to simplify access to government construction work via an online tender procurement hub, and help match projects to providers.
Speaking at a seminar last month, CIDB procurement and delivery programme manager Inba Thumbiran said the country was stuck in a traditional approach to infrastructure work that was increasingly failing to result in efficient construction projects. Under pressure to deliver on time and on budget, project developers were fast-tracking deals with disappointing outcomes. Procurement reform was going to get a lot more attention in the future, she added.
“The CIDB is aiming, through the new gateway process, to design, develop and promote appropriate delivery models to help improve the delivery rate of public sector infrastructure projects,” Thumbiran said.
The CIDB was established in 2000 to promote a regulatory and developmental framework to help build South Africa’s construction delivery capability for its social and economic growth, and to promote an industry able to work to globally competitive standards.
Following his appointment last year, finance minister Pravin Gordhan said inefficiency in the public procurement system was exacerbated by poor planning. The gateway initiative is in line with his vision of reforming South Africa’s infrastructure procurement strategies.