Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara plans to establish a sector advisory panel to consider ways of bridging the gap between the vast number of youth in the province that need jobs and the skills needed by the construction industry.
Motara, newly appointed in her position as MEC, gave a closing address on the second day of Africa Construction Expo, in Midrand, on Wednesday.
She noted that the panel would include young people, industry experts, women in construction and property management and formations representing people with disabilities.
Motara encouraged youth participation in the construction and built industries. She implored the private sector to make it its mission to invest in the youth so that they too could take up careers in the industry.
“Our sector has the opportunity to stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities. Whenever a project is undertaken, it benefits more people than just the direct clients.
“The sector has the potential to change the lives of ordinary people in a meaningful way. Africa’s Agenda 2063 will only be realised if we are consistent, intentional and actively working to achieve all the goals set for ourselves.”
She added that the construction industry had a responsibility to respond to the socioeconomic challenges of joblessness and the high numbers of unskilled citizens, and to deliver world class public infrastructure.
Motara highlighted that this would require a balancing act second to none, where the industry did not rely heavily on outdated methods of building infrastructure, and made the transition from the old to the new.
“Gauteng, in particular, has over the years experienced rapid urbanisation and high population density. Infrastructure delivery remains a game changer. It is, therefore, beyond doubt, that the future holds major challenges – and we need the solutions of the future today.”