Government must inspan short-, medium- and long-term skills development initiatives to support not only its current infrastructure programme, but to ensure sustainable economic and social development. In addition, as much emphasis needs to be placed on maintaining existing and planned infrastructure as on building new assets under the programme, which could involve expenditure of as much as R3,2 trillion over the next 10 years. These key themes emerged from the 19th in the series of Infrastructure Dialogues being convened by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the South African Cities’ Network, the Performance Management and Evaluation Department in the Presidency, and the National Business Initiative.
Focused on how the infrastructure programme can best be used to leverage the development of skills, the Dialogue was led by presentations from:
- Adrian Peters, Vice President of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), who made a sobering assessment of current skills levels, and presented a short-, medium- and long-term plan to overcome shortages as well as meet future demands; and
- Eduzie Ifezulike, a DBSA civil engineering expert, who urged government to develop a holistic, long-term vision for skills development.
Presentations and discussion focused on assessments of the current skills reality, the need for a long-term vision to ensure sustainability, the critical importance of maintaining existing infrastructure and ensuring maintenance in the new programme, and a number of suggestions and recommendations for government to consider. To read more please download the dialogue summary
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