The scorecard was released at the Construction Transformation Charter Group's (CTCG) indaba, in Pretoria, where South African Public Works Minister Stella Sigcau expressed confidence that the steering committee would meet the July deadline for the release of a draft construction charter.
Industry stakeholders are currently working towards publishing a unified template for the scorecard, which will, as far as possible, aim to be in alignment with the Department of Trade and Industry's BEE guidelines.
However, CTCG secretariat head Pierre Blaauw told Engineering News Online, on the sidelines of the indaba, that due to the diverse composition of the country's construction industry, certain aspects of the scorecard would not strictly adhere to the DTI's guidelines, to allow for the sector's “peculiarities”.
The current version of the scorecard presents proposed weightings and target ranges for areas such as ownership, employment equity and skills development, rather than specific targets.
The weightings and target, Blaauw explained, were put forward by industry, labour and government, and currently large gaps exist between some of the figures put forward by the various stakeholders.
He added that the steering committee decided to develop a comprehensive scorecard template that can be adjusted based on the differences that exist between contractors and the built environment professionals. The intention is to have one scorecard, however, this will be finalised during negotiations, as there are potential differences across various sizes of companies.
“The scorecard will still be the subject of rigorous debate and discussion. In the interests of transparency, we decided to release a draft version of the scorecard at this early stage,” Blaauw stressed.
“Ultimately, scorecard should cater for the full spectrum of businesses within the industry. For example, we want to support the high-degree of emerging contractors and, at the same time, not erode long-established family-owned businesses,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Sigcau pointed out that the crucial point of developing a scorecard has been reached in the charter process.
“The Department of Trade and Industry has given all the sectors a guideline through its published draft code of conduct. The scorecard will be a product of this process, but let us not forget that the processes we are engaging in – that of transformation and empowerment – are lifelong and will outlive this scorecard,” she said.
Sigcau allayed fears expressed by some within the industry that the charter would take family-owned businesses, started by previous generations, and hand them to blacks.
“That is not what transformation and empowerment are about. Transformation should begin with an introspective analysis, which questions the preponderance of white men and conglomerates, but proceeds to recommend structured ways within which we need to empower black women and small contractors, as well as communities that perpetually spawn these disadvantaged groups,” she said.