Leonard Ncube and Rosalla Mzacana, Chronicle Reporters
LOCAL Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has said efforts to regulate the construction industry are underway with the Construction Contractors Council Bill set to be tabled before Parliament before end of the year.
The process of crafting the Bill started in 2000 and for 18 years there was no political will by the previous government under former President Robert Mugabe to enact it even though the construction industry had sent input.
Addressing the 25th Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA) conference in Victoria Falls yesterday, Minister Moyo said the Bill would be tabled in Parliament in December.
“You have been engaged since 2000 and I’m also aware that you had expected to see the Bill on the list of those mentioned by the President when he officially opened Parliament last month.
“I’m pleased to let you know that since I became Minister I have been briefed on the issues regarding the Bill. The Bill is currently receiving attention in my Ministry from where it will be put into the legislative process and I undertake to ensure that this process is completed by December 2018,” said Minister Moyo.
He said the Construction Contractors Council Bill is one of the low hanging fruits hence it should be achieved under the Ministry of Local Government’s 100 day plans.
“It’s critical to note that the passage of this Bill will level the playing field in the construction industry and regulate the activities of both foreign and local players in order to achieve high quality of works for the benefit of clients.
“Contractors have complained about unfair competition from foreign contractors and local unregistered contractors simply because the environment is not regulated. My ministry will work with you to ensure a level playing field by enacting this law,” he said while encouraging ZBCA to regularly engage government.
Minister Moyo said government is committed to supporting local contractors through the creation of an enabling environment, unlocking of funding for the sector and prioritising local contractors in key capital projects.
Contractors have complained about delays in payment for services rendered to government.
Minister Moyo said payment is done based on assessment of work and only approved projects are paid for.
Newly elected ZBCA president Engineer Francis Mangwendeza said the Bill is long overdue as it would empower local contractors to compete for capital projects contracts.
He said they would be engaging government over awarding of tenders for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway, Parliament Building and Robert Mugabe International Airport among others.
“We have made our input for regulation of the construction industry. Currently the industry is not regulated which is why any firm can just come and start carrying out work in the country which is the source of our complaints.
“The Bill will help create a board that will regulate foreign participation in the industry and address registration of contractors as well as accountability issues and measures to be taken against those who do poor work,” said Eng Mangwendeza.
The conference ended yesterday under the theme: “Engaging local contractors for strategic infrastructure development in Zimbabwe.” — @ncubeleon.