According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate of youths aged 15-24 years old is 53.7% and the unemployment rate of youths 25-34 years old is 33.6%. Coupled with the technical recession that after real gross domestic product contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year. This follows a revised 2.6% contraction in the first quarter.
"South Africa needs a new approach to growth and development – one informed by our collective interest and which harnesses the capabilities of all social partners who should see themselves as being irrevocably committed to creating a prosperous society where all our people live a better life in peace and harmony," Cyril Ramaphosa said in his opening address at the recent Job Summit launch.
These figures illustrate the challenges that youths face when looking for employment in South Africa. In recognition of current industry trends and of transformation in particular, the 6th annual Project and Construction Management (PCM) Conference will be dedicated to transformation and empowerment in unlocking the future potential of the construction industry.
Hosted by the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions
(SACPCMP) under the theme “Growth, development and transformation” this conference seeks to generate robust debate and deliberations in the quest to finding sustainable solutions to historical as well as developing problem areas, and the newest being joblessness.
The construction industry has continued to contract, experiencing its fifth consecutive quarter of decline. According to Stats SA, the industry has lost R1.7bn in value since the fourth quarter of 2016, falling from R110bn to R108bn in the first quarter of 2018.
Slow economic growth in South Africa has a ripple effect on the industry and not many big new infrastructure projects are on the horizon.
However, community engagement and building capacity for small to medium sized contractors, women contractors, black contractors and other underprivileged groups have been identified as key to driving transformation and ultimately unlocking the opportunities in the sector.
The Minister of Public Works, Honourable Thulas Nxesi, will also provide valuable insights into his vision for his department and for developing the construction industry in the country.
Highlights will include massive infrastructure investments of the private sector, both in fully funded private sector initiatives and Public Private Partnerships.
“This conference has grown in popularity since its inception in 2013. In order to ensure that we have a safe South Africa, in terms of construction, we need to put checks and balances in place and to register professionals in the project and construction management space,” says Yuven Gounden, Acting Registrar at SACPCMP.