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News & Press: 2018 News Items

2018 – Focus on positive collaboration

Thursday, 11 January 2018  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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Dear ASAQS member

2017 has been a tough year economically and politically, but I’m beginning to see hope.

Due to recent political changes, our government is becoming more serious on compliant issues and in making the economy work.

With the 2019 elections coming up government needs to work hard this year to stimulate the economy and making people keep their promises. I’m sure you are as excited as I am about the positive impact this will have.

We should however share in the responsibility of bringing about a new era.

In terms of available projects in the built environment, the private sector has been struggling but the public sector even more so. Quantity surveyors are situated in an interesting position, we must encourage government to stimulate economy and provide advice on how to do it.

I urge all ASAQS members to combat both over- and under-pricing so that projects get completed on time.

I also dare you to have the courage to be vocal if you experience such incidents in projects you work on.

You don’t have to name and shame, but highlight the problematic trends. Framing these trends as advice rather than complaints will go a long way, it will help government to incorporate best practices from the private sector, within the constraints of the public sector.

We all need to speak up and out from offices, ASAQS and on government forums. If something is broken and no one fixes it, it will always be broken. If everyone signs up to fix what is broken bit by bit, it will get fixed.

If we’re vocal enough, we will assist government to achieve what we take for granted in the private sector: projects completed on time and in budget. This will help us all do more with the little we have available in the current economy.

I encourage you to rekindle a positive spirit and trust that our economy is now at an uphill turning point. A positive spirit is contagious and will go far in boosting investor confidence.

To those that had to close their businesses in 2017 please accept my sincerest heartfelt condolences. I have no quick solution to propose. I do however think that it is time for our profession to think about the importance of collaboration.

In isolation we do less, but when we join forces, we can achieve more.

I understand and respect the fear of small firms that they might get lost in big firms. Furthermore, I understand and respect the concern of big firms that individuals from small firms might not want to conform.

I therefore propose that small firms start collaborating to create medium sized organisations rather than isolated micro firms. If we combine our efforts we might find it easier to gain access to all sides of the pie, both private and public.

In closing I want to address the topic of education. While lots of focus has been placed on the need for government to provide free education, the private sector in South Africa should start planning for activities that will support our future professionals in accessing education at a level that will sustain our profession.

The ASAQS will be investigating how it can participate, but we need our members to use their initiative and resources to support these initiatives especially under these economic conditions. You are welcome to contact me if you have any ideas or solutions that will help to secure a bright future for our profession.

I wish you a prosperous and healthy 2018,

Dr Molusiwa Stephan Ramabodu

ASAQS President