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News & Press: 2019 News Items

Presidential Message

Friday, 06 December 2019  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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December 2019

Dear Member,

As the year draws to a close, I’ve been compelled to reflect on all the highs and lows that have affected our country, industry, and the future of Quantity Surveying in the country. I’m not breaking any news when I say that we are operating in a tough economic climate, but a handful of articles and forecasts indicate that there are signs of recovery in the market.

A concern that is at the top of my mind is that many professionals have moved to pursue opportunities abroad. Even in times of positive change, built environment professionals will be forced to do more with less if we want to assist the Government in future-proofing the country with human-centric infrastructure that meets the needs of our people.

A step in the right direction has been the progress made by the newly appointed Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille. Not only is Minister de Lille open and willing to listen to the public outcry of professionals in the built environment, but service providers are being paid following her investigation into the nonpayment of invoices within the stipulated 30-day period. There is still a way to go to transform the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure into a flourishing Government department, but I feel hopeful with Minister de Lille steering its direction and strategy. As professionals from the various disciplines within the construction sector join forces and increase collaboration, we will continue to have a stronger voice when we approach Government about the challenges we face. ASAQS Members can expect a follow-up survey on the issue of non-payment of invoices so that we can make further inroads into determining who the non- and late-payers are in the industry. This survey will also be circulated to other Built Environment Professionals through their respective Associations and Institutes, which will represent one of the first collaborative efforts to address our industry’s collective challenges. One of my hopes for 2020 is that fewer built environment professionals will be doing work for which they are not compensated.

I am also excited to be a part of the committee that is being formed to align present ASAQS documentation with the International Construction Measurement System (ICMS). Reporting and costing methods used in the construction industry have significant variance according to the market, which impedes transparency, increases investment risk and makes it difficult for developers and clients across the globe to compare projects. I believe that an international standard which aims to provide greater global consistency in construction costing will benefit Quantity Surveyors, clients and Government.

The ASAQS is working with Universities and student chapters to create more awareness about our profession and the important role we fulfil in construction development. My goal is for school learners to have Quantity Surveying on their list of booths to visit when they attend University Open Days because they are interested in learning more about the degree and career.

Throughout my term, I will focus on supporting the ASAQS team in putting actionable goals to our strategies. I am humbly at the Board and Members’ service and I would like to encourage you to have the liberty to make suggestions on how we can improve our service offering and make Quantity Surveying more rewarding.

Have a restive and blessed holiday season.

Christelle Bown