The world of the future can only be changed and facilitated through the leadership of today. This is the view of Consulting Engineers South Africa’s (CESA) newly appointed President, Neresh Pather.
Speaking at a function held in Johannesburg recently Pather said his focus for the year will be on Effective Ethical Leadership under the theme ‘Our Future is Now!’ Of particular importance to Pather and CESA is ensuring equal opportunities for all.
“We need to ensure that all South Africans and Africans are given a fair chance to further their contribution to our continent. We need to allow for practices to address the imbalance of the past for this will take many, many years to address,” he explained.
Developing African industrialists
Within South Africa he believes that we need to encourage the black empowerment principle not as a means of compliance but to truly develop African industrialists to grow the economy.
“As part of our transformation drive we need to embrace both youth and gender equality so that we ensure the conversation on our future includes all participants. This is the only way we will be able to design a future that is relevant and inclusive,” he noted.
Pather added that CESA hopes to play the role of a facilitator of good values and good business principles that enables transformation not for any other reason but because it is the right thing to do.
Standard for Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management
Turning his attention to infrastructure development Pather said that the rollout of the Standard for Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management (SIPDM) across all spheres in Government was a positive intervention with CESA collaborating with National Treasury in the roll out and training for this procurement system.
“CESA is however, concerned that since the announcement and implementation of this procurement system, across government there is no Infrastructure Directorate at National Treasury that is taking ownership and accountability for the implementation and monitoring of compliance with this Standard,” he noted.
“It is a fallacy that increased spending on infrastructure will address our current industry issues,” he added. “Spending correctly and in the correct areas that will afford us these benefits is more important,” he continued.
According to Pather the SIPDM programme was designed to shift the emphasis away from administration and to focus on governance and leadership to ensure that infrastructure in government is driven with the correct knowledge and competence.
Pather reiterated that CESA is hopeful that the work done to date in the roll out of SIPDM and the partnership with National Treasury is further accelerated in order to create a paradigm shift for infrastructure in South Africa.