Incompetence, mismanagement, collusion, negligence, non-delivery and a side-stepping of rules and regulations are some of the reasons that the infrastructure industry has come under the spotlight in recent times. From poor RDP housing to the most recent Tongaat Mall collapse which claimed two lives and injured 26, the infrastructure engineering industry appears to not be doing so well. Of all that is wrong with the industry presently, it seems the most compelling of challenges is the lack of decisive action from authority figures to impose corrective actions and to bring the culprits to account. As scandal after scandal makes way for more scandal, nothing changes in the status quo.
After the collapse of the shopping mall in Tongaat, it was reported that an inquiry commission had been set up to investigate. Five months later there is still nothing to report and the enquiry is still underway. As the finger pointing and the blame game escalates we are beginning to question if we can continue to depend on authorities to do their job properly. In the event that the appointed authorities continue to fail, what is the alternative solution? More specifically what is the role of professionals in such circumstances?
The reality is that the infrastructure industry still remains one of the key players in bringing about the change this country needs and addressing some of its most pressing issues. As it stands the 13 key deliverables of the National Development Plan, the government’s blueprint to a poverty free and nation of equality, are those which the infrastructure industry can champion.
Civilution – a call for active citizenry, for industry to join forces and unite in solidarity to address these issues in a collaborative, strategic, and systematic fashion is a step in the right direction. It is a call for accountability, to look for alternative solutions, and to lead change. Whilst others might question the effectiveness of such an approach, one thing is certain at this point – that it cannot be business as usual.