Urgent need for regulatory construction council: Kirchner


CONSTRUCTION Industry Federation (CIF) General Manager, Bärbel Kirchner says inadequate regulation and control have resulted in a decrease in the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP and in the participation of local contractors.

Kirchner said the construction industry has faced major challenges in recent years.

Concerns about the construction industry’s collapse were expressed during the first State of Business Address (SoBA) panel discussion organised by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).

During the SoBA discussion, CIF lamented the lacking regulatory authorities to adequately supervise and enforce the sector’s businesses.

“The contribution of the industry to GDP has fallen from 7.2 percent in 2015 to less than 2 percent today. Furthermore, the number of CIF members has fallen from 480 in 2015 to 240, with a significant drop in SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise) presence,” Kirchner stated.

She stated that the industry’s problems are being exacerbated in part by an influx of foreign contractors who have entirely eclipsed local contractors.

“While acknowledging the need for foreign investment and competitiveness, and emphasising that we are not against foreign contractors and do not support the idea of completely closing our borders, we realise the importance of optimal development within the sector. We advocate for a balanced approach in which locally owned SMEs, middle-sized and large-sized contractors, as well as foreign contractors, all play a role,” she explained.

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