Builders’ forum wants piece of pie

Pieter Hendricks, Nascobufo treasurer.

Kraaifontein subcontractors now have a forum to fight on their behalf to get half of all the City of Cape Town’s big development projects.

TheNational Structuring Community Builder Forum (NASCOBUFO) wants a piece of the Maroela low income housing project, near Blokombos, which it believes can turn around the fortunes of the struggling Kraaifontein subcontractors its represents.

It is telling subcontractors, who want representation on the forum, to register with an allied non-profit organisation Act of Grace 14. The forum’s other partner is Golden Rewards, a close corporation, which keeps a database for small and medium enterprise (SME) developers.

“This tri-unity movement will bring hope to struggling developers and general public meetings would be called in due time to get mandates regarding the Maroela housing project,” said Nascobufo chairman Edward Thebus, who was one of the SME developers contracted at the Scottsdene housing project.

On Thursday July 21, Mr Thuebus met with the SME developers and subcontractors near the Assembly of God Church in Eikenfontein. He said there had been an “overwhelming” turnout, one which encouraged them to seek national support.

They are due to meet again on Wednesday August 3 to discuss further details about their forum

Mr Thebus said there will be a joining fee, payable only after the developers and sub-contractors have won contracts through the forum. He said the fee will be discussed in one of the upcoming meetings.

Peter Hendricks, Nascobufo treasurer, said it was time big developers shared the pie with smaller businesses. Large construction firms, he claimed, had still been awarded big tenders despite being found guilty of collusion.

Mr Thebus said they had already met with mayoral committee member for human settlements Benedicta van Minnen to discuss their demands. They claim she had promised to meet them after the elections on Wednesday August 3.

However Ms Van Minnen’s office said it had not scheduled such a meeting as yet. Asked if the forum’s request would be sustainable, Ms Van Minnen said: “The City of Cape Town has a supply chain management policy, which is aligned to preferential procurement regulations. The determination of these matters is guided by policy and legislation.”

She said the City was still in the planning phase for the Maroela housing project, and had not yet determined its value. The planning phase included getting statutory land use and environmental authorisations.

The planning layout had been advertised for 1 212 residential opportunities in the project’s northern precinct and 746 residential opportunities in the southern precinct, Ms Van Minnen said. However, she added, that these numbers were not set in stone.