Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko has ordered officials in his department to urgently resolve all complaints of non-payment of contractors.

These non-payment undermined the country’s development objectives, the minister said.

We will be perpetuating poverty and instability if we do not take deliberate steps to grow and develop contractors from historically marginalised groups. There is a relation between the pace of development and sustenance of society.

The minister was speaking with contractors during his regional visits in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

The visits are aimed at mobilising stakeholders towards a shared goal and conscientiousness to develop South African society.

Minister Nhleko said that the country has to mobilise and coordinate resources towards meeting its overall objective to eradicate poverty, inequality and under-development while also being conscious about the need to remove impediments for small medium and micro enterprises to grow.

Responding to numerous complaints about degrading of emerging contractors by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the Minister expressed confidence that the transformation programme that will be rolled out by the board responds adequately to the concerns of emerging contractors.

A moratorium has been placed on downgrading. Further measures to deepen transformation within the construction industry will be communicated to stakeholders when the CIDB board embarks on its countrywide outreach programme, he added.

Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Contractors Forum, Sanisani Mkhize concurred with the Minister that Radical economic transformation requires a change of mind set and attitude from public servants.

Contractors can no longer afford to wait for payments for over two years. The set-asides for historically marginalized contractors give us hope that real empowerment which has evaded us and benefitted big business is about to happen, Mkhize said.

Source: South African Government News Agency