The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MoPWT) Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) hosted the first stakeholder consultation meeting on the review of the National Construction Industry Policy, Construction Industry Council (CIC) Act, Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals (AESAP) Council Act, on the 07th of March 2024 at Sibane Sami Hotel in Ezulwini.

The event commenced with opening remarks from Mr. Mandla Ntshalintshali, representing the Principal Secretary of MoPWT, who underscored the critical importance of the ongoing review process. Mr. Qiniso Mthethwa, representing ESEPARC’s Executive Director, expressed gratitude for the trust vested in ESEPARC by the Ministry to spearhead this essential review. They both emphasised the significant role of the sector in catalysing infrastructure for development, creating employment and contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

Comprehensive Analysis Presented

Drawing from extensive research, stakeholder engagements, and comprehensive analyses, the Research Centre presented a thorough situational analysis of Eswatini’s construction industry. The assessment of construction industries in South Africa, Singapore, Botswana, Tanzania, and other countries served as benchmarks, offering valuable insights and best practices for Eswatini’s legal framework review.

The Report underscored a resounding call for bolstering regulatory oversight, promoting the principles of good governance, strengthening quality, and upholding industry standards within Eswatini’s construction sector.

Stakeholder Insights Gathered

Furthermore, findings from submissions gathered via various engagement mechanisms, including online surveys, key informant interviews, and face-to-face interactions with public and private stakeholders across Eswatini’s four regions, were presented. Prominent concerns raised by stakeholders encompassed the imperative to keep abreast of rapid technological advancements, enhance skills development and training, foster greater opportunities for local industry players, and cultivate a competitive environment while streamlining compliance costs. Additionally, the pivotal roles of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals (AESAP) in delivering value to industry stakeholders, fostering linkages, and mitigating duplicative efforts were highlighted.

Diverse Participation from Industry Representatives

Diverse stakeholders, including representatives from Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MoPWT), Inyatsi Group LASICON, ECO Architects, Peak Timbers, MM Geomatics, Eswatini Environmental Authority (EEA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD), the Municipal Council of Mbabane (MCM), the Construction Industry Council (CIC), the Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals (AESAP), Eswatini Association of Indigenous Construction Consultants (EAICC), Building Manufacturers and Suppliers Association (BMSA), Eswatini Association of Architects, Engineers & Surveyors (EAAES), Eswatini Contractors  Association (ECA), SJ Engineering, Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (EWADE), Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) among others, participated in the engagement.

A Consultative Approach

The overarching objective of the gathering was to solicit and deliberate on stakeholders’ perspectives and viewpoints, ensuring a fair and transparent review process. Subsequent engagements will be conducted iteratively until the review process reaches completion, underscoring the paramount importance of active participation from all industry stakeholders to support the review. A consultative approach lies at the heart of developing an effective policy and regulatory framework that is conducive to the industry’s growth and development.