The establishment of the Sub-contractors Association (Subcon) will not only give sub-contractors a much-needed collective voice within the construction industry and government departments, but also serve to promote the sector as an efficient, productive and valuable form of business.

This is the view of Databuild CEO Morag Evans, who says the formation of an official representative body of this vitally important sector of the industry is long overdue.

“Most sub-contractors operate as SMMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and as such are the lifeblood of our nation’s economy. Sadly, however, while they effectively finance the cash flow of most construction projects, they are often last in line when it comes to payment.”

Subcon director and founder member Sharon Murray concurs. “Sub-contractors constitute an integral part of any project and are often the reason behind its success, yet also stand to lose considerably when a project fails due to no fault of their own.

“By establishing Subcon, we aim to foster closer collaboration with suppliers, contractors, builders, government departments and various industry associations to promote fairer business practices that will enable these businesses to prosper and ultimately strengthen the South African economy.

“Our objective is to safeguard the interests of sub-contractors, including their business and employees, by advocating on their behalf on all matters affecting sub-contractors, especially when it comes to contracts and agreements.”

“We also seek to offer many benefits such as discounted legal services, recruitment, insurance, SHQ training and apprenticeship advice,” she adds.

“As the construction industry prepares to reopen following weeks of lockdown due to Covid-19, it faces a long and tough road ahead,” says Evans.

“Mitigating the devastating impact of the pandemic will require all stakeholders to work closely together and support one another to enable the construction industry to recover from its slump of the past few years.

“A body such as Subcon will play an integral role in facilitating harmonious business relationships among stakeholders while furthering performance standards,” she concludes.