Infrastructure plan to lure SA's skilled

2012-02-15 15:20

Cape Town - The country will need its entire skills base for the government's R300bn infrastructure programme, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday.

Asked about affirmative action, he told the Cape Town Press Club the government would make an "active attempt" to bring back South Africans with skills to take part in the programme.

"The infrastructure programme is so vast that we will need the entire skills base of society and more," he said.

"We will be making an active attempt to bring back South Africans with skills to take part in this programme."

Patel said South African engineers were sought after "around the world".

"I visited a Gulf state recently and I asked my counterpart how we could deepen economic relations. He said above all don't remove your engineers."

The government is looking at its immigration policies to attract the level of skills it needs.

He said the government wants to form deeper partnerships with universities to make sure the skills base is built up.

"In an expanding economy where you have a shortage, we need to bring in more and we need to bring them in quickly."

  • Max - 2012-02-15 15:35

    On face value this sound positive, but what the reality will pan out to be will most probably be something totally different with engineers etc. being kicked out from behind every African bush across the continent.

      John - 2012-02-15 15:47

      It will probable be more of the same. BEE company with government ties tender for twice the amount of company with experience in this type of work and then BEE company hire company with the lowest tender.

      chantelkm - 2012-02-15 15:56

      I happen to be an engineer with postgrad qualifications and many years of experience in infrastructure. AA and BEE however cause me and other white colleagues huge problems - it is almost impossible for us to get jobs, especially in the civil service or parastatals, and forget about being promoted if you're a white male. Unless some very radical changes are made to the odiously racist AA and BEE policies, I'd advise expats to stay exactly where they are.

      JoeFRios - 2012-02-16 01:50

      Wow, Alicia - a sobering, emotive statement, and a sad reflection on how politics and the legacy of apartheid are affecting family structures today. Anyway, parastatals in SA are pathetic - go Microsoft!

  • Ben - 2012-02-15 15:42

    With the current tender process, how much of this will actually be used for development of the infra structure will depend on how much is left.

  • chantelkm - 2012-02-15 15:44 might want to revisit application procedures. It is virtually impossible to apply for any government vacancy from outside SA.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-15 15:45

    what!!!our economy is shrinking because the skill have left due to BBEEE. WAKEUP

  • pietopper - 2012-02-15 15:46

    Three years ago the SA government would not even acknowledge receipt of my application for a job for which I was overqualified. Now they want me back? Good luck with that.

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-15 15:54

      Stay where you are we don't need you. There are many patriotic South Africans that would glad come to plough their skills to grow our country

      appietrader - 2012-02-15 16:38

      @Mzwandile, then why wants the minister these people back? Where are the those "patriotic" South Africans? My children already citizens of their adopted country, noway, I will allow them to come back to this crime infested forsaken country!! I was let go because of BEE, count me out.

      Marcell - 2012-02-16 03:42

      I'll come to visit my family but that is about it.

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-02-15 15:47

    Flip, with more than 25 years experience, QS, Site Manager, Contracts Manager I think I am also skilled, but again, I'm white and so are other skilled guys still here in SA

      Dirk - 2012-02-15 16:10

      I feel your pain mate. Looking at Aus at the moment.

      JoeFRios - 2012-02-16 02:13

      Dirk, just do it. It's great to be in a place where there is equality. No discrimination is tolerated in Aus, and your skills are appreciated. You don't have to keep defending yourself. Food is very expensive, but you'll earn a lot more. The upheaval of moving is traumatic, but it's a small price to pay for what you get in return. A bargain, actually.

      Marcell - 2012-02-16 03:43

      @Dirk: it is expensive to move but worth every Mandela.

  • Nosiphom - 2012-02-15 15:50

    My only wish is to actually get my hands on the plan, read it then comment!

  • bernardhill412 - 2012-02-15 15:52

    Any safety guarantees against crime? Did not think so. So why give up safety for more money?

  • Grant - 2012-02-15 15:53

    Come on man, there's an EASY solution!! Siply lower the required pass-mark for engineering students to about 12%!! Then we will have LOTS of qualified engineers! :)

      Andrè - 2012-02-15 16:14

      only 12%

      JoeFRios - 2012-02-16 02:17

      Grant, that's really funny, but uncomfortably close to reality!

  • Paulo - 2012-02-15 16:06

    but Mr Patel why did you (or your party) chase them abroad in the first place-is the penny dropping or is it just the usual talk is cheap promise from the ANC

  • Dirk - 2012-02-15 16:07

    I'm an engineer in South Africa and unemployed at the moment. Look at creating jobs first before bringing people from outside IDIOTS!!!

  • Natalie - 2012-02-15 16:08

    I also think this article is a joke.There are thousands of skilled highly educated people in South Africa who are unemployed. I am not sure if it because of BEE or the job shortage is a myth. My son is a qualified Chartered Accountant, completed his articles at one of the "Big Four" and has been pounding the streets for the past two months looking for work. Recruitment consultants in Gauteng all advise him that 70% of the jobs are for AA and also that the market is FLOODED with chartered accountants. Yet SAICA advertise regularly in the media that there are huge oppertunities out there and we have a shortage of 23000 CA's???? Literally hundreds of thousands are spent by over indebted parents on University education and for what??? I think there is something wrong out there and that there are simply just not enough jobs to go all round and with BEE as well, our white youth will either have to leave South Africa or become entrepeneurs, if their parents can afford to set them up with something. Quite a tough situation and very disheartening for professionals who have invested in years of study.

      appietrader - 2012-02-15 16:48

      We also had the same problem, daughter employed with big co. when advancement came was given to less qualified BEE, so she packed up and left for Europe and fully employed now for 13 years. This Bee person took the position for few months, could not cope moved to next firm. Be humiliated again,NEVER!

      Garth Baldwin - 2012-02-15 18:24

      I am busy completing a Masters Degree, as is my fiancé. We have discussed this and as soon as we both qualify in our fields we Will be leaving this country! Why bother even trying to start a profession in a place where we know we will never be afforded the opportunity of advancement purely because we're white?! If you want to stop the brain drain Do Away With BEE!!!

      Marcell - 2012-02-16 03:45

      Sorry to say but bean counters don't create anything. Get a real job.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2012-02-15 16:19

    the story of africa is to chase away skilled manpower and when it is realised that a big mistake has been made attempts are made to bring them back as Expats with higher salary packages (incentives US$ to return)

  • Klaus - 2012-02-15 16:32

    They only have to look at the over 65 year olds - that is where the skill and experience is. But companies shy away from employing these people

  • Andrè - 2012-02-15 18:00

    An article in an English newspaper (about 18 Month's ago) stated that research have revealed that 67% of councelors in SA cannot read or write and that 84% of the memmbers of parliament are computor illiterate. How do we intend to save the country ? No wonder everything is falling apart.

      Xolani Ziqubu - 2012-02-16 08:07

      And you were stupid enough to believe the article. Couldnt have come from the same British press that saidpeople needed stabproof vests and private security firms if they plan to visit SA during the world cup. Morale of the story is are not too smart.

  • braamc - 2012-02-15 20:06

    Tenderpreneurs, lining the pockets, fraud and corruption

  • Michael Laski - 2012-02-15 21:33

    Interesting to read, we will see in the course of this year how serious they are with their statements and implementation. There is no doubt that SA created brilliant engineers, the question is which vintage and why?

  • JC - 2012-02-15 22:08

    Still love SA - yes. Stupid - no A tin-roofed shack in the OZ outback remains the winner Money isn't everything, even if you happen to receive your pay from any SA government affiliated organisation on time (dreaming), and the budget hasn't yet been embezzled

  • paharms - 2012-02-16 00:03

    Very funny Mr. Patel. The transfer of skills is an osmotic process - you know like trees and plants? The roots - that were there first - suck up the water and pass it through the trunk to the branches. First you decimated the roots, and then you debarked the trunk!! Please tell me, and everyone else with half a brain cell, how you propose to feed the young branches and their leaves now? You have fragmented and scattered the skills pool and now you want to wave the PICC wand and it will all just come back together again? Hardly, sir!!!!

  • JoeFRios - 2012-02-16 02:07

    The comments here make for some really sad reading. The reality is that there are many chiefs in SA, too many chiefs in fact(cronyism anyone?). But in the end, actual footsoldiers are needed to deliver real work. Somehow the status-seeking fat cat managers aren't signing up to do menial stuff like that. And in response to Mzwandile claiming "Stay there - we don't want you" - why would someone who is already overseas, earning hard currency in a country free of hate crimes, want to come back - where they would additionally (if they're of the wrong colour) be subject to racial discrimination? So unless they really miss Johnny Clegg, or shed a tear when they hear Toto's Africa, I doubt they will be rushing back. And I don't blame them either, as back here they'd have to constantly defend themselves against the bigotry of people like Mzwandile.

  • Itumeleng Motshele - 2012-02-16 06:55

    A complete n total waste of my time n hard earned money.we need engineers yes bt we as young ppl we r left in da dark. WHY S.A WHY

  • David - 2012-02-16 08:48

    reading this article and the comments leaves me convinced that our Government has no clue about the mood of South African Professional's who are not currently embraced by BEE and AA. this regime is blinded by the "CAUSE" and they have lost the nation building professionals who could turn this country around. all we are left with it seems are sycophants and political playboys who have no clue how business is really run. it's an arrogant disgrace!

  • Greg - 2012-02-16 12:18

    Reading the moaning about racist AA & BEE practices sounds like the pot calling the kettle black (no pun intended). Come on people, the reality is that the leveling must come and yes there are going to be birth pains involved. What do you expect after decades of aparthied injustices that are still manifest today in the corporate / private sector. Who is going to do the right thing in good faith and give blacks, coloureds and indians a fair go in the corporate / private world. A white SA CEO suggested to his board of directors that they embrace transformation and train up non-whites for senior management positions in the business. He was fired. Hence the need to force compliance by legislation until such time as the aparthied hang-over (the when-we's) realise that people of all races must be given equal apportunity on merit.

      pietopper - 2012-02-16 17:02

      After 17+ years this seems like long birthing process, and it has certainly been painful, as you say, Greg. Hope the baby isn't stillborn.

  • StevenDoveyPmb - 2012-02-16 14:27

    And what about those of us who did not run away after greener pastures?

  • Ivan - 2012-02-16 14:46

    Simplest way to bring back skilled labour is to fix the crime and cronyism that goes hand in hand with everyday life in South Africa. 18 years of AA is enough. Time for best person for the job irregardless of colour.

      Ivan - 2012-02-16 14:50

      sorry meant regardless

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