There have been concerns about the local contractor who has been seen as lacking capacity. The contractors themselves are concerned that public jobs are being awarded to foreigners ahead of locals thus denying them an opportunity to build their capacity. There are also concerns of downright corruption in the sector as evidenced by the activities of tenderpreneurs and land barons.
Although regulation of the sector has been through Associations such as ZBCA using a Code of Conduct for members, membership of an association is voluntary. The majority of the “companies” are not registered with any Association and thus operate as they wish. When they fail to deliver all contractors including those being regulated through Associations are then painted with the same brush of lacking capacity and ethics.
All these challenges arise from the fact that the sector is not regulated. The Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA) and the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) under the banner of the
Joint Industrial Commission (JIC) in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministries of Local Government and Public Works, and National Housing and Social Amenities have come up with the Zimbabwe Contractors Construction Council Bill 2019.
The principles of the Bill which were debated and approved by cabinet recently seeks to establish the Zimbabwe Construction Contractors Council of Zimbabwe whose functions of regulation; registration of local and foreign companies; discipline control; project registration and monitoring; standards control; capacity evaluation; standardization of contract documents, codes of practice and legal contractual procedures; and the making of by-laws will go a long way.
The Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association now awaits with keen interest the unfolding legislative process to enact the Bill into an Act of Parliament which will bring Zimbabwe into line with her peers in the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) region who have regulated their resulting in capacity enhancement, savings on foreign currency as more locals get opportunities and employment opportunities to Zimbabweans.