Minister Nxesi opens the UIA congress in Durban

Minister Nxesi opens the UIA congress in Durban Public Works Minister  Honourable TW Nxesi, MP says South Africa cannot be complacent with the Fact that 20 years into democracy, only 24 % of built environment professionals are black and only 9% are female. The Minister was speaking at the opening of the International Union of Architects (UIA) 25th World Congress on 4 August 2014, in Durban.

The UIA 2014 Durban World Congress is hosted by the South African Institute of Architects with the support of the Department of Public Works and the eThekwini municipality, among others. It takes place under the theme ‘ Architecture OTHERWHERE’ which seeks to celebrate diversity by exploring other communities, other regions, other disciplines and other ways of thinking about, practicing and teaching architecture.

Minister Nxesi said government has committed that the next 5-years of administration will mark a second and more radical phase of transition to democracy. He said this includes the transformation of the Built Environment - the construction and property sectors - transforming ownership and management of the sector to better reflect the country’s demographics, and producing more black and female built environment professionals.” The Minister said to this end, the Department of Public Works will work very closely with the Charter Councils to monitor Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scorecards and transformation objectives.

“We have also dedicated resources to help promote young professionals by firstly recruiting school leavers and supporting them to choose careers in the built environment, targeting children from historically disadvantaged backgrounds including black townships and rural schools, and girl children-so that they receive the resources and encouragement to carve a career for themselves in these fields,” explained Minister Nxesi.

He said he believed that this World Congress of Architects provided an opportunity to reflect on where South Africa is going as a nation -and on where Africa is going as a continent, in relation to the kind of built environment we want to create. “I believe that this Congress provides an important opportunity for African architects - in particular -to contribute to a developmental agenda for architecture and urban design ”, said Minister Nxesi
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