Wednesday, August 10, 2022

CPHA pledges support to Botswana Plant Hire contractors

Contractors Plant Hire Association (CHPA), a South African organization, last week held a meeting with local Plant Hire contractors in Francistown, encouraging them to join the organization and to form a committee in Botswana.

The Chief Executive Manager of the Organization, Clive Wicks, told the contractors that, by forming such a committee under CHPA, they could have a stronger voice on matters concerning their operations, especially on lobbying the government in changing some of the legislation that negates on their industry.

“By establishing a committee under CHPA you stand on a better position to be able to regulate yourself and to address issues that affect your industry to government,” he said.

He gave the example of the members of CPHA in South Africa, saying that the organization has made remarkable impact in making sure that their concerns are taken seriously by government.

He said that the organization has managed to work hand in hand with the government to set a legislation that puts all contractors on level ground. He added that if Botswana contractors join the CPHA, there could be better networking among the contractors, discussion on their concerns and better decision making on the problems they are facing and how they can purge their challenges.

However, raising some of their concerns, the local contractors decried the shift of focus by government on the citizen owned businesses, saying that foreign contractors are given preference, which kills the local businesses.

One of the local plant hire businessman, Dorian Riggs, took issue with the fact that there is need for standardization of rates for hire, complaining that Chinese companies, who are the main contractors, settle for lower rates when hiring their equipment.

“Unfortunately in Botswana, we do not have the standardization of rates for the hire of plant machinery and in this case the Chinese who are the main contractors in the country settle for small rates, which then negate the Plant Hire business,” he said.

One of the issues Riggs raised is that there is need by the government to consider de-centralizing its services, especially with regard to the issuance of permits for the transporting of abnormal plant equipment. He said sometimes it takes time for one to be able to transport a plant machine due to the delay in the issuance of permits which then results in a loss in business.

However, Wicks went on to advise that if local operators group themselves, establish clear structures and commit to the organization, such challenges may be overcome.

CPHA was established in 1970 in order to promote the development of the plant hire industry and to watch over and protect the interests of its members.

The Association has its headquarters in Benoni, South Africa, where it has a permanent National office. Regional branches have been established in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth and, lately, it is about to establish a branch in Botswana.

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