How building industry stays up to scratch
It’s all about quality workers, and BIBC plays a key role in maintaining standards
BUILDING OWNERS demand quality at a fair price, but does everyone get the quality they deserve no matter what price they pay?
According to Indawo Painting and Waterproofing, the industry has taken significant steps to ensure companies guarantee the quality they promise and has, by and large, been able to regulate businesses operating in this area of expertise.
Indawo managing director Peter Jäck says quality starts with the employment of a quality workforce.
“Your workers are undoubtedly the most important part of your business in this industry. On top of this, the relationship between employer and worker is of paramount importance,” he says.
“By nurturing a positive corporate culture that empowers your people, the collective buy-in of everyone is achieved with the required quality. That is why, along with all statutory regulations, we place significant emphasis on our compliance with the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC).”
The BIBC originated in the 1920s under the inspector of labour as the Cape Peninsula Building Trades Joint Board, and its slogan, “Fair wages and conditions”, represented its philosophy.
In 1925, the board was converted to the Local and District Committee of the National Industrial Council of the Building Industry of South Africa. In 1995, the Labour Relations Act (LRA) created a new legi s l a t i v e f r a mework a n d renamed industrial councils as bargaining councils.
The BIBC (Cape of Good Hope) was created under the L R A , wh i c h s t a t e s t h a t employer and employee representative organisations within an industry or area can enter into collective agreements covering any areas of mutual interest.
And, if they are sufficiently representative of the industry, the parties can approach the Minister of Labour to gazette these agreements and extend them to bind non-parties as well.
Collective agreements are negotiated between the parties annually and are normally gazetted by the minister with effect from November 1. After this date, everyone engaged in the building industry within the demarcated area of the BIBC is required to comply with the terms of the collective agreement, whether they were signatories to the agreement or not.
Although the BIBC is a statutory body, it is not sponsored by the State and is funded by l evies paid e qually by employers and employees.
Jäck says building and homeowners should check that their service providers are compliant with the necessary statutory regulations, and with industry bodies – most importantly, with the BIBC.
“South Africa moved into a new era quite some time ago. This is an era in which all workers are treated equally with absolute rights to fair wages and working conditions,” he says.
“By supporting companies t hat are compliant, South Africans c o l l e c t i vely a r e empowering t he country’s workforce and, by extension, uplifting the socio- economic conditions of the country’s citizens.”
The main objectives of the BIBC are t o negotiate and administer collective agreements covering standard terms and conditions of employment, resolve labour disputes in the building industry rather than referring them to the CCMA, and to administer social benefit funds for employees.
Jäck says: “A positive partnership with workers is the driving force for quality workmanship. Workers must have the peace of mind that their employers are Bibc-compliant and that employees’ interests are taken care of while they are in the field.
“As responsible corporate citizens, we need to ensure that our employees’ rights are taken seriously and that they can rest assured that they will receive equal wage for equal work, and this is fairly enforced by the BIBC. All South Africans deserve the assurance that they will be treated and paid fairly.”