April 2016 -
The construction industry in Africa must take responsibility to inspire young people from the continent to become leaders in the construction industry because it is the only way to ensure that the economy of Africa grows and develops.
Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction, says new projects developed for Africa enable the economy and therefore the future. “Infrastructure development drives economic development. Efficient implementation at the construction phase has a downstream impact on economic growth and development.”
However, he points out that there are challenges faced by the construction industry in encouraging young people to become leaders, because modern society has lost the emphasis on ethics, integrity and hard work.
“Dedication, commitment and perseverance are alien concepts to the youth of today. Everyone wants a quick fix and fails to see the benefit of taking a long-term view. The prevailing attitude of entitlement also creates a climate where self-interest thrives and the greater good does not count.”
Pienaar says these challenges can be overcome by current leaders setting an example of operating with integrity and taking a long-term view. “We should set an example of pursuing the greater good and the rest will fall off and fall behind. We should go into the future with purpose and dedication.”
Therefore, Pienaar explains, he finds it is also important to select young people with the attitude to become leaders in the construction industry. “All of us have talents, skills and abilities, but in the end our success is determined by our attitude. It is true that qualifications and training is important, but it is easier to learn new things than it is to change a bad attitude. I can teach you a new skill, but you have to decide about and adopt an attitude.”
According to Pienaar, young people in Africa have to cast off the attitude that they are not good enough compared with skilled people in other countries. “We have everything it takes to grow and become world class leaders,” he says.