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CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION

CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY Positioning for tomorrow Positioning skills as foundation for economic development and empowerment What is the core mandate of the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA)? The core mandate of CETA is to ensure that the SA construction sector has the skills it requires to be economically sustainable and globally competitive, so it can grow. Our research matches the demand and the supply side of the skills requirements. We ensure there are approved qualifications that talk to industry for the critical skills needed. We also do the building of capacity for the sector through learning programmes that we roll out to capacitate the current and future workforce, including those who are still at institutions of higher learning and high-school learners through bursaries and career guidance. The CETA disburses DG and MG funds in support of the levy payers and training providers in the sector. Malusi Shezi, CEO of CETA Malusi Shezi is a Chartered Accountant, with IEDP from Wits and London Business Schools, MBA from GIBS (UP), PGDA (CTA) from UKZN and BAcc (UKZN). He grew up in Umlazi and matriculated at Okumhlophe Secondary School. Malusi has more than 16 years professional experience in both the private and public sectors. Malusi was a Senior Manager at the Auditor- General South Africa. He gained international experience with the United Nations Board of Auditors in New York where, among his responsibilities, he was Team Leader on the Liberia UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations (UNDPKO) audits.Malusi’s 2013 MBA research paper was titled “SMEs’ governance systems: growth and sustainability”. Malusi was awarded “Best Influential and Committed Manager-2008 PFMA” in Gauteng. His developmental agenda work was twice recognised in the “Most Active Member of ABASA: KZN” award. He chaired the Audit and Risk Committee of INSETA up to September 2021, having served on other various Audit and Risk Committees such as the City of Johannesburg. Malusi is a board member of private sector entities. To what degree is CETA fulfilling this mandate? CETA is doing well in fulfilling its mandate, including paying our staff well. There are areas where we can do better. In the area of rolling out programmes and pathways and project monitoring and evaluation, improving our stakeholder response and relations in addressing the needs of key stakeholders like levy payers, we could improve. At the moment our research and innovation needs intervention. We will be doing huge improvement in the use of all data at our disposal in research planning and crafting a clear and relevant impactful research agenda. We need to capacitate our research unit to include issues of scenario planning and benchmarking. New ways of doing things better and efficiently like introduction of robotics and green buildings, coupled now with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is posing a challenge for the construction sector whose skills are more physically involved. Another area where we need significant improvement is stakeholder relations management and responsiveness. We need to respond on time. Not that we will be able to always make the stakeholders happy but at least we must be more responsive and keep them updated. What aspects of your education and career history have prepared you for this challenge? I studied finance, accounting and business management at university in pursuit of a chartered accountant professional certification. In the accounting profession, you write board exams, during articles you are exposed to different industries and companies with different challenges, which then culminated in my qualifying as a chartered accountant (SA) with SAICA. As a CA you are expected to possess a suite of skills and capabilities that enables you to operate in any environment and sector as a business leader. I went through same extensive programme doing articles in a big four firm. After that I had a short stint at Liberty Life as a group management accountant. I then joined the Auditor-General where I specialised in auditing public entities in the main; including secondment to UNBOA in New York. This gave me exposure to how you make public-sector operations 20 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY CETA/Mahumani Empowerment Centre graduation. efficient and efficient in delivering services to the citizens. Public entities exist to make the government effective and efficient in its service delivery. I had ambition to be a rounded business leader. I didn’t want to be a person who only understands numbers but who rather understands business in totality. With that in mind I completed a Master of Business Administration at GIBS in 2013 in a quest to make sure I sharpened my understanding of business management principles and strategies and what is needed for a business leader to succeed in this ever-changing and volatile world. I believe that personal values and motivation to serve are important. My vision is to see the CETA as an organisation become effective and to be able to fulfil its mandate, namely ensuring that skills are positioned as a foundation for economic development and empowerment, which contributes to a country’s competitiveness. I think also that my ethics, values, experience and competencies prove that I am up to this challenge. I am very motivated to serve this country during the time that I have and to make an impact for the now and generations to come to benefit from. I am willing to see change and the organisation become better and returning to its glorious status. What are your priorities now for the organisation? After we reviewed the challenges faced by the CETA, I came up with seven priorities. One of them is a sustainable and the optimal operating and governance model for this organisation. Obviously for the organisation to have gone to administration it means there was some form of governance failure, non-performance and also possible financial maladministration. The sector itself was already in decline even before the arrival of Covid19 and our levy base was already challenged. Sustainability is at the core of being financially viable and also being relevant today and in the future. As a CEO it is my responsibility to make sure that the frameworks, policies and charters talk to the legislative governance frameworks. In addition, to make sure that we have a sustainable operating model and competent and capable people to assist CETA efficiently discharge its mandate. That links to stakeholder relations management. We need to invest in tools and processes that will support us as a SETA, to be able to gauge and measure the views and the experiences of stakeholders. Priority number three is people management: people competencies, skills, their engagement and their development and growth in the organisation. Asking questions like are our staff performing at a level they should be performing at? Are they motivated? Are they skilled? Are they properly placed in the organisation? Learning, development and growth is one of the areas where we were weak in the past. We were supporting people with bursaries, but some of these were not linked to a relevant career path and also to the skills and competency needs of certain units within the organisation. Some units in CETA are specialist in nature. The fourth area of priority is improving the organisational culture, anchored by our values of being honest and responsive at all times. Also, to encourage and support the management team to live those values and lead by example; to have a caring attitude and be agile. A customer-centric culture in the organisation is urgently needed to be infused. The fifth priority is innovation, systems and technologies. We should be using technology and innovation to achieve efficiencies in terms of our planning and executing our functions and reporting roles. Most of our processes are currently manual. We should be able to have information at our fingertips, to be able to use dashboards at any time without hassle that tell you where we are, what is going well, what is not going well and where we should improve. Research and innovation capacity links to the sixth priority to make sure that our research agenda is responsive to sector needs and also the need for scenario planning in our research agenda. The seventh and last priority is the reputable and strong CETA brand experience and image. The fact that we went into administration tainted our brand. There is a need to reposition the brand and our value proposition accordingly. We want to be among one of the top employers of choice in the next five years. We are setting up the systems and processes that will assist the organisation to be experienced by its employees as an employer of choice and also as a good brand by those that interact with CETA. Can the CETA boost employment in the sector? Our contribution in this regard is by making sure that the quality of training that people are getting will enable them to be ready to operate in a practical environment. Our contribution in the time of Covid was through the roll-out of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. We ran short skills programme in 2021 where we had 4 654 learners enrolled in different provinces. These were trained in road construction and community house building, with a contribution of about R98-million by the CETA in alleviating the impact of Covid on skills and livelihoods. This was run in the provinces of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, Northern, Eastern Cape and a few learners in the province of Limpopo. CETA will be continuing with ERRP project in this current financial year; now focused on www.opportunityonline.co.za | 21

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