Honourable Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Bernice Swarts delivers the keynote address at the CBE’s Sustainability Seminar

The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) hosted a two-day Sustainability seminar on 04th and 05th April 2023 in Stellenbosch under the theme: “Past – Present – Future Mirror”.

The seminar was officially opened by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Ms Bernice Swarts whose address resonated that: “Sustainability in the built environment has a profound impact on the economy”. In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister cited that promoting sustainable practices and technologies would not only support green jobs, but will also create a sustainable economy for the country.

Ms Swarts appealed to all role-players to galvanise the built environment sector to play a role in creating a climate-resilient South Africa to help government achieve its sustainable development goals. The Deputy Minster urged the CBE to hit hard on professionals not registered with regulatory bodies and called on the construction sector to apply strict regulations to ensure that all professionals are registered and validated by professional regulatory bodies.

Echoing the sentiments of the Chairperson of the Public Works and Infrastructure portfolio committee, Ms Ntobongwane (MP) on 22 March 2023, Deputy Minister Swarts said “we cannot compromise on professionalism. Therefore, anyone who uses an unregistered quantity surveyor, town planner, or even artisans whose qualifications have not been vetted is wrong.” She urged the CBE to ensure compliance with legislative prescripts and to hit hard on professionals not registered with regulatory bodies yet want to be assigned responsibilities to lead infrastructure projects. She also called on the construction sector to apply strict regulations to ensure that all professionals are registered or vetted by their professional regulatory bodies, including artisans.

Dr Msizi Myeza, Chief Executive Officer of the CBE emphasised the importance of indigenous knowledge which historically helped communities in avoiding structural misfortunes. “Climate Change is a key challenge facing the built environment sector and remains one of the priority areas for government and the built environment sector’, remarked Dr Myeza. He highlighted that the CBE is committed to driving a sustainability agenda within the built environment for the country’s future generation.

The outcomes and resolutions of the seminar will contribute to the development of a broader and long-term sustainability strategy for the built environment sector, as well as to:

  • COP 27 Agenda and the Built Environment Industry’s implementation
  • Presidential Climate Change Commission
  • Addressing and mitigating natural disasters

On the side-lines of the seminar, the CBE and Sustainability Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 05 April 2023 on strengthening partnership on areas of research, knowledge sharing and advocacy around issues of sustainability in the built environment.

Dr Msizi Myeza, CEO of the CBE (left) and Ms Mulweli Nethengwe (right), Programme Coordinator: Research and Advisory Services at the Sustainability Institute sign off a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration between the two organisations.


About the Sustainability Institute:

At the Sustainability Institute, we engage in transformative learning towards just and flourishing futures. Our various activities and programmes strive to realise sustainability through learning, exploring, and applying ways of being that are restorative and generative. Founded in 1999, the Institute is an international living and learning centre for theory and practice in values based, entrepreneurially empowered action towards positive social impact and ecological restoration. Our focus on children is centred within the Lynedoch Children’s House, Lynedoch Community Primary School and Lynedoch Youth programmes.

Our research and practice maintain a strong focus on sustainable African futures. Our focus on transformative learning from birth and social innovation is embedded through our research, teaching and practice. For more information visit: https://www.sustainabilityinstitute.net/