Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila says the National Transport Policy and the National Industry Policy will bring sanity in the two sectors at a time most Malawians are not getting contracts in the construction sector.
Less than five percent of Malawian companies and businesses participate in the construction sector, which Kasaila described as worrisome.
Speaking on the sidelines of a press briefing organised to sensitise the public to the forthcoming launch of the two policies on Tuesday at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Kasaila said there are several factors that have negatively affected Malawian contractors; hence, the need to have the policies in place.
He said: “The two policies will help and guide us in the two sectors to help more Malawians get a stake in the construction sector. With this policy in place, we will enforce quality control and bring in more women in both the transport and construction sectors.”
Kasaila further explained that the Transport Policy will also look into non-motorised transport on how best infrastructure should be improved to accommodate pedestrians, ox-carts as well as bicycles.
Chief executive officer for National Construction Industry Council, Linda Phiri, said the policies have come at a good time when locals are complaining of being sidelined in the construction sector.
She said plans are at an advanced stage to create a fund to help locals have enough skills and capital so that they can compete favourably with international players on the market.
“We have already identified a fund manager, but we will disclose the name later on. All contractors will be required to pull some resources into this fund and once they want to get a loan, the fund manager will be the guarantor,” said Phiri.
The National Construction Policy is the first to be developed for the construction sector and it has been crafted in the government’s long term aspirations as stipulated in the Vision 2020.
The National Transport Policy is in third edition and has been developed to incorporate emerging issues in the transport sector.