SA eyes Chinese firms for 2010

In a bid to lower costs related to the construction of 2010 Soccer World Cup facilities the government has announced it might bring in Chinese companies.

In a bid to lower costs related to the construction of 2010 Soccer World Cup facilities the government has announced it might bring in Chinese companies.

Speaking at the Finance Department's 2010 presentation to parliament's portfolio committee on finance yesterday, the department's deputy director- general for 2010, Malcolm Simpson, said the shortage of technical skills in the country made it necessary for foreign companies to be considered.

"They are coming, a few of them have already registered with the construction industry development board. Given the problem of skills shortages in the country, we would like more foreign companies to come and bid for 2010 projects," he said.

The fact that South Africa has only six major construction companies makes it difficult for the government to negotiate for lower prices on 2010 projects, said Simpson.

"This is a project with very tight time frames. Bringing in foreign companies will create competition among contractors and eliminate the delays caused by price negotiations," he said.

Last year Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi said to ensure that the projects were completed on schedule, construction on host city stadiums should begin in January. But in some cities, such as Cape Town, construction work has yet to begin.

Simpson said that though work had begun in most cities, the department was concerned about certain risks such as a shortage of raw materials and litigation that could hamper the construction process. - Sapa

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