Lindie Fourie, operations manager at the BCCEI, reports that its office in Port Elizabeth is up and running and the opening of an office in East London is imminent. Both offices will be manned by qualified and experienced designated agents.
“With the current level of civils projects underway in the Eastern Cape, we believed it was critical to have personnel on the ground to assist and attend to any matters in this region,” Fourie says. “Being locally based allows for greater responsiveness and a higher level of service for the stakeholders, and this is in line with BCCEI’s operating ethos to level the playing fields and be accessible to all.”
The BCCEI is a statutory body registered with the Department of Labour and is independent, while being funded by employers and employees for the benefit of the whole industry. She explains that the building of relationships with stakeholders, especially those operating on contracts in remote areas, is critical to ensure inclusivity.
“The BCCEI has conducted several roadshows across the country and we found that some contractors and many employees were not aware that there is a bargaining council that is able to assist them. By opening offices in more regions we will be able to inform and educate more companies,” Fourie says. “And more importantly by increasing our footprint across South Africa we will provide direct access to BCCEI for employers and employees.”
She says there are currently five collective agreements, concluded under the auspices of the BCCEI, in place between the employee representatives, BCAWU (Building, Construction and Allied Workers Union) and NUM (National Union of Mineworkers), and the employer representative, SAFCEC (South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors) and CEO (Consolidated Employers’ Organisation).
BCCEI’s head office in Johannesburg has also recently added to its considerable resources with the appointment of a new senior designated agent, Mhlengi Mdladla. Mdladla brings with him extensive experience and knowledge within the compliance environment in bargaining councils.
BCCEI also operates branches in Durban and Cape Town, and Fourie encourages all companies that fall within the jurisdiction of the BCCEI to visit the council’s newly revamped website which has all the information pertaining to its branches.