The National Council for Construction is engaged in several other activities apart from those of regulating the construction industry in Zambia. These activities center around the achievement of its aims and objectives. Therefore in order to effectively promote the construction industry in Zambia, the activities of NCC include:- Implementing policies; Regulating the construction industry; Monitoring construction related activities; Facilitating an enabling environment for the construction industry and its constituents.
The NCC is actively involved in resolving issues that affect the Zambian economy and affecting the industry such as: -
Private Sector development:
The objectives of the NCC are mainly to harness the private sector in the construction industry for the development of Zambia. The NCC is mainly comprised of members of the private sector through affiliated trade and professional associations. It is with therefore with this focus that the NCC endeavors to promote the local construction industry and to create an enabling environment for its constituents.
In order to promote public-private partnership in construction, Government intends to involve the private Sector in infrastructure development programs through Private Public Partnerships.
HIV/AIDS is a cross cutting issue affecting all in Zambia, as such, the construction industry as a key sector in the economy needs to be protected from the rapid spread of the pandemic. The greatest loss to HIV/AIDS has been that of skilled and highly competent workers which has affected the rate of performance in the sector, as well as the costs of running the sector. The other concern is that workers, especially in the road construction sector, spend considerable periods of time away from their homes thus are at a higher risk of being infected.
Currently, a project has been set up under the Ministry of Communications and Transport meant to address HIV/AIDS in the transport sector which the construction industry is part of. The following are the aims of the project:
To promote sexual behavior change in the transport sector
To promote positive living among people living with HIV/AIDS in the transport sector in Zambia.
Promote appropriate care, support and treatment to HIV/AIDS infected workers in the transport sector and their families
In order to facilitate the implementation of HIV/AIDS in the industry, a policy paper has been drafted. The HIV/AIDS Policy for the Transport Sector has been initiated to protect the lives of the workers, families and the community in the sector in order to:
Reduce the spread of the scourge through sensitization and support programs.
Provide guidelines that will promote consistency and predictability of practice in places of work, minimizing stress among staff and promoting productivity.
Help employers take the necessary measures for wellness management by promoting the use of condoms and making them available both at the domicile workplace and workplace away from home for the mobile workers.
The NCC as a major stakeholder in the HIV/AIDS project intends to optimize on the opportunity in order to enhance the performance of the industry.
One of the basic indicators of economic growth is infrastructure development. The construction industry is key to the planning and provision of infrastructure. As the regulatory body of the construction industry, the NCC aims to co-ordinate infrastructure development in Zambia by greater involvement at planning level. This would ensure that infrastructure is provided in a more systematic way thus optimizing on resources and expertise. Also, it would be easier to monitor and evaluate development. Most importantly, a coordinated approach to infrastructure development would set out priorities areas that would be channels for economic growth.
It has also been observed that infrastructure development in Zambia is mainly biased to urban areas namely, Lusaka and the Copperbelt. This has overshadowed potential development in outlying areas and has been a major factor in urban migration. Systematic provision of infrastructure would evenly spread development to all parts of Zambia and help tap potential from the vast resources countrywide.
Training and Capacity Building:
The level of skill and expertise in the construction industry determines the competitiveness of the industry in relation to other countries in the region and beyond. One of the limiting factors in the Zambian construction industry has been foreign competition. Local professionals and firms have not been able to compete favorably with foreign counterparts mainly due to lack of capacity in skills and resources.
To this end, one of the objectives of the NCC is to enhance training of construction related courses by providing advisory support to training authorities and institutions. The NCC also facilitates Continued Professional Development (CPD) as a way of refining skills, adapting skills to correspond with economic needs and keeping professionals abreast with technological advances.
On the other hand, the NCC strives to provide a level playing field for both local and foreign professionals and firms. The local industry has been disadvantaged by foreign firms due to the lack of equipment and access to capital, and unfavorable tax policies.