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At the 120th Annual General Meeting of the Master Builders’ Association Western Cape (MBAWC) which was held recently, Mr Rick Volker was inaugurated as the new President of the Association.
Volker, the Divisional Managing Director at Grinaker-LTA, has progressed up the ranks of the Association, having commenced as a Junior Vice President in 2017. With more than two decades in the industry under his belt, he says the MBAWC has been a constant presence in his life, whether in the form of a safety competition certificate displayed in a boardroom, a 5-star rating on a building site sign board, a logo on a vehicle or time spent attending a training workshop. It was therefore a natural progression, when the opportunity arose, for him to become more involved in the workings of the Association.
“After spending a number of years serving on various committees, it became clear to me that the MBAWC’s influence on the industry was even more significant than I had realised. The work done in areas such as labour relations, safety, training and advocacy is extremely valuable to everyone in the industry,” said Volker.
One aspect of the MBAWC, which Volker feels makes it so remarkable, is the outstanding support provided by its members, who voluntarily contribute their time and energy to the organisation’s various endeavours.
“To be called on to provide leadership of these efforts for a period of time is both a great honour and a privilege. I appreciate the efforts of all those who have served before me, and I am grateful for the support they continue to provide,” said Volker.
One of the changes Volker would like see in the industry is an increase in the stability of work opportunities. He says the lack of opportunities results in the loss of many talented individuals and the closure of firms, which makes it difficult to attract smart young people to the various professions in the industry, and thereby stagnates transformation efforts.
“The need for building infrastructure is clear to all of us. The private and public sectors need to be more cohesive in their efforts to build investor confidence on the one hand and break through the bureaucratic inertia blocking the project pipeline on the other,” said Volker.
This year, MBAWC celebrates the phenomenal milestone of achieving 130 years in the industry. Speaking about the milestone and the next 130 years, Volker says while it’s far on the horizon, he is certain the industry will continue to play a vital role in all aspects of life. “Humans have been constructing some form of shelter for themselves since the beginning of history. As much as we will always need food to eat, we will always need spaces to live, work and play in.
“So, whether we are 3D printing these things in the future or not, there will always be people and businesses engaged in this work. They will need training and their interests looked after. For as long as these people remain the Association’s core concern, MBAWC will remain relevant,” concluded Volker.