The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has described the situation in construction and building as “shocking”, yet again resulting in loss of life on a construction site. The Chamber described the latest incident in Bormla, which took the life of a 32-year old Gambian, was the fourth construction-related fataility this year. The country cannot accept these fatalities as collateral damage of a successful industry.
Actions taken since the number of serious building collapses reported in 2019, have not delivered any value. The need for a complete and holistic reform of the Building and Construction Industry has never been greater. The Malta Chamber has been consistent in its calls for reform, regulation, discipline, and tangible actions. Every day of inaction is another additional day of risk for the industry.
In its Economic Vision for Malta 2020-2025, the Malta Chamber proposed that Government take immediate corrective action and impose the agreed-upon sanctions in the event of malpractice or abuse of the new construction regulations. By doing so, they would strongly show that the reforms have drawn an unwavering line across the previous laissez-faire approach to construction.
The Malta Chamber also proposed that the construction industry be regulated by the state. Stringent criteria would be established for the provision of operating licences to constructors so that the construction industry makes the related reforms and investment to reach the standards present in other EU member states.
That the new Building and Construction Authority be equipped with the appropriate resources and tools, and a strong enforcement function that would allowed it to operate without fear or favour; and that trust and confidence would be re-established within the Planning Authority and the Environment and Resources Authority, by both entities having their enforcement functions strengthened, while a robust spatial planning capacity would be established within the Planning Authority.
It is more than clear that this latest useless loss of life, is the result of the failure of a poor regulatory system, as all that the current laws, regulations, and systems in place are falling short from ascertaining the safety of workers, residents, third-party properties and the peace of mind of our people.
The Malta Chamber demands action, based on the above proposals, in