QP design|engineer|manage Chairman and CEO Reuben Xuereb expressed his concern relating to Malta’s worsening construction reputation, especially in light of the recent accidents taking place within the sector.
Speaking to MaltaCEOs.mt Mr Xuereb stated that “like the rest of the population [he] felt shocked and concerned when hearing about the recent collapse of the building in Corradino and the tragic death that resulted from this.”
Mr Xuereb has been involved in real estate development for more than 25 years, and has international experience in structuring and developing real estate mixed-use projects. His experience includes acquisitions, funding, master planning concepts, and strategic development of real estate projects in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The CEO insisted on the importance of having the right regulations in place, “however, it should go beyond just having regulations,” he said. Indeed, he asserted the need for these laws to be implemented “and more importantly for the relevant authorities to ensure that there are competent people checking that rules are being followed.”
While acknowledging that accidents can always happen, “there should be all the processes and checks in place to avoid something like this happening again,” he affirmed. “Developers will always be developers,” he added, “and they will always look for solutions however we need to ensure that such solutions cater for the safety and building standards that are in conformity with regulations in order to ensure that accidents are avoided as much as possible.”
Within the construction sector, there has been a lot of discussions about accrediting workers and contractors, as also site supervisors and Mr Xuereb feels that “this is definitely the way forward.” He believes that “accreditation is the place to start,” however, he added that “the next step should be proper enforcement.”
“The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) had started this way back,” he stated, “but there seems to be resistance in making bold changes to improve the situation. This is resulting in delays in implementing much-needed regulations and making sure that everyone abides by them. The recent amendments to the law are a step in the right direction but have not led to a marked improvement in local work practices. The construction industry has unfortunately seen very few tangible improvements over the past years.”
Mr Xuereb asserted that as a professional he is certainly in favour, imploring all actors involved to take action “yesterday…..because there is no more time to be lost on this.”
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