Malta Developers’ Association president Sandro Chetcuti has urged construction critics to stop pointing fingers at his association ahead of this evening’s protest.
“The truth is that the MDA isn’t the culprit here,” Chetcuti told Lovin Malta. “Why are people pointing fingers at an association which is trying to organise the sector and not at the enforcers if the problem is the lack of enforcement?”
This evening’s protest, which is being held in light of the recent building collapses, will kick off from St Luke’s Hospital, followed by a short walk to the MDA headquarters. Moviment Graffitti, which is organising the protest, is calling for and end to the ‘dictatorship’ of developers.
However, Chetcuti warned critics that their anger is misplaced.
“Why point fingers at the MDA when citizens are complaining that the Building Regulation Office (BRO) doesn’t even have enough resources to answer the phone?”
“The Prime Minister himself said the construction industry has grown so much that the authorities cannot cope, so why point fingers at the MDA when it is trying to organise it? How would the situation be like if there wasn’t an association for developers? Everyone would just be doing as they pleased as used to be the case.”
Chetcuti noted the MDA has come up with several proposals, such as a registry for contractors, training courses and skill cards for workers, and health and safety courses for everyone involved in the industry.
It also recently proposed a penalty points system for contractors, which would see contractors lose their license after continuous breaches, such as is the case for reckless drivers.
“The Prime Minister had welcomed the proposal, but at the end of the day we cannot implement it ourselves,” he said. “We need the government to push it forward.”
With regards the building collapses, Chetcuti reiterated that the MDA is extremely worried at the situation but noted that the developer allegedly involved in the recent collapse of a residential wall in Ħamrun isn’t even a member of the association.
He said he agrees with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s decision to impose a moratorium on demolition and excavation works.
“The Prime Minister had no other option but to impose a moratorium until it’s clarified who is to blame for the incidents,” he said. “You can’t take chances with people’s lives.”