JBCC contracts training dates for first half of year announced

JBCC contracts training dates for first half of year announced

The Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC) has announced the dates and venues for its training workshops for the first semester (March – June) of 2018.

JBCC is non-profit company representing building owners and developers, professional consultants, and general and specialist contractors who all provide input for the compilation of JBCC agreements (building contracts) that portray the consensus view of the committee’s members.

Uwe Putlitz, CEO of JBCC

Uwe Putlitz, CEO of JBCC, will personally conduct the one-day training from 8am to 4.30pm, which in all cases earn delegates one Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit.

The training on the “Principal Building Agreement and Nominated/Selected Subcontract Agreement” will take place on:

Wednesday, March 7: The Country Club Johannesburg, Auckland Park;

Thursday, April 12: Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Cape Town;

Tuesday, May 8 – Bytes Conference Centre, Halfway Gardens, Midrand; and

Wednesday, June 20 – 18 Burlington B&B and Conference Venue, Durban.

Bursary Applications Open to Future Master Builders

Bursary Applications Open to Future Master Builders

The applications for bursaries from the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape, (MBAWC), for the upcoming 2018 academic year opened on 15th November 2017. Over the past 10 years, the MBAWC has assisted 230 students, (many of whom are today employed by MBAWC members and other companies in the built environment), to further their studies in the “Built Environment” disciplines, through the awarding of bursaries.

Bursaries from MBAWC will cover the annual tuition fees in respect of various Built Environment courses offered by both the Academic Universities as well as the Universities of Technology, from the second year of study onward. The bursaries are valid for one year, but are renewable, subject to continued satisfactory academic progress.

The MBAWC will also sponsor selected bursary recipients’ attendance at each annual Master Builders South Africa Congress, enabling them to meet the captains of the building industry and attend various educational sessions.

Students who have successfully completed their first year of studies in the fields of Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management or Health & Safety Management are eligible to apply. In addition, they must either have been born in the Western Cape, or have completed their Basic Education in the Cape Town Metro or Greater Boland area. Bursaries are also available for the children of those employees working for MBAWC member companies. Those who are awarded bursaries are under no obligation to repay them, should they successfully complete their courses. Recipients are also not required to take up employment only with MBAWC members on completion of their studies.

While MBAWC primarily supports institutions of higher learning in the Western Cape, it has also supported students financially, in order to study at other Universities within the Republic in the past, due to special circumstances.

The construction industry, which is crucial in meeting the country’s infrastructure and housing needs, has the potential to generate a number of much-needed jobs and boost the economy. However, we need skilled entrants to grow the industry and build South Africa.

In the words of Minister Gigaba, ‘We cannot hope to grow and develop, without the skills and intellectual capabilities that our universities and technical training colleges produce”.

Application forms are available from the MBAWC website and office from 15th November 2017 onwards. These must be submitted, together with a letter of motivation stating why the applicant has chosen their particular field of study, by the closing date of 30th November 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by 12th December 2017, circumstances permitting.

For more information, visit http://mbawc.org.za.

Tri-Star works with AfriSam on top-drawer Infinité apartments

As the readymix concrete supplier of choice, AfriSam will supply approximately 17 500 m3 of readymix concrete for the construction of various structures of the Infinité Apartments

Tri-Star works with AfriSam on top-drawer Infinité apartments

A glittering new residential development featuring fluid spaces, transparency and the spectacular use of glass is under construction in the suburb of Bedfordview, east of Johannesburg, with Tri-Star Construction as lead contractor and AfriSam supplying the readymix concrete.

Developed by Fatasy Property, Infinité is a luxury ten storey block of 198 high specification apartments, most ranging in size from 40 m2 studios to 79 m2 two bedroom units. Eighteen of the units will be the exclusive penthouses, complete with double volume areas to further enhance the sense of spaciousness and elegance.

In one of the largest pours that the contract will require, AfriSam delivered and poured 590 m3 for a basement slab during September 2017

Infinité will be the first high rise residential offering in the Bedfordview area, boasting both north facing and south facing apartments. The generous facilities will include two levels of underground parking, meeting rooms, a gym, an outside pool and a club house.

Glass balustrades all around the building and on every floor add to the modern design which, according to the architect Adrian Maserow of AMA Architects, “embodies the ambition of contemporary architecture”. The style is further enhanced by light colours with muted hues of charcoal, stone, brushed steel, oak and iceberg white.

Construction

Numbers of workers on site will peak at about 460, including sub-contractors and their staff

With earthworks kicking off early in 2017, Tri-Star Construction was on site to start piling work in May 2017 and full construction activities began in July the same year. The company will take the building right through all the construction phases to final finishes.

We are building in three sections – west, centre and east,” Tri-Star Construction contracts manager Daniel van Jaarsveld, says. “While these are being done almost concurrently, we will advance with the core section – where the lifts are situated – slightly ahead of the east and west sections, which will then follow together.”

The partnership with AfriSam on this project began with the supply of readymix for the over 110 pile caps – each taking between six and nine cubic metres of concrete – and the foundations for the building. AfriSam will supply some 17 500 m3 over the course of the project, according to AfriSam sales consultant Liza Rossouw, supplied from the company’s Prolecon and Spartan plants.

The size of the project also requires substantial quantities of reinforcing steel. Over the duration of the construction period, about 2 700 tonnes of reinforcing bar will find its way into the concrete elements of the structure

Construction of pile caps, columns and basement floors is followed by the transfer slab on the first floor. The concrete specified for the 1,5 metre by 2 metre beams is 50 MPa, while the columns demand 40 MPa strength. In one of the largest pours that the contract will require, AfriSam delivered and poured 590 m3 for a basement slab during September 2017.

The size of the project also requires substantial quantities of reinforcing steel. Over the duration of the construction period, about 2 700 tonnes of reinforcing bar will find its way into the concrete elements of the structure.

Where special concrete mixes are required – such as for the swimming pool deck – AfriSam will create the required mix at the plant and deliver to site. In the case of the pool, the roof and some areas on the first floor where garden areas are planned, a chemical admixture will provide the concrete with improved waterproofing qualities by reducing its porosity.

Concrete quality is, of course, high on our agenda and we test every pour ourselves, as well as make use of the services of a well-respected and independent service provider,” says Van Jaarsveld.

Infinité will be the first high rise residential offering in the Bedfordview area, boasting both north facing and south facing apartments

AfriSam conducts tests for our own purposes,” says Rossouw. “This is a crucial element of the quality control for which we are well-known in the readymix concrete sector, helping customers to safeguard their own standards and effectively manage their risk.”

The main structure will be completed by June 2018, while brickwork will continue until October; about 4,3 million bricks will be laid in the building of Infinité, along with the consumption of 38 000 bags of cement which will be batched on site mainly for bricklaying and plastering purposes. The maximum height of the building is scheduled to be reached in September 2018.

With our focus on the quality of our work and the safety of everyone on site, we place high importance on working with sub-contractors with experience, in whose ability we have the highest confidence,” says Van Jaarsveld. “High quality finishes are non-negotiable in a contract of this nature, as the client and end-consumer will be expecting flawless results in every aspect of their living area.”

The quality finishes include Bosch and Hansgrohe appliances and fittings. Large windows open each living space to expansive surrounding views.

The sub-contractors will be responsible for applying 63 000 m2 of plaster on the walls of the building, all to the high standards expected by the contractor – as well as 180 000 m2 of paint. Numbers of workers on site will peak at about 460, including sub-contractors and their staff.

Among the challenges when building this scale of project in a residential suburb, he says, is the potential disturbance caused by construction noise.

It is therefore vital for us to engage continuously with residents of the area, so that we can do all we can to accommodate them, while maintaining our construction schedule,” he says. “There are particular demands of the building process, however, that can make this difficult. When pouring large slabs, for example, we still need to power float the concrete for some time to achieve the desired finish and this may extend well over normal working hours.”

The main structure will be completed by June 2018, while brickwork will continue until October 2018. The maximum height of the building is scheduled to be reached in September 2018.

What is important, he notes, is to communicate with residents well in advance, and to keep the noise levels as low as possible and within working hours as far as can be arranged.

We work to provide a highly professional and hands-on service to our clients and stakeholders, whether the project is large, small, simple or complex,” says Van Jaarsveld. “We therefore rely on the consistently stringent standard of readymix concrete delivery from AfriSam, as they complement our own commitment to quality, safety and best practice.”

AfriSam may be contacted on: 0800 141 141

A long and bumpy road ahead

A long and bumpy road ahead

As we are about to draw the curtain on what has arguably been one of the most tumultuous years in South Africa’s history it is difficult to find something to be cheerful

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

about as we approach the Festive Season, especially after last week’s grim and sobering Finance Minister’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) which has had mixed but largely negative reactions. The country is again facing the prospect of yet another credit rating downgrade.

Subsequent to his maiden MTBPS the Finance Minister announced that South Africa will unveil a stimulus package focusing on tourism and manufacturing to turn around the economy. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to kick-start the economy in a deep, meaningful and sustainable manner especially when revenue collection shortfalls are taken into account. The Minister also slashed the growth estimate to 0.7 percent from 1.3 percent.

While there was an expectation that there would be a revenue shortfall for the 2017 financial year, it was very concerning to note, that there was no clear plan on how the massive R50 billion shortfall would be filled. The Minister did confirm that only part of the shortfall will be funded by way of sale of shares in Telkom. It is even more concerning to note that the country’s contingency reserves would be utilised during this year and for the coming three years. These funds are generally only utilised when there is no other suitable alternative, which is certainly cause for alarm.

The downward revision of projected growth does not bode well for the unemployment rate of 27.7%. Given the current slow economic growth highlighted by the Minister, coupled with the high levels of political, regulatory and policy uncertainty, the Minister’s budget presentation has not painted a picture IN which local or foreign investors would have confidence.

Construction-specific statistics were also concerning, as reported by Elsie Snyman, the CEO of Industry Insights. The South African economy came out of a technical recession and grew by 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017, which was much better for all sectors of the economy, except the construction sector, which was the only sector to exhibit negative GDP growth in the second quarter.

This is largely in line with expectations, with Industry Insights project data, as well as building plans data from Stats SA suggesting a more depressed outlook for the foreseeable future which means continuing adverse trading conditions. Property Economist Erwin Rode is quoted as saying: “lack of vigour” may be the best way to describe the current performance across the full spectrum of property in South Africa. Sadly, we have to disagree with him.

Construction GDP declined by 0.5 percent in the second quarter, marginally better than the 0.8 percent decline in the first quarter. There has been a clear and robust downward trend in the construction GDP figures over the last 8-12 quarters, with growth declining quarter by quarter, and entering negative territory this year. According to South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele, GDP growth was unlikely to be maintained at levels achieved in the second quarter when the economy emerged from recession. “We may not be in a recession, but it is quite doubtful that the 2.5% momentum of the second quarter can be sustained,”

It is clear that in 2018 we will still be grappling with the new normal characterised by VUCA; Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

It is against this background that we wish our members a safe and restful Festive Season in preparation for what in all likelihood will be yet another tough and difficult 2018 dominated by the pre-occupation of the aftermath of credit ratings and the 2019 general election irrespective of who emerges as the new President of the ANC at its 54th national elective conference.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

President, Master Builders South Africa

FEM: Making a Difference

FEM: Making a Difference

You come back one day and you make a difference.” Nelson Mandela to Francois Pienaar.

The Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (RF) (Pty) Limited (FEM) staged its annual Health and Safety awards dinner at which the company recognises policy-holding companies in the building and construction industry who have achieved outstanding Health and Safety records.

The Platinum Special Award for exceptionally low claims over a 10 year period was awarded to Atcom Contracting, Division of Atcom

The event, held in Johannesburg on 3 November 2017, was attended by achieving companies, a host of specialists in the Health and Safety field, captains of the construction industry, economists and members of the FEM Board.

FEM’s IT Director Gys McIntosh, explained the awards criteria, saying that FEM recognises policyholders that achieve excellence in health and safety. To receive these awards, policyholders must meet or exceed very stringent criteria as set out by the Company. In addition to their normal merit rebate payment, policyholders also receive an additional rebate.

Special awards in Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum are also made to those companies with exceptionally low claims over a 10 year period. This year the Platinum Award in this category was awarded to Atcom Contracting, a Division of Atcom (Pty) Ltd., for their outstanding safety record for the period.

Winner in the High Risk High Employer category was Civil & Power Generation.

Ndivhuwo Manyonga, Managing Director, Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company

In her address to Award winners and guests Ndivhuwo Manyonga, Managing Director, Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company congratulated all winners for their special achievements, saying: “Health and safety is an investment – not a cost – and needs to be integral to the culture of an organisation. At FEM we will continue to lead the way by doing innovative things to enable organisations to achieve zero harm on their constructions sites, and thereby across the construction industry spectrum. Your achievements in this are indeed very significant and are testimony to the high priority placed on Health and Safety in your organisations.”

In welcoming keynote speaker, former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, founder of the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD), Manyonga noted with great pride the success of the R750 million FEM Education Foundation established in 2016, which, in partnership with the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation, enabled the awarding of scholarships to 28 promising students.

Francois Pienaar, founder of the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation

The FEM Education Foundation was formed by FEM policy-holders in an effort to contribute to the education system, with a core focus on generating additional skills in the building industry,” said Manyonga. “The initial sponsorship amounted to an estimated R41 million and in 2017, FEM announced a further commitment to fund 40 additional scholarships in 2018 through the MAD Leadership Foundation.”

Taking the podium, the ever-humble and greatly respected Francois Pienaar spoke of his special relationship with Nelson Mandela who, over a period of years, imprinted a range of core ideals on him, resulting in the formation of the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation.

My Captain,” Madiba said to me, “you go off and play rugby overseas, but you come back and you make a difference.”

This,” said Pienaar, “is exactly what I did,” referring to his founding of the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation in 2003.

Our mission at Make a Difference is to provide academically talented

scholars with exceptional leadership development opportunities through education” – Francois Pienaar

In his address, scholarship student Celcio Moloi described himself as “an agent of change,” who is ever-grateful to the FEM-MAD Scholarship Programme for the opportunity created for him to excel.

Celcio Moloi, an awardee of the FEM-MAD Scholarship Programme

They have become my family,” said Moloi, “enabling me in turn to make a difference to the lives of others.”

CRITERIA – FEM Education Scholarships

FEM Education Scholarships are awarded to selected high school learners and university entrants in need of financial support.

Preference is given to current grade 6-12 applicants who have a parent employed by an FEM policyholder (i.e. the children of policy-holders’ employees).

The basic qualification criteria for the scholarship include:

  • Current Grade 7 to Grade 12 learner;

  • Academic performance > 65% aggregate;

  • Must be a South African citizen who speaks and understands basic English; and

  • Is in need of financial support: gross combined income per household per month should not exceed R20 000.

Make A Difference Leadership Foundation

The Make A Difference Leadership Foundation Foundation was formed in 2003 by Francois Pienaar. With a focus on leadership development through education, their approach is to identify academically talented scholars with leadership potential, who do not have the necessary financial resources, and offer them support in the areas of education, leadership, wellness and life-skills development. MAD Leadership Foundation holistically invests in the scholars’ academic, wellness, life-skills, mentorship and leadership journeys, ensuring that through the 9+ years on the programme they are given every opportunity to reach their full potential as South Africa’s future leaders.

Photos: Natalie Field Photography

All the winners:

Special Awards

Position

NAME

Platinum

Actom Contracting – a Division of Actom (PTY) Ltd

Gold

Azcon Projects CC

Silver

Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd – SGB Cape Division (Vaal)

Bronze

Cladcon CC

Category winners

Place

Category

Winner

1st

Category – High Risk Small Employer

Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd – SGB Cape Division (Richards Bay)

2nd

Category – High Risk Small Employer

Pezula Access Scaffolding (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – High Risk Small Employer

Viva Access Scaffolding (Pty) Ltd

1st

Category – High Risk Medium Employer

MEI Construction and Services CC

2nd

Category – High Risk Medium Employer

Construction Maintenance Services (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – High Risk Medium Employer

Tubular Technical Construction (Pty) Ltd

1st

Category – High Risk Large Employer

Civil and Power Generation Projects (Pty) Ltd

2nd

Category – High Risk Large Employer

Murray & Roberts Power & Energy, a Division of Murray & Roberts Limited

3rd

Category – High Risk Large Employer

SGB Cape – Power Region – a Division of Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd

1st

Category – Medium Risk Small Employer

Vlaming (Pty) Ltd

2nd

Category – Medium Risk Small Employer

Robenco Building (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – Medium Risk Small Employer

Stefanutti Stocks (Pty) Ltd T/A Stefanutti Corporate Services

1st

Category – Medium Risk Medium Employer

ORO Management Services (Pty) Ltd

2nd

Category – Medium Risk Medium Employer

AMT Labour Solutions (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – Medium Risk Medium Employer

South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited

1st

Category – Medium Risk Large Employer

MDS NDT Consultants (Pty) Ltd

2nd

Category – Medium Risk Large Employer

Actom Contracting – a Division of Actom (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – Medium Risk Large Employer

Reder Construction CC

1st

Category – Low Risk Small Employer

Tibara Construction CC T/A Tibara Plumbing

2nd

Category – Low Risk Small Employer

TP Fencing (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – Low Risk Small Employer

AEIM Air And Electrical Services Cc

1st

Category – Low Risk Medium Employer

Amanzi Abantu (Pty) Ltd

2nd

Category – Low Risk Medium Employer

Proxa (Pty) Ltd

3rd

Category – Low Risk Medium Employer

Brencon Hire Cc T/A Brencon Plumbing

Lovol construction equipment: the evolution of a brand

Lovol excavator

Lovol construction equipment: the evolution of a brand

One of the country’s best-selling value wheel loader brands, Foton Lovol is undergoing a complete name change and re-branding to reflect the expansion of its construction equipment offering in the market.

Ernest Human, Dura Equipment Sales marketing manager

Since entering the South African market in 2011, local distributor, Dura Equipment Sales, has invested heavily in the development of the brand and secured it a spot among the most popular wheel loader names in the country. The addition of excavators to the offering, however, necessitates the brand to be aligned with the OEM’s international brand name rather than the previous name which was reflective of the wheel loader division in China.

Going forward the name for all models from the OEM will be Lovol and all branding and communications will be made under the Lovol brand name. Having earned an enviable reputation for robust, reliable wheel loaders supplied during the past six years, Dura Equipment is ready to extend the range to include the OEMs ultra-reliable excavator range,” says Ernest Human, Dura Equipment’s marketing manager.

Growing together

He explains that the Lovol brand includes all the types and models of equipment produced by Lovol Heavy Industries and leaves the door open for the local operation to expand the range under a single and unified banner. The decision to introduce excavators is in line with Dura Equipment’s measured strategy to first set up a suitable sales and product support network with adequate resources to supply the necessary back up and support.

Now, having established the OEMs ethics and the reliability of its machines, Dura Equipment will use its already extensive dealer network to introduce Lovol excavators and provide local operations with quality earthmoving solutions at an affordable price. The excavators will also be localized in line with local requirements for performance, safety and efficiency.

In keeping with our brand promise- robust, reliable, supported – we have taken a measured approach to ensure we can uphold our promise. In this way, we can transform and grow with our customers. As their needs change we want to be there for them with the kind of equipment they need.

Reliability first

In many ways, this is represented by our already famous 5m high steel transformer that stands sentinel over our head office in Boksburg whenever he is not touring the country with our sales staff. He represents the strength of the brand and equipment with a loyalty to our customers that is undying. No matter what the challenges, our machines will overcome whatever is in their path.

The iconic Lovol Transformer epitomises the Dura Equipment ethos: Robust, Reliable, Supported

The first consignment of excavators and re-branded wheel loaders are expected to arrive in September this year with regular consignments to follow shortly afterwards,” concludes Ernest.

How Durban’s ‘building mafia’ operate

How Durban’s ‘building mafia’ operate

ZAINUL DAWOOD

The workforce at one of the Cornubia construction sites was sent home this year as representatives of the so-called construction ‘Mafia’ arrived to make their demands.

Durban – Derrick Ndlovu never imagined that in his 11 years in the construction business he would one day have to walk around with a gun tucked into a hip holster and to carry extra bullets in his pocket.

This is the reality construction company foremen and managers are facing as a group dubbed the Construction Mafia continue to harass and intimidate managers at construction sites around Durban.

Ndlovu works for Stefcon Projects at an uMhlanga Ridge construction site.

He was recently assaulted on the shoulder with a steel pole at the site. Two days later, his bakkie was shot at while he was driving from his Melmoth home.

Three days later, he received a death threat via SMS.

At least eight men had initially arrived at the site in several cars demanding sub-contract work. Ndlovu was in a meeting with 180 of his workforce when the men barged on to the site.

They threatened to kill the guard if he did not open the gate, then walked on to the site and confronted Ndlovu.

Stock image

They accused me of employing my friends. One swung a pole at me with the intention to strike me over the head. I ducked and the pole struck my shoulder.

The workers on the site felt threatened and intimidated and fought back. The men fled,” he said. But it did not end there as more men showed up and began intimidating workers and staff in the presence of police.

Calvin Wright, a director of Stefcon Projects, said he tried to intervene and asked the men what the purpose of the assault to his site manager was.

They threatened Wright and told him they would stop work on his sites if he did not give them the work they wanted.

Wright requested details of the association the men represented and their reply was “don’t worry (about) who we are, we demand radical transformation and we want 30% of the work on this contract or we have our own way to deal with matters”.

Wright claimed that they threatened to stop all work and to “sort Ndlovu out”.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said employees were at the construction site when a group of men allegedly assaulted the foreman.

Gwala said the motive of the attack was unknown. A case of public violence and common assault was opened at the Durban North police station. There have been no arrests.

Wright said he still did not know which group the men represented. The group were driving around the sites intimidating workers.

Ndlovu said that after the confrontation, he had booked into a hotel because he was scared to drive home.

The men found out and were loitering outside the hotel. I have not slept in two nights. I fear for my life.

My wife and I had to stay at my director’s home the following night,” he said.

The SMS to Ndlovu’s phone, from an unknown person, in Zulu translated to English, stated that he was giving subcontracted jobs to his friends and they had enough secrets to expose him.

It said they were not willing to let go of the situation and that since the foreman and the workers had attacked them, “we are looking for revenge. It means that if someone has to lose their life, so be it.”

Wright believes the group had informers at each construction site. “The group claimed we hired workers from other countries and did not employ people from the local community. The Department of Labour has since done an inspection and their allegations were proven wrong. The group said I should pay them the money instead of hiring armed guards and they would stop intimidating and threatening me on site,” Wright said.

Armed guards are stationed inside and outside the site.

Wright said he had given jobs to a previous group which claimed to belong to a business forum and which had intimidated and threatened him on a project in South Beach.

However, the quality of work was substandard.

They could not plaster walls properly. Every fortnight, they demanded more money and did not want to repair any of their unacceptable work.

I am afraid that some companies are using their workforce purely to avoid getting their jobs stopped and hijacked.

How can one reach any commercial agreement when you have a party that is not willing to co-operate, demands premiums on rates, delivers sub-standard work and cannot abide by the health and safety regulations governing our industry? We are on tight schedules and work for hardly any margins and yet we are expected to pay ‘middlemen’ to avoid having our sites shut down,” Wright said.

All our staff come from an area not more than a 10km radius from uMhlanga. Most walk home and feel unsafe.

We are not going to be dictated to about who we must employ when we already employ local community members who are all legal residents of South Africa. We simply cannot employ thugs who demand unreasonable payment for poor quality workmanship.”

Source:

www.iol.co.za

Construction industry sheds 140 000 jobs in the first half of 2017

Construction industry sheds 140 000 jobs in the first half of 2017

This report by Roy Cokayne of IOL

The construction industry shed 140 000 jobs between the first and second quarters of 2017, a figure that could amount to about 240000 this calendar year, according the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

The board’s latest construction monitor highlighted the close correlation between gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) and employment in the contracting and professional services sectors and expressed concern that most economic projections forecast a decline in real terms in GFCF over the short to medium term that would result in job losses over this period.

It also stressed that under-spending by the government resulted in lost employment opportunities. Underspend at the end of 2016/17 by provincial departments against “linear phased budget” amounted to about R1.4billion and by municipalities about R15bn, it said. This amounted to about 36000 lost job opportunities.

The construction industry has been experiencing high lack of demand. Under-spending also contributes to the lack of demand in the industry.”

Ntando Skosana, the project manager for monitoring and evaluation at the CIDB, said losing 140000 jobs, especially in an economy that already had a high unemployment rate, was “both concerning and disheartening”.

Gauteng shed 113000 formal and informal construction sector jobs between the first and second quarters of this year.

This is of major concern, because Gauteng contributes around 28percent of total construction employment,” she said.

Skosana said the job losses were a reflection of the pressure the construction industry was under, which was also reflected by the StatsSA GDP statistics that recorded that the construction industry contracted by 0.8percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of this year and by 0.5percent in the second quarter.

However, Skosana said that over the long term the construction industry had contributed to employment by creating 184000 jobs between the first quarter of 2008 and third quarter of this year.

The CIDB/Bureau for Economic Research employment index for both general building and civil engineering has remained negative since 2008, which reflects that more employers were laying off staff than employing additional staff.

The CIDB said this unfavourable employment index was largely attributable to ongoing difficult business conditions, a slowdown in construction activity and increasing pressure on profitability.

Construction workers were being laid off because of a decline in construction activity.

The monitor said the construction industry was an important player in job creation, not only in the construction sector but in other sectors of the economy because it used a wide range of inputs from many other industries to produce its goods and services.

The direct job multiplier in the construction industry was about 3.5 jobs per R1m invested and 1.1 jobs in the informal sector per R1m of investment.

Source:

BUSINESS REPORT

www.iol.co.za/