By Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal
Since the global recession in 2009, September 2018 saw South Africa slip into a technical recession as the GDP decreased in the second quarter of 2018. This resulted in two consecutive quarters of negative growth, with the construction sector experiencing some of its worst ever confidence levels – coupled with the demise of several large construction companies.
Notwithstanding encouraging signs that South Africa may be gaining momentum to emerge out of a technical recession, as well as the economic stimulus package – in particular the R400 billion Infrastructure Fund to drive infrastructure development which will no doubt boost job creation and economic growth – it is anticipated that recovery will be slow and that 2019 will prove another tough year for our industry.
It is noted that National Treasury predicted economic growth to pick up to 1.8% and 2.1% in 2019 and 2020 respectively. However, this will be dependent on factors such as a stable political environment and optimistic business sentiment.
The Association’s objective for 2019 is to assist its membership to weather the storm through effective lobbying and advocacy to ensure a sustainable business environment. These include deliberations with relevant stakeholder bodies on key industry matters, of which the issue of non-payment is a top priority.
The Association plans to engage with the banking sector on access to finance, waiver of liens, progress payments not made as per contract payment clause, payment guarantees and conflicting clauses between the building agreement and financial agreement.
The Association spearheaded the establishment of the KZN Good Practice Committee and will actively engage on all building contractual agreements, development levies, special conditions of tender, challenges regarding bills of quantities and accuracy of budgetary amounts, amongst others.
Recently the Association proudly launched its new Mission and Vision Statement along with its Core Values which demonstrates its commitment to its members and to the industry.
Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal is the leading voice of the KZN construction industry, representing the interest of its members through effective lobbying and advocacy, promoting best practice, skills development and construction excellence by providing relevant services and a diverse range of business solutions; thereby creating an empowering and enabling environment for the sustainability of the construction industry.
Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal is committed towards driving a sustainable and innovative construction industry which seeks to achieve inclusive economic growth and development.