This has been a rather eventful weekend in the construction industry. Whilst I think we all respect the Government’s leadership in protecting us from the Covid-19 virus we are also extremely aware of the detrimental impact that the lockdown has had on our industry.
Following President Ramaphosa’s speech on Thursday evening, Government released a document called “The Schedule of Services, Framework for Sectors”. It was dated 25 April and invited comment from associations like ours representing business and labour as well as the public. On Saturday morning Master Builders South Africa set about drafting a formal response for submission to the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team. A special meeting of our Master Builders SA National Executive Committee took place on Sunday and a final document was submitted to the Task Team late on Sunday evening. The Task Team concluded their document and submitted same to the Department of Co-operative Governance on yesterday within the 12 noon timeframe required.
I would like to thank all our members who contributed to the submission in response to a request that we sent out on Sunday. Your contributions were very helpful in framing our submission to Government.
Having contributed significantly to the national submission, the East Cape MBA also decided to send its own submission in parallel to the national one. Copies of both submissions are attached hereto for your information below. Our submission has also been circulated to many of the provincial and local Government authorities in the Southern & Eastern Cape for information and possible future engagement.
Again the big question on everyone’s lips is when will construction resume?
In our document we have defined construction as covering all civil engineering and building construction and have essentially proposed that all projects that were active on 26 March be allowed to resume under level 4 of the Covid-19 risk adjusted strategy. This would be subject to strict Health & Safety protocols and provisions for Social Distancing requirements.
The Government has apparently received over 60 000 submissions and it therefore remains to be seen exactly what their decision will be and which sections of construction will be allowed to resume on Monday, 4 May 2020. We await the outcome of our submissions and are preparing ourselves to support those sections of the Construction Industry that will resume next week. We will keep you posted.