So it was back to work for most of our Industry from 1 June 2020, but as you are no doubt aware, the MBA has been anything but idle during lockdown. Apart from our usual weekly MBA Bulletins and articles, we have sent out over 40 Covid-19 specific emails which have also been communicated to members and the industry via our website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
As mentioned in many of these communications, the MBA was able to positively influence the content and timing of the moves to Level 4 and Level 3 of the lockdown through its participation in the Covid-19 Rapid Responses Task Team (CC19RRTT), a “vehicle” formed by Master Builders South Africa to collectively interact directly with Government and related bodies on Covid-19 issues. We acknowledge and thank Master Builders South Africa, as well as Master Builders KZN, for the key roles they have played in facilitating this process thus far.
We have also been in communication with our Provincial Governments, as well as around a dozen local municipalities in our region in order promote Master Builders and to influence and assist decisions at a grassroots level. We were thus pleased to have our whole industry move to Level 3 from 1 June 2020 which we are sure occurred as a direct result of the unrelenting and sustained communication and submissions to Government by MBA representative from across the country via the task team.
Our MBA staff remain fully operational according to our own Covid-19 Return to Work Plan. Whilst most of our staff have been working from home, some have already been operating from our PE Office for a few weeks now and the balance will be returning to the office when allowed and in line with Covid-19 Alert Levels over the coming weeks.
Our offices are still closed to the public, except for meetings by appointment; however, we continue to serve our members and keep them up to date on developments. As also mentioned by the President, it is vital that we all comply with the strictest Health & Safety Guidelines and ensure that we keep our sites safe and open. In order to do this, we need to be especially diligent in our planning and preparation before and as we return to work.
What do I need to do?
With all active sites having started up again just a few weeks ago, we continue to provide the best support and assistance to our members as work resumes. To this end we have made numerous documents available on our MBA Website to assist and advise members on what is required to ensure the safety of their employees.
We have fully recognised the extreme hardship being faced by many of our members who have been unable to operate at all during this extended lockdown. As a non-profit organisation, we have also taken a bit of a beating as we are also highly dependent on cashflow and have not been able to provide manty of our services during lockdown.
There has been such a focus on Covid-19 of late and for good reason, but we must now urgently get back to some of the more pressing issues facing our industry, including things like:
- Non-payment (especially subcontractors)
- Onerous contract conditions
- Waiver of Lien requests
- Payment guarantees
- Skills development
- Promoting MBA members to clients
We would like to thank all members who have already been able to promptly settle their annual MBA membership subscriptions but also recognise that this may not be possible for all members. We have therefor made provision for a number of possible relief options to assist members who find themselves in difficulty and cannot pay their subscriptions. We encourage member companies to contact the association and we will gladly assist you as best we can.
Master Builders, East Cape