Are SMEs ready for SA’s economic rebound?

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting global recession handed a severe blow to South African Small to Medium Businesses (SMEs). According to a Mckinsey SME Financial Pulse survey published in July, 70% of SMEs were already cutting back on expenditure and retrenching staff. By the end of the second quarter, StatsSA reported 2.2 million job losses.

Trevor Gosling, Co-founder and CEO of Lulalend, says that within the SME sector a number of key industries were severely hit by the national lockdown, mainly; travel, hospitality, offline (non-essential) retail, consumer goods manufacturing and construction.

Gosling points out that SMEs saw a significant drop in sales revenue across all sectors. “Based on our SME survey data collected in July, 94% of businesses had suffered more than a 50% drop in monthly turnover, with 75% of our clients indicating that they had seen more than a  75% drop in revenue.”

In addition, during the peak of the lockdown, approximately 90% of Lulalend’s customers indicated that they only had a one-month cash runway.

“Most SMEs don’t have large reserves of funding to see them through extended periods of low turnover and cash flow. Without the necessary funds, many businesses have struggled to meet their payment obligations, including staff payroll, rent, essential support services, as well as inventory and supply chain payments,” Gosling adds.

At the onset of the pandemic, the government launched a number of relief funds with the intention to support SMEs with access to capital during the period when economic activity was negatively affected by Covid-19. But with more applications for relief than funding available, or slow approvals of applications, many businesses have been left in a precarious financial position.

Gosling explains that low or paused trading and limited access to funding over the lockdown period had a compounding effect on many businesses. In addition, many SMEs are now gearing up for the peak summer trading period. “Now more than ever, this is the time when a healthy cash flow is vital to be in a strong position to grow. Significantly reduced liquidity impacts SMEs’ ability to service existing debts and plan for growth.”

 In a report published by Deloitte on the impact of Covid-19 in SA, it noted that despite the negative impact on small business, there has been an increase in social cohesion and support for local businesses emerging from the shutdown.

This is something that Lulalend has seen across its customer base. Gosling says that the easing of lockdown regulations has contributed to a significant increase in SME confidence and business health, particularly in the retail and manufacturing sectors.

As the economy starts to recover and consumer demand starts to increase ahead of the holidays, Gosling explains that it is important for business owners to understand what their cash flow looks like over the next three to six months, and take action to strengthen it.

“Does your business have enough working capital to meet a backlog of orders or a surge in demand during the peak trading season? Understanding this and creating some predictability in cash flow allows an SME to plan ahead and invest more accurately for the future,” he adds.

Gosling says that having a healthy cash flow is critical for SMEs to take advantage of growth opportunities during this time. “A business needs to be able to make those upfront payments for inventory, fund marketing campaigns or invest in developing e-commerce capabilities’’.

An acceleration in tech development and changing customer behaviour has led to more businesses’ models shifting online. “The boom in e-commerce and online shopping that occurred during the pandemic is here to stay for the long-term. With businesses responding to this change, we have seen a 20% increase in the number of applications coming from online retailers,” Gosling points out.

There is tremendous value for businesses in going online. Across almost all sectors, SMEs who integrate digital technology into their operating models are more likely to grow, reach new audiences, increase sales and increase efficiencies.

While many businesses would normally go the traditional lending route to access working capital, Gosling says that digital lending platforms have been able to adapt quickly to the changing landscape, and respond to the urgent need to get funding in the hands of cash strapped SMEs.

“Fintech companies, like Lulalend, have developed advanced digital systems that are able to assess the true creditworthiness of borrowers and provide the appropriate loan instruments a lot faster and more accurately than the large banks, who have not amended their lending policies to enable more SMEs to access funding,” he explains.

“With the uncertainty of the long-term impact of the pandemic and recession, business owners need to be cautious and have contingencies in place, including building up their cash reserves to improve their liquidity,” Gosling says.

Recognising the importance to SMEs of access to cash during this period, Lulalend is providing its customers with a payment holiday that would allow them to access vital working capital at no cost over the peak season. Any business that takes out funding before the end of November will only have to start repaying from 11th January 2021.


Property Sector Charter Council and Property Point COLLABORATE to speed up transformation in industry

The Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC) has formed a partnership with award winning business accelerator Property Point (PP) to develop and fast track the participation of black entrepreneurs in the Property Sector.

This is a critical step in consolidating SMME support, ensuring that a design-centred approach is demand-led and results in tangible impact, while bringing small, micro and medium (SMME) businesses into the value chain.

The partnership is given relevance through the transformation framework as envisaged in the Property Sector Code, and will enable PSCC and Property Point to drive transformation in the sector through the incubation and acceleration of black property [focus on women and youth] businesses. It creates a platform that accelerates transformation beyond compliance.

In the initial phase of partnership, 50 black property businesses will be placed in the two-year programme, with the prospect of further impact through the creation of jobs, and downstream services. The PSCC represents 25 industry organisations and associations that are members and are signatories to the Property Sector Code. In addition to the 50 businesses to be identified for the first phase, the partnership also provides for PSCC member organisations to partner up with Property Point for implementation of their enterprise and supplier development needs. Current funding partner of Property Point are Growthpoint, Attacq, Fortress REIT, Pareto Holdings, Public Investment Corporation and SEDA.

With additional partners more support will be available leading to a dramatic increase in the number of black businesses operating in the sector. The increase in sustainable black businesses would have a cascading effect on economic growth, as well in the households and communities.

The property sector has taken a serious knock due to the Covid-19 pandemic and requires a step-change and a brave set of strategies to ensure business sustainability and growth. The pandemic offers an opportunity to adopt the lessons of lockdown – The POWER OF COLLABORATION, beyond competition – the advantages being shared risk, reduced costs and  additional resources which inevitably lead to greater impact to the benefit of all.

According to the PSCC’s report on Transformation presented in 2019, there is still a lot to be done to achieve substantial change in racial and gender composition of ownership, control and management.

Portia Tau-Sekati CEO of the PSCC said South Africa needed an ecosystem of support for businesses in the Property Sector. “We need to go beyond box ticking and compliance to affect purposeful and impact based transformation. We understand that times are tough in the sector and will remain so for the foreseeable future, however now is the time for resetting our thinking and focus on how we build our economy and stimulate the Property Sector through supporting entrepreneurs and proving market access – leveraging on the POWER OF COLLABORATION.”

Shawn Theunissen, Property Point’s founder said “This milestone is significant to us as it moves our organisation to the next phase of  harnessing the  Power of Collaboration with partners who are equally matched and can drive more inclusive growth and participation in the sector as well as the broader economy. In recent past, the industry had focused on businesses outside the property value-chain which was a problem in that the large technical aspects and contracts still went to relatively untransformed businesses, therefore as Property Point we believe in the value of doing Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) in the correct way, by creating a solid pipeline of transformed businesses across the full spectrum of the value-chain. This is what we consider transformation beyond compliance.”

He adds, “The 2020 data from the B-BBEE Commission released just a few months ago, in their generic form, are clear that we are seeing low to stagnating levels of black empowerment across industries. Together with our new partners, we aim to debunk this trend and apply the tried and tested methodologies which have previously resulted in 270 black businesses becoming sustainable and profitable over the past 12 years. We aim to work together as an industry to create a solution that will lead us to the desired transformation results under ESD.

“As the property sector we must develop solutions that will solve the challenges that face SA on its path to an inclusive economy. Whatever solution we choose, one thing is clear – corporate, industry bodies and entrepreneurs need to see each other as partners in building SA. The industry needs to be part of the solution that brings entrepreneurs into the mainstream of the economy,”  Tau-Sekati concludes.

Fabric Masks: Important information on the do’s and don’ts of which masks to use

General fabric masks with breathing valves and fabric neck buffs

Fabric face masks for general public use with valves or vents permit air to be exhaled through an opening in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others – potentially enabling the spread of Covid-19.

General public fabric face masks with breathing valves/vents does not have the necessary barrier efficiency required.
It is therefore NOT recommended for the general public to use fabric face masks with breathing valves or vents. These breathing vent/valve masks defeat the purpose and it is recommended that these types of masks not be worn or sold in the Republic of South

Fabric neck buffs, are generally a tube of fabric worn around the neck, are made of thin, stretchy material and offer little to no prevention for respiratory droplets from being expelled by the wearer
and reaching others. It is NOT recommended that these neck buffs be worn as a preventative mechanism against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fabric Selection for Masks

Tests have shown that at least two layers of fabric is sufficient for balancing performance and comfort. An increase in the number of layers will improve the barrier efficiency, but have the opposite effect on breathability.

Using three layers, selecting a non-woven fabric with strong filtering capability as the middle layer is recommended.
Ideally this middle layer should be inserted into the mask (or removed) via an envelope style design to allow for improved cleaning and easy replacement filters when worn out.

It is recommended that the pocket into which it fits be at least 120mm by 100mm to ensure compatibility between multiple masks and filters in production domestically. Clear markings or design options must be used to distinguish between the outside of the mask and the inside of the mask.


As you may be aware, the recently announced Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) announced by President Ramaphosa lists various interventions to return the economy to growth. This follows extensive engagement between social partners at NEDLAC.

Among the economic interventions outlined in the ERRP is a commitment to greater localisation from social partners, including specific commitments from business. In line with this, BUSA committed on behalf of its members to (1) develop a list of products with specific localisation targets; and (2) disclosure in company annual reports the value of procurement from local producers and on steps taken to improve localisation.

In a recent engagement with Minister Patel, BUSA undertook to submit a list of products with specific localisation targets. I would like to therefore request that you submit a list of products that will be targeted for localisation in the short to medium term, with details around volume and value targeted, for consolidation into a BUSA submission to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition. I would be grateful if this information could be submitted by 12:00 on Thursday, 5 November 2020.

I appreciate the very short period in which I am asking for this information, but we think it will be possible for business to drive this localisation agenda if we have comprehensive data as soon as possible. We believe the localisation area is one where business can take the lead, including in demonstrating our thinking and progress, and identifying ongoing blockages to progress. The data I seek now will get us onto this road!

Kind Regards,
Cas Coovadia (BUSA CEO)

How Does Local Government In SA Stack Up To Global Rivals?

The recent Auditor General of South Africa’s (AGSA) report on the performance of local government has revealed that municipalities are in need of strong governance and better reporting, with only 7,3% of municipalities achieving a clean audit. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has recently published a national equivalent of the international standard ISO 18091: Quality management systems – Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001 and believes that the implementation can assist to improve the performance of local government in delivering high quality public products and services underpinned by effective governance, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

“Globally local governments face challenging issues regarding delivery of quality products and services to local communities. In tandem with this they must ensure full compliance with the various laws and regulations when conducting their business. Developed in consultation with national standards bodies from various countries, the ISO 18091 standard sets out the globally recognised principles of quality management in local government. The adoption of ISO 18091 as SANS/ISO 18091 provides the opportunity for South African local authorities to embed quality management into their service delivery efforts thus giving local citizens and ratepayers confidence in their management and planning processes. We believe that it is imperative that local government become familiar with the standard to ensure that their performance and service delivery execution is aligned to international best practice,” says Dr Sadhvir Bissoon, Standards Executive at the SABS.

The SANS/ISO 18091 is the first standard that is directed at the public sector and provides detailed annexures to provide checklists and processes that aids the implementation. The national standard, which contains elements of ISO 9001: quality management systems, is suitable for all local authorities and helps them to evaluate and diagnose their operating models, processes and delivery of services.

“The SABS understands that the maturity of local municipalities, in terms of systems and processes, may not be at the required level and SANS/ISO 18091 is an indispensable stepping stone to becoming more effective. We are also aware that the 91-page document, which contains a wealth of technical information, needs to be workshopped amongst management and the SABS will be offering a series of workshops, training and advisory services that will be directed at this level of government. We also believe that the adoption of the standard will help strengthen many of the regulations that National Treasury has put in place for entities governed by the PFMA and the MMFA,” explains Bissoon.

Details of upcoming engagements will be posted on the SABS website and all enquiries can be sent to


Lighting For Residential And Commercial Use

The kind of lighting utilised in domestic, commercial and industrial settings impacts on occupant well-being, efficiency, utilitarianism and aesthetics. Lighting influences human circadian rhythms, emotions, productivity and fitness. Comprehending the different effects the types of lighting have is to key to choosing right type. Worth remembering is the activity to be performed in the room and the lighting best suited for that.

Glare is a factor in natural and artificial light, heightened when high-gloss material is used in construction, and is a consideration with vision-impaired inhabitants of buildings. By using low-gloss finishes, this effect is lessened.

The following gives an indication of the different types of lighting.


Soft, recessed lighting is the light source of choice in domestic and commercial buildings. The advantages include minimal space requirements, a clean, modern look, the ability to be narrow or focused, diffuse or bright as well as being light in weight, so installation of studs, anywhere, is not an issue.


Track lighting is widely used as it offers several benefits, including supplying direct light which marks it as suitable for accenting portion of rooms or features, the ability to swivel to change light direction, and is cheap.


This lighting is key in offices, labs and kitchens where users are required to perform nuanced, complicated jobs which require high illumination. Key here is location, in order to supply the focused light onto surfaces and counters.


Natural lighting is economical and aesthetically pleasing. It is a solid option for use in any room or office depending on the time of day, and gives the appearance of enlarging tiny spaces. Natural lighting improves psychological health. However, not all architectural choices provide for or optimise natural lighting, and it can lead to glares and shadows in interiors. This is mitigated by even distribution of lighting, or window glass, outside awnings and see-through wall panels, as well as tints, films and glazing.

Natural lighting is often used in combination with artificial lighting controls which turn off fixtures when there is sufficient natural light, preventing glare and saving energy.


The most used and preferred kind of lighting which provides general illumination without eye-watering glare, and is used for day to day functions. Also known as mood lighting.


Accent lighting provides a focal point for concentration of the eye, reducing focus on other areas. Used for highlighting furniture, artwork, displays and wall washing. Utilised outside and outdoors to highlight architectural features or as a crime deterrent.


Suitable for high ceilings, these add an element of sophistication to foyers, bathrooms, and waiting and pause areas.


Suitable hanging directly over work stations, and can be used for ambient, task and accent lighting.

Swing arm lamps

Utilised on desks, tables, mounted for extra lighting, and highly adjustable. Also lightweight and portable.

Under cabinet

Suitable for domestic kitchens and as a form of recessed lighting.


Standard issue in bathrooms and dressing rooms, used for modifying personal appearance.


Used for exhibiting the outside of homes to best advantage, as well as to light up garden features, and illuminative safety.


An alternative to natural light, with a similar colour spectrum, it is made by light bulbs that emit light and heat, but is not green and is substituted with LEDs, HIDs and fluorescent light.


Energy-efficient, long-lasting and gives off less heat than incandescence, these tubes or bulbs (compact fluorescent lamps) are ubiquitous in in buildings as they are without glare and tubes produce a line of light. Flicker does occur, prevented with lenses, covers, shades, panels and shields, or by using two tubes in opposing phases. Tube phosphor emits a warm tone, and dimmable fixtures lessen flicker and energy use.


Produced by a bulb’s filament surrounded by an inert gas and some halogen, halogen lighting is suitable for task lighting as it produces a bright white light, as well as heat, so safety must be considered when used by the vision-impaired as heat injuries can occur.

Light-emitting diode (LED)

Energy-efficient and producing light akin to daylight, often used as a directional light to highlight a fixture or sign, as well as in bulb arrays to produce multi-directional illumination. LED bulbs give off no UV radiation and heat, and are used for signage, street lighting and architectural lighting, as well as for task lighting. Other benefits include easy dimmability, silent operation, and low energy consumption.

High-intensity discharge (HID)

A type of arc lamp which lasts longer and has more light per watt than all other lighting. These come in high low-pressure sodium, metal halide and mercury vapour variations. Producing a yellow light which makes objects monochromatic, low-pressure sodium vapour uses minimal energy.

Neutral white light is produced by metal halide lamps, used for its natural colour appearance illumination. High-pressure sodium produces high-intensity white light with an orange tinge.

HID is usually utilised in sizable areas which need large sources of overhead light and for green, sustainable energy reasons, eg gyms, warehouses, stadiums, large outdoor areas, pathways and parking lots, as well as in retail and residential settings, where indoor gardens have plants that need intense levels of natural sunlight.




SA Builder Report

My tenure as editor at SA Builder began with the resignation of industry stalwart and ex-editor John Thome in early 2020, and coincided with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the various level lockdowns, in which the construction industry ground to a halt, took a dive, and negatively affected the revenue of SA Builder.

Mention must be made of the cancellation of different industry conferences and events due to the rise of physical distancing, leading to meetings and discussions in the virtual realm on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as the global trend of working from home and the shaky movement to a post-pandemic world.

These webinars spotlighted viral containment measures on construction sites, as well as what to do with persons under investigation of suspected Covid-19 infection; cleaning and disinfecting of construction work spaces, and insights into the mechanism and biological implications of the novel viral pandemic. Working at height webinars offered valuable tips to industry role-players.

Additional challenges in the industry included ways in which companies could avoid business rescue and closure, the slow pace of public sector infrastructure investment pre and during the pandemic, the shortage of effective PPE equipment, inflation of PPE prices, “Covid-19 red tape”, the comprehension of regulations which changed on a sometime daily basis, and the hastened uptake of hygiene and social distancing measures in general and on work sites, with masks, gloves, disinfectant and temperature readings.

Positive actions included Government injection of cash into small and medium-sized businesses, and the re-evaluation of general value systems due to the pandemic.

President Ramaphosa’s anti-corruption drive is a beacon of hope but its effectiveness remains to be seen. Issues of sub-standard cement and steel remain in the construction industry but mitigative measures have been put in place.

The move of SA Builder from print to digital has been relatively smooth, with average download figures of 5 500 at the beginning of the year rising to 6 000+ in the latter months, newsletter readership remaining steady at 4 600 per month, and website views averaging 2 600 monthly.

Despite the downward economic curve, lockdown restrictions have been eased and the economy looks set for a staggered upward trajectory. Cautious optimism remains the industry buzzword. Although John Matthews’ tenure as President draws to a close, his regular monthly commentary has injected optimism and direction into what has often seemed like rough seas.

Our monthly focus on the different MBA SA regional branches has thrown light on the how the organisation is galvanised by the sum of its parts.

What follows is a month by month summary of SA Builder articles from October 2019 to August 2020.

October 2019

  • Rebuilding of trust between Government and private sector – Patricia de Lille at MBAWC
  • Collaborative training on mitigating injuries in the workplace
  • 144 Oxford project
  • Heritage rehabilitation of National Council of Provinces building in Cape Town
  • SAISC Steel Awards 2019

November 2019

  • Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Annual Awards 2019
  • Lack of quantity surveyors In Government departments leading to Infrastructure budget misspending
  • Infrastructure investment by Corobrik
  • Insights into inner-city trends from TUHF’s conference
  • SA cement makers get tough with sub-standard supplies
  • Inclusionary elements of housing policies

December 2019

  • The importance of hiring a professional designer
  • Paragon Group emerges a winner at the Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIfA) 2019 Awards
  • Psychological benefits of colour in office design

January 2020

  • Uptick in building activity in Q4, but constraints remain
  • MBA North seminar on fall arrest and temporary works
  • Ownership of unfixed materials in a building contract explained
  • ASPASA lobbies government to crack down on ill-conceived borrow pits

February 2020

  • SONA – President Ramaphosa emphasises shifting state expenditure from debt servicing to infrastructure
  • Arresting mafia gangs the first step to reviving construction Industry
  • ISO 20887 brings sustainability to buildings and civil engineering works
  • Q&A with Ntombifuthi Ntuli, South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO

March 2020

  • 21-Day lockdown – what businesses need to know
  • MBA North AGM 2020: Weathering rough patches but overcoming them
  • Profile of Wayne Albertyn, President, MBA North
  • Corobrik: importance of right building materials so that funds can be allocated to new projects rather than maintenance
  • Clay brick contributes to SA’s socio-political and architectural legacy

April 2020

  • Call for the designation of construction sector as essential service
  • Aurecon assists Government with national Covid-19 response
  • Finance Minister Tito Mboweni paints a sobering picture of economy in Budget Speech
  • Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology: concrete Industrial floors need special skills

May 2020

  • MBA President John Matthews: SA in holding pattern
  • Construction sector welcomes easing of lockdown under Level 3
  • Rope masterclass incorporating two separately secured rope systems
  • Q&A With Njombo Lekula, MD at PPC RSA

June 2020

  • Focus on Master Builders East Cape
  • Compliance with regulations and equipment specifications are vital for working at height
  • Covid-19 OHS compliance in the construction sector

July 2020

  • Focus on Master Builders KZN
  • Guidance on deep cleaning of workplaces
  • Unpacking the supplementary budget speech
  • AfriSam looks forward to the role it can play in rebuilding our beautiful country

August 2020

  • Focus on Master Builder Free State
  • Risk assessments for construction sites
  • Future-ready jointless flooring In South Africa
  • Focus on The Institute for Work at Height


SA Builder’s annual mandate is to disseminate relevant information to the construction industry, with a view to bolstering the agency of the MBSA and its affiliate membership; MBA regional branches and membership, public service departments and industry associations.

SA Builder’s formidable digital presence at contains current and archival issues, and its readership is further informed with industry news articles and monthly newsletters.

SA Builder, founded in 1923, is the official journal of Master Builders South Africa, and is published by Malnor (Pty) Limited on behalf of MBSA. The magazine is distributed to all members of the Master Builders Associations in South Africa as well as to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), which includes architects, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, small, medium and large contractors, sub-contractors and builders’ merchants.

SA Builder maintains close relationships with industry bodies, institutes and associations, as well as with Government departments and organisations, such as the Department of Public Works, the Department of Labour, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), the SA Institute for Steel in Construction (SAISC), the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), SA Institute for Civil Engineering (SAICE), and university construction education hubs such as University of Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), among others.


The renewable energy sector and its stakeholders will be gathering on the Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace platform, 26 to 27 October 2020, to unpack the role of the industry in the Energy Transition, for the decade ahead.

 “The drive towards renewable energy in South Africa remains a high priority for government’s economic recovery plans, making this year’s Windaba especially relevant to the sector,” said Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).

The decision to go virtual for Windaba 2020 is due to COVID- 19 restrictions and the event is making use of state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, to match buyers and sellers; to offer in-built video-conferencing capabilities; as well as the ability to live stream content to the platform and pre-recorded content too.

“This digital platform means a greater international reach, as delegates can log-in to the platform and the conference with ease.  Hence, we are anticipating over 400 delegates, in addition to around 2000 participants on the Virtual Marketplace,” added Ntuli.

Local and international thought leaders will lead discussions on pertinent issues that will guide the sector’s ability to unpack the evolution of green power.  The programme highlights germane topics such as Jobs and Skills; Land issues in Wind Energy Development; Wind & Energy Storage; Local Supply Chain Development; Balancing environmental constraints with energy developmental imperatives; Wake Loss Effects and IRP 2019: What it means for SA Energy Costs, and other key matters.

The conference has been preceded by a series of industry webinars, focussing on topical issues. The series, which launched in May 2020, has received an overwhelmingly positive response, inviting dynamic engagement from sector participants.

Speaking about the virtual platform, Tracy Gounden, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt, explained, “We have found these platforms to be very sophisticated from an AI matchmaking perspective, as well as offering greater brand awareness for sellers that benefit from qualified leads.  Additionally, the format allows  for a much wider reach and more diverse audience, so much so, that it is likely that future conferences will be a hybrid of a live event, coupled with an online platform running simultaneously.”

Windaba 2020 Virtual Marketplace, will feature a full online conference programme, virtual exhibition and an online business platform that will facilitate the Renewable Energy sector and its various stakeholders to engage in one-on-one meetings. The platform will also enable access to key content about the latest industry developments and track latest bids and opportunities in the marketplace.

Windaba is the flagship industry conference of SAWEA; as well as being supported by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), having launched its inaugural conference ten years ago.  The annual event brings together key stakeholders including professionals, policymakers, academics, civil society and government representatives.  It aims to facilitate strengthened partnerships for the on-the-ground implementation of renewable energy projects, to influence energy policy, and provide a framework to aid strategic decision-making.

South Africa moves to Lockdown Level 2

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 15 August 2020 that the whole of South Africa will move to Alert Level
2 as of midnight on 17 August 2020.
Nearly all of the restrictions on the resumption of economic activity across most industries can now be removed.
The restrictions that are being lifted are as follows:
 All restrictions on inter-provincial travel.
 Accommodation, hospitality venues and tours will be permitted according to approved protocols to ensure
social distancing.
 Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of
operation and numbers of people.
 Restrictions on the sale of tobacco.
 The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted subject to certain restrictions.
o Alcohol will be permitted for on-site consumption in licensed establishments only up until 10pm.
o Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday
during the hours of 9am to 5pm only.
 Restrictions on family and social visits will also be lifted, although everyone is urged to exercise extreme
caution and undertake such visits only if necessary.
The restrictions that are still in place are as follows:
 Current restrictions on international travel remain in place.
 No gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted.
 Spectators aren’t permitted at sporting events.
 The curfew remains in place between 10pm and 4am.

All indications are that South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the infection point of the curve,
with the number of new confirmed cases dropping over the last three weeks from a peak of over 12 000 a day
to an average over the past week of around 5 000 a day.
Members are cautioned to still comply strictly with all the Health and Safety Protocols for the Covid 19 pandemic
even though most of the restrictions have been lifted. The fact that the restrictions have been lifted does not
imply that the threat is gone. The virus will be in our midst for a very long time still to come.
The fact that most of the restrictions have been lifted means that more employees will return to work which will
mean that more employees will make use of public transport thereby increasing more people to being exposed
to the virus.
If people start to ignore the necessary safety measures to protect themselves and others, it is very possible that
a second wave of Covid-19 could evolve in South Africa, which could see a return to higher lockdown levels.

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