The global economy has been thrown into turmoil as the world struggles to combat the spread of COVID-19 with several countries in lockdown or isolation.South Africa has also responded by announcing a total 21-day lockdown, which is a critical measure to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country. Although this has been hailed as a ‘necessary decision’, the economy is taking a particularly hard hit. In response to the challenges facing the built environment and construction industries, a COVID -19 Construction Rapid Response Task Team has been established with participation from key industry bodies to look at the recovery of the industry post the lockdown. The Task Team aims to collectively unblock relief measures for the industry to remain sustainable and to help the industry navigate its way through these ‘unchartered territories.’
“We have realized that that the current situation requires a collective approach hence we would like to urgently engage all our key stakeholders particularly government and private sector investing in infrastructure development,” said Matthews.Some of the key issues that will be dealt with are:
- Identifying opportunities where the construction and built environment can assist in the national disaster and relief efforts both on a volunteer and professional basis.
- Interpretation of Regulations during lockdown and the absence of clear reference to the construction industry.
- Exploring of relief measures specific to the sector.
- Supporting emergency procurement for the next 12 months.
- Discuss interventions for the recovery of the industry.
- As part of the recovery, engage Government on the commitment to pay service providers within 30 days.
- Partner with Government to ensure effective and integrated rollout of infrastructure projects.
- Partner with private sectors in infrastructure development, etc.