Despite a prolonged period of declining value due to Covid disruption and delays, the South African construction industry looks set for a reversal of fortune in 2022, with forecasts predicting a 9.1% real-term expansion.In the 2022 Construction Industry Outlook Survey, key strategic initiatives identified by industry professionals as tools for growth include digital transformation, implementation of LEAN construction principles, expansion of business offerings, and expansion of geographical reach. Growth is underpinned by public sector infrastructure investment, which was announced in 2021 to the tune of R291.2 billion for the period 2021 to 2024. Yet there are still many challenges hindering the performance, development, and growth of SA’s construction industry, such as the escalating cost of building materials, access to credit, high-interest rates, and high rate of failure of contracting enterprises. Measures to promote economic growth and breaking down barriers to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to conduct business in the Western Cape are central themes of the Stakeholder’s Engagement Forum, being held at The Big 5 Construct Western Cape on 7 September 2022 at Sun Exhibits, GrandWest. The Forum will be initiated by Tertuis Simmers, Member of the Executive Council, Department of Infrastructure, Western Cape Government. In his spotlight presentation on Provincial Investment & Development, Honorable Minister will share expert insight on top market trends and investment opportunities for the financial year ahead, while highlighting other major business opportunities and initiatives for infrastructure development, spatial transformation, and inner-city refurbishment in the Western Cape. “As the Western Cape Government, we are continuously building our province and economy through a collaborative, innovative and technologically driven approach. This approach affords every resident an opportunity to lead a better life in an inclusive society. The market data also indicates that we are the biggest contributors to the construction sector. We are not only building roads, houses, hospitals, and school buildings but connecting communities through projects such as Mountain-view (Mossel Bay) and Kosovo Farm 694 (City of Cape Town),” says Simmers.
Over and above the financial and supply-chain challenges facing industry members, ongoing policy uncertainty and difficulties with legislation are additional factors that translate into red tape within the construction sector, which can unnecessarily stunt growth and economic development.
Presenting at the Forum is the Western Cape Government’s Department of Red Tape Reduction, which has a mission to instill an enabling environment for local business, especially for those small businesses interested in becoming Western Cape Government suppliers.