Jul 12, 2012
Civil engineering showing signs of life, but Safcec warns on response rateBack
© Reuse this
The latest South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) industry update for the first quarter of 2012, shows that turnover also increased by about 12% quarter-on-quarter, which, in nominal terms, translated to R11.3-billion from R10.1-billion in the last quarter of 2011.
Order books benefited from improved contract-award activity in 2011, fewer civil projects have been postponed, the outlook for input costs is favourable for the next two quarters and companies are increasingly satisfied with the rate at which contracts were being awarded.
But the ‘State of the Industry: Second quarter 2012’ report also warns that confidence, which improved marginally in the first quarter, remains fragile, while tenders during the quarter disappointed, following several quarters of positive growth.
Nevertheless, most respondents are satisfied with the current tempo of activity, and an increasing number of Safcec-affiliated firms are also forecasting a “busy” third quarter.
For this reason, Safcec believes the worst may “finally be over” for the industry, which has endured a protracted period of contraction, resulting in major job losses.
Employment (excluding subcontractors) is still lower, at 98 837, than it was during the first quarter of 2011 and is well off the 2008 high of nearly 200 000 – a time when investment in South Africa as a percentage of gross domestic product peaked at 22.7%, having fallen to 12.3% in 1992.
The report says 44% of firms are indicating that they are considering hiring in the next quarter.
Safcec is concerned, however, about what it describes as a poor response rate from the industry to market studies and surveys, which it says will undermine informed decision-making by industry stakeholders and policymakers.
“Without support from individual players, industry representatives are not able to form a ‘unified’ opinion and the ‘outlook’ for the sector will become fragmented rendering stakeholders paralysed in their attempts to act for the better of the future of the industry,” the national employers’ organization, formed in 1939, cautions.
Resistance to sharing market-related information (within the boundaries of what is allowed by the Competition Commission) seems to have “become and industry-wide cancer”, Safcec laments.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Phase 3 construction of the Maclear Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) upgrade project, in the Eastern Cape’s Joe Gqabi district municipality, will start in June this year, says South African black-owned engineering firm Gibb, This phase will include the construction...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.