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 Macro and Micro News
While South Africa may have the strongest reputation in Africa, the nation needed to enhance harmony with the continent’s other inhabitants to further spread the benefits of the “Africa rising” trend through boosting regional trade. Brand South Africa (SA) had been...
Russian nuclear energy group Rosatom confirmed on Friday that it had canvassed funding options with South African government officials during a recent “nuclear vendor parade workshop” held in the Drakensberg on October 23. The company said the options discussed were...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...