Nick of time: easing of lockdown will save collapsing construction sector

28 May 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019164

Commerce & Trade
Construction, Civil & Structural Engineering
Consulting Engineers & Project Management
Disaster Management
Government & Municipal
Safety

THE construction industry has welcomed the country moving to Level 3 from 1 June 2020, with a key figure in the sector saying President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement had come just in time to save many companies on the verge of collapse.

“We are optimistic that allowing the construction sector to resume full operations will salvage what is left of the sector,” said the Chairperson of the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team, John Matthews.

“We are pleased that the government gave consideration to the concerns we raised and agreed to a full re-activation of the sector under Level 3. Continued restraints on construction activity was leading us towards a situation where there was little hope of recovery for a lot of companies in the industry.”

On measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus on construction sites, he said there was a need for companies to adhere to the strict health and safety protocols that were already in place, for protection of employees. He highlighted the need for self-regulation by all employers in the industry, emphasising Ramaphosa’s assertion that combating the spread of the disease was in the hands of everyone.

“It is not up to the government to try and monitor every office and construction site, but each and every employer has a responsibility to ensure that the health and safety of employees is guaranteed. The industry has health and safety protocols already in place and any employer in the sector who needs assistance should contact their Association for guidance and support,” said Matthews.

The Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team is an industry grouping that was convened to charter a recovery plan for the construction sector. It incorporates the entire construction value chain covering suppliers, manufacturers, property developers, built environment professionals and contractors (main contractors and subcontractors).

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