Page 5 - AGM Review 2012_low res
P. 5

The building confidence index reading of 34 points    Government is seeking win-win solutions to the
        is the highest since it peaked at 38 in the fourth    dual challenge of high unemployment and climate
        quarter of 2010. The latest survey results suggested   change. According to a 2011 Green Jobs report, South
        that the building sector had reached the bottom,      Africa’s renewable energy sector could create
        and was recovering, albeit at a slow pace.            60 000 new direct jobs by 2025. This however is
                                                              dependent on policies that call for local
        At 34, the index still indicated that on average, more   production. These jobs would be in the areas of
        than six out of ten respondents in different sectors   construction, manufacturing, operations and
        of the building industry rated prevailing business    maintenance, among other related fields.
        conditions as unsatisfactory.
                                                              Let me take this opportunity to thank my fellow
        Although, South African construction firms avoided    Executive Committee members and the Executive
        the 2008 global building slump thanks to the          Directors and staff for fulfilling the Association’s
        construction boom in the run-up to the 2010 soccer    mandate during the 2011 / 12 financial year.
        World Cup, some of the major construction
        companies are still struggling to replenish their
        order books as government delays rolling out its
        infrastructure investment package.

        Further, high levels of consumer debt and tight
        credit conditions continued to weigh on residential
        building  activity,  with  moderate  relief  coming  from
        the affordable and low-cost housing markets.

        The good news however is that South Africa is
        hoping to sustain between 50 000 and 100 000 new
        jobs in its construction sector as the country rolls
        out  the  large-scale infrastructure plan announced
        by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the
        Nation address in February 2012.

        Over the next three years, the government
        plans to invest billions of rands in
        infrastructure projects that include the
        building of dams, roads, schools and
        rail systems. Another factor that
        will play a more meaningful
        role in the industry going
        forward is “greening”.
        Over the years, interest
        has grown in the potential
        for renewable energy to create more jobs.

         * Source: Engeneering News

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