18th Built Environment Conference - Industry Roundtable Event - 16 July 2024

Industry Roundtable Event Details

Date & Time: 16/07/2024, 11H00 -12H30
Time Zone: (UTC+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
In Person Event & Zoom Meeting
Zoom Meeting details will be provided on confirmation of registration proof of payment.

According to MarketWatch, the South African construction industry was expected to grow by 2% in real terms in 2023, following a 3.4% decline in 2022, aided by an increase in transportation developments and the execution of renewable energy projects, with the construction infrastructure sector expected to grow by 3.3% and the energy and utilities construction sector was expected to grow by 2.7% in 2023.

The South African construction industry’s output is expected to grow by a mere1.9% in 2024, before rebounding with an annual average rate of 3.6% between 2025 and 2027, supported by the developments of transport, energy, industrial and housing projects. The government’s National Infrastructure Plan 2050 (NIP 2050), which was announced in 2022, plans to pump more than R2 trillion into infrastructure development over the next few decades. Along with massive improvements to regional infrastructure, one of the NIP 2050’s goals is to rebuild an empowered civil construction and supplier industry.

The construction sector must overcome critical challenges if this optimistic projected growth, and growing contribution to national total GDP are to become a reality. These challenges that include coping with loadshedding, labour shortages, supply chain disruption, construction mafia activities, and lack of access to funding are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

According to Moneyweb, construction sector liquidations in 2022 in South Africa rose to 32% with almost 100 South African construction companies going out of business permanently.

Lula has cited the following as the most critical challenges facing the industry in 2024, namely:

  1. Loadshedding and poor electricity infrastructure
  2. Materials cost and shortages
  3. Transport and logistics disruptions.
  4. Unpredictable weather events
  5. Labor shortages and rising costs of skilled workers
  6. Slow technology adoption
  7. Project delays and cost overruns
  8. Lack of access to funding

When one also takes into account the obsession with emerging technologies, without recognising the importance of the people component, it is crucial that the industry come under scrutiny in terms of how it envisages responding to this additional challenge.

The focus, therefore, of the industry roundtable organized by the Association of Schools of Construction of Southern Africa (ASOCSA) is to discuss by looking backward, evaluating the present, and envisioning the future of construction in South Africa and beyond. It is necessary for industry, academia, and government to join hands to take the South African construction industry collaboratively and unitedly along the correct path from the crossroads where it finds itself at presently.

The proposals captured in the historic 1999 WHITE PAPER: CREATING AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR RECONSTRUCTION, GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY will form the backdrop of the industry roundtable discussions.