This report on the construction industry in South Africa focuses on conditions in the local sector, recent developments and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report also profiles more than 100 companies, ranging from the listed Aveng Limited group, the country’s largest construction and engineering company by revenue which has 31,768 employees, to unlisted Tiber Bonvec Construction (Pty) Ltd, which employs 210 people and is involved in the construction of Triple A office blocks, warehouses, distribution centres and shopping centres.
The South African Construction Sector
The South African construction sector is an important one as it serves all sectors of the economy and is highly labour-intensive. During 2014 the construction industry contributed R138.9bn to the country’s GDP and provided employment to more than 1 million people. As at 30 July 2015, 128,929 projects had been registered with the regulatory body, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).
A sector Under Pressure
Even though the industry contributed 4% to nominal GDP in Q2 2015, South Africa’s construction sector has been described as a sector under pressure. The contraction in the value of new infrastructure development projects from R187.bn in 2013 to R94.4bn during 2014 is significant. Public sector projects accounted for only 11% of 2014’s total spend and the budget for public infrastructure over the current medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period was downwardly revised from R847.3bn to R813.1bn. Although the 2015 National Budget has earmarked R274bn for public sector infrastructure projects in the current fiscal year, stakeholders fear that delays in project implementation are a possibility and will result in substantial job losses. Dogged by project delays, labour disruptions and shrinking profit margins, the construction sector’s leading players are increasingly seeking opportunities beyond the borders of South Africa.