Not all is lost for the construction industry, says AfriSam

The 2020 Budget, as outlined by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni earlier this week, “didn’t give much hope to the construction industry”, construction materials company AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes told Engineering News on Friday. Growth in this sector was expected to remain relatively flat, he said, adding that the infrastructure and construction sectors were not regressing, as “massive urbanisation” was still happening, meaning that schools, clinics, houses and the like still needed to be built for South Africa’s population, which was growing at 1.5%.

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Hyprop forges ahead with its strategy despite tough trading conditions

JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Hyprop’s interim results demonstrate progress in implementing its new strategy, with the trading density of its South African portfolio having increased by 0.6% for the six months ended December 31 and by 1.4% over the past 12 months. The trading density of its Eastern European portfolio also increased by an average of 3% over the six months to December 31.

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Association battles to attain curriculum accreditation

In its efforts to generate a full curriculum for the broader spectrum of flooring installation over the last seven years, Flooring Industry Training Association (Fita) has had difficulties with the Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO), as the qualifications process seemed to take much longer than initially expected. Extensive research has been done by Fita and the Construction Education Training Authority (Ceta) into the 13 types of flooring applications so that each application would have its own specific curriculum in a qualification. These curriculums have subsequently been filed with the QCTO for registration.

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Local steel industry still holds much potential

The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF).

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Construction changes affect flooring quality

Changes in materials and construction methods in the built environment have led to an increase in problematic subfloors, which lead to poor end-results, says flooring distributor Polyflor SA CEO Tandy Coleman. These changes include the addition of chemical additives in concrete manufacturing, the increased water ratio in cement, power floating and fast-tracking building programmes.

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Flooring company to start green project

Flooring contractor KBAC Flooring will handle a 1 400 m2   external raised paving installation project in Centurion for M&T Development, set to start in April 2020. The project is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa using a unique locally manufactured product. KBAC Flooring will provide its external raised access paving solution for the project, designed to harness rainwater, which can then be repurposed as grey water for watering and cleaning purposes.

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The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London

After twenty years of first finding ways to kickstart the Gautrain project, then building and running the urban rapid-rail system, Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe has retired. His skills are not lost to Gauteng, however, as he is set to lead the newly established Transport Authority of Gauteng (TAG) from March 1.

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Dangote Cement to start exports from Congo after Nigerian export woes

Dangote Cement said on Wednesday it planned to start exports from its Congo Republic plants to neighbouring States after its Nigerian exports fell 41% in 2019 when Nigeria’s government closed its borders. Nigeria shut its land border in August to curb the smuggling of rice to neighbouring states where it sells for more and an illegal arms trade. The closure has also hurt other Nigerian businesses, including cement exports, and stoked inflation.

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LafargeHolcim sees 3% to 5% sales growth in 2020 despite China slowdown

LafargeHolcim reported slightly better-than-expected net profit during 2019, the world’s largest cement maker said on Thursday, saying it expected solid market conditions in most countries this year except China. The building materials maker said net income rose by nearly 50% to 2.25-billion Swiss francs ($2.30-billion), sightly ahead of forecasts for 2.21-billion francs, according to Refinitiv data.

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Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth

With a weak economic outlook characterised by a real gross domestic product that is expected to grow at 0.9% in 2020, 1.3% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022, South Africa is in dire need of far-reaching structural reforms to achieve faster economic growth. In contrast, global economic growth is expected to strengthen to 3.3% and global inflation remains contained, while South Africa’s inflation will average at 4.5% in 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to be the second-fastest growing region in the world.

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