Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Jan 2012

BUILDING: Positive Signs In Building Sector


Recent Western Cape Business News

2011 was not an easy year for the building industry as a whole and although things may still look rather bleak for the year ahead, the Building Industry Bargaining Council have noted a number of positive signs that indicate a possible improvement in the industry during 2012. “It is always difficult to predict a turnaround, however, taking into consideration a number of indicators we are hoping for an upturn, especially in the residential sector,” said Arnold Williams, Secretary for Building Industry Bargaining Council (Cape of Good Hope).

On the positive side, it’s important to note the increase in cement sales for 2011, which showed a 3.2% increase from 2010. Although this is not a huge increase, it does indicate signs for recovery in the building industry as a whole. Another positive indicator is the number of 100% bonds that the banks are granting. First time buyers are even receiving loans of up to 104%. In addition to this, Bond Originators reported a general increase in the number of mortgage bonds granted over the last few weeks, which is likely to stimulate building in the residential sector. And finally, good news for all homeowners with bonds, is the reserve bank’s unchanged repo rate (19 Jan 2012), as this will further assist home buyers and stimulate the residential sector of the building industry.

Contrary to this, is the likelihood that the industry will be slowed down by the changes that have been made to the National Building Regulations, which now requires buildings to be more energy efficient, and hence will increase the relevant building costs. The new regulations are also likely to cause a backlog in the approval of building plans, further restraining the industry. “We also need to look beyond our borders and consider that the unstable global financial markets and the impact that this may have on our industry over the next year,” added Williams.

The BIBC will increase its efforts to monitor and enforce fair labour practices and compliance to the negotiated minimum wages and benefits as per the BIBC’s Collective Agreement to ensure that the Labour Force in the Building Industry remains stable and that all builders are competing on a level playing field with the same labour costs.

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