The low-growth forecast for the South African economy does not bode well for the short-term prospects of the local construction industry, although the medium- to long-term outlook appears more favourable. The International Monetary Fund has forecast economic growth of less than 1% for the country in 2017, while the National Treasury has pegged its growth estimate at 1.3% for the year, improving to 2% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019. Nonetheless, government infrastructure investment programmes are expected to continue over the medium term, despite pressure on public capital expenditure, owing to fiscal concerns. Substantial investments are expected in energy, transport, housing, water and sanitation. The bleak outlook for economic growth will continue to weigh on private-sector project investments. However, construction activity is expected to increase, although at a subdued pace. Creamer Media’s Construction 2017 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment, key participants, local demand, international expansion, competition and industry settlement activities, corporate activity of the country’s major construction companies, and issues such as the shortage of skills and safety issues.
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