The citizens of South Africa are still reeling, and the costs are escalating in the aftermath of the recent unrest, looting and wanton destruction of essential strategic, transport, job and investment creating infrastructure.

On a slightly positive note, the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) and Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) association believe the construction industry may receive a short-term boost due to rebuilding and repairing destroyed infrastructure and buildings.

However, the long-term outlook is uncertain. Disruption to projects forced several construction sites to close, and MBSA believes litigation may follow. Compounding the economic crisis, job losses and shortage of essential supplies, Transnet was hit by ransomware that saw all ports shut for almost a week and cargo ships unable to dock and offload materials.

Senior economist, David Metelerkamp, says while some positives could come in the private sector-driven built environment, it could derail the construction industry’s long-term recovery and damage investor confidence.