The construction industry seems to be turning around. This is the impression created by the latest Afrimat Construction Index.

The index tracks the level of activity in the building and construction sectors and indicates that levels improved by 3.7% in the third quarter as compared with the preceding period.

Economist Roelof Botha, who is the author of the index, said all of the eight constituent indicators (employment, salaries and wages, retail trade sales, buildings completed, building materials, construction value added and building plans passed) were seen to be recording gains over the second quarter.

Botha added that the problems experienced by a handful of listed construction companies were not representative of the state of the entire sector.

He said the fourth quarter was traditionally a hive of activity “because there is usually a rush before the construction industry closes for the year. Hardware sales also spike because of renovations usually done at the end of the year”, he said.

He said the construction sector was poised for strong growth in 2019 especially after the general elections as the government was expected to lift the veil of policy uncertainty in a number of areas such as land reform. “I expect high levels of activity in the second half of next year,” he said.