Surface mines and quarries that are members of industry association, ASPASA, have committed to support efforts of the construction sector to rebuild the industry and reverse the effects of ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns.

Nico Pienaar. Image credit: ASPASA

While the industry has been heavily affected by mine closures and restrictions as a result of Covid-19, it has committed to work hard to ensure sufficient building material supplies for contracts and to maintain pricing that is fair and sustainable for the industry.

“ASPASA members are focussed on the longer-term goal of rebuilding the construction industry rather than profiteering from the material shortages. The pandemic will be with us for an extended time and it is our opinion that we have to get back to business as usual as possible,” says ASPASA director, Nico Pienaar.

He continues that building materials are crucial to ensuring a reliable construction industry and support the efforts of the country to rebuild infrastructure damaged in the recent riots. During lockdown the industry faced challenges that related mainly to matters such as site closures, reductions in productivity and increased costs of compliance. However, this has changed with the evolving needs of the industry.

Nico suggests that the largest factors hampering the supply of materials at present are:

  • Rapidly rising costs of most goods and services
  • Container availability and transportation challenges
  • A shortage of global raw materials
  • Insufficient product testing capacity as a result of ramp up
  • Use of illegal minerals on sites
  • Allowing Mafia-style businesses to take hold
  • Corruption
  • Using unnecessary borrow-pits
  • Not buying from reliable suppliers

“As a result, ASPASA strongly urges those responsible for developing, agreeing, and managing contracts, to consider adopting provisions in their contracts and ensure that we have an honest and trustworthy industry. In addition, the contractual challenges created by lack of product availability and inability to access approved products are likely to mean design changes are necessary.

“We therefore encourage a collaborative approach to be taken to managing these risks and we invite all stakeholders in the construction industry to contact our members and find ways of ensuring sufficient supply for current and future contracts. During these tough times we also encourage construction companies to use legal and reliable suppliers who are ASPASA members,” Pienaar concludes.