Update from Michael Hartmann, Chairman of SA Affordable Housing Association (SAARDA).

Michael Hartman

Michael Hartman. Image credit: saarda.co.za

We received an overwhelming response to our brief survey and relayed the very clear message to the office of the President, Minister of Human Settlements and Minister of Economy and Labour.

We worked through the statistics of the first 210 as quick as possible and hereby give a short summary:

  • We had 240 participants to date.
  • 70% are emerging and smallcontractors and developers.
  • 9% are large developers.
  • a total ofR30 billion worth of sites were under construction at the time of lockdown.
  • nearly 30,000 (thirty thousand)houses/units were under construction at the time of lockdown.
  • approximately 7500 permanent employees are affected.
  • The direct impact of employers in various support industries (contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, architects, project managers, financial institutions, property agents, attorneys, etc.) are estimated at well over 2 million just for this survey.
  • The most significant statistics are:
    • 59% of the business would not be able to continue after 30 May.
    • 36% of the businesses would not be able to continue after 30 June.
    • 5% of the business would not be able to continue after 30 July.
    • only one can continue beyond 90 days.

It is clear that there is an urgent need to return to residential construction sites in the interest of the sustainability of our industry. With the vulnerable number of small and emerging contractors, the workforce will have no work to return to if construction cannot commence very soon, not to mention in Level 2. This will also have an impact that we might take a generation before the Affordable Housing Space is back to current capacity.

We are also aware that the health and safety is a priority and that there will be significant changes and strict regulations going forward. We will be posting proposed regulations and screening questioners on our website to assist Developers and contractors once all systems are ‘all go’ again.

We received confirmation that all Deeds Offices are open form today and accept new lodgements.  We await confirmation that all municipal councils are open to issue clearances.

We trust that we will a positive outcome to escalate construction out of Level 2.