Airports Company SA (Acsa) said yesterday that it would spend R19,3bn over the next five years to expand the capacity of its airport infrastructure.

Thursday, 16 August 2007 02:00

Growth from 2010 will be sustainable

2010 Soccer World Cup Local Organising Committee is confident that the tournament will fuel long-term sustainable economic growth

Building confidence in SA rose back to near a record peak in the second quarter of this year, reflecting a boom spurred by public spending and pent-up demand for affordable housing, an independent survey showed yesterday.

Construction IndustryThe FNB building confidence index rose to 88 points from 87 in the first quarter of this year, edging back towards a historic high of 89 posted in the fourth quarter of last year.

FNB chief economist Cees Bruggemans said improved confidence in the building industry reflected higher overall economic growth, which quickened to an average annual rate of 5% over the past three years from 3% earlier in the decade.

"We have barely started. It looks like we are in an extended growth cycle which is likely to last another 7-8 years," he said.

Release of the survey coincided with official data yesterday showing that capital spending by the government rose by 25,4% to R71,8bn in the financial year which ended in March, with expenditure on land and buildings soaring by 149% and construction up by 23,1%.

A slowdown in public sector capital expenditure is expected this year, before the pace picks up again in 2008, the figures from Statistics SA showed.

Construction is playing an increasing role in the economy, with the sector expanding a blistering 21,3% in the first quarter of this year a 17-year record.

At the same time, the government's R416bn infrastructure spending drive is having positive spin-offs, although it focuses on ports, roads, railways and soccer stadiums.

The FNB building survey showed that confidence in the nonresidential sector, which covers commercial buildings, was steady at 94 points but fell in the residential sector to 82 points from 86 in the first quarter.

This suggested business conditions there had been hit by the cumulative two percentage point increase in lending rates last year, Bruggemans said.

The Reserve Bank raised its key repo rate by half a percentage point to 9,5% again in June, and many analysts expect another hike at its meeting next month. But the residential slowdown is unlikely to last, the survey carried out by the Bureau for Economic Research showed.

"Regarding the business outlook for the third quarter, residential contractors said they expected business conditions to remain more or less stable, but an improvement in the tempo of building activity is expected," FNB said.

Bruggemans said there was "enormous pent-up demand" for affordable housing units worth R170000-R250000 from the expanding black middle class.

FNB commercial property strategist John Loos said builders in the nonresidential sector were "very optimistic" and "upbeat" about short-term prospects but they also indicated that shortages of skilled labour and inadequate supplies of materials were "seriously constraining" operations.

 

Wednesday, 04 July 2007 02:00

Group Five wins R1,8 billion contract

Construction company Group Five has won a R1,8-billion contract from Transnet to widen Durban's existing harbour by 100m and to increase the depth by 6m.

Mike UptonWorking with Belgian company, Dredging International, Group Five Civil Engineering is responsible for the civil portion of the contract, valued at R1,1 billion.

Transnet group chief executive Maria Ramos last week announced the state-owned enterprise's plans to spend R78 billion on expanding South Africa's rail, port and fuel pipeline infrastructure over the next five years and this amount is likely to grow as more projects get the go-ahead.

Group Five's managing director of the civil engineering operations, Andrew McJannet said: "We are very pleased with this contract, which was won against international competition. We believe our previous marine civils experience, such as the Moma Jetty in Mozambique and the dry bulk terminal jetty in Richards Bay, played a role in us being the winning bidder."

Group Five's partner on the project, Dredging International, has dispatched a hi-tech dredger capable of moving 5000m of rock and silt an hour from Belgium to achieve the 7-million cubic metres that will be moved over the next two years.

"This is the third major contract in Kwazulu-Natal awarded to the group since the beginning of 2007. We have already started on the 2010 Durban soccer stadium, in consortium with WBHO and Pandev, and have signed the contract for the R6,8 billion King Shaka Airport, in which Group Five is the lead contractor for the Ilembe Consortium - which includes WBHO and the KZN Empowerment Group," said Group Five's chief executive officer Mike Upton.

Work on the harbour has started, with the demolition of existing land structures and the establishment of a pre-cast concrete yard close to the site where the blocks required for the contract will be cast.

The contract is due for completion in May 2010

 

Tuesday, 15 May 2007 02:00

Beyond the infrastructure challenge

There are some broader implications of South Africa’s groaning infrastructure for investors in general and Property Unit Trusts (PUTs) in particular

Tuesday, 13 March 2007 02:00

Esor has R500m in state projects

Civil engineering contractor Esor has scored more than R500m from government's increased spending on infrastructure for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Construction IndustryCEO Bernie Krone said new contracts, including the Gautrain project and the upgrading of the OR Tambo Airport, had swelled the company's order book by R580m, putting Esor firmly on track to achieve targeted growth for the new financial year starting this month.

"We intend leveraging our new directors' network and industry knowledge to drive growth and position the group as a favourite contender for infrastructure contracts," Krone said.

The group has to date tendered for Gautrain contracts to the value of R365m, of which R80m has been secured in two piling projects.

"We are still awaiting a decision on the remaining tenders and are confident of our prospects in this regard," he said.

Other new contracts include R80m worth of contracts for the Airports Company of SA, in line with its R5,2bn intended outlay between 2005 and 2009. Esor has already completed the upgrades at the OR Tambo International Airport and is now extending the Cape Town International Airport.

"Following Esor's completion of the Ushaka Pier marine project, the group is now aligned with the preferred bidder for the Ushaka airport in Durban," said Krone.

 

Use grants or lose them, says official

Tuesday, 09 January 2007 02:00

Work to go ahead on R1,5bn golf estate

Construction of the R1,5-billion Wedgewood Village Golf and Country Estate in Greenbushes will start next month with about 70% of the plots sold

The construction of phases two and three of the municipal infrastructure for the metals cluster at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ)

Wednesday, 29 November 2006 02:00

Traffic dictating lifestyle

Gauteng residents are choosing where to live and work based on traffic congestion, but have admitted that they are unlikely to give up their vehicles even if public transport becomes more efficient, says a recent study.

Page 20 of 26

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