Whilst the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy is negative, there exist important opportunities to boost South Africa’s local manufacturing
Databuild’s CEO ,Morag Evans, emphases the opportunities to boost the construction industry lie in choosing to support local industry. “South Africa’s construction industry, and its cement manufacturers in particular, have been hard hit over the past few years by cheap imports from countries such as China, Vietnam and Pakistan,” says Evans. “The current constraint on China’s manufacturing output provides a golden opportunity to local manufacturers to reclaim the supply chain of these products as well as other locally produced materials.”
“This will not only give South Africa’s economy, which was already ailing prior to the outbreak of the virus, much-needed impetus but also boost job creation,” Evans continues. Evans calls on all South African contractors to support local manufacturers in the coming months. “Now, more than ever before, local role players, including government, need to work together to uplift and expand our country’s construction industry,” she says.
“Time will reveal all the lessons learned from the Coronavirus pandemic, but the risk of sourcing from single suppliers cannot be ignored. It only serves to render the supply chain vulnerable in the event of a crisis such as the one we are currently experiencing.
“Economic recovery after the Coronavirus will be long and slow, but if South Africans stand together and timeously seize opportunities to strengthen local capabilities, we can turn it around,” concludes Evans.