There can be no doubt that one of the industries hardest hit by both the economic downturn in South Africa and the water crisis in the Western Cape, is the construction industry. According to building refurbishment, painting and waterproofing company, Indawo, most contractors were severely impacted by the downturn over the past 12 to 18 months.

Indawo managing director, Geoffrey Jäck, says that pressure on the industry has resulted in the downsizing of many contractors, some even having to restructure their business models, construction companies have to evolve to maintain its status as a key employer in South Africa.

“This involves looking at current business models, costs and productivity,” he says. “Our clients have equally been affected by the economy and their focus, likewise, is on costs. The winter rain in the Western Cape will also play its part in productivity, however, it is pleasing to note that clients are still looking at building maintenance as a critical part of protecting the investment value of their fixed assets.”

While Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a brighter future, the construction industry will be critical to the success of his dream for new infrastructure development. This means the construction industry must be in a healthy financial position to meet the needs of a growing anticipation among South Africans.

Insofar as remedial construction is concerned, building refurbishment is still firmly in the spotlight. The need to replace deteriorating asbestos roofing, driven by the law, is resulting in an increase in roof replacement requests. This, in itself, is a positive sign as building owners are looking to cement and increase their buildings’ investment values.

Jäck continues, “A roof is, arguably, the most important aspect of a building. It provides protection of assets and people and can make up to 40% of a building’s surface area. On top of this, it is an area that, in recent times, has become an installation area for many substructures including solar energy, water tanks, air conditioning, satellite dishes and other electronic installations. A roof is no longer just a roof.”

With asbestos no longer an option to support substructures, buildings owners will need to look to the top to assess their requirements.

The construction industry faces challenges, but what remains positive is the need for both infrastructure development and building refurbishment in the future of the South African dream

For information on asbestos roof replacement or building refurbishment, contact Indawo on 021 941 5000 or email