Industry response to Covid-19 lockdown
This page is dedicated to the latest property development and construction news and rollouts relating to Covid-19, as the WCPDF is fully committed to address the effects – both during and after the lockdown – that this unprecedented pandemic will have on an industry already in crisis.
Important notices from all three tiers of government will appear in date order immediately below. All other industry news relating to Covid-19 will then follow in the “Media and information” section thereafter.
The WCPDF also has a newsletter which goes out once a month, and subscribers to this are also kept up-to-date on all important notifications by email as they happen. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.
Contact information for the relevant government authorities will appear in the links under each government notice below, while all media enquiries regarding Covid-19’s impact on the industry may be directed to Carola Koblitz on email@example.com or 082 568 1621.
IMPORTANT INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: April 2020 – The establishment of the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response team has seen the WCPDF proudly incorporated into a national group that has grown to include a further 29 key industry entities. In alphabetical order these are AAAMSA, ACHASM, ACPM, ASAQS, ASPASA, BBCBE, Builders, CBE, CESA, Clay Brick Association of South Africa, CMA, CMF, Cox Yeats Attorneys, FEM, ILASA, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal (convenor), MBSA, NCI, NSPI, SAACPP, SAARDA, SABTACO, SAGI, SAIA, SAIBPP, SAICE, SAPOA, SAWIC & BE and TCI.
As per an interview on Cape Talk with Master Builders South Africa chairperson and spokesperson for the task team, John Matthews, this grouping aims to collectively unblock relief measures for the industry in order for it to remain sustainable and help it navigate its way through Covid-19. It is being formed at a time of current industry challenges, against the backdrop of an already ailing construction industry – now exacerbated by Covid-19 – to call for serious interventions by all stakeholders in the industry.
Says John Matthews: “We have realised the current situation requires a collective approach; hence, we would like to urgently engage all our key stakeholders, particularly government and private sector investing in infrastructure development.”
The task team’s key issues, to be tackled immediately, are:
- Identifying opportunities where the property development and construction sector can assist in the national disaster and relief efforts on both a volunteer and professional basis
- Interpretation of Regulations during lockdown particularly in light of the absence of clear reference to the construction industry
- Exploration of relief measures specific to the sector
- Supporting emergency procurement for the next 12 months
- Discussion of interventions for the recovery of the industry
- As part of this recovery, engaging government on the commitment to pay service providers within 30 days
- Partnering with government to ensure effective and integrated rollout of infrastructure projects, and
- Partnering with private sector in infrastructure development.
The WCPDF will, as always, keep its members fully posted on all new developments with the task team as these are rolled out. While press releases issued by the task team appear directly below, please also see the Media and Information section further down for media pick ups on these releases.
PRESS RELEASES ISSUED BY THE COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE TASK TEAM
1 MAY 2020 – PERMITTED EIA AND RELATED LICENSING SERVICES AND PERMITTED SUPPORTING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ALERT LEVEL 4: The latest update available, as published by the office of Piet van Zyl, Head of Department, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape Government and in terms of the above heading, can be accessed here.
2 APRIL 2020 – IMPORTANT UPDATE TO EXTENSION OF ALL TIMEFAMES REGARDING NEMA AND EIA REGULATIONS: On 27 March, the WCPDF informed members that Minister Anton Bredell – Western Cape Provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning – issued his decision to extend all timeframes regarding NEMA and EIA regulations, for actions and processes affected by the 21-day lockdown, by two months effective from 27 March to 26 May 2020. Please note that this decision has been withdrawn in light of a new directive issued by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment in terms of Regulation 10(8) of the Regulations governing the Disaster Management Act. The new national directive, which has been gazetted, extends the timeframe indefinitely until the end of the lockdown, and makes provision to include any extensions of the lockdown that may occur. To see Min Bredell’s withdrawl notice, also containing contact information, please click here. To see the new directive as gazetted, please click here.
27 MARCH 2020 – CITY OF CAPE TOWN WILL CONTINUE RECEIVING AND ASSESSING DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS DURING LOCKDOWN: Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt – Mayorial Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment – released a statement confirming that the City’s Development Management Department will be assessing applications and writing reports from home during the three-week Covid-19 lockdown, but that resources are limited and unforeseen challenges may have an impact on turnaround. All building plans, as well as development and land use applications, should continue to be submitted via the City’s e-Services platform. It was also noted that the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) will not be able to meet during this time and, therefore, no decisions will be made by the MPT until after lockdown has ended. The full statement in this regard as issued by Alderman Nieuwoudt can be accessed here.
26 MARCH 2020 – Please note the following notification has been replaced by that of 2 April above – EXTENSION OF ALL TIMEFRAMES REGARDING NEMA AND EIA REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE 27 MARCH TO 26 MAY 2020: Minister Anton Bredell – Western Cape Provincial Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning – has, in terms of Section 47C of NEMA, extended all timeframes regarding NEMA and EIA regulations, for actions and processes affected by the 21-day lockdown period, by two months effective from 27 March to 26 May 2020. The full circular in this regard as issued by Minister Bredell can be accessed here. The full protocol for the administration of EIA, AEL, WML and Section 24G applications and related formal enquiries/requests in the Western Cape during the 21-day lockdown can be accessed here.