South Africa moves out of a national lockdown:
South Africa has moved out of a national lockdown with an introduction of a phased approach comprising of 5 Alert Levels.
The Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team was established to collectively address and limit the impact of the pandemic on our industry and to facilitate recovery measures for the post lockdown period. In a short space of time, the Task Team rapidly grew to about 28 Industry stakeholder bodies in the built environment and construction industry.
The Task Team submitted comments to government in response to the proposed Regulations, in particular on Alert level 4. These included advocating for all construction projects which were active on 26 March 2020 to be reactivated under level 4. Strict health and safety protocols for implementation across the industry was also submitted to government to ensure that the risks were assessed and mitigated.
Regulations were subsequently issued last week detailing Alert level 4 Permitted and Essential services. The industry submitted several questions of clarity on the application of the Regulations and interpretation of provisions. Those who are operating under Level 4 are urged to ensure that a Workplace Plan, designated Compliance officers and Back to Work Health and safety protocols are in place.
In a post COVID-19 era, a concerted strategy would have to be employed to ensure the recovery and future sustainability of our sector. To this end, included in the medium-term submission by the Task Team is a call on government to review certain aspects of the regulatory framework and procurement processes to allow the commencement of projects to be fast-tracked.