SA Affordable Housing March - April 2019 // Issue: 75 - Page 7

NEWS Slight growth expected for SA construction in 2019 Fitch Solutions has announced that it expects the South African construction industry to emerge from its recession in 2019 and grow at an expected rate of 2.4%. W hile by no means mind-blowing, the expected growth is likely to indicate a turnaround in fortunes for South Africa’s largest construction firms, which have been languishing in near impossible conditions for the past few years. Aveng, Basil Read and Group Five will not celebrate just yet, however, as the percentage growth is low relative to what is required for a complete turnaround. In its 2019 sub-Saharan Africa construction growth outlook, Fitch says it expects the construction industry in the region to grow by 6.8% year on year, ‘…which will continue over the medium term as investment flows into the region in order to meet pressing infrastructure needs’. Ethiopia remains the continent’s top performer, with its construction industry value likely to increase by 12.3%. As the Zambian government currently faces a fiscal crisis and a rising risk of debt distress, construction there is likely to contract 2.3% in 2019. Meanwhile the construction sector in Namibia is forecast to slow down as major projects come to an end. Ethiopia remains the continent’s top performer in construction with an increase of more than 12%.