Construction workers have been briefed about the coronavirus and building sites across the country are putting structures in place should Covid-19 hit and force them to quarantine workers and shut down sites.
Added to that the export shutdown in the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak,Wuhan – the Chinese hub for supplying metal, mechanical, electrical, electronics and solar end products – as well as Italy’s shutdown – is also impacting on the bottom line of construction and development sites in South Africa.
Experts say the lockdown in the East is affecting supply of, among others, lifts, escalator parts, bathroom and kitchen finishings, tiles, generators, transformers and glass.
Developers on contract deadlines, unable to source materials from regular suppliers, have been left scrambling to find other options – at added cost.
It’s a lose-lose, inflationary situation.
This material impact on the bottom line is the last thing the industry, already hard hit by a stuttering economy and bound together by red tape, needs.
Experts also aver the virus might affect the tourism industry; Cape Town’s short-term rental market could be negatively impacted by a major slow-down in visitors.