Substantial drop in engineering industry confidence

05 May 2015

The level of satisfaction among South Africa’s engineering firms took a staggering tumble, falling from 87% in the first six months to 46% in the last six months of 2014, engineering body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) has revealed.

Cesa’s ‘Bi-Annual Economic and Capacity Survey June to December 2014’, also found that there was little hope for improvement this year, with confidence in the year ahead averaging about 50%.

Cesa CEO Wally Mayne noted that the 47% was far removed from the 96% the organisation had expected. “It’s a little bit like fortune telling – you judge by signs and trends and according to the trends; the infrastructure work output or work allocation should have increased.”

“Our members receive about 60% of their work from government and if government does increase its budget allocation for infrastructure projects then [the current] dissatisfaction might reduce.

However, 40% of infrastructure spend came from the private sector, where investment was also decreasing as a result of a lack of confidence from international ratings agencies.

“I think, at best, the dissatisfaction will bottom out and then slowly pick up again, but it is a turnaround situation and I think the prospects for the infrastructure sector in South Africa over the next three years is pretty gloomy,” Mayne said, noting that the current satisfaction levels were at their weakest since the 1998/9 financial crisis.


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