Construction, on or off?

FIXING THE PAVING: While some construction work, deemed essential by the Covid-19 Command Council, is allowed at Level 4 lockdown, builders are asking why others are not allowed to work Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Talk of the Town has received a number of queries from builders in the area asking about construction work and when they can begin work once more.

This had been prompted to request clarity having observed workers along the R72, Southwell Road all the way to the Nico Malan Bridge, who were removing weeds and removing the paving bricks they laid late last year using an angle grinder.

One prominent building contractor asked how the “bakkie builders” seemed to be operating openly and without restriction, whereas they, as a legitimately registered construction company, could not.

Master Builders North clarified the various levels where their members may operate in their magazine (SA Builder), there is a limited number of sectors in which construction workers can work, and this varies from level to level.

Sectors that are operational during Level 4:

  1. Civil Engineering for public Work projects (including water, energy, sanitation)
  2. Public works civil engineering and construction works
  3. Road and bridge projects, including local road repairs
  4. Critical maintenance and repairs

Other Sectors of Construction are scheduled to operate as follows:

  • Commercial Construction Sector is scheduled to operate at Level 3
  • Residential Construction Sector is scheduled to operate at Level 2

In answer to my query to the municipality, spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa replied;

“Most of the employees only return to work yesterday [Monday May 18], but in terms of lockdown regulations, only civil engineering and public works projects ie water, energy and sanitation, critical maintenance repairs, roads and bridges projects, include local roads repairs [are allowed].

“These are some of the construction work that is applicable during lockdown. We will do our own general inspection to see if there are people who are not complying with lockdown regulations, we must also be mindful of the fact that not all employees are back at work at this stage.”


  1. In the broadcast tonight the President did not differentiate between Commercial and Residential Constrruction. Could that mean that Residential construction can commence again under Level 3?

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