In the interest of transparency, partnership and complementarity, the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) has developed ConstructionSector.Online as a free to use online, mobile-friendly reporting and monitoring tool that will assist both the contractor, government and relevant stakeholders to monitor COVID-19 on construction sites, having due regard to all COVID-19 regulations under the Disaster Management Act of 2002 and requirements of the Regulations issued by the Minister of Employment and Labour on 28 April 2020 – and any amendments in connection therewith regarding Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces. The tool is available to all contractors within the South African construction sector. Demonstrating our ability to operate as permitted civil engineering works during Level 4 lockdown, will not only confirm the correctness of government’s decision to ease some restrictions on certain sub-sectors to operate, but will also build a very strong case for commercial civils and building to be considered sooner than expected. Failure to register and report would be detrimental and further jeopardise the opportunity for the whole construction sector to operate.
In utilising this online reporting and monitoring tool, contractors are required to complete a daily report per project, whereby all projects details, including the project type, nature of work, demographics, geographic details and health and safety stats of employees are recorded. Not only does this provide the contractor with an easy to use reporting tool that can be completed on either a mobile device or desktop, but it will provide critical information to assist government in the monitoring of compliance under Level 4 and subsequent COVID-19 lockdown levels, track the prevalence or spread of COVID-19 in certain areas of the country, but will also determine which types of projects are at a greater risk than others. This will further enable authorities to activate the necessary advice and / or intervention measures, where necessary.
Initially, the contractor will register their project and input all details pertaining to that project. Once the project has been registered, it is simply a matter of completing daily reporting pertaining to screening and related measures or actions undertaken on site. Relevant stakeholders, such as the Dept. of Employment & Labour, the DTIC, Department of Infrastructure & Public Works, the PPGI, and the NICD, will be given access to monitor the construction sector’s response and ability to operate during COVID-19 levels.