By Hilary Mare
BUILDING statistics for January released by Simonis and Storm Securities last week show green shoot in the construction sector with approved building plan advancing in comparison to the prior year.
According to the report, the number of building plans approved within the Windhoek municipal area by January 2018 recorded a 12-month growth of 0.5 percent to 1979 units, compared to a contraction of 29.4 percent in the prior year.
Indileni Nanghonga, a junior analyst at Simonis and Storm noted that on a monthly basis, building plans approved increased by 32.8 percent compared to a 49.0 percent decline recorded in the prior month.
In addition, the number of buildings completed increased by 40.2 percent y-o-y to 628 units in January 2018 compared to a contraction of 11.3 percent in the prior year. On a monthly basis, buildings completed increased by 49.0 percent, extending the increase of 37.0 percent recorded in the prior month.
“Increases in approvals were pronounced across most categories with the exception of approvals in the industrial space. This speaks to uncertainty of new developments in the industrial space as confidence in the economy remains dare. Overall, the increase in approvals could suggest a build of confidence in construction activities within the city, albeit at a slower pace,” she said.
Of interest to note, is the number of buildings completed that has increased by 49.0 percent m-o-m to 149 units compared to 100 units in the prior month.
“This increase is still being driven by addition and not necessary new buildings. Moreover, the completion of additions during January was only realized in Cimbebasia and Kleine Kuppe. It cost on average N$304 156 for an addition in Kleine Kuppe and N$437 714 in Cimbebasia,” added Nanghonga.
Earlier last year, the Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia said that 63 percent of businesses have either closed down, are dormant, or have scaled down operations drastically.
“Between 1 September 2016 and 31 March 2017, a minimum of 30 percent of the workforce was retrenched,” the federation said in a statement.
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