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Media Statement by Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, MP

Friday, 20 March 2020  
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Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) response to COVID 19

On the 15th of March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation with regards to the Covid-19 outbreak, this comes shortly after the declaration of the corona virus as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The President has declared a National State of Disaster, subsequently outlining a number of emergency measures to be implemented to mitigate the risk of the virus. There has been an action plan put in place by each Department of Government.

Government is implementing additional measures as part of its Integrated National Response Plan, approved by Cabinet. It includes drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy.

Government is also calling on all businesses including mining, retail, banking, farming to ensure that they take all necessary measures to intensify hygiene control.

The management of malls, entertainment centres and other places frequented by large numbers of people should also bolster their hygiene control.

Citizens are urged to remain calm and continue to practice hygiene and preventative behaviour by washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. South Africans are encourages to minimise physical contact with other people and practise social distancing.

 

DPWI Response to COVID 19:

One of the aspects of my action plan is the communication to all stakeholders within the Property Sector, Built Environment and the Construction Industry.

This week I have engaged with various industry bodies such as the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA), the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and entities under the DPWI such as Agrément SA (ASA), the Council for the Built Environment (CBE); and the Construction Industry Board (CIDB) amongst others.

My communication with these entities was done via email and the majority of these organisations and industry bodies have put measures in place to do their part in response to COVID 19 as we all work together to contain the spread of the virus.

While Government through the President and the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize are leading the response, there is a role for all departments and sectors of society to play to ensure that we stop the spread of the virus and keep our citizens safe.

The construction and built environment industry is a key sector in our economy and all sectors need to do their part as we work to combat and contain the spread of the virus while doing everything we can to prevent business and service delivery from being negatively impacted.

Before we detail the measures by the industry bodies in the built environment and construction sectors, the DPWI has also been working on our response to the virus for areas within our mandate.

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