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News & Press: 2020 News Items

Staying optimistic as we go into lockdown

Wednesday, 25 March 2020  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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Dear ASAQS Member

Although we are entering extremely uncertain times, it is important to STAY POSITIVE. Nobody has any experience with being in lockdown, however we are all in this together.

With a twenty-one- day isolation restriction upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our members to say: “You are not alone”.

The announcement of the isolation period has understandably led to fear. In some cases, this fear brings out the worst in us and can leads to panic and hoarding.

In our profession, we are fortunate to be able to work from home. While building sites might be on hold, we are all still able to continue working brainstorming, connecting and planning for the future.

Chris Hadfield, an astronaut who spent 166 days in space, says the way to survive isolation is to start doing things. These things don’t necessarily have to be the things you always did before. Spend more time with your family, start a new project and/or hobby, learn something new, create, etc. As a Quantity Surveyor, this could be the time you learn to make the most of BIM technology in producing contract documents or investigate new communication methods.

Technology gives us many tools to deal with the issue of remote working and globalization, but few of us are using it to its full potential. If we use this time to upskill ourselves on digital technologies that can help us be more productive and communicate in ways that eliminate travel going forward – it could lead to a better outcome for your business and perhaps the wider industry.

For our mental health and to function well as humans, we need to belong to a community. I would like to encourage everyone to continue to reach out to colleagues, loved ones and people in your network during this time. Join online meetup groups, attend a webinar and arrange video calls with clients. Offer support. Connect.

The financial and psychological implications of a lockdown do not have to all be negative. When resources are limited, we are compelled to innovate. Let’s use this time to grow in our profession and as South African citizens. Avoid fake news and rather revert to the official Government website -

In closing I would like to reiterate to STAY POSITIVE and see this unprecedented experience filled with OPPORTUNITIES rather than obstacles.

My best wishes go with you all, stay safe.

ASAQS President
Christelle Bown