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News & Press: 2020 News Items

Support for ASAQS members during COVID-19

Thursday, 02 April 2020  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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02 April 2020

Dear ASAQS Members,

We’re now on day seven of lockdown, with another 14 to go. While there are administrative and planning tasks that can be done at home, construction sites have been shut down and our country – like many others - has adopted a wait-and-see approach. Across the globe, professionals in the built environment and beyond are scrambling to find ways to survive what we hope will only be a 90-day issue. ASAQS remains hopeful that things should settle down in this period (learning from the experience in China — things should start picking up gradually).

We advise members to engage with clients and staff as to how best to handle the financial impacts of the lockdown in terms of payment of fees during lockdown – which may be extended – and how staff is compensated during these times. Several government departments have made funding available to employers and we advise members to visit these websites and complete the necessary application forms if your practice needs support during this time.

The Department of Small Business Development has launched a website, www.smmesa.gov.za, to support small businesses like these with financial and non-financial assistance. Their number is 012 394 0000 or 012 394 5535 / 1813 (Toll free) 0861 843 384.

For employers who need to claim UIF benefits, the Department of Employment and Labour has provided an Easy-Aid guide which can be accessed here.

Companies who are thankfully not yet applying for UIF may be considering other ways to stay afloat. According to a Directive on COVID-19 published by the Department of Employment and Labour, an Employee may be requested by his or her Employer to utilise their annual leave credits during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown period.

COVID-19 loan facilities by the Department of Trade and Industry have been made available and can be accessed through the following funds and websites:

·         National Empowerment Fund - covidfund@nefcorp.co.za or 011 305-8888

·         Industrial Development Corporation - covid@idc.co.za or 0860 693 888 or www.idc.co.za

·         Small Enterprise Finance Agency - 0860 663 7867 and www.smmesa.org.za, applicants can register and apply for funding

In a message by Minister Patricia de Lille, she said that one of the key tasks for DPWI has been to identify State-owned buildings which could possibly be used as quarantine sites in all 44 districts and 8 metros. So far, 170 sites in various provinces have been identified.

Regarding industry developments, the ASAQS would like to draw attention to the JBCC Advisory Note: Edition 6.2, which has been updated. Be sure to give timeous notifications of delay on projects – this article gives a brief overview of how the standard form contracts deal with claims provisions.

The ASAQS would like to remind members to stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.

  • Wear gloves, wash your hands and disinfect your wheelie bins when taking out your refuse.
  •  Use a disinfectant spray on packaged items bought in grocery stores before unpacking.
  • Follow and respect the Lockdown guidelines Read more

Larry Feinberg
Executive Director: ASAQS