Cement volumes rose by 13.9 per cent y/y in December to 671,525t after increasing by only 6.8 per cent y/y in November to 875,285t and compared with a 5.9 per cent y/y gain to 6.642Mt in the first nine months of 2003, data released by the Cement & Concrete Institute (CNCI) showed.
In 2003 domestic cement sales grew by 7.0 per cent y/y to 9,105,466t domestic cement sales after increasing by 5.9 per cent to 8,511,851t in 2002 after only 1.8 per cent growth in 2001. The rise in cement sales seems to be related to usage in preparing the port at Coega in the Eastern Cape, where cement sales rose by 52.1 per cent y/y in December after a 76.6 per cent y/y increase in September. Third quarter sales were up 109.7 per cent y/y in the Eastern Cape.
For the year as a whole, the percentage changes for 2003 compared with 2002 for the country and 11 regions are as follows: Eastern Province 67.5 per cent; Border/Transkei 26.2 per cent; Southern KwaZulu-Natal 19.6 per cent; Free State 10.6 per cent; National 7.0 per cent; Mpumalanga 5.0 per cent; Gauteng 3.9 per cent; Western Cape 3.3 per cent; Limpopo Province 0.2 per cent; Northern KwaZulu-Natal -0.3 per cent; Northern Cape -2.4 per cent; and North West -2.6 per cent.
Statistics South Africa previously reported that real value added in the construction industry only rose by 2.0 per cent y/y in 2002, and in the first half of 2003 expanded by only 3.0 per cent y/y. In November 2003 this was revised substantially to a 4.3 per cent increase in 2002 and the first three quarters of 2003 are now up 5.1 per cent y/y. A substantial upwards revision is expected to this data when Statistics South Africa rebases the national accounts to a 2000 base instead of the current 1995 base in November 2004. Currently the construction industry only accounts for 2.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), while in most other countries construction has a share normally in excess of 5 per cent of GDP.