With both government and private sector support, South Africa’s resin flooring market has reported positive performance on the back of increased home improvement and renovation projects in various segments such as residential commercial buildings, industrial and automotive sectors. The residential segment is the largest end-user of the flooring market especially with the government housing subsidy program.
Analysts predict the South Africa flooring market will experience strong growth in both supply and demand of the resinous and cementitious solutions through 2019 supported by this increased government and private sector investment particularly in commercial and residential construction.
A signal to the good performance of the resin flooring market in South Africa, came last May from a leading specialist flooring company Flowcrete South Africa, an affiliate of UK-based Flowcrete Group, known for the making of seamless resin flooring systems and self leveling floor screed treatment, when it announced it is moving to a spacious location “to meet increasing demand for its specialist resin flooring solutions.”
Flowcrete South Africa, had in 2013 expanded its sales branch in Cape Town when it opened a new warehouse and distribution facility but barely three years later, the company announced the expansion has led to increased business which “meant that Flowcrete South Africa outgrew its original site in the city and had to move to a new location double the size of the previous one.”
“Moving our Cape Town operation to a larger site marks a significant step in our capacity to supply more high performance resin flooring materials to developments in the region faster and more effectively than ever before,” said Flowcrete South Africa’s managing director, Craig Blitenthall in May.
Although the company will remain within the same Cape Town industrial park, Flowcrete is now situated at Unit 6 & 7 but has enhanced its capacity to supply high quality resin flooring products to commercial and industrial construction projects, especially in the Western Cape, from a central and convenient location.
Flowcrete South Africa says the construction and building industry in the Cape Town area has a high demand for several systems from its HACCP International certified Flowfresh range of the hardy industrial epoxies Flowcoat SF41 and Flowshield SL as well as cementitious based concrete repair products such as Conrep SF65.
The company said the Western Cape region is fast growing with high value infrastructure, industrial and commercial developments that have created a huge market for flooring solutions.
Market researcher and analyst Frost & Sullivan estimates Western Cape’s share of South Africa’s construction industry at 17.6 percent just behind Gauteng’s 43.3 percent, which is the country’s largest.
The expansion of Flowcrete South Africa’s Cape Town operations is just but one of the strongest signals that South Africa’s resin flooring market is enjoying a boom, a trend that has stood the test of time since 2009. The trend is supported by growth in urbanization, which has in turn created the need for industrial parks and housing projects.
Investors in South Africa spent an estimated $1.3 billion in business related to real estate last year, which was 34% higher than what they spent in 2014 according to South Africa-based Fortune 500 Company, Jones Lang Lasalle IP, Inc (JLL), which focuses on specialised real estate services.
JLL said the growth was driven by offices, which reported an investment growth of 70.7 percent for 2015. The country’s retail sector recorded a 47.8 percent rise in value while industrial posted a 22.2 percent increase.
The company says in 2015 the retail accommodation segment “performed well despite the current economic climate, which has encouraged owners to hold onto their assets.”
“The sector has also seen a number of large malls being developed in key areas across the country, increasing competition in a retail sector plagued by consumer challenges,” it said.
In the residential market segment, government and private sector reports indicate rapid growth of properties valued at less than $22,000, a clear indication of the impact of President Jacob Zuma’s government sponsored subsidized housing program.
The National Department of Human Settlements says the country’s formal housing has grown by 50 percent since 1994, translating to an additional 5.6 million formal homes.
The department estimates by 2020 more than $18 billion would be invested in commercial and residential housing segments including “affordable bonded housing by banks, rental accommodation developments by private sector and agencies, government subsidies, housing investments by big employers and mining companies, bulk services development for townships and human settlements, upgrading of current informal settlements infrastructure and community infrastructure like schools, churches, business sites and other amenities.” This is could one of the highest growth catalysts for the resin flooring market in South Africa in both the short and medium term.
According to Richard Weissenberg Business Unit Leader Chemicals, Materials & Food – Africa, the share of the flooring market in South Africa’s total construction market is about 18.9% behind that of admixtures and water proofing at 36.4% and 23.9% respectively. He said in October repair & rehabilitation and the sealants & grouts hold a 12 percent and 8 percent respectively.
South Africa’s current domestic production of resinous flooring solutions is not adequate with Weissenberg saying an estimated 40 percent of the segment was imported in 2013, a trend that could still be prevailing. This is compared to the 7 percent of the cementitious that was imported during same period.