■ Project manager, Clive Truter with Donald Grant, the MEC for Transport and Public Works and Debbie Schäfer, the MEC for Education, in the brand-new Kraaifontein High School hall currently under construction.
JOHANNESBURG - Confidence  in the civil construction industry has plunged to its lowest-ever level. 

The FNB/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) civil confidence index released yesterday lost seven index points on a 100-point scale to 12 in the first quarter of this year after gaining four index points in the fourth quarter. 

The current index level means that almost 90percent of respondents to the survey were dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. 

The majority of the underlying indices surveyed were broadly weaker, especially tendering competition and profitability, and the sector remained under pressure in the first quarter of this year, with little sign that conditions, particularly activity, would improve noticeably over the short term. 

Jason Muscat, a senior economic analyst at FNB, said the low confidence was explained by the indices measuring the underlying business environment, especially tendering compe­tition and profitability, mostly weaker in the quarter. The survey revealed that tendering price competition was at its highest level since 2010, with a higher percentage of respondents reporting that tendering competition had intensified in the first quarter of this year.