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Basil Read is that the government of South Africa is investing heavily in improving the country's infrastructure with the express intention of building the nation's capacity to grow. Having promised R787 billion for infrastructure projects, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to investing in road improvements as well as power generation, transport networks and telecommunications. While the construction industry has traditionally suffered from a shortage of skilled and experienced personnel at all levels, the recent economic downturn has led many companies to lay off staff. " At a time when many industries are reporting the need for retrenchments," Erasmus says, " we are continuing to employ. In fact, we are recruiting at a rate of around 30 new posts per month, and this recruitment is complemented by an increased focus on bursaries and initiatives to attract black women to our industry." These initiatives are all part of a recruitment strategy June 09 www. bus- ex. com 21 Like most in the construction industry, Basil Read has seen a general slowdown in activity as the global recession has bitten into investment capacity and confidence, but the slowdown has largely been confined to the building and civil project areas. Road construction remains remarkably buoyant and has enabled the company to continue increasing its profit margin. For the financial year to December 2008 the company has experienced a 73 per cent increase in revenue and an increase in net profit after tax in excess of 70 per cent, while earnings per share increased by 67 per cent. " Our order book is good at R6 billion, with turnover expected to show growth in excess of 45 per cent to December 2009," Erasmus says. " I believe we are ideally positioned to capitalise on these market conditions, despite current economic uncertainty." The reason for the buoyancy in the road building market