World Plumbing Conference, Cape Town ICC, 15-16 September 2016 – REGISTER NOW

The11th World Plumbing Conference (WPC) 2016 will be hosted by the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) and the World Plumbing Council in Cape Town from 14 to 16 September

The 11th World Plumbing Conference (WPC) 2016 will be hosted by the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) and the World Plumbing Council in Cape Town from 15 to 16 September

The City of Cape Town, South Africa – together with the Institute of Plumbing of South Africa (IOPSA) and and the World Plumbing Council (WPC) – are hosting the World Plumbing Conference (WPC 2016) at the Cape Town International Conference Centre on the 15th and 16th September 2016.

People from around the world will come together and discuss ways of doing plumbing better, learning from each other and most importantly participating in breakaway sessions on Water, Sanitation, Energy and Environment. Yes, plumbers have a responsibility in all these areas directly and indirectly.

Speakers from South Africa and the City of Cape Town and around the world will gather to present talks and encourage discussion around the theme of “Regulations for sustainable plumbing – a case for international standards.”

Speakers like Dr Doulaye Kone of the Gates Foundation will speak on “the human right to having access to water and sanitation. Dr Sadhvir Bissoon, Executive standards, SABS will speak on standards and their role in sustainability. Mr, Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO of the Water Research Commission will discuss Water and Plumbing a symbiotic relationship.

Mr. Shayne La Combre of the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre will discuss cost effective and efficient methods in the provision of water and sanitation together with the impact on the health of people and nations. MR. Dave Viola of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) will speak on the effect of global warming on water supply, water recycling and alternatives methods for sustainable plumbing.

Mr. Mike Muller, well known ‘water man’ worldwide will be the conference chairman.
These are followed by an array of international and local session chairs and focus speakers who will encourage the discussions to come out with outcomes for better plumbing, conservation of water and alternative solutions to serve all the people of the world.

WPC will be supported by an exhibition, skills simulation and community plumbing challenge with four countries, USA, India, SA and Australia remodelling and design toilets for use in townships and rural areas providing dignity to those in these areas. Entrance to the exhibition, skills simulation and challenge is free by registering online or at the entrance to the exhibition. Click here to register for WPC 2016

Welcome to Master Builders South Africa Congress 2016

Neil Cloete, President, Master Builders South Africa.

Neil Cloete, President, Master Builders South Africa

Master Builders South Africa celebrates it 111th Congress at the Durban ICC from Wednesday 31 August to 2 September 2016.

We have assembled several top speakers representing the private and public sectors from South Africa and from across the continent to stimulate innovative and topical conversations and to share relevant information and insights into topical issues such as infrastructure development, industry transformation, project procurement and funding and construction health and safety, amongst others.

Congress 2016 is aimed to be an inclusive event bringing together all key stakeholders ranging from building contractors – both established and emerging, representatives from the national and provincial Departments such as Labour, Public Works, and Human Settlements, local government, regulatory bodies in the industry suppliers of building materials, financial institutions, and many more.

A special word of thanks too goes to our sponsors who, through their ongoing support over the years, play a significant role in making Congress the success it is.

We welcome you all to Durban and trust you will find the Master Builders 2016 Congress to be stimulating and rewarding.

Neil Cloete

President, Master Builders South Africa.

Master Builders South Africa applauds Construction Sector Charter Council

Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

Following months of intense negotiation with stakeholders in the construction sector, the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) took the bold initiative to launch the revised Construction Sector Code at a special function in July which I had the privilege of attending.

At the time the existing Code was repealed by government in February 2016, it was clear to the CSCC, that an own and unique Construction Sector Code was imperative for our industry if an effective transformation process was to be realised.

Working diligently and without respite, the CSCC assembled an independent team of mediators, namely Chris Jiyane – a director of Franki Africa, Mike Wylie – chairman of WBHO, and led Nazir Ali – the outgoing CEO of SANRAL, to fast track the revision and instalment of a new Construction Sector Code.

Prior to arriving at this point the CSCC negotiating team put in endless hours and worked through over 100 intense meetings.

The result was a high level launch, with Ministerial support, of the new Draft Construction Sector Code. The CSCC realised that it was imperative to proceed with this unprecedented launch of the Draft in order to make a public statement of intent as to the way forward for the construction sector, at the same time communicating the approach undertaken and clarifying the intended dispensation.

It is important too, to note the significant support enjoyed by this bold initiative. Not only did the Deputy Director General of the Department of Public Works (DPW) read out a special message of support from the Minister, but the full range of industry bodies, who are also active participants on the Council, as well as representation from Labour and the public sector were also present.

It was an honour therefore for me to sign the Pledge of Commitment to the Draft Code on behalf of the MBSA and MBAs, alongside the DPW and my counterparts also present from ASAQS, SAISC, CESA, SAFCEC, SAIA, ECSA and NUM.

The new Construction Sector Code is expected to be promulgated into law 60 days hence following due comment from industry. We at MBSA are encouraged by the progress made and we are positive that with proper implementation of the code, our industry will be playing its role in pursuit of achieving the country’s transformation Agenda.

As Master Builders South Africa, we applaud the Construction Sector Charter Council and all players involved in achieving this significant milestone. The CEO of CSCC Mr Thabo Masombuka will once again unpack the new Codes and give more clarity to Congress delegates on Friday 02 September 2016. We urge all not to miss this important presentation.

At this juncture, it is my pleasure to welcome you now to the 111th Master Builders South Africa Congress.

Here we have assembled an array of respected leaders from construction and related fields to share their thoughts with us and stimulate new and topical debate in directing our industry into the future, as we Build South Africa Together.

Welcome to Congress 2016.




achasm_logo_32eab4a0da132f846cde51cc8a5f14e9The 5th Association of Construction Health & Safety Management (ACHASM) annual conference will be held this year at the Westville Country Club, Durban, on 10 and 11 October 2016 and will take the form of a summit under the theme:

Assuring Health and Safety throughout each stage of a project Vs. Learning by accident.

Summit theme
The summit theme ‘Pre-mortems versus post-mortems: Assuring H&S throughout a project’s stages versus learning by accident’ focuses on issues and processes related to assurance as opposed to investigation. This focus will include the interface between clients, project managers, construction H&S agents, designers, quantity surveyors, contractors including construction H&S managers and officers, insurers, government, and other stakeholders. The theme was identified due to the increased media coverage afforded the construction industry in terms of ‘accidents’, in addition to the incidence of fatalities, notwithstanding the fact that ‘one fatality is one too many’.

Summit objectives
The summit will provide a forum for construction industry stakeholders to address Construction Health and Safety related matters with emphasis on pre-mortems as opposed to post-mortems. The summit will be commercial in nature and aims to stimulate interaction between all the stakeholders active in the industry.

To register click here

News from Master Builders Association – Free State

free_stateBy Hendrina Greyling

At the Master Builders Association Free State Annual General Meeting held recently Francois du Plessis was elected as the new President with Arno van Zyl as Vice President and Wessel Pansegrouw the Past President.

PIC 1 From left: Wessel Pansegrouw (Past President), Francois du Plessis (President) and Arno van Zyl (Vice President)

Wessel Pansegrouw (Past President), Francois du Plessis (President) and Arno van Zyl (Vice President)

The Association also held a very successful Bowls Day arranged for its members, which will be followed by another Bowls Day arranged for the Bloemfontein members in September 2016.

Drought conditions in the Free State not only had a severe impact on the farming sector, but also on the construction industry due to extensive water shortages in Senekal, Windburg, Dealesville and Kroonstad.

Regional Safety Competition
The fact that the Regional Safety Competition grows every year is a sign that Construction Health and Safety is a high priority amongst our members. The lower than usual number of projects out on tender prior to this year’s competition affected the number of entries for 2016. A total of 18 sites entered our Regional Safety Competition.

All entries did extremely well, despite the fact that the revised Construction Regulations were promulgated in 2014 resulting in a lot of health and safety related changes having to be made.

Whilst conducting these competition audits, we found significant shortfalls in contractors’ compliance with scaffolding standards and power actuated fastening Device regulations.

Two sites went through to the National Safety Competition namely:
PERI Formwork and Scaffolding Bloemfontein
Aveng Steeledale Bloemfontein


SAFEtember – have you signed the Pledge?

safetember logoFEM, MBSA, MBAs and SAFCEC stand together for Safety

In July South African Builder spoke to Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of The Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (FEM), about the company’s SAFEtember safety campaign for the construction industry.

Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of The Federated Employer's Mutual Assurance Company (FEM)

Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of The Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (FEM)

“SAFEtember was launched at the Master Builders South Africa Congress in September last year,” said Pugh. “We at FEM saw an urgent and pressing need to initiate a proactive campaign to bring awareness within our industry to focus on the soaring number of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).

In close collaboration with Master Builders South Africa, Master Builders Associations, as well as with the South African South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), we have developed the SAFEtember awareness campaign – with the specific aim of significantly reducing the number of MVAs in the construction sector in the immediate future and in so doing to maintain and sustain this as a new standard.”

Whilst the campaign continues to build from strength to strength FEM has clear plans for its escalation in 2017.

2016-07-06 12:35
Durban – Three people have been killed and three injured after the bakkie in which they were travelling rolled on the N3 in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday morning, ER24 paramedics said.
“All three critically injured patients, that were treated on scene, unfortunately succumbed to their injuries while in hospital,” ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said in a statement.

2016-07-13 16:24
Iavan Pijoos, News24
Johannesburg – A man fell off a scaffold in Fourways on Wednesday after sustaining an electric shock, paramedics said.
ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said it appeared the man had fallen about four meters from the structure. He complained of possible back injuries and a burn wound.

“To counter and reverse this disturbing trend we have big plans for the future with the SAFEtember programme,” she said. “Included in the expansion of the SAFEtember campaign we envisage offering rebates to companies who institute driver competency and defensive driving certification; and we are investigating the establishment of a call centre “SAFEtember hotline.”

In addition, says Pugh, we see the last Friday of every September as being SAFEtember Day – to observe a moment’s silence to respect those who have lost their lives in construction related accidents.

  • SAFEtember commitments
    -Save a life
    -Share information
    -Strive for a healthy and safe organisation
    -Sub-contractor safety
    -Study the statistics
    -Stay three car lengths behind
    -Stay away from bad drivers
    -Stop texting


Q2 Building confidence edges lower

In the FNB/BER Building confidence Index for the second quarter of 2016 (2Q2016) John Loos, property economist at First National Bank reports a drop for the second consecutive quarter of five points from 39 to 34. This is despite a rebound in residential activity in Q2.

John Loos: property economist FNB

John Loos: property economist FNB


Retail is down nine points and contractor confidence is down five points.

Despite the decline in confidence, there were some sectors where building activity/sales improved, namely residential contractors and manufacturers of building material.

The current level of the index indicates that more than 65 per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. In addition, all of the six sub-sectors surveyed registered lower confidence.
The largest fall in confidence – for the second consecutive quarter – was registered by retail merchants a drop of nine index points to 30. The fall in confidence was due to a sharp deterioration in sales and consequently, profitability. “The marked slowdown in hardware sales seems to point to the end of the DIY boom which has boosted the building (and retail) sector since the latter part of 2014”, said Loos.
The index measuring the confidence of main contractors shed five points to register a level of 38 in 2Q2016. This is the lowest level of the index since the first quarter of 2013.

Main Contractors: Growth in building activity (Net balance)

Main Contractors: Growth in building activity (Net balance) Source: BER, Stellenbosch University

However, building activity was marginally better compared to 1Q2016. Moreover, there was a distinct difference in the performance of the residential and non-residential sectors. While the confidence of both residential and non-residential contractors edged lower in 2Q2016, residential building activity rebounded nicely. In contrast, the slowdown in non-residential activity reported in 1Q2016 intensified. Loos points out that: “The difference in performance of residential and non-residential building activity confirms our view that the non-residential market is under significant pressure while there is still some life in the residential market.”


Furthermore, there was a stark difference in the performance on a provincial basis. The Western Cape fared significantly better than the rest of the country both in terms of confidence and building activity during the quarter. “This is likely due to increasing inward migration to the Western Cape by residents from other provinces,” he said.
Keener tendering competition along with a deterioration in overall profitability during the quarter likely explains the fall in confidence.
Confidence of manufacturers of building material edged lower to 18 index points in 2Q2016. However, the underlying data suggests a significant improvement in domestic sales and production in the quarter.
As a result of lower activity, the confidence of architects and quantity surveyors fell to 42 and 35 index points respectively in 2Q2016. For quantity surveyors, this marks the lowest confidence since the fourth quarter of 2012. “These figures suggest that the marginal improvement in building activity registered during the quarter may not be sustained over the short to medium term”, commented Loos.
Sub-contractor confidence was also lower at 40 index points, from 43 in 1Q2016.
Although confidence was lower during the quarter, higher activity by residential contractors and increased sales and production by manufacturers of building materials suggests that activity in the sector was in slightly better shape in 2Q2016 than at the start of the year.
However, the outlook is marred by a moderation in activity at the start of the building pipeline and persistently poor growth in non-residential building activity. In addition, the weak retail environment suggests that a key support to the sector in 2015 is no longer there. “As mentioned in previous statements, developments in the broader economy such as higher interest rates, rising household indebtedness and soft domestic demand will also weigh on the building sector,” added Loos.

Quantity surveyors face formidable challenges

Dr Stephan Ramabodu, president of ASAQS

Dr Stephan Ramabodu, president of ASAQS







The quantity surveying profession faces formidable challenges into the future, warns Dr Stephan Ramabodu, the new President of the Association of SA Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS).
Speaking at the recent ASAQS annual congress in Midrand, Dr Ramabodu said excessive fee discounting coupled with a drop in service standards from unscrupulous quantity surveyors is undermining the profession and is making a career in quantity surveying less attractive to young South Africans. “Quantity surveyors need to appreciate the crucial nature of the service we offer to clients and realise that we play a vital role in South Africa’s economic growth through value-engineering and cost control. Quantity surveying is a profession of integrity and we have to entrench that philosophy to future generations.”
He said although ASAQS believes strongly in the concept of a free market and positively embraced competition and change, there were nevertheless important unwritten rules to observe to ensure fair play.
To encourage more young people to enter the profession, Dr Ramabodu challenged quantity surveyors to mentor newcomers to the profession and assist with vocational training wherever possible. He said ASAQS was planning to create Student Chapters to involve more students in its operations and called on academic institutions in the built environment to assist in this mission.
“The University of the Witwatersrand has already embraced this great initiative and we need other universities to follow suit to create a legacy for the quantity surveying profession. ASAQS now has over 2 700 student members. It is essential that we convert these student members into full ASAQS members after completion of their studies to strengthen the united front ASAQS is presenting to the challenges we’re facing.”

Build A Better World Now !

Build A Better World Now !

With the overarching theme of Build A Better World Now the pervasive thread of discussion throughout the 9th Green Building Convention 2016 was the clear and immediate need to focus on change in order to achieve global sustainability goals.


Staged in Johannesburg in July by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the Green Building Convention gathered thought leaders from home and abroad to share their views on building sustainability in southern Africa, and across the continent as a whole, right through to a global level. Amongst global sustainability leaders present were Terri Wills -CEO of the World Green Building Council and John Elkington – co founder and executive chairman of Volans. Green Building Councils of a number of African countries were also represented at the event, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana.


John Elkington, co founder and executive chairman of Volans, addressing delegates at the 2016 GBCSA Convention in Sandton, Johannesburg


Building materials and design, energy, training, corporate governance and conservation amongst others, were the subjects of debate.

Sub-tracks under the primary theme formed the structure of the event: Building Bold And Visionary Leadership Now; Building Innovative And Disruptive Technology Now; and
Building Collaborative Cities And Communities Now – leading to break-away and plenary sessions.

In his opening address, Seana Nkhahle, out-going chairman of GBCSA and CEO of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) re-affirmed – on behalf of all present – GBCSAs commitment to the ambitious national sustainability targets set forth in the 2020 pledge, which includes amongst others, construction of 2 500 Green commercial buildings; 10 000 Green Building certified homes; training of 12 000 Green professionals; assisting African countries in establishing more Green Building Councils; and introducing a Net-Zero certification scheme.

The stimulating keynote address presented by the renowned John Elkington focused on the fundamental change and turmoil being experienced across the globe in all aspects of life – and the importance of strong leadership and management skills necessary to take sustainability practices forward for future generations and for the good of our planet.
Elkington is internationally recognised as an “adviser from the future” and has written or co-authored nineteen books on what he calls “Green Growth” and the economic imperatives surrounding business and the environment.

Amongst other speakers at the Convention were: Dr Graeme Codrington – researcher; Terri Wills – CEO of the World GBC; Nicola Robins -Director of Incite; Dr Morne du Plessis CEO of WWF SA; Professor Anthony Turton – Water strategy specialist; Danie Hoffman – Programme leader department construction economics University of Pretoria; Rob Boogaard – president and CEO of Interface; Jeff Robinson – Global sustainability leader – Aurecon, and Samantha Annandale – CEO of Verde Hotels.

Extended building time and public holidays

Extended building time and public holidays

Second Semester August - November 2016

By Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC).

Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC)

Uwe Putlitz, CEO of the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC)

Building and engineering contracts define the period in which the contractor must complete the works or be liable for penalties, if specified.

However, there may be good reasons why the contractor cannot finish on time ranging from extreme weather conditions making work impossible, to the employer making changes to the agreed scope of work. When the employer has caused a delay, the contractor is entitled to additional working time. Such extension of building time must recognise regular annual public holidays as well as additional public holidays, such as special proclaimed workers’ holidays to allow the population to exercise their vote in elections.

All JBCC agreements provide for the construction period to extend from the date of possession of the site by the contractor until the intended date for practical completion. Such a period is calculated in working days. The contractor must justify a claim for additional time using his current works programme and illustrate the effect on the critical path on the current date for practical completion. If public holidays and/or the annual builders’ holidays fall into this ‘extended’ period, the contractor is entitled to extend this period further by the working days lost to holidays.

In reprogramming the works, the contractor may find better ways of scheduling the work and thereby reduce the number of working days claimed. This is obviously in the best interest of the project and the relationship between the employer and the contractor.

Obviously, any extension of the construction period will exclude delays caused by the contractor’s inability or incompetence to continuously progress the works or provide work to the specified quality standards. In this scenario, the contractor is not entitled to any extension of time and, in fact, may well be liable to the employer for the penalty amount per calendar day stated for delays in the tender documents.

It remains the employer’s prerogative to enforce the full penalty or a lesser amount, but the employer cannot impose a penalty amount if provision was not made for this in the tender documents.