Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

In my talk at Congress I indicated that one of my main priorities during my tenure as President will be to focus on escalating our attention to the embedding of meaningful transformation in our own organisations, as well as in our construction industry. A parallel priority focus which is as important, is skills development. This will be the topic for this page in October.

Transformation is a long-term project – one which will create a new, inclusive, just and equal society – not just for Master Builders South Africa and the Master Builders Associations, but for the construction sector and our country as a whole. It is incumbent on us as individuals and as the organisations we represent. We owe it to ourselves, to our future generations and posterity.

Transformation is not just a buzz word or a swear word to some. Transformation is about the promotion of national reconciliation, shared prosperity, and equality, as well as social and economic justice through inclusion, access to opportunities and resources without which nation-building and social cohesion will remain a pipe-dream. We must break down walls of mistrust and suspicion and instead nurture an ethos of acceptance, collaboration and productive partnerships.

As Thabo Masombuka, CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) pointed out: “Transformation is about the integration of all races and all genders towards the future growth of the industry and the country. It should be measured not only in terms of black ownership, but also in the participation of women and young people. It should also be representative of the demographics of our society.”

The core objectives of Master Builders South Africa’s commitment to achieving true transformation in the construction industry incorporates transition of the sector to one which operates as a fully integrated, competitive and coherent industry, encompassing all creeds, genders and colours, and which includes a strong focus on youth and SMME development.

Master Builders South Africa’s Transformation Declaration is a bold statement which puts forward our vision for the industry, demonstrating what we wish to bequeath to this beloved country of ours.

The Transformation Declaration is also consistent with, and aligned to our 2016 MBSA Congress theme of ‘Building South Africa Together’.

So let each one of us strive continuously towards reaching this goal of a transformed, integrated and inclusive construction sector.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

SA Builder - SEPTEMBER 2016-V6.indd

Master Builders South Africa elects new Office bearers

At Master Builders South Africa Congress 2016 the newly elected President and Vice President were inaugurated

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, the new President of Master Builders South Africa with his Vice President John Mathews

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, the new President of Master Builders South Africa with his Vice President John Mathews

The new President of Master Builders South Africa, Bafikile Bonke Simelane pledged his commitment to his new role:

“Thank you to all for your trust and confidence in me over the last two years, in particular the Immediate Past President, Neil Cloete. We pledge to continue repositioning the MBSA Brand in its vision and aspiration to ‘Be the Leading Voice in the Building Industry’.
The Master Builders South Africa Transformation Declaration which we have signed is testament at to the important work which lies ahead. It is my intention to continue with this focus in my tenure for the creation of a new, inclusive, just and more equal society.

My other focus area will be in skills development for our industry. There is no doubt in my mind that a better skilled and engaged workforce can also bring about significant improvements in productivity, safety and competitiveness.
To achieved these goals, collaborative and productive partnerships with various stakeholders in this multi-faceted industry of ours is crucial.
On behalf of Master Builders South Africa we commit ourselves to working with like-minded industry bodies to tackle these most pressing challenges.”

A word from the new Vice President of Master Builders South Africa – John Mathews
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to have been elected as Vice President of Master Builders South Africa.  We are aware of the fact that the building industry should be regarded as the catalyst to kick-start the economy and it is my considered opinion that the leaders within this industry have an obligation to ensure that we continue to be the creators of employment in an economy which is rife with unemployment.
My objectives are to support the president and the board as well as the staff of MBSA to remain relevant within the South African and African context and, secondly, to promote and encourage skills development at all levels within the building industry. I think within the skills context we have to find a happy medium between the formal and informal sectors as I believe that the one sector cannot do without the other.”

Winners of MBSA National Safety Awards 2016

PIC 1-2 Caption:  Winners for the category Projects R500 million and above receiving their award: Jerome Beaunoir – ENZA Construction, SHE officer (first from left); Prithivirajh Sewpersadh – AvengGrinaker-LTA – SHE Officer; Santhisha Rambajan - AvengGrinaker-LTA – Environmental Officer; Stuart Meyer - AvengGrinaker-LTA – Project Director; Derrick Gwala (holding shield) - AvengGrinaker-LTA – Senior SHE Officer; Morne Verwey - AvengGrinaker-LTA – Project Manager; flanked on the left and the right by Itumeleng Leshoedi - Manager: Occupational Health and Safety, MBSA and Neil Cloete, President, MBSA.

Winners of MBSA National Safety Award 2016 – for the category Projects R500 million and above receiving their award: Jerome Beaunoir – ENZA Construction, SHE officer (first from left); Prithivirajh Sewpersadh – AvengGrinaker-LTA – SHE Officer; Santhisha Rambajan – AvengGrinaker-LTA – Environmental Officer; Stuart Meyer – AvengGrinaker-LTA – Project Director; Derrick Gwala (holding shield) – AvengGrinaker-LTA – Senior SHE Officer; Morne Verwey – AvengGrinaker-LTA – Project Manager; flanked on the left and the right by Itumeleng Leshoedi – Manager: Occupational Health and Safety, MBSA and Neil Cloete, President, MBSA.

Winners of MBSA National Safety Awards 2016 announced at MBSA Congress 2016 in Durban


Following months of judging at various construction sites around the country, each of the Master Builders Associations put forward their regional winners, to form the National Awards. Presented by the President of Master Builders South Africa and Itumeleng Leshoedi, Manager: Occupational Health and Safety, MBSA, the winners in each category came forward for their awards.

Winners in the category Projects of R500 million and above, was the AvengGrinaker-LTA/Enza Construction – Joint Venture for the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital Project in KwaZulu-Natal.



2016 SAFETY AWARDS – 1st place Certificates



1. Vice President’s Shield

Plant & Storage Yards

Aveng Grinaker-LTA Henwood Road Plant Yard

New Germany, KZN

2 Master Builders Association



Allied Trades

Brand Engineering SA (Pty) Ltd Montague Gardens, Cape Town
3 Master Builders Association




Much Asphalt (Pty) Ltd Coedmore Branch, KZN
4 Chief Executive Officer’s Shield C

Contracts less than

R10 million

Patcon Building and Civil Engineering (Pty) Ltd Engen Refinery, Wentworth, KZN
5 Safety Management Shield D


R10 million to R25 million

Belo & Kies Construction (Pty)Ltd Babirwa Lodge, Limpopo
6 Ramsay Herd Shield E


R25 million to R75 million

Aveng Grinaker – LTA Liviero Pavillion Joint Venture Pavillion MDP 2 Virgin Active,KZN
7 Vice President’s Shield


R75 million to R150 million

Liviero Building (Pty)Ltd Jelf Taylor Crescent, KZN
8 President’s Shield G

R150 million to R300 million

NMC (Pty) Ltd Silo 6, V & A Waterfront, Western Cape
9 Federated Employers’ Mutual Shield


R300 million to R500 million

Liviero Building (Pty)Ltd Eskom Wilge 336 Residential Units Project, Ogies
10 Master Builders Association Shield


R500 million PLUS

AVENG ENZA JV Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital Project , KZN

Taking African innovation in construction to a global level is an imperative



Taking African innovation in construction to a global level is an imperative


Frans Pienaar, Chairman, of Inyatsi Construction

Frans Pienaar, Chairman, of Inyatsi Construction

Construction companies in Africa have the responsibility to take African innovation to a global level. These companies have to remain innovative to ensure that they stay on top of the construction game in Africa, says Frans Pienaar, Chairman, of Inyatsi Construction.

Tremendous innovation is under way in Africa, with people shifting their perceptions of what to expect from the continent, says South African trends analyst Dion Chang. “A wave of innovation is sweeping through Africa, with ideas being sparked from Kenya to Egypt. An example is in Nairobi, where the Silicon Savannah project is Africa’s answer to Silicon Valley in California,” Pienaar says.

The construction industry on the continent is designing, building and operating buildings in an environmentally sustainable way, keeping up with global trends to use resources more efficiently.
According to Pienaar, it is largely unknown how new technology will affect construction. “However, we do know that construction has always lagged behind other industries in innovation, despite evidence that productivity increases of 30% to 40% could be achieved by adopting new technologies.”

Some of the more immediate technologies on the construction horizon which are promising to transform the construction industry include new smart, super-strong and sustainable materials, new energy technologies, GPS, BIM, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, 3D printing, wireless, ultra-mobile, wearable computers and new touch-screen Apps.

“Businesses should see themselves as regional rather than domestic players and be adaptable, flexible, resilient and creative in their thinking. New relationships, knowledge and skills will need to be developed,” continues Pienaar.

He points out that the predictive capabilities of new technology, coupled with the large amounts of data now available through ‘the internet of things’, will transform business. “It will not only allow companies to effectively manage ‘big data’ in a way that they could not do previously, but it will also open the way for a new generation of robots which will act like ‘virtual humans’. They will serve as customer support workers which can engage in real conversations with customers, through analysing conversation patterns and the context and profile of the person they are interacting with. It is estimated that in 50 years, 30% of the working population could be made up of these robots.”

Pienaar emphasises that African innovation in construction can contribute to construction globally, since the continent’s rise has become a widely discussed international policy topic in current gloomy economic times.
“The sweeping optimism about Africa’s economic prospects has been reinforced by 2013 projections that the continent will grow faster than the world average. However, the content of the growth has been a source of discomfort among African leaders. They worry that this growth is linked to a commodity boom, which is fuelled largely by China’s demand.

“Africa’s ability to sustain its current growth will depend largely on how quickly it will be able to shift from reliance on traditional commodity markets to modern economic structures that focus on technology-driven development. The focus on innovation is emerging as a key theme in the African Union’s long-term strategy, Agenda 2063,” Pienaar explains.
Inyatsi Construction Ltd was first registered in Swaziland in 1982 and Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd (ICGH) was formed in 2007 as the holding company of Inyatsi and its regional subsidiaries. The company has operations in Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique, as well as registered companies in Botswana and Namibia. Inyatsi and all its subsidiaries are ISO 9001:2008 certified and completed the NOSA 5 Star Audit and has been awarded four Platinum Stars.

Inyatsi Construction’s operations portfolio includes civil work, bridge construction, buildings and township infrastructure and high quality, fast-track housing projects.

An AfriSam readymix pour in progress Photo: John Thomé

An AfriSam readymix pour in progress
Photo: John Thomé

Uniting the concrete industry

Small companies within the concrete industry should be incentivised to join relevant industry bodies in order to ensure that all people within the industry, as well as end-users interests are represented.

Richard Tomes, AfriSam

Richard Tomes, AfriSam

Speaking on behalf of the anchor sponsor of the recent Readymix Conference presented by the South African Readymix Association (Sarma), AfriSam’s Richard Tomes, said that industry associations play a vital role in setting standards and promoting the industry. These bodies also act as the common voice for the industry and it is therefore extremely important that all tiers of business be represented, from the smallest micro enterprises to the largest corporates and everyone in-between.

“Inclusiveness of small players in the concrete industry is a key ingredient to ensuring that the market remains robust and that the overall industry remains in a position to promote and protect its good name. A good example is at residential contractor and home-owner level where small companies are mainly used for smaller jobs and where the average person builds their opinion of the industry based on these small players.
“In the past, many small companies did not buy into the idea of belonging to industry bodies because they were suspicious of the dominant big companies who have the hitting-power to call the shots. But with inclusivity and fair representation for all companies on our associations’ boards these perceptions can be changed and small companies can be attracted.

“If we can raise the entire standard of the industry and speak with a single voice across the entire range of companies and services, then we can get the public to agree that “they do good work” and we build the reputation of the industry from the bottom up,” said Tomes.

He added that closer working ties between construction sector bodies was also an encouraging step in the right direction as it promotes the raising of overall standards and professionalism. It also allows shared resources which opens doors for members of other bodies to share in “pooled” resources, such as training material, expertise, infrastructure, communication support and so much more.
Concrete possibilities
“Concrete is a wonderful and versatile product that serves a far wider purpose than any one industry body. Rather it creates possibilities, for building education institutions, hospitals, transport and infrastructure of any shape and description. It creates “concrete possibilities” for all of us to enjoy.”

Addressing the assembled readymix fraternity, Tomes added that the readymix industry was in good hands and praised Sarma for the work it is doing for the industry. “This is a tough industry where you need to earn your reputation for supplying quality concrete. Increasingly our contractors are looking at transferring the risk of concrete work to professional suppliers and Sarma members are usually prepared to take responsibility and are up-to-the-task.

In these circumstances suppliers have got to deliver no matter what; and for this they need to have systems in place that allows them to use the right equipment and skills to give contractors what they want. “These are professional suppliers and the type of people we want in Sarma. People that uphold the standards and uphold Sarma’s ideals of a reputable and reliable readymix concrete industry.”
Award winners
AfriSam was also the anchor sponsor for the first ever Sarma Awards aimed at recognising excellence in the industry. Within a thriving and highly competitive market, companies and individuals were singled out for contributions to the industry and excellence in various fields of performance.

Winners of the 2016 Sarma Awards are:

Overall Best plant
Cretepro Vryburg

Best Plant 2015
Cretepro Vryburg
Lafarge Wynberg
3Q Rustenburg

Service Excellence
Health & Safety – Bernard Wessels of 3Q Concrete
Quality – Dudley Field of Ciolli Readymix

Best fleet
Scribante Concrete Gauteng

Crystal Lagoons makes idyllic beach paradises possible anywhere in South Africa

Crystal Lagoons makes idyllic beach paradises possible anywhere in South Africa

Laguna del Sol Padre Hurtado

Laguna del Sol Padre Hurtado

Engineering technology makes it possible to bring waterfronts to inland areas, contributing to urban development on the continent, opening up previously unfeasible areas to development and increasing sales prices and sales velocity.

South Africa has, on average, more than 250 days of sunshine a year, making it an ideal climate for outdoor recreation. But the country’s sprawling and fast-growing urban centres, especially those inland, provide little by way of water amenities close to where people live, work or play.

Water innovation and technology company Crystal Lagoons, which recently launched into the South African and broader African market, has developed a way to create environmentally friendly crystalline lagoons at very low construction and maintenance costs. Crystal Lagoons can use any type of water – fresh, salt, or brackish – to provide a sustainable solution for the efficient use of water resources. The lagoons are ideal for a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing, all within a safe environment, providing exceptional value to real estate projects and people who want to live at the water’s edge.

Patented in 160 countries, Crystal Lagoons’ technology was first conceived when scientist and entrepreneur, Fernando Fischmann, dreamed of creating a large, crystal-clear lagoon to provide swimming and water-sports facilities to visitors to the San Alfonso del Mar real estate project in Chile. To achieve this he developed this unique system.

The Crystal Lagoons solution is to apply disinfection pulses of very small quantities of oxidants/micro-biocides within the lagoon applied according to specific algorithms in very specific patterns. The result is that the amount of additives consumed is up to 100 times less than used for swimming pools. A typical lagoon has about 400 sensors/injectors for such purposes.
The company’s crystalline lagoons make good business sense in any development, increasing selling prices and selling velocity and opening up previously unfeasible locations to development, according to Alastair Sinclair, Crystal Lagoons’ Regional Director for Africa. “Crystal Lagoons has disrupted the real estate market in every country it has entered by challenging the real estate paradigm of ‘location, location, location’.

“Crystal Lagoons’ technology is environmentally friendly as it involves very low water consumption because the lagoons work on closed circuits, using up to 30 times less water than a golf course and just half of the water required by a park of the same size.

“This is of huge benefit to a country like South Africa where both water and energy are scarce resources. It creates opportunities for the large tracts of undeveloped inland areas, as well as the possibility of converting less accessible parts of our vast coastline into safe recreational areas for families to enjoy,” he adds.

Crystal Lagoons boasts a portfolio of 300 projects in different stages of development in over 60 countries.

Crystal Lagoons is currently transforming the world-famous Las Vegas strip into a beach-front paradise, with cerulean turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. The development is expected to add an exciting new dimension to an already vibrant tourist destination, whose location in the Mojave Desert had previously made a water-sports venue on such a large scale unimaginable.

“There is much interest from local developers who are looking for an amenity to set themselves apart, especially in residential developments with no access to water for leisure activities. We look forward to enabling developers to unlock greater benefits in their projects, whilst improving the lives of residents,” says Sinclair.

Training course for small contracting firms

Training course for small contracting firms

A comprehensive training course to assist small building contractors to manage their businesses is being offered by the Master Builders Association (MBA) North.

mba_n_logorgbThe 10-week Small Business Development Course has been developed by leading experts in both building and business management to give owners and managers a head start in obtaining new business, managing projects and managing their businesses throughout the different stages of development.

It is targeted at SMME’s, qualifying small enterprises and foremen of large companies with at least grade 10 mathematics. The course material is divided into four sections and covers content as diverse as financial management, contractual obligations, estimating and tendering, as well as planning, control, managing staff and safety, among others.

As an additional incentive, MBA North will provide expert business coaching sessions to delegates that successfully complete the course. They will also be provided with an opportunity to market their businesses on BBBEE agency ‘mpowerratings’ website for a full year, worth R7400. In addition, delegates will also receive “the Bible of construction” manual and will be granted a free year membership of MBA North.

Classes will be  held on alternate Saturdays, beginning on 1 October 2016, and are limited to a maximum of 25 students per class.

In order to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity contact Sheilla Mofokeng on (011) 805 6611 or email:

We need all hands on deck – Radebe

Master Builders South Africa Congress 2016 – Durban – 1 September 2016

We need all hands on deck

Honourable Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency

Honourable Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency

Keynote speaker at Master Builders South Africa Congress 2016 held in Durban in September, the Honourable Minister Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, unpacked aspects of the National Development Plan and highlighted the impact of infrastructure development and the vital role of the construction industry in driving the economy forward. The Minister stated that the economy was showing weakness and called on all industry stakeholders to ensure that they play their part in turning the tide.
“We are at a tipping point at this moment,” said Radebe. “And we call on government, all stakeholders in the NDP, all South Africans, including Master Builders South Africa – to ask what we have to do to change this deck of cards we have been dealt.”

The Minister spoke of Government’s Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSF) 2014-2019 adopted in 2014 as the first step to implement the National Development Plan (NDP). He drew attention to the new procurement bill aimed to unlock the potential of SMME’s. Key points included the creation of employment through inclusive economic growth as well as the ongoing development of a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path. The Minister stated that a strong focus on entrepreneurship was needed. He further noted that with the sector contributing R4 Trillion to the GDP, construction was pivotal to the economic future of the country and infrastructure development should drive meaningful B-BBEE and transformation.

The Minister announced the formation of a special unit in the Department of Planning to ensure that suppliers are paid within 30 days. He spoke of performance agreements for officials, accountability and consequences for late payment to contractors. “Defaulting officials will be legally charged,” said Radebe, to much applause from the audience.

The Minister also spoke of Government’s recently launched online procurement portal which facilitates the procurement of goods, services and construction works in a transparent, competitive and cost effective manner, in line with the Constitution and all relevant legislation.