FEM commits to second year of MAD Leadership Foundation scholarship programme

FEM commits to second year of MAD Leadership Foundation scholarship programme


The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (RF) (PTY) LTD continues their successful effort in contributing towards education in South Africa for the second year running.

The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) Scholarship Programme was launched last year through the partnership between Francois Pienaar’s Make A Difference Leadership Foundation and the R750 million FEM Education Foundation.

During this time, 28 scholars were awarded scholarships to the total value of approximately R41 million. The funds were budgeted towards financial and personal support for the scholars’ years from high school through to their first tertiary degree.

FEM’s intention is to further develop their relationship with MAD Leadership Foundation and, in turn, grow their contribution toward empowerment in education and leadership.

Comments Francois Pienaar, founder of Make A Difference Leadership Foundation, “We are excited to continue our partnership for another year of funding – allowing 40 talented, deserving and exceptional scholars an invaluable opportunity for success. Our guiding values, scholarship integrity and unwavering corporate governance, have provided MAD Leadership Foundation with a blueprint for success, ensuring we can successfully adhere to our corporate partners’ expectations and outcomes. Together, with vital corporate partnerships, such as FEM, we are working towards sustainable education and leadership solutions for South Africa’s next generation of leaders. Together we are investing in a new South Africa.”

Comments FEM Chief Executive Officer Ndivhuwo Manyonga, “We are committed to playing our part in addressing the challenges around education in South Africa. We have been successful in funding scholars in construction related qualifications through our FEM bursary scheme, The FEM Scholarship Programme enables us to broaden our impact and assist even more scholars. We believe that access to good education and mentorship for these bright scholars will provide them with a better future and will enable them to contribute positively towards changing the fortunes of their families, communities and South Africa. We are proud of our partnership with the MAD Leadership Foundation, who share the same vision around education and leadership.”

The past year’s success will see FEM continue their contribution to the education system on an increased level, adds Manyonga, ‘’Application for the scholarship is now open to all who meet the minimum criteria; however, given FEM’s focus within the construction sector we would like to encourage applications from for scholars whose parents are in the construction sector.”

KZN MBA elects Joyce Dolly Tembe for second term as President

Joyce Dolly Tembe, President, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal

KZN MBA elects Joyce Dolly Tembe for second term as President

At its 116th Annual General Meeting held in Durban on 27 June 2017, KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association elected Joyce Dolly Tembe of Sakhisizwe Development Training to a second term as President.

Tembe is the Association’s first female President, bearing testimony to the Association’s unrelenting commitment to expediting transformation as well as training and skills development.

Tembe informed members that the past year had been masked with several challenges in the building industry, the most topical being the issue of violence and intimidation on construction sites. Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal was instrumental in bringing the relevant stakeholders to an engagement platform in an attempt to remedy the situation.

The President stated: “This has undoubtedly resulted in some reprieve for our members and we will continue our efforts in ensuring a conducive business environment.” She also encouraged members to continue to embrace economic transformation as it would lead to a more sustainable construction industry.


Vikashnee Harbhajan –
Executive Director, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal; Thabo Masombuka – CEO, Construction Sector Charter Council; Joyce Dolly Tembe –
President, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal

The keynote speaker was the CEO of Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC), Thabo Masombuka, who briefed members on the long-awaited Construction Sector Charter Codes. In his address, he announced that the CSCC believes that the implementation of the Construction Sector Code would address inequalities in the industry, unlock the sector’s potential and enhance its growth.

Masombuka noted that the Code generally seeks to support all the objectives of transformation and in particular, aims to achieve substantial meaningful and accelerated change in the racial and gender composition of ownership control and management, within the sector. It further aims to promote the effective advancement of employment equity and seeks to address skills development in a manner that accelerates the advancement of Black people, Black women and designated groups with particular emphasis on learnerships, technical and management training.

Executive Director, Vikashnee Harbhajan informed Members that during the period under review the Association delivered on its strategic objectives, obtaining another unqualified audit. Membership closed at 765 at the end of February 2017, with health and safety services being in great demand. Members were applauded for scooping six out of ten awards in the Master Builders South Africa National Health and Safety Competition.
Harbhajan indicated that the Association was committed to transformation of the building industry. This has resulted in a Master Plan on economic transformation which is currently being implemented by the Association. “A Good Practice Note which aims to assist our members with the application of the Preferential Procurement Regulations is in the pipeline and will be released shortly”, stated Harbhajan.
The Executive Director highlighted the success of the Vuka Makhi “Programme, Emerging Contractor Programme and the Bursary Fund.

Top row left to right: Ray Basson, Francois Louw (VP), Ayanda Notshweleka, Chris Cusens, Dean Donaldson, Lesley Chetty, Lance Ridl, Roland Mudaly, Marcus Gonzalves (VP), Thys Blom
Front row left to right: Mogamat Behardien (Immediate Past President), Vic Naidoo (VP), Joyce Dolly Tembe (President), Patricia Moodley, Sam Ngcongo (VP)

The Executive Council elected for the next term of office is as follows:

Joyce Dolly Tembe (President)
Mogamat Behardien (Immediate Past President)
Vic Naidoo (Vice President)
Sam Ngcongo, (Vice President)
Francois Louw (Vice President)
Marcus Gonzalves (Vice President)
Ayanda Notshweleka
Thys Blom
Dean Donaldson
Lance Ridl
Phumelele Bam
Chris Cusens
Roland Mudaly
Lesley Chetty
Ray Basson
Patricia Moodley




Tallest building in downtown LA completes

Four construction workers pose for an epic picture recently atop the Wilshire Grand Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River at 1, 099 feet (335 meters).

The four men were on top of the spire that was added on completion of the building, making it the tallest west of the Mississippi River.

Los Angeles photographer Gary Leonard from the Wilshire Grand Centre Project captured this picture of the workers.

The Wilshire Grand will be part of a massive mixed-use centre with a hotel, office complex and shopping mall.

Four construction workers pose for an epic picture recently atop the Wilshire Grand Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River at 1, 099 feet (335 meters)

Source: abc7.com


Editor’ note:

SA Builder trusts that these gentlemen are properly secured with their safety harnesses!

Not too sure of the effectiveness of the hard-hats though 🙂


Third Vision 2030 Summit sparks conversation around the key role of ICT

Third Vision 2030 Summit sparks conversation around the key role of ICT

Peter Ndoro, Business and Economics Anchor, SABC2 ‘Morning Live’ being interviewed by Topco Media at the Vision 2030 Summit held in Johannesburg in June 2017

With the aim being to stimulate conversation around a roadmap for achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), around 300 decision makers from both the private and public sector came together at the third annual Vision 2030 Summit, to talk about key contributors to alleviating poverty, inequality and joblessness by the year 2030.

Held at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg from 21-22 June, the two-day event fielded keynote speakers such as Presidential candidate Dr Mathews Phosa, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Dr Petrus De Kock, Prof. Arthur Mutambara and many more experts.

Day 1 – Bridging the digital divide to accelerate progress

Both the private sector and public sector are prioritising technology and digitisation as an essential driver to accelerate progress on the NDP, through linking a network of implementers around socio-economic transformation, and empowering ordinary South Africans through connectivity and shared knowledge.

This was the focus for registration Sponsor Huawei’s CEO Steven Wu, who said that ICT should be a national priority strategy, with more investment and a supportive policy framework for ICT development: “We’d also like to see swifter progress on the realisation of significant projects like SA Connect and Safe Cities”.

Old Mutual, Basil Read, MMI Holdings, AMSCO and PMI were at the forefront of discussions after lunch, at the helm of their five respective breakaways. These 1.5 hour sessions covered different fundamentals of the NDP: entrepreneurship development; training and skills development; improved economic production through investment in people; construction, and economic transformation.

Day 2 – Collaboration, cooperation and communication are key to achieve the NDP

Delivering a thought-provoking keynote address, Dr Mathews Phosa reflected on the Freedom Charter and honoured the late Oliver Tambo. He said that South Africa “deserves a recovery plan, developed and implemented under the watchful eyes and guidance of a trusted and virtuous leadership. A plan reflecting the dreams of those who formulated and penned the Freedom Charter of 1955 …the National Development Plan must be strongly advanced as the inclusive recovery plan to change South Africa for the better.”

Tiger Brands, Aerosud, SANBS, Sentech hosted the second day’s breakaway sessions, which focused on agriculture & rural development; advanced manufacturing; healthcare and, of course, ICT.

Finale: Before the road ahead, a celebration of strides made

After the intensive discussions of the Vision 2030 Summit, it was time to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations that have been furthering or supporting national development in the last year, with the advent of the eagerly-anticipated first annual Vision 2030 Awards taking place on the evening of 22 June.

Vision 2030 returns in June 2018. For more information, visit www.vision2030.co.za

Vision 2030 sparks international interest in the NDP from Zimbabwe to Japan

20 June 2017

Birchwood Hotel Johannesburg 21-22 June

Vision 2030 sparks international interest in the NDP from Zimbabwe to Japan

This week’s Vision 2030 Summit catalyses new business opportunities for investment, technical cooperation and participation around South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP).

International investors are demonstrating their interest in South Africa’s growth and transformation, even in the wake of recent economic developments – including three ratings downgrades. In spite of the nation’s current investment grade, the third annual Vision 2030 Summit is sparking renewed interest from the international arena in support of South Africa’s development through investment, technical cooperation and participation around the National Development Plan (NDP).

“The National Development Plan anchors, reflects and underpins nationwide commitment to ending poverty and inequality through improving the lives of the poor and marginalised in society,” offers Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Top Media, organiser of the Vision 2030 Summit.

Government officials, investors and other international leaders are seizing the opportunity provided by the annual Vision 2030 Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, to be involved in dynamic discussions to achieve delivery targets for South Africa’s 9-point plan as stipulated by the NDP. Not only is the annual progress of the NDP benchmarked at Vision 2030, but a roadmap is also updated for the implementation of the NDP’s most progressive developmental goals, providing new business opportunities for local and international stakeholders alike.

Taking place at Johannesburg’s Birchwood Hotel from 21 to 22 June, the Vision 2030 Summit convenes leading figures from across the globe to drive development from within both the private and public sectors and to unite all stakeholders behind a practical, achievable roadmap for building the South Africa envisaged by the NDP.

African dignitaries in attendance include Prof. Arthur Mutambara, President of the African News Agency and former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, while international investors in attendance include the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), amongst others.

Supported by AMSCO, Aerosud Aviation, ADCORP, Basil Read, Huawei, Old Mutual, PMI, MMI Holdings, Sentech, SANBS, Siemens and Tiger Brands, Vision 2030 presents a unique opportunity for ordinary South Africans to join both local and international leaders, from government and the private sector, in driving economic acceleration and transformation. There are still limited seats available for professionals from all vocations who want to participate in new business opportunities arising out of the ongoing implementation of the NDP.

To book your attendance at the Vision 2030 Summit, please book online: https://vision2030.co.za/shop/ or call 086 000 9590.

Master Builders’ National Safety Competition – 2017 gets underway

Master Builders’ National Safety Competition – 2017 gets underway

Promoting occupational health and safety in the South African building and construction industry.

As the winners of the Master Builders Regional Safety Competitions are progressively announced and go through to the National competition, the excitement builds as the logistical planning and judging of these entries for the master Builders national Safety Competition gets underway.

Let there be no doubt that this is indeed an enormous task, conducted by recognised professionals in the field of Construction Health and Safety.

Readers will be pleased to learn that this year’s Competition will be overseen and coordinated by Pierre Fourie, the recently retired MBSA operations director.

In keeping with the customary high standard of the national competition and in the interest of transparency, Master Builders South Africa have appointed ASHREQ Environmental and Occupational Hygiene Consultants (Pty) Ltd as the independent auditors. ASHREQ is an associated member of the MBA North. Selection of the judges and their subsequent appointment takes place in June, with judging scheduled to take place across the various construction sites around the country over a five-week period during July and August.

All companies competing in the national competition will be invited to the attend the annual awards ceremony at the Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) gala dinner event which will coincide with Master Builders’ 112th Annual Master Builders Congress in Cape Town in September. Company representatives of the category winners will be awarded with certificates and the much sought after safety shields for display in the head office board rooms for the next 12 months.

Master Builders South Africa is very proud to be associated with FEM who will again be funding the cost of judging the national competition.

From the humblest of beginnings in 1963, which saw the first Building Safety Competition in South Africa, the annual Master Builders’ National Safety Competition is now a well-established and highly recognised event on the building industry calendar, with some 45 construction companies competing in ten categories, which range from builders’ yards to building projects in excess of R500 million in value.

The safety competition is open to all Master Builder Association (MBA) members and Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) policy holders. Entrants to the national competition will have competed in the regional MBA safety competitions and their sites will have achieved a score of 90% or more or have been awarded a five star-grading based on the MBSA Audit System.

Plain sailing with Franki …

Plain sailing with Franki …

The Yacht Club: a testament to Franki’s Foreshore experience

Due to the past successful working partnerships between Franki and AMDEC, Franki was the preferred contractor for this challenging geotechnical work

AMDEC Property Development’s (AMDEC) The Yacht Club development is a picturesque, nautically inspired design, located on the Cape Town Foreshore in the Roggebaai Canal Tourism Precinct near to the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and directly south of the new multi million Rand cruise liner terminal.

The Yacht Club, a multi-use development including commercial and residential space, is destined to become one of Cape Town’s most sought after destinations and is yet another prestigious AMDEC/Franki Africa partnership.

The site is situated on the Malmesbury group deposition of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Supergroup in the Foreshore area of the harbour reclamation development of the 1920’s and 1940’s. The shale bedrock is overlain by very stiff residual material followed by marine deposits and fill comprising of old harbour facilities, general tipped rubble and dredged sands.

The ground water table was intersected at an average depth of 0.86 m with the bedrock falling from around -0.84 m in the west to -2.9 m in the east (elevation levels in ASML).

Special attention was required to an existing sub-surface canal running south to north which intersects the eastern portion of the site with both the lateral support and piled foundation design modified to accommodate and maintain the integrity of this structure.

Some of the existing live services which required special attention to maintain supply to neighbours

It is evident that from a geotechnical perspective the Cape Town Foreshore is not the easiest area in which to operate. The varying ground conditions with old rock-filled docks and piers and the high water table described above present a significant challenge,” says Franki’s Rod Schultz. “But our previous experience on the neighbouring Harbour Bridge and Canal Quays projects has given us a thorough understanding of the prevailing ground conditions in the area and enabled us to quickly offer our client the most cost-effective solution,” he says.

Schultz continued saying that it took some years of on-and-off development proposals by all concerned before AMDEC succeeded in producing a workable solution by securing the land and obtaining the necessary partnerships to go ahead.

Site overview showing the phased construction sequence and restricted access.

Due to the past successful working partnerships between Franki and AMDEC, Franki was the preferred contractor for this challenging geotechnical work. “We know Franki’s exceptional capabilities in the Foreshore area, which requires a special understanding of its complex geological conditions. We had no hesitation in awarding Franki this contract and their performance certainly lived up to expectations,” says AMDEC’s Project Manager Arnon van As.

Franki’s scope of works included the design and installation of the lateral support and foundation piling to this multi-storeyed, double-basement project, the excavation and disposal of some 65 000 mᶟ of bulk earthworks, 508 lm of lateral support and 271 no. foundation piles.

The soldier piles for the lateral support were a combination of 400 mmØ Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piles and 325 mmØ Rotapiles tied back with a single row of anchors and gunite arches. The anchors had to be carefully positioned and inclined sufficiently to not intersect with the canal, which runs very close to the site.

Piling and bulk earthworks operations at peak with upwards of 5 piling rigs, 2 excavators and more than 200 tipper truck loads per day

CFA piling is a fast and economical system with no vibration and limited noise levels associated with it. “This was particularly advantageous on a site which is close to live canals and railway lines, contains a labyrinth of existing services and has neighbours who are particularly sensitive to noise,” says Schultz.

The main feature of the Rotapile system is its ability to penetrate boulders and rock formations. Socketing into hard rock is effected rapidly using the ‘Down The Hole Hammer’ (DTH) percussion drilling technique. As with CFA, noise levels are low and vibration limited.

Schultz says that the foundation piles were designed with flexibility in mind to meet the varying and sometimes unpredictable ground conditions. Three pile types were used: the Franki Driven Cast-in-Situ piles, Temporary Cased Augers and Oscillator piles with individual load bearing capacities from 2 300 kN to 10 000 kN.

To say that the Franki Pile is the most well known piling system in southern Africa is certainly no exaggeration. Developed circa 70 years ago it is still one of the most popular pile types in this region. Its main feature is the large base formed at the toe of the pile and, in forming it, the end-bearing area is considerably increased. It is generally a very economical system, has an extensive range of pile sizes and, like the other piling systems used on The Yacht Club site, its noise levels are relatively low.

Another significant challenge on this project was the very demanding schedule. “This meant that the works not only had to be very carefully planned but also executed to perfection,” says Schultz.

He explains that AMDEC required a phased handover to the main building contractor so that the critical-path tower cores and basement sections could be started whilst Franki were still busy on site. “We started operations during the latter half of 2016 and completed everything on time and within budget by mid-March 2017,” he says.

Schultz paid tribute to Franki’s client, AMDEC, and to bulk earthworks contractor, Ross Demolition. “To have successfully completed this project on time we needed it to run like clockwork. This was facilitated by these two professional companies which pulled out all the stops to ensure that we could do it,” Schultz concluded.

SA clay brick industry bids farewell to Swisscontact EECB project team

SA clay brick industry bids farewell to Swisscontact EECB project team

On behalf of EECB, John Volsteedt and Luca de Giovanetti, EECB Project Managers, expressed their deepest thanks to their colleagues across the sector and to Swisscontact for their unfailing support throughout this rewarding journey

At a sparkling event in Freedom Park Pretoria, dignitaries from Switzerland and South Africa bid farewell to the team from Swisscontact. It was a fitting finale for the 8-year Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project, a Swiss-funded environmental sustainability and climate change initiative for South Africa.

The project has had a major impact on the energy-efficiency of the brick-making industry, which is heavily reliant on fossil fuels like coal. The EECB brought together the skills and experience of entrepreneurs, environmental specialists, consultants, government and brick-makers to expand local knowledge, raise awareness and build capacity with regard to low carbon technologies and best practice.

Mrs Helene Budliger Artieda, the Swiss Ambassador to South Africa reiterated her country’s commitment to economic cooperation that contributes to climate-friendly growth through the development of low-carbon industries

The EECB project, which has been funded by The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented in South Africa by Swisscontact, exceeded its objectives by successfully facilitating a 15% reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the last four years – which will be an ongoing legacy for the South African clay brick sector.

Representing the project team of industry experts, Juancho Hagnauer described how the EECB project motivated, educated, facilitated and financed initiatives that mitigate climate impact and improve the air quality. Areas of intervention included:

  • Working directly with brick-makers to facilitate economically-viable, locally-relevant firing and production technologies

  • Creating an enabling environment through access to finance as well as positive awareness of the need for environmental policies

  • Support in benchmarking the current state of the industry through the sector Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and ongoing industry South African Clay Brick Sustainability Report

  • In-depth research, case studies and cost-benefit assessments for use by brick-makers on a wide range of energy-saving and low-emissions options for ongoing improvements.

CEO of Swisscontact Samuel Bon, reminded the industry leaders that a climate-smart economy is not only more sustainable for the environment, but reduces costs while improving business productivity, quality and competitiveness

The EECB project will continue its good work under the direction of the Clay Brick Association of South Africa.

As an industry, we are committed to make good use of the wealth of research done by the EECB team to improve the energy efficiency of clay brick manufacturing processes,” confirms CBA President Musa Shangase.

The CBA and its members continue their work into the future as we reduce our industry’s carbon footprint and emissions for the good of all South African communities.”

Representing the EECB project team [R to L] John Volsteedt, Luca de Giovanetti and Juancho Hagnauer

The VSBK kiln at Langkloof Bricks, an energy-efficiency improvement project facilitated by the EECB Project, uses 82.5 grams of coal per kg of fired brick. Just 2.5 grams of this is external fuel during the firing process

Time to embrace, streamline and accelerate the application of PPPs


Time to embrace, streamline and accelerate the application of PPPs

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

It was with great relief that we learned of the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee Meeting decision to keep interest rates unchanged despite concerns regarding the risk of further downgrades to local currency debt and the impact thereof on the stability of the domestic financial system as reported in the last edition.

This was on the back of reports that South Africa is set to avoid slipping into a technical recession this year following surprise improvements in mining and manufacturing output, although the economy remains under pressure due to recent credit downgrades.

The economy contracted 0.3% in the final quarter of 2016 and a second consecutive contraction would have pushed the economy into recession for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2009.

This can only be good for boosting confidence about a positive future outlook notwithstanding the negative publicity around the recent downgrades by ratings agencies especially if the assurances by the new Finance Minister that National Treasury will continue on the economic trajectory of fiscal consolidation hold true.

According to Econometrix director and chief economist Dr Azar Jammine; despite the hype around the latest sovereign downgrades, South Africa has not hit rock bottom, nor has it experienced the worst-case scenario.

It is a misnomer to say we [South Africa] have gone junk – we actually have junk on only a portion of debt – the rest of it is still investment grade,” he said, noting the differing ratings approaches of the three ratings agencies and the differentiation of rand and foreign currency-issued debt.

We haven’t had the worst-case scenario of a collapse in the rand that will cause our interest rates to soar,” he told delegates at a Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr ‘junk status’ seminar, in Sandton, pointing out that many positives still remained and many of the expected negative outcomes of becoming a sub-investment grade country had been somewhat muted.”

It is not a new thing for South Africa to be in junk and, technically, only a portion of it was in junk,” he reiterated, commenting that the disappointment emerged from the timing of the downgrades – a moment where positivity was starting to shine through and South Africa was on a path of recovery.

He cited the overestimated negative impact of the drought, the dissipation of electricity constraints, stable industrial relations, lower-than-expected inflation, the unlikelihood of interest rate hikes and strong business balance sheets. This underscores the potential positive impact that greater private sector investment can have in staving off further economic deterioration to mitigate downgrades.

We are therefore buoyed by the foregoing and call for greater embracing, support and acceptance of Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) in the procurement and delivery of key economic infrastructure investments to stimulate demand and boost activity in the construction sector.

This can translate into greater investment in artisanal skills development and to build capacity for the sector to be ready for example for the R138 billion allocated for infrastructure development in Gauteng over the next three to five years while keeping a sharp focus on transformation as well as social and economic inclusion using such expenditure as a strategic lever and catalyst.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

De Marigny wins the 30th Corobrik Architectural Awards

Jean-Pierre Desvaux De Marigny, winner of the 30th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards

De Marigny wins the 30th Corobrik Architectural Awards

New and distinctive ideas, a high standard of technical skill, creative flair, a good grasp of sustainability issues and a clear understanding of the complex role of built structures within an evolving urban environment were just some of the reasons why Jean-Pierre Desvaux De Marigny from the University of KwaZulu-Natal won first prize at the Corobrik Architectural Awards in Johannesburg this evening.

The competition, which has spanned three decades, has seen considerable changes in how young professionals in the architectural professional approach the built environment. Today, technological advances and sustainability imperatives are driving creativity.

Desvaux De Marigny’s entry, entitled ‘Design for [bio] diversity’, explored the potential of architecture for ecological conservation, proposing an environmental awareness and water research facility in the context of Springfield industrial park/ uMgeni River catchment area in Durban

Innovation with a view to lightening the built environment’s environmental footprint together with an innate understanding of social and cultural imperatives within South Africa are just some of the reasons that this year’s judges singled out De Marigny’s dissertation.

After presenting De Marigny with a cheque for R50 000, Corobrik managing director, Dirk Meyer, thanked this year’s judges for their invaluable in put – Andre Eksteen, multi-award winning co-director at Earthworld Architects & Interiors, Tunde Oluwa, sustainable development guru and founder of Odyssey Architects SA and Tanzeem Razak, who is passionate for spatial transformation in South African cities and director and founding partner of Lemon Pebble Architects in Johannesburg.

De Marigny was one of eight regional winners from the country’s major universities who were chosen during 2016. Each winner became a finalist who competed for the national title.

His thesis, entitled ‘Design for [bio] diversity’, explored the potential of architecture for ecological conservation, proposing an environmental awareness and water research facility in the context of Springfield industrial park/ uMgeni River catchment area in Durban.

Research revealed that human existence relies heavily on bio diverse ecosystems to survive, however as population increases, urbanisation and industrialisation occurs, resulting in natural areas often being exploited and degraded, most critically affecting the earth’s fresh water systems.

De Marigny’s proposed architectural solution aimed to draw an analogy between the machine-dominated environment of the Springfield industrial park and the natural ecosystems found within the uMgeni river. This was achieved through the concept of viewing architecture as similar to that of a mechanical prosthetic device, so that the architecture (industrial machine) could begin to act as rather a natural life support system in the context in which it exists (ecology).

Attaching to an existing 440 m long pedestrian walkway bridge spanning the width of the river the facility hosts minimal ecological footprint, in addition to providing direct access to the water body to ecologically filter both surface (plastics, rubbers, geo-polymers) and subsurface (human, industrial, agricultural) water pollutants that are accumulated as the watercourse passes through habited areas before reaching Durban’s coastline.

All the regional winners