Stefanutti Stocks – Basil Read JV takes top honours at MBA North Safety awards

Stefanutti Stocks – Basil Read JV takes top honours at MBA North Safety awards

Months of intense effort by Master Builders Association North (MBA North) Construction Health and Safety team, site audits and stiff competition amongst members for the coveted awards, culminated in the prestigious MBA North 2017 Regional Construction Health and Safety Awards presentation evening in Midrand in July.

Herman Enoch (left), FEM marketing Manager, presents the FEM Super League Trophy for Projects R500 Million and Above to the Stefanutti Stocks and Basil Read Joint Venture for their outstanding safety performance at the Kusile Power Station construction site

The event was well attended by MBA North office bearers, members and guests as well as by MBA North Past Presidents Eunice Forbes, Pieter Rüde, Geoff Irons and Manie Bosch, Herman Enoch – Marketing Manager for Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM) and renowned safety specialist Doug Michell.

Winner of Category A: Plant & Storage: Tiber Construction, the Village Deep Yard

The winner of the FEM Super League Trophy for Projects R500 Million and Above was awarded to the Stefanutti Stocks and Basil Read Joint Venture (SSBR JV) for their outstanding safety performance at the Kusile Power Station. Runners-up in this category, taking both second and third place, was Tiber WBHO JV for 140 West Street and the Discovery New Head Office respectively. The winner in Category A: Plant and Storage was also Tiber Construction for the Village Deep Yard.

For the full list of winners scroll down.

The trophy for the Best Performing Construction Health and Safety Manager was presented to James Flint of WBHO for his outstanding work on the PWC Tower construction project.

In his address to those present Mohau Mphomela, Executive Director of MBA North said: “These Awards were developed with the main objective of encouraging organizations to establish effective systems for managing occupational safety and health and to instil the aspect of a safe culture in the daily duties of workers and employers. A safe and healthy workforce will not only be beneficial for your organization but also for the benefit of the country and the people of South Africa.”

Mphomela gave special thanks to FEM for their significant and long-standing support of the Regional and National Health and safety Safety Awards.

Gerhard Roets, Construction Health and Safety Manager, MBA North

Construction Health and Safety Manager, MBA North, Gerhard Roets provided insight to the site audit and judging process, noting that all 60 entries are indeed winners in their own right, and that the exceptionally high standard of all entries made judging all the more difficult. Roets congratulated all entrants on their achievements in the 2017 MBA North Safety Awards competition. “Eight of these winning entries now go through to the Master Builders South Africa National Health and Safety Competition,” said Roets. “And we wish them every success.”

The winners of the Master Builders South Africa National Health and Safety Competition will be announced at Congress in Cape Town in September.

MBA NORTH

2017 CONSTRUCTION HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPETITION

CATEGORY WINNERS

BEST SUB CONTRACTOR (WITHOUT SITE ESTABLISHMENT)

(SPONSORED BY AMOKORO TRAINING) PRESENTED BY IAN HARRIS

WINNER: GAUTENG PILING (PTY) LTD – CLIFTON MALL

CATEGORY A: PLANT STORAGE YARDS

PRESENTED BY MR. MANDLA DANISA (MBA North`s Honorary Treasurer)

3rd GVK – SIYA ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD -GVK-SIYA ZAMA YARD

2nd WBHO PLANT AND SERVICE YARD – STORAGE YARD

1stTIBER CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – VILLAGE DEEP YARD

WINNER: TIBER CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – VILLAGE DEEP YARD

CATEGORY B1: ALLIED TRADES

(SPONSORED BY BCIMA) PRESENTED BY MR. PATRICK GEXEZA

3rD PERI FORMWORK SCAFFOLDING ENGINEERING (PTY) LTD – POLOKWANE YARD

2ndFORMSCAFF – POLOKWANE YARD

1st PERI FORMWORK SCAFFOLDING ENGINEERING (PTY) LTD – JOHANNESBURG BRANCH

WINNER: PERI FORMWORK SCAFFOLDING ENGINEERING (PTY) LTD – JOHANNESBURG BRANCH

CATEGORY B2 : MANUFACTURERS

SPONSORED BY PRESENTED BY CONCEPT SAFETY SYSTEMS

1st ER SIGNS & SAFETY – SPRINGS

WINNER: ER SIGNS & SAFETY

CATEGORY C: FOR PROJECTS LESS THAN R10 MILLION

SPONSORED BY COMPCARE PRESENTED BY MR. FERDI SNYMAN

2ndARCSTONE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE (PTY) LTD – STAND 990, THORNVALLEY ESTATE

1stGVK SIYA-ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – WITS PHASE 2 D

WINNER: GVK SIYA-ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – WITS PHASE 2 D

CATEGORY D: RAMSEY HERD/NICO MASS TROPHY FOR PROJECTS FROM R10 – R25 MILLION

(SPONSORED BY RAMSEY HERD/ GAUTENG PILING) PRESENTED BY NICO MAAS

1stGVK SIYA-ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – ALOE RIDGE HOTEL

WINNER: GVK SIYA ZAMA (GAUTENG) (PTY) LTD – ALOE RIDGE HOTEL

CATEGORY E: GMBA SAFETY COMMITTEE TROPHY FOR PROJECTS FROM R25 – R75 MILLION

(SPONSORED MBA NORTH CHS COMMITTEE) MR. GERHARD POTGIETER (Gothic Construction Health and Safety Manager)

3rdGVK SIYA-ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – POLOKWANE HIGH COURT

2nd ARCHSTONE CONSTRUCTION – THE WEDGE

1st NMC (PTY) LTD – SAMRAND INDUSTRIAL PARK

WINNER: NMC (PTY) LTD – SAMRAND INDUSTRIAL PARK

CATEGORY F: EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS TROPHY FOR PROJECTS R75 – R150 MILLION

(SPONSORED BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR) PRESENTED BY MR. MOHAU MPHOMELA (MBA North Executive Director)

3rd GOTHIC CONSTRCUTION – CAMPUS SQUARE EXTENSION

2nd GROUP FIVE – GATEWAY WEST OFFICES

1st AVENG GRINAKER -LTA – ROSEBANK FIRE STATION

WINNER: AVENG GRINAKER -LTA – ROSEBANK FIRE STATION

CATEGORY G: CONTRACTORS TROPHY FOR PROJECTS R150 – R300 MILLION

(SPONSORED BY CONTRACTORS) PRESENTED BY MR. JASON WILMOT (MBA North`s President)

3rd BELO AND KIES CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD DWARSLOOP MALL

2nd GVK SIYA-ZAMA CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – MEDICLINIC MEDFORUM

1st LIVIERO – JAVETT: UP ARTS CENTRE

WINNER: LIVIERO – JAVETT: UP ARTS CENTRE

CATEGORY H: BUILDERS WAREHOUSE TROPHY FOR PROJECTS R300 – R500 MILLION

(SPONSORED BY BUILDERS WAREHOUSE) PRESENTED BY MR. MUSA SHANGASE (MBA North`s Deputy President)

3rd STEFANUTTI STOCKSMASINGITA TOWERS

2nd WBHO CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LTD – ROSEBANK LINK

1st GROUP FIVE – WERKSMAN HEAD OFFICE

WINNER: GROUP FIVE – WERKSMAN HEAD OFFICE

CATEGORY I: FEM SUPER LEAGUE TROPHY FOR PROJECTS R500 MILLION AND ABOVE –

(SPONSORED BY FEM) PRESENTED BY MR. HERMAN ENCOCH (Marketing and Communication Manager)

3rd TIBER WBHO JV – DISCOVERY NEW HEAD OFFICE

2nd TIBER WBHO JV – 140 WEST STREET

1st SSR JV – STEFANUTTI STOCK & BASIL READ – KUSILE BUILDING

WINNER: SSBR JV – STEFANUTTI STOCK & BASIL READ – KUSILE BUILDING

AWARDS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF EXCELLENCE 2017

BEST SITE OHS OFFICER

(SPONSORED BY PYRO) PRESENTED BY MR. JOHN KNIGHTON

NOMINATED

  1. MEGAN JOHNSON – LIVIERO
  2. ERNEST MOROPANA – GROUP FIVE
  3. DIAMOND NTLABA – SSBR JV
  4. MARK JOHN – WBHO CONSTRUCTION
  5. JOHN BRIGHT MLAMBO – WBHO CONSTRUCTION
  6. HENDRIK STRYDOM – FORM-SCAFF
  7. DUNCAN EBERSOHN – AVENG GRINAKER- LTA
  8. LEFI THUNTSA – GVK – SIYAZAMA
  9. MICHAEL KABU – ABBEYDALE
  10. JERRY CHOCHOE -STEFANUTTI STOCKS

WINNER: MEGAN JOHNSON

BEST PERFORMING OHS MANAGER

(SPONSORED BY KEVIN BATES CARPETING & FLOORING) PRESENTED BY MRS. LOUISE ROSS

NOMINATED

1. JAMES FLINT – WBHO CONSTRUCTION

2. LYDIA BAUCHER – GVK – SIYA ZAMA

3. TINUS KUGER -STEFANUTTI STOCKS

4. MUSA MAHLALE -GROUP FIVE

5. GERHARD POTGIETER -GOTHIC CONSTRUCTION

WINNER: JAMES FLINT-WBHO CONSTRUCTION

BEST OHS REPRESENTATIVE – (SPONSORED BY MBA NORTH) PRESENTED BY MR. MUSA SHANGASE (MBA North`s Deputy President)

NOMINATED

  1. MELUSI VILAKAZI – WBHO CONSTRUCTION
  2. BENNI RAKOBELA -GD IRONS CONSTRUCTION

WINNER: MELUSI VILAKAZI

BEST CONTRACTS MANAGER

(SPONSORED BY MEWP) PRESENTED BY MR. GERHARD ROETS

NOMINATED

  1. CLAYTON OXLEY– GVK SIYA-ZAMA
  2. DAVID PENNEFATHER – SSBR JV
  3. PETER BROWNE – LIVIERO
  4. CRYSTAL LOUW – STEFANUTTI STOCKS
  5. ZIRK LOMBARD – WBHO CONSTRUCTION
  6. LEONARDO FEITEIRA -TIBER CONSTRUCTION
  7. RAYMOND WEST- BELO AND KIES CONSTRUCTION

WINNER: CLAYTON OXLEY

BEST CLIENT AGENT – (SPONSORED BY MBA NORTH)

NOMINATED

  1. SHONE DIRKER – CAIRNMEAD
  2. CRESWELL ABRAHAM – NCC ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

WINNER: SHONE DIRKER

Register now for the Concrete Conference 17-18 August

Register now for the Concrete Conference 17-18 August

It’s all systems go for the first ever Concrete Conference, a joint initiative of South Africa’s concrete industry associations to bring concrete professionals together in the interest of developing the industry.

An AfriSam readymix pour in progress
Photo: John Thomé

Concrete is the most important building block in the development of our country and the conference aims to discuss and discover concrete technologies that will set the country apart in the provision of quality construction materials. The conference will leverage the technical expertise of the Southern Africa Readymix Association (Sarma), Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA), The Concrete Institute (TCI) and the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) to deliver insight into the world of concrete.

This is an important milestone in the industry as it marks the first truly integrated event of all four concrete bodies working in alliance. Concrete is changing and building techniques are too, so we will be looking at uncovering advancements that will impact concrete producer’s offerings and improve construction techniques,” says Johan van Wyk, lead organizer of the event.

Professional appeal

He adds that the Concrete Conference is for professionals involved in the procurement, specification and manufacture of concrete and is CDP accredited through the Engineering Council of South Africa. It will also provide companies involved in the manufacture of concrete with an opportunity to exhibit and showcase their products alongside the conference proceedings. The event is anchor sponsored by four major cement producers, Afrisam, Lafarge, PPC and Sephaku, taking the opportunity to show their support for the industry.

With the focus on high performance concrete (HPC) the speakers will include professor Hans Beushausen, who is responsible for writing the high performance concrete section in the Concrete Institutes “concrete bible” Fulton Concrete Technology reference book. He will discuss the criteria for producing high performance concrete and how to produce and procure it. Dedicated speakers on the subjects of precast, readymix and structural concrete will add further insights.

A unique panel discussion involving executives from the professional construction bodies, including the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Master Builders Association (MBA) and Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) will look at concrete possibilities in the current economic climate.

Future gazing

Johan van Wyk, director of Sarma, is an organiser of the Concrete Conference

Industry Insight economist, David Metelerkamp will then provide an overview of the economy and insight into what the future holds for the industry and the country. Another unique feature of the conference will be talks presented by entrants and winners of the Concrete Society’s Fulton Awards where they will look into lessons learned and what it takes to make a successful concrete project. Entertainment will follow the first day’s proceedings at the Gala Dinner.

Who should attend:

  • Construction professionals, engineers, specifiers and project managers

  • Construction companies and their employees, dealing with concrete

  • Cement industry

  • Concrete manufacturers

  • Admixture industry

  • Aggregate industry

  • Readymix producers

  • Construction associations and their members

The Concrete Conference will be held at Misty Hills Conference Centre on 17 & 18 August 2017. Visit the website at bit.ly/2qmMszG for more information or to book delegates and/or stands.

Rui Santos, managing director of Concor Buildings, previously Murray & Roberts Buildings

Concor Buildings brings agility to built environment

Conditions remain challenging within the built environment, and the sector needs a company that can offer agility and flexibility underpinned by the ability to deliver quality projects safely and within the expected time-frame.

Rui Santos, managing director of Concor Buildings, recently told South African Builder that this is exactly what his company is able to do.

Following the recent acquisition of the Murray & Roberts Infrastructure & Building Platform by a consortium led by the Southern Palace Group, the company, formerly known as Murray & Roberts Buildings, changed its name to Concor Buildings.

Santos is quick to add that the management teams stay in place, as well as all the in-house resources and competencies that have allowed the company to build its reputation for successful completion of both large and small projects. Known for achieving the highest standards of safety, Concor Buildings will continue to build on its 115 year heritage in the built environment.

Concor Buildings completed the refurbishment of the Menlyn Park shopping centre

Every company has a heritage and a story to tell, and it is no different for Concor Buildings who can point back to iconic buildings such as the Carlton Centre and ABSA Towers in the Johannesburg CBD, the Reserve Bank in Pretoria, various phases of Melrose Arch, the Gautrain Project, The Pavilion Shopping Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, the Dubai International Terminals 1 and 2 and the Burj al Arab, as well as numerous buildings in and around Sandton.

We have successfully built some of the larger and most challenging buildings in our market and completed complex renovations and refurbishments, often within very sensitive occupied spaces,” Santos says, “but, in reality, in today’s fast paced construction environment a contractor is always judged to be as good as its last project.”

Santos is most proud to point out that the company was responsible for a recently completed project that due to its sheer magnitude and complexities was considered a “once in a lifetime” project by the industry.

BCX’s new premises recently completed by Concor Buildings

He is, of course, talking about the Menlyn Park shopping centre which, following its completion by Concor Buildings late last year, has been acclaimed as the largest mall in Africa.

Santos says that while the company was also involved in the first phase of the works to extend the centre, the complexities in the second phase far outweighed any in the first. The scope of works encompassed more than merely increasing floor space. An existing open parking area was converted to a three level parking garage, a massive open piazza was developed and the existing centre received a complete makeover connecting it into the new build.

All construction activities were done by Concor Buildings, including demolition work, in this fully functioning operational shopping mall. Close communication with all professional teams, attention to the finest details and careful scheduling of work and all logistics on site saw the project successfully completed.

Every project is different; some are more complex than others while others still have exceptionally tight time-frames but at Concor Buildings we believe all deserve the same level of commitment. It is by applying our depth of management experience and expertise that we are able to optimise construction schedules, minimise risk and maximise the outcome for the customer,” Santos says.

Safety remains a key driver of all projects for Concor Buildings and Santos says the philosophy of aiming at a zero harm target is integral to all its operations. The company has a solid safety record, and its leadership in this area speaks for itself.

Another important advantage Concor Buildings has is that its core teams have been with the company for years, which ensures the on-site cohesiveness to achieve the necessary contract milestones. This, Santos says, is complimented by the close working relationships forged over extended periods of time with a strong base of skilled sub-contractor partnerships that add value.

The company is also fully committed to transformation and Santos says Concor Buildings is now part of the leading black owned construction company in South Africa. “Our commitment to skills development within our industry sector will continue and many of our sites provide experiential opportunities for young students and graduates.”

The two most recent contracts awarded to Concor Buildings are the new Skukuza Safari Lodge for the South African National Parks Board (SANParks) and new Makro Riversands store in Fourways. Santos says the Makro Riversands contract is a fast track project and the concrete works and roof structure are currently in progress. He says this is a project where the company has already demonstrated its ability to mobilise rapidly on site.

102 Rivonia Road was constructed by Concor Buildings

Is LSFB the greenest building solution?

Is LSFB the greenest building solution?

John Barnard, director, Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association

“Sustainability”, “energy efficiency”, “green building” and “carbon footprint”, are words that are often used in the construction industry. “It is clear that sustainability is a fundamental consideration and design requirement in most construction today,” says John Barnard director of the Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (SASFA).

According to Barnard sustainability with regard to buildings is essentially based on three criteria: social acceptability, affordability and energy efficiency. He claims that Light Steel Frame Building (LSFB) for low rise structures rates highly on all of the sustainability considerations:

  • Light steel frame buildings appear no different to “conventionally” built structures, except that the quality of finishes is typically better with the former. It has found acceptance for “affordable” as well as up-market buildings in South Africa.

  • It is a cost-effective building method, with financial savings emanating mainly from significant time savings to complete building projects, less rework, reduced logistical costs – which is of growing importance due to the escalation of fuel prices – and a drastic reduction of rubble on building sites, when compared with the brick-and-mortar alternative.

  • Light steel frame building is significantly more energy efficient than heavy construction methods – both with regard to “embodied energy” of the materials and components, as well as “operational energy” relating to heating and cooling of the building over its design life.

Barnard says that embodied energy of materials and components used for LSFB is calculated to constitute some 20% of the total energy consumption of a 200 m² house over a 50 year period with the other 80% being the operational energy. “These figures,” says Barnard, “are in line with internationally accepted standards. While the embodied energy of the high strength galvanised steel sheet (used for the light steel frame) is significantly higher per kg than conventional building materials, a significantly lower mass of steel is used, rendering LSF wall assemblies vastly superior in this regard – double brick walls contain more than four times the embodied energy per m² when compared with a LSFB wall,” he says.

Barnard adds that the low mass of light steel frame buildings offers another advantage – logistics. “The walls of a 200 m² brick-built house will have a mass of some 178 tons including clay bricks, mortar and plaster, compared with the 10,2 tons of an identically sized light steel frame building. The cost savings in transport is obvious, but with another benefit to all road users – at least a 60% reduction in heavy transport traffic on the national roads,” he says.

Also LSFB structures are insulated to specification pertaining to each climatic zone in SA and, according to SANS 204, they have been found to offer at least a 10% saving in electricity used for heating and cooling, when compared with a brick building. “Whilst the 10% saving in operational energy over the life of the building serves as a strong motivation for the use of LSFB, the massive savings in embodied energy, albeit only 20% of total energy consumption, offers an advantage, especially in developing countries where electricity generation capacity is under pressure,” he says.

Source: SASFA

KZN MBA elects Joyce Dolly Tembe for second term as President

KZN MBA elects Joyce Dolly Tembe for second term as President

Joyce Dolly Tembe

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.

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.

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

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.

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

KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association Executive Council:
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)

Gloomy socio-economic outlook dampens spirits

Gloomy socio-economic outlook dampens spirits

The past month was a tough and difficult month for South Africa and its economic sector. We had hardly finished breathing our collective sigh of relief from the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee Meeting decision to keep interest rates unchanged; when Statistics South Africa released data showing that South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 0.7% in the first quarter of the year pushing the country into a technical recession.

 

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

The construction industry decreased by 1.3%. Decreases were reported for non-residential buildings and construction works as indicated by the sharp decline in the FNB-BER Building Confidence Index. This decrease also contributed to job losses in the sector as South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to a 14-year high of 27.7% in the first quarter of this year.

According to Statistics South Africa, of the 433 000 people who joined the ranks of the unemployed approximately 58% were young people aged between 15 and 34. This increased the youth unemployment rate by 1.6 percentage points to 38.6%. Unemployment rates remained high among those with education levels of less than matric at 33.1%, which is 5.4 percentage points higher than the national average.

Unemployment rates among graduates remained at 7.3% and yet South Africa concurrently experiences a skills shortage in advanced skilled jobs. This is a strange anomaly and about which we should be alarmed especially when we start delving into the racial and gender profile of the unemployed which could lead to social instability, undermine social cohesion, deepen poverty and widen inequality.
As if this was not enough, it was followed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) Business Confidence Index (BCI) declining to its lowest level this year, at 93.2, in May.

However, the BCI was still 1.4 index points higher than the exceptionally low 91.8 of May 2016.
The National Treasury noted that if the current economic growth rate was sustained, it would lead to a further decline in GDP per capita and revenue, “risking the sustainability of our fiscal framework and, more importantly, undermining the delivery of social services”. This may lead to a concomitant rise in social delivery protests hence the reference to social instability earlier.

“The current state of the economy puts more pressure on us as government, business, labour and broader society to intensify our growth programme and improve confidence as a matter of urgency to arrest the decline and set the economy on a higher growth trajectory,” it added.

We therefore look forward with eager anticipation to the much-awaited unveiling of an action plan by National Treasury detailing structural changes and timelines to boost growth to 6% in an economy mired in recession as recently stated by the Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The plan will be released after the conclusion of the ANC’s policy conference.

“We will implement steps to get the economy growing at about 6% and more,” Gigaba said at an event marking the launch of the tax-filing season in Africa’s most industrialised economy. “We want to get everyone focused on boosting the economy … so that the low growth doesn’t become a vicious cycle.”

Master Builders South Africa therefore echoes the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba’s comments highlighting that the economy was likely to continue to under-perform for as long as the country lacked inspirational political leadership that enjoyed the confidence of all South Africans and ensured that government, business and labour worked together effectively as partners.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane

President, Master Builders South Africa

Farquharson Construction – 20 years of quality construction

Farquharson Construction – 20 years of quality construction

Since its establishment two decades ago Farquharson Construction (Pty) Ltd has developed a reputation as a high quality construction company.
The company was founded in 1997 by James Coutts, a civil engineer by profession. From the outset it focused on executing each project, irrespective of size, with the same meticulous attention to detail. High quality workmanship is assured through the careful selection of skilled artisans and specialised and experienced contractors who share Farquharson Construction’s commitment to quality.


Over the years the company offering has been extended to include turnkey projects and project management with the result that Farquharson Construction has extensive experience in the commercial, industrial, retail, residential and civil sectors.

As long standing members of the Master Builders Association North (MBA North) and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), Farquharson Construction conforms to a strong code of ethics and ensures a professional approach in its dealings with both clients and suppliers.

This ethical and professional culture has stood the company in good stead with the result that many of its staff and contractors have worked with the company for several years and have, in fact, managed to grow their own businesses on the back of Farquharson Construction’s success.

In any labour intensive organisation staffing can become a challenge. Currently employing a team of 60 people, including a management team of 22, a family oriented culture coupled with a commitment to staff and supplier development has ensured that both employees and contractors alike are loyal to the company with the result that longevity has become a cornerstone of the company culture. Staff turnover is remarkably low which has allowed the company to retain much of its expertise.

Farquharson Construction’s commitment towards delivering superior quality has allowed it to develop a good reputation in the industry and strong business relationships. “We’re not just building a structure for a client but what we hope is an enduring relationship,” explains Coutts.

Gareth Letcher joined Farquharson Construction 18 years ago after completing his BSc in Building Construction Technology and is today a director of the company. He says he has learned to expect the unexpected during the course of his career and to manage problems as they arise.

“I was thrown into the deep end soon after joining and quickly discovered how little I had actually learned at university,” recalls Letcher. “It was a steep learning curve but before long I was running my own projects and within a few years I was managing three or four projects consecutively.”

Many of the company’s subcontractors have worked with Farquharson Construction for over a decade, in the process growing their own businesses exponentially. The company is committed to developing people and makes a significant investment in training and development both for its permanent employees and sub-contractors. This strategy has allowed even sub-contractors to grow their businesses. “One of our contractors – who started out as a one man business – now employs over 300 people,” reports Letcher.

Project manager, Chris Hoile, has been with the company for the past 11 years and has seen it grow from managing small projects to large office blocks, car show rooms and shopping centres. “I’ve been in the construction industry for most of my working life. To be successful in this industry you need to have a passion for construction. If you have that passion it’s a very rewarding industry.”

Given South Africa’s scarcity of skills, Farquharson Construction employs university graduates and provides mentorship and training. “There’s a real lack of skills at all levels,” reports Hoile. “At a tertiary level we’ve found that most graduates don’t have the required skills and so we took the decision to upskill them – at the very least they need to know how to build a wall correctly if they ever hope to project manage an entire job. Artisan standards too are dropping as older and more experienced artisans such as carpenters retire. We are therefore committed to upskilling our labour pool in order to meet our stringent quality criteria.”

The team agree that what makes Farquharson unique is its consistent focus on quality and a vastly superior customer service ethic. “We treat our clients in the same way we would like to be treated,” points out Letcher. “We consider customer service paramount. Although we have grown significantly larger than a small family business, we have retained that same culture. It’s a culture which allows for continuous, direct and open communication between Farquharson Projects directors and our clients.” The fact that close to 70% of the company’s business is recurring is proof that this strategy has worked.

A founding member of the Green Building Councilof South Africa (GBCSA), Farquharson Construction is excited about the opportunities becoming available as a result of renewable technologies. “We are staying abreast of new technologies such as 3D printing as there is no doubt that they will have a significant impact on the way construction occurs in the future,” says Coutts.

Farquharson Construction was involved with one of Johannesburg’s first 6-Star Green rated buildings, Upper Grayston in Sandton. “Green building has yet to take off in any significant way in South Africa,” reports Letcher, “but it’s likely to be the next wave.”

One of the projects the company is most proud of is the Victory Park Virgin Active gym in Gauteng. Faced with challenging time constraints – the project had to be completed in just nine months – as well as ground water issues, it was a tough job by any standards. The company’s dedication to ensuring the completion of a high quality project was rewarded when Virgin Active representatives from the UK voted the gym the closest to perfection they had ever achieved.

However, that’s far from the only project the team is proud of: Corner Main Office Park in Bryanston, Johannesburg is a project that ran like clockwork and looks fantastic, agree the team. “Each project is a learning experience and helps us to better manage the next project,” says Hoile.

Key to the success of any construction and property development company in today’s constrained economic environment is careful management of cash flow. “Our back office team are the real unsung heroes of the company,” confirms Letcher. “We manage our cash flow carefully and we’re fortunate to have a great buyer who negotiates to get the best prices possible.”

The team attributes Farquharson’s attention to detail and focus on quality to the company’s founder James Coutts. “His philosophy of striving for perfection on every job has been passed down to every member of the team,” reports Allan Janse van Rensburg, a quantity surveyor who joined Farquharson nearly two years ago.

Despite significant challenges facing the construction industry, including a lack of investment and a declining skills pool, Farquharson Construction is committed to ensuring it continues to grow and continues to provide the same high level of service. “In an industry in which charlatans continue to give the industry a bad name, we will always strive to provide high quality workmanship and a meticulous attention to detail,” concludes Coutts.

For further information contact Kim Williams at Farquharson on +27 (0)11 467 4090
email: kim@farquharson.co.za
www.farquharson.co.za

Building confidence dives sharply in Q2

Building confidence dives sharply in Q2

The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index fell sharply to 32 in 2Q2017, this after reaching its highest level in more than a year of 43 points in 1Q2017. Furthermore, all of the sub-sectors measured registered a drop in confidence. This has only happened in five other instances since the index was first compiled in 1997.

John Loos: property economist FNB

“The broad-based nature of the decline in confidence suggests that the sector is facing increasing pressure from a number of different fronts”, said John Loos, Property economist at FNB.

The current level of the index indicates that close to seventy per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions.

The biggest fall was reported by hardware retailers where confidence shed 24 index points to 13. This is the joint lowest level since 2Q2012. Continued low sales, coupled with rising input costs, weighed significantly on profitability in the quarter. This helps explain the fall in confidence. According to Loos, “the woes in the hardware sector is consistent with the broader retail environment which is suffering amid constrained consumer spending”.

The confidence of manufacturers of building materials also deteriorated to a multi-year low of 8 index points, from 25 in 1Q2017. The lower confidence was due to a marked decline in domestic production and sales.

The confidence of main building contractors declined to 36 index points, from 42 in 1Q2017. However, the overall confidence of main contractors hides the developments within the two segments, namely residential and non-residential. While the confidence of both residential and non-residential contractors fell in 2Q2017, at 41, residential contractor confidence is only marginally below its long-term average of 43. In contrast, non-residential contractor confidence fell to 25. “The divergent performance of the residential and non-residential segments is even more pronounced when looking at activity levels”, noted Loos.

Residential contractors reported a slight uptick in activity compared to 1Q2017. However, non-residential contractor activity, remained very depressed. Loos stated that, “Official data showed that residential investment was surprisingly robust in 1Q2017 and these survey results suggest that there is indeed some activity. Non-residential investment on the other hand has been contracting since 3Q2016 with no respite in 2017Q2. In fact, most of the evidence suggests that non-residential building activity is likely to worsen further before improving”.

The business confidence of building sub-contractors shed four points to 38 in 2Q2017. Underpinning the fall in confidence was a deterioration in building activity as well as a sharp drop in overall profitability.

After showing some promise in 1Q2017, activity at the start of the building pipeline slowed. Both architects and quantity surveyors were more pessimistic regarding activity in 2Q2017. As a result, confidence was lower, 49% and 46% respectively stated that business conditions were satisfactory, down from 55% in 2017Q1.

In conclusion: Non-residential building activity fared poorly in 1Q2017 with activity expected to remain under significant pressure in 2Q2017. In contrast, residential activity is predicted to improve somewhat, but unlikely by enough to offset the weaker non-residential market. The prospects for the other building related sectors are also downbeat. Softer consumer demand is expected to weigh on the fortunes of hardware retailers. This, along with the under-performing non-residential sector, will in turn sour the performance of building material manufacturers. “In all, the results are reasonably consistent in that they point towards a further contraction in the building sector in 2Q2017”, said Loos.

What to expect from your CHSA

What to expect from your CHSA

By Neil Enslin, Health and Safety Manager, Pr. CHSA, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal

Neil Enslin, Health and Safety Manager, Pr. CHSA, Master Builders Association KwaZulu-Natal

With the Construction Regulations requiring projects over R40 million to have a construction work permit, an increasing number of our members find themselves having to work alongside a Construction Health and Safety Agent (CHSA) who are duly registered with the The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP)1 and carry the title Pr. CHSA.

The Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Health and Safety Department has received a number of enquiries from members regarding what their project teams should expect from a CHSA.

To this end we have compiled the following overview:
The Construction Regulation 5(7) reads as follows: “An Agent contemplated in sub regulations (5) and (6) must: (a) manage the health and safety on the construction project for the Client.”

What does managing Health and Safety on a construction project entail?
Managing can be divided into a few aspects namely:
Procurement Management – procurement is the acquisition of goods, services or works from an external source.
Cost Management – cost management is the process of planning and controlling the health and safety budget on the project.
Hazard Identification Management – hazard management is the cornerstone of health and safety management systems and the key tool for meeting employer obligations to “take all practicable steps to prevent harm or injury”.
Risk Management – risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritisation of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimise, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximise the realisation of opportunities.
Accident or Incident Investigation Management – an accident is as an undesired event that results in personal injury or property damage. an incident is an unplanned, undesired event that adversely affects completion of a task. investigations and implementation of alternative control measures form a critical part of the management of accident / incidents.
Legislation and Regulation – the client’s Agent must keep the Client and contractors continuously informed of changes to legislation and regulations applicable to the project.
Health, Hygiene and Environmental Management – such as advising on applicable occupational hygiene measurements, occupational medicals and so on.
Communications Management – This is the systematic planning, implementing, monitoring, and revision of all the channels of communication on project, and between different parties on project that also includes the organisation and dissemination of new communication directives connected with the project.
Emergency Preparedness Management – taking into considerations risks, hazards, distance to nearest hospital, resources on project, location of project and related information.

During project initiation and briefing of the project, the CHSA will conclude the terms of agreement with the Client. Here the Agent will outline the scope of work and service that will be provided during the project life cycle. It is clear that the Construction Regulations require the Agent to manage the health and safety on the project; this will be accomplished by a mutual agreement between the Agent and the Client, clarifying this process during the construction cycle or stage 5.

At various seminars and presentations hosted by the Department of Labour and SACPCMP it was agreed in principle that the Agent will not be capable to manage projects by themselves and will employ a person to assist. This person should be registered with SACPCMP as a Construction Health and Safety Manager and will not the authority to do the following:
– Stop construction work;
– Make changes to Construction Health and Safety documentation;
– Approve any plans or works;
– Issue conservation fines.

The above mentioned can only be done by the CHSA of the project. The CHSA will have the responsibility to doing the following, but not limited to:
– Attend the technical – and progress meetings;
– Revise health and safety specifications and risk profile if the scope of work changes;
– Monitor implementation of health and safety plan;
– Audit compliance with health and safety plan;
– Monitor health and safety file compilation and maintenance;
– Perform incident and incident investigations if needed; and
– Approval of health and safety payment certificates.

In order to ensure that your project runs smoothly, it is important that the team meet in advance with the appointed Pr. CHSA to ensure and establish a workable channel of communication to avoid any conflict situations during the construction project.

Should you need further assistance related to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Master Builders Association KZN Health and Safety Department or the Master Builders Association in your region 

 

1 The SACPCMP prescribes the registration of Construction Health and Safety Agents who, once registered, may use the title “Construction Health and Safety Agent”, abbreviated as Pr.CHSA.

Tackling climate change using “best of breed” technology

Tackling climate change using “best of breed” technology

Not that long ago the term “climate change” was viewed with scepticism by most of the world. Steadily, as scientists assembled more and more evidence relating to the causes and potentially drastic effects of climate change, it steadily sunk in – becoming the harsh reality we now know.

Today climate change is the single most important race ever being run by humankind, and indeed, every living thing on the planet. Governments, scientists and individuals across each of our continents are united in seeking and implementing ways to minimise and arrest the effects of climate change.

Although there are many contributing factors, including heavy industry and the effects of carbon on the ozone layer, there is one root cause that contributes significantly to climate change, and at a local level in enclosed spaces is also potentially harmful to our health. And that is the now infamous range of “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs).

VOCs are the volatile solvents used in things like paints, adhesives and sealants, aerosol propellants, in cleansers and disinfectants, stored fuels and automotive products, pesticides, and in gases used in refrigerators and air-conditioners – to name a few.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Indoors, VOCs are mostly released into the air from the use of products and materials containing VOCs. The main concern indoors is the potential for VOCs to adversely impact the health of people that are exposed. While VOCs can also be a health concern outdoors, the EPA regulates VOCs outdoors mainly because of their ability to create photochemical smog under certain conditions.”

VOCs play a significant role in the formation of ozone and respirable suspended particulates in the atmosphere. Under sunlight, they react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) to form ozone through a photochemical process. Ground level ozone is a highly reactive gas, and when in high concentration can irritate the eyes and bring upper and lower respiratory symptoms to healthy people. It may also provoke asthmatic attacks in people who already have asthma.

In view of the harmful effects of VOCs, some countries, including the United States, Canada and European Union, started to introduce VOC limits on various VOC-containing products years ago.

Clearly tackling reduction of VOCs through best of breed technology, research and development, is the best option, and one which has also been taken up with gusto by most governments across the globe, standards authorities, and many thousands of individuals and responsible companies.

One such company is European based Den Braven, respected and renowned manufacturer and global distributor of adhesives, sealants and foams. Applying its 40 years’ of technical knowledge and expertise, and through its dedicated Centre of Excellence research facility, Den Braven produces what are arguably the lowest VOC sealant products available to the construction industry as well as for a variety of industrial applications – all manufactured to stringent ISO 9001:2008 standards.

The company is a leader in the application of the four components of a responsible corporate management namely quality, health, safety, and environment (QHSE). This system includes:
A quality management system, according to ISO 9001:2008 standard, which governs purchasing methods, product development and production process optimization;
A Health and Safety policy plan to strive for optimal safe and healthy working conditions for all employees and others that may be affected by the working activities including suppliers, contractors and visitors;
An Environmental system, which, inter alia, includes: the compliance with laws and regulations, the reduction of environmental impact, the development of environmentally friendly products and processes and increasing the use and support of recyclable products and resultant sustainable development.

Den Braven Centre of Excellence, Holland

In South Africa, Den Braven is an active member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) with its products contributing to Green Star building ratings across the country. Contractors in the building and construction industry as well as individuals in the DIY sector work with these products on a constant daily basis, in the knowledge that their health and safety is secure.

So the global “Green” race is now well advanced. Importantly, it is incumbent on our generation to “get it right first time” and win this Green race through the stringent and unrelenting application of best of breed technologies, as we will only have one shot at this opportunity to hand over a healthy planet to our children and our childrens’ children.