Kemach launches new JCB tracked excavator

The JS305 comes equipped with the formidable 7,2 ℓ Dieselmax engine

Kemach launches new JCB tracked excavator

JCB Construction Equipment, solely represented in South Africa by Kemach Equipment (Pty) Ltd (Kemach JCB) launched the JS305 LC tracked excavator in the beginning of the year.

Meeting unique needs

Established in 2003, Kemach JCB is a joint venture between the shareholders of Botswana and Oman’s sole JCB dealers, Hollyvale Investment and Muscat Overseas Equipment Trading Company respectively.

As a leading earthmoving solutions dealer, Kemach JCB supplies high-calibre equipment to the building and construction, mining, quarrying and plant hire industries, as well as to the central government. A focused dealer of distinguished equipment and support, Kemach JCB continuously strives to put the customer at the heart of its business, fixated on meeting each client’s unique needs.

Mark Senyard the National Support and Marketing Manager, says that the JS305 is manufactured at JCB’s state-of-the-art facility in India and is designed to be easy to operate, easy to maintain and to move more material at less cost.

Orders have been placed for additional machines to ensure our order pipeline is in place so as to fulfil what we believe will be an increased demand for this machine,” says Senyard. “The JS305 has been on test in India and in South Africa, as well as with one of our customers locally.”

The feedback we’ve had from India and here in South Africa has been excellent particularly in terms of fuel consumption. The unit slots in with the JS205 which JCB launched many years ago.”

The JS305’s Dieselmax engine is built for the African and Middle East market as well as for lesser-regulated countries. “It’s not a Tier 4 engine and is ideal especially in terms of fuel consumption. “The JS305 has a simple mechanical fuel injection system that tolerates lower fuel quality and an engine and hydraulics designed with productivity in mind,” continued Senyard.

At the heart of the JS305 is a formidable 7,2 ℓ Dieselmax engine that produces huge amounts of power and torque. Key features include:

  • The six-cylinder engine produces its peak power (165 kW) and torque (960 Nm) at a low 1 300 rpm. This allows fuel-efficient matching of the engine and hydraulics.

  • With a massive 222,6 Nm of bucket tearout, fast cycle times are assured in all applications. The intuitive multifunction operation makes simultaneous tracking and excavating smooth and fast.

  • The JCB JS305 provides a solid, stable work platform for fast cycle times.

Senyard says the control valve optimises hydraulic oil supply to different functions during combined operation. This multifunction prowess guarantees fast cycle times.

When you’re tackling tough applications and difficult working conditions, one needs a durable and reliable machine. The JS305 offers exactly that with high-quality components along with simple and robust mechanical fuel injection.

The Dieselmax engine has a mechanical in-line Bosch fuel injection system which allows work in areas where fuel quality is poor. The machine benefits from a multi-stage fuel filtration system which protects against a wide range of contaminants as small as two microns.

High tensile strength steel is used to construct the reinforced boom and dipper

High tensile strength steel is used to construct the reinforced boom and dipper, and internal baffle plates help to ensure long-life durability, as do the heavy-duty wear strips at the dipper end,” he tells MQ adding that the advanced manufacturing and assembly processes help to guarantee an extremely high level of precision and quality in the components.

The JS305 is built to last. With a heavy-duty lower frame and upper structure, as well as a high-strength boom and arm, this excavator is designed to excel in tough quarry applications. We use finite element analysis with extensive rig and endurance testing to make key components last longer.”

All round-visibility is superb, with a large glass area on the right hand side and top corner of the cab. An innovative low-level bonnet allows clear rearward views. Operators are kept abreast of key information via the 3,5″ display, which can be accessed via a new rotary controller. A spacious stowage area behind the seat provides plenty of room for an operator’s personal items.

JCB’s optional rear view camera displays an uninterrupted rearward view for improved operator confidence while slewing.

The bonnet opens front-to-rear for easy and safe engine service access. JCB’s Safety Level Lock fully isolates hydraulic functions to avoid unintended movements. The 2GO systems means a new JCB JS305 can only be started in a safe locked position via two separate inputs.

LiveLink telematics are fitted as standard. This is an innovative JCB feature designed to maximise security and fleet utilisation, allowing the monitoring of information such as fuel usage on different shifts.

The 30 ton market is one that we haven’t really participated in South Africa, however, we believe that with the JS305, we are ready to tackle that now,” he says. “The machine is very competitively priced and the enquiries and leads are coming in steadily.”

With the JS305 excavator, the innovative LiveLink software permits remote management of the machine either online, by email or by mobile phone. Access from everything from machine alerts to fuel reports and history information, is stored at a secure centre.

Discussing service, Senyard says this is ensured through the company’s extensive South African footprint, including its national office based in Gauteng, and regional offices situated in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Middelburg, Durban, Richards Bay, Bloemfontein, Mthatha, Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth and George.

To guarantee seamless operations throughout Southern Africa, Kemach JCB’s network of distributors and service dealers are also strategically positioned in Windhoek, Nelspruit, Swaziland, Polokwane, Upington, Schweizer Reneke, and Vryheid.

We get good support from JCB itself with a local team based here to support us. We have direct contract with our factories so there is support from the OEM itself,” Senyard confirms.

I must say that I have visited the factories in the UK and in India, and have been most impressed by the high-tech facilities. Whether in India or anywhere in the world for that matter, it is the same level of professionalism throughout.

Our customers are seeing the value in the product, they are seeing the value in resale and it is our customers who are putting us ahead of everybody else,” Senyard says, adding that the involvement of senior management is tremendous. “Our CEO Les Lothian is often at events and product launches, locally and internationally, and is very involved in meetings and discussions with our customers. From a customer point of view this is invaluable.”

In conclusion, Senyard says that although the company doesn’t have mining equipment as such, there is a lot of support equipment that goes into the mines. “The JS305 machines are ideal for the quarrying environment. Typically for loading of aggregates, stockpiling and feeding of crushers and screens. I see a great opportunity in construction and quarrying with these products.”

JCB’s optional rear view camera displays an uninterrupted rearward view for improved operator confidence while slewing

Kemach offers the best in earthmoving equipment, ranging from the backhoe loaders to skid steers, wheel loaders, excavators, telescopic handlers, rough terrain forklifts, and compaction equipment. In addition to the equipment itself, Kemach JCB distributes the full range of JCB parts, while skilled field service technicians and expert product support engineers ensure that assistance is available at all times on a 24/7 basis.

Zeitz MOCAA Museum – a work of architectural and engineering beauty

Zeitz MOCAA Museum – a work of architectural and engineering beauty

View of Zeitz MOCAA in Silo Square. Image: Heatherwick Studio. Photo: Iwan Baan

By Gareth Griffiths

The historic grain silo situated in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront dates back many years to a time when most of the country’s trade was conveyed on the high seas or via steam train. Completed in 1924, the Silo dominated the skyline of the city at 57 m tall.

Constructed by SA Railways and Harbours, the facility consisted of a suite of buildings including the storage annex, elevator building, dust house, dust cyclone and track sheds. The facility processed hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat, maize, soya and sorghum. It was sited to take advantage of its connectivity to the docks and the supporting rail infrastructure. An iconic building, it is considered an important contributor to Cape Town’s urban character. Consequently, it is heritage-listed by Docomomo South Africa (See and . By 2001, the old Silo had become redundant.

The Silo District

Atrium vault, Zeitz MOCA Museum. Image: Heatherwick Studio. Photo: Iwan Baan

The Silo now lends it name to and forms the centre piece of a new district within Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront, a redevelopment project which started in 2010 as a mixed commercial, residential and leisure hub to the east side of the V&A and connecting it with the CBD.

With the completion of a massive re-purposing and refurbishing programme at the former grain Silo, the Silo District is almost complete.

Architectural photojournalist, Gareth Griffiths, a materials scientist by academic training, has been tracking and documenting the redevelopment of the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront. Of particular fascination has been the role played by the original concrete, cast in the 1920’s and reaching maximum strength by the time the building was re-purposed. According to lead design architect, Thomas Heatherwick of the famed Heatherwick Studios in London “We expected a rather cold surface inside the museum, but as we began to work with portions of the old concrete, we realized that it imparts a rather unique character to the building inside – a rather warm one at that.”

Zeitz MOCCA Museum. Image: Gareth Griffiths.

Technologies applied

The final phase of the grain silo project has been the completion and handover of the building to the used partly as a boutique hotel which opened early in 2017 but principally as as the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) which took place in September 2017.

But how does an organic building such as a grain silo morph into a breathtaking gallery, housing a premier art museum and a boutique hotel?

iPrincipally, the former silo consisted of two functional areas:

An elevator building which received, hoisted and then gravity-fed incoming grain from a rail loading point to various storage bins inside the complex.

The storage annex – the major storage areas consisting of 42 large individual silo ‘cylinders’ measuring 5 m diameter by 30 m high.

By clearing out a portion of the highly compartmentalized internal structure it was possible to create a series of exhibition spaces.

The intention was to convert most of the total existing volume to 80 separate gallery spaces, education spaces, reading rooms, meeting and conference space, plus a huge atrium area beyond the main entrance, rising 30 m and 20 m across. This atrium occupies the space of 12 of the former silo cylinders and is arguably the most imposing feature of the new building. Walking into this chamber, one is given the impression of being in space – weightless and shaped with massive curved dimensions. Suspended overhead, the impression of zero gravity is provided by gigantic ‘hanging’ silo cylinders (as cut) which form the concentric ring arch above.

Zeitz MOCAA Museum. Image: Heatherwick Studio.

In the words of Thomas Heatherwick: “Inside we were in danger of losing the extraordinary cellular structure, so we created a space that would help the visitor understand the building. So, you would walk in and navigate around. We took the idea of taking just one of those billions of grains of corn so that we could scale it up and use it as a model for the cutting tool to cut through.”

A core concept in reinforcing the strength of the remaining silo tubes so that they could be left in place and cut to the architect’s design, is the use of an inner concrete ‘jacket’. Using concrete supplied by AfriSam to engineer’s specification, the inner circumference of each silo tube was re-lined with 200mm thick reinforced concrete to its exact cut dimension.

Atrium vault, Zeitz MOCA Museum. Image: Heatherwick Studio. Photo: Iwan Baan

The top of the bins is capped with a glass roof which lets light enter the atrium from above. The bottom of the atrium is formed by graded steps that naturally contour the rounded space forming a flexible amphitheatre space that can be used for both events and displays.

In addition, a rooftop floor is dedicated to a restaurant, an education centre and a rooftop sculpture garden. It is from this level that visitors may embark on their ‘walk of faith’ across a high-performance glass floor that looks down into the atrium. Visitors arrive on this level by using one of two scenic lifts. These lifts operate inside two of the cut-away silo cylinders – with a view into the atrium. A third adjacent partly cut-away silo provides the third panoramic option – a steel spiral staircase. There are also conventional service lifts and the usual fire escape staircases, in line with standard building safety requirements.

By way of a design element that is a first in Africa, Zeitz MOCAA is serviced by by Category A climate control in the galleries. The technology has been endorsed by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and is used in internationally renowned galleries such as Pompidou Metz, Pulitzer and Paul Klee.

Zeitz MOCCA Museum. Image: Gareth Griffiths.

The technology offers the highest level of protection to a collection and is the most advanced climate control technology available at present. It will allow MOCAA to exhibit any piece of art, no matter how fragile. In line with other V&A Waterfront buildings, much of the climate control is based on renewable energy – in this case the chillers utilise the district sea water plant.

Official opening

Of course, the official opening of the Museum in late September was the most remarkable affair, with developers functions, an international press conference attended by media from all around the world and an official public opening presided over by Archbishop Emeritus and CT Mayor Patricia de Lille – veterans in the struggle and fittingly opening the Zeitz MOCAA on the Heritage Day long weekend.

Archbishop Emeritus and the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, fittingly opened the Zeitz MOCAA Museum on Heritage Day

The mark of any advanced civilisation is the collective achievements of that civilisation. If we understand each other better, which really is what art does, we create a world we all want to live in. I think that is what is so extraordinary about this moment – this museum – and the collective vision and labour of those that brought it to fruition. This museum is a symbol and an icon of the confidence we feel about being Africans, the confidence we feel about our place in the world” said Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator.

I built my collection with a museum in Africa always in mind – the fact that these works will now be accessible to all is a very emotional thing for me personally and ultimately gives the art true purpose,” said Jochen Zeitz, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman.

Professional team

Design architect: Heatherwick Studio

Executive architects: Van der Merwe Miszewski (VDMMA), Rick Brown Associates (RBA) and Jacobs Parker

Principal Agent

and Project Manager: MACE

Main Contractor: WBHO

Structural Engineers: Arup and Sutherland Engineering

Mechanical Engineers: Arup

Electrical Engineers: Solution Station

Façade Engineers: Arup


Commissioning Agent: Matrix

Specialist concrete supply: AfriSam

iArticle by Gareth Griffiths – All right reserved

NMC appoints Jordan as Executive Chairman

Phila Jordan

NMC appoints Jordan as Executive Chairman

Underpinning a proud 34-year heritage the NMC Construction Group has established an exceptional reputation as a designer and builder of industrial, commercial and infrastructure projects.

In line with the groups commitment to continued transformation we are pleased to announce Mr Phila Jordan as the new Executive Chairman of the NMC Group. Mr Jordan’s 51% stake in NMC takes the total BEE ownership to 63%,” says Shaun Webber, Managing Director.

Phila Jordan is a well-respected private investor in the mining and construction sectors and has been at the forefront of various BBBEE transactions, in this regard he has gained widespread geographic exposure working with international investors. Through his investments he is currently serving as a director of several companies most recent of which is NMC Group Holdings.

Mr Jordan comes with knowledge and experience in both the private and public sectors. His skill set will add a new dimension and energy to the business on all fronts. His support of the fundamental values of the NMC brand of trust, people growth, discipline and pride is encouraging, enabling us to continue to operate as a company that builds people who build relationships.

The acquisition supports and further enhances our shareholding structure, enabling us to improve our supply chain efficiency and broaden our horizons by presenting opportunities to access new markets. New market sectors have already been identified which we believe will increase our market penetration and market share aligned to the National Development Plan. Our long-term goal is to extend our current footprint into the SADC region.”

Group 5 deploys spider cranes on fast track mall project

Group 5 deploys spider cranes on fast track mall project

Aerial view of Table Bay Mall under construction – Group Five Coastal

Table Bay Mall opened on schedule in September thanks to the efficient and demanding fast-track construction programme followed by Group Five Coastal (Pty) Ltd. – a long-standing member of Master Builders Association Western Cape.

This new regional shopping centre, located in the west coast suburb of Sunningdale (Blouberg) in Cape Town, houses 162 shops including the five anchor tenants: Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, H&M and Virgin Active.

A challenging project

We faced a number of challenges during construction on this project,” said Alton Jooste, Contracts Director for Group Five Coastal. “Amongst these was the short programme duration which necessitated a very fast construction tempo which in turn carried the potential risk of compromising the quality of the end product.”

Jooste pointed out that in addition to this, late Information relating to tenant requirements due to tenants only signing up towards the end of the project resulted in delays; and continual changes of the shop layouts forced short-notice changes to the general arrangement of the shopping centre. Coupled to these challenges were the long working hours and their effect on all involved with the project. The sheer volume of works for single subcontractors to handle also necessitated the use of multiple subcontractors per building trade.

The Group Five team nonetheless took these challenges in their stride and achieved a successful completion and handover to the client on schedule

Spider crane in action at Table Bay Mall erecting structural steel

On construction

The building is constructed on piled foundations with a reinforced concrete superstructure consisting of surface beds, columns, ground floor slabs, gutter beams and structural steel roof, covered with sheeting. The back of house external walls on the ground floor are all constructed of tilt-up concrete panels, of which the largest individual panel is approximately nine meters wide and 11 meters high.

Group Five and certain subcontractors made use of spider cranes to construct the concrete superstructure above ground floor as well as the structural steel roof. The decision to do so was made at tender stage to avoid the traditional tower crane option due to the fact that portions of the slab would need to be omitted to allow access for the tower cranes which placed the client’s programme expectations at risk.

Group Five was the only contractor that could meet the client’s programme expectations on this project. Furthermore the risk of potential high winds (which peaked at over 65km per hour on some days) forced the company to seek alternative construction methods by utilising Spider cranes provided by Eazi Access. These are essentially light weight canes which run on tracks. These spider cranes were supplied with materials by forklifts and bigger mobile cranes on the basement level.

Aesthetics and functionality

The shopping centre consists of a basement parking (under roof) with the shopping centre on the ground floor slab above as well as external open air parking. The mall is constructed in the shape of a race track with three main entrances on the ground floor and three entrances in the basement parking area.

Long, curved, open and extremely well lit malls, accentuate the sleek and stylish design of the shopping centre.

The mall boasts a fully functional grey water system and uses rainwater and borehole water to irrigate the landscaped areas as well as to flush the toilets. The plants in the landscaped areas have also been carefully selected for their drought resistant properties.

Project facts:

Square meters and Rand value of project:

Lower ground parking: 64 000 m2

Ground level retail centre: 80 000 m2

External roads, parking and landscaping: 127 000 m2

Construction rand value: R 1 075 000 000

Construction start and finish dates:

Construction start date: 22 March 2016

Completion date: 21 September 2017

Property owner, client, developer:

Employer: Zenprop Property Holdings

Principal Agent: PCPM in association with WT McClatchey Associates

Main Contractor: Group Five Construction (Pty) Limited

Professional team:

Architect: Vivid Architects

Quantity Surveyor: MLC Quantity Surveyors SA (Pty) Ltd

Structural Engineer: Aurecon South Africa

Civil Engineer: Aurecon South Africa

HVAC Engineer: Graeme Page Consulting Engineers cc

Electrical Engineer: Quad Africa Consulting

Wet Services: Aurecon South Africa

Fire Services and Rational Fire Consultant: Aurecon South Africa

Health & Safety Consultant: Solid State Safety

Landscape Architect: InSite Landscape Architects

Interior Designers: Savile Row

Health and Safety measures:

  • 4 Full time Safety Officers were employed on the project.

  • 1 Safety Manager

  • All works were executed in accordance with Group Five policy and Occupational Health and Safety Act and all associated regulations.

Interesting production quantities:

Pile Caps

Production – April to August

10 caps per day

Maximum in one day

26 Caps


Production – April to October

26 lifts per day

Maximum in one day

68 lifts

Slab Formwork

Production – April to October

521m2 per day

Maximum in one day

1 658 m2


Production – May to September

200m3 per day

Maximum in one day

846 m3

Structural steel

Production – June to January

8 ton per day

Maximum in one day

30.5 ton

Roof covering

Production – August to February

560m2 per day

Maximum in one day

1 411 m2


Production -October to December

27434 No Bricks per day

Maximum in one day

74000 No Bricks

Some Quantities:


460 00 m3 of concrete cast in 6 – 7 months

4 344 tons of rebar used

78 000 m2 power-floated on the ground floor area


3 848 000 bricks used


308 brick stiffeners installed


47 000 m2 of plaster


206 Precast Panels cast of which the biggest one being 9.065 x 11,395m high


The pool was filled using water from the Western Province Preparatory School – 297 000 litres was used


127 cores done and counting


11 400 m2 of Tiling in the Race Track


80 000 m2 of roof sheeting by BlueScope

Storm collapses section of Cradlestone Mall roof

10 October 2017


Storm collapses Cradlestone Mall roof. Image:Charlotte Minnaar – 9-10-2017

Storm collapses section of Cradlestone Mall roof

Two people were injured when a severe hailstorm caused part of the roof of the Cradlestone Mall near Krugersdorp on the West Rand to collapse on Monday afternoon‚ paramedics said.

“ER24 paramedics‚ along with Life Healthcare and other services‚ arrived on the scene where they found that some of the external structure of the mall had collapsed. Once inside the shops‚ paramedics found that some of the ceiling had collapsed on the patrons‚” said ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring.


Two people were assessed by paramedics and found to have sustained minor to moderate injuries‚ he

The roof of Cradlestone Mall in western Johannesburg collapsed by storm on 9 October 2017. Image: ER24


“Fortunately‚ no serious or fatal injuries were found on the scene.

“Security members from the mall evacuated the area while paramedics treated the two patients. Shortly after‚ both patients were transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

“Local authorities were on the scene for further investigations‚” Meiring added.

Meanwhile‚ Netcare 911 tweeted that one person had been killed and two hospitalised as a reported tornado struck the Hillside Road area in the Krugersdorp vicinity.



Clear and robust downward trend in construction GDP

Elsie Snyman, CEO, Industry Insights

Clear and robust downward trend in construction GDP

The South African economy exited the technical recession, growing by 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017, which was much better for all sectors of the economy, except the construction sector, which was the only sector to exhibit negative GDP growth in the second quarter. This is largely in line with expectations, with Industry Insights project data, as well as the building plans data from Stats SA suggesting a more depressed outlook.

Construction GDP declined by 0.5 percent in the second quarter, marginally better than the 0.8 percent decline in the first quarter. There has been a clear and robust downward trend in the construction GDP figures over the last 8-12 quarters, with growth declining quarter by quarter, and entering negative territory this year.

The primary sector of the economy performed well in the 2nd quarter, with the agricultural sector bouncing back significantly, growing by 33.6 percent, which is the biggest quarterly change in more than 20 years. Rainfall has returned to most of the country, and record maize harvests for example, have been recorded. Unfortunately the agriculture industry only makes up between 2 and 3 percent of total GDP so was not enough to give a significant boost to the economy, contributing 0.7 percent to the 2.5 percent growth. The mining sector grew by 3.9 percent in the 2nd quarter, off a big 13.1 percent increase in the first quarter supported by an uptick in the global economy ad commodity prices, on average. The manufacturing sector grew for the first time in four quarters, following three back to back declines. The 1.5 percent growth in the 2nd quarter comes as some relief given the sheer magnitude of the sector. The electricity and water sector grew by 8.8 percent, and the construction sector as mentioned, was one of the only sectors to decline. Overall a mixed performance of the secondary sector of the economy in the 2nd quarter.

Finance, real estate and the business services sector also bounced back along with the rest of the services industry in South Africa, growing by 2.5 percent. Wholesale and retail trade, which surprised largely on the downside in the first quarter, is back into positive territory and grew by 0.6 percent. The only other category/sector to contract was general government services, which contracted by 0.6 percent, from a 0.7 percent contraction in the first quarter. Some commentators are suggesting that this may be some sort of turning point for the economy, but we would be very cautious to use such language. The South African economy is still plagued by a crisis of confidence as well as some serious structural issues which have been highlighted over the past two years. The rating agencies remain one of the main protagonists in the story, and policy uncertainty remains rife.

Source: Industry Insights

Strong and visionary leadership a tonic for industry doldrums

Strong and visionary leadership a tonic for industry doldrums

Last month we held our 112th Master Builders Congress in Cape Town under the theme of “Building South Africa”. Congress was well attended and received much media coverage largely due to the strong line-up of speakers, subjects and topics that were robustly debated and discussed in the plenary and in breakaway sessions. This edition of SA Builder will cover much of what took place in Cape Town. Please read on and enjoy this Congress Edition of SA Builder.

Bafikile Bonke Simelane, President, Master Builders South Africa

The Master Builders SA Executive Committee has set about getting to work on the deliberations and resolutions of Congress 2017 which will address our priorities, focus, action plans and efforts over the next 12 months in the run-up to the 113th 2018 MBSA Congress which is scheduled to be held in Port Elizabeth. We are sharply mindful of, alive and committed to tackling the various institutional capacity and industry challenges that have emanated from the 2017 Congress.

It is against this backdrop that we look forward with cautious optimism to the Finance Minister’s maiden Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) later this month. It is going to be a difficult juggling act for the Minister to deliver a balanced and confidence-building MTBPS in the midst of a downward trend in major and important business confidence and macro-economic indicators as well as below-target revenue collection forecasts narrowing the fiscal space for social and infrastructure expenditure which does not bode well for our sector which has been in dire straits for a considerable while now.

According to the FNB/BER Building Confidence Index and FNB Property Economist John Loos “Main Contractor confidence rose eight points to 44. However, this increase was not supported by the underlying indicators. In particular, activity and overall profitability deteriorated.” “If one is to look at activity and profitability, it is clear that contractors face very difficult trading conditions characterised by weak demand and stiff competition,” said Loos.

Despite the marginal third-quarter increase, the sector’s performance is likely to be worse relative to the second quarter due to low activity. This is especially true of Main Contractors, where residential and non-residential respondents report growth in activity close to multi-year lows. In addition, a sharp activity drop at the start of the building pipeline (Architects and Quantity Surveyors) points to further weakness in building activity in coming quarters.

This is also corroborated by the Afrimat Construction Index (ACI) compiled by economist Dr Roelof Botha as well as the CIDB and South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) according to whom the indices were impacted by low levels of business and consumer confidence. Political and policy uncertainty is also a significant contributor to the prevailing ‘new normal’ conditions as attested to by the SARB. A national conversation or dialogue is needed.

We need visionary and pragmatic government and industry leadership to take us out of this quagmire to reverse and stem the tide of negative sentiment and downward spiral for the progressive realisation of the sector and country’s potential.

The time is now. It is in our hands.

Dangote walks away from PPC deal

Dangote walks away from PPC deal – causing PPC shares to plunge

Image: Clarion

7 OCTOBER 2017, 5:30PM / 

This IoL report by JOHN BOWKER

PPC shares plunged the most in more than two months after Dangote Cement walked away from a potential takeover of South Africa’s largest cement maker, leaving Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. as the sole known bidder.

Dangote formally withdrew its interest on Thursday, PPC said in a statement. The Lagos, Nigeria based company indicated last month it was interested in a combination of two of Africa’s largest cement makers, but the approach never got beyond the exploratory stage.

PPC shares slumped as much as 12%, the most since July 24, before trading 5.7% lower at R6.08 as of 12:57 p.m. in Johannesburg.

Aliko Dangote

The withdrawal of the Nigerian company, controlled by Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote, is a blow for investors anticipating a bidding war that would have bumped up PPC’s take- out price.

Toronto-based Fairfax has tabled a partial offer for R2 billion ($146 million) of PPC shares at R5.75 each on condition that the company merges with AfriSam Group Pty Ltd., a local rival.

PPC Chairman Peter Nelson said Thursday that more than 25% of shareholders opposed that proposal.


Further delay in Grayston bridge collapse inquiry

Further delay in Grayston bridge collapse inquiry

Grayston bridge collapse, October 14, 2015 -picture Chris Collingridge Independent Media

Johannesburg 01 October 2017 – The Star reports:

Following yet another postponement on Wednesday, the commission investigating the collapse of the Grayston/M1 pedestrian bridge confirmed that 21 witnesses would testify when it resumes next year.

Following a two-day sitting at the Department of Labour’s offices in Pretoria, its commissioner Lennie Samuel postponed the inquiry.

But before the postponement, testimony from Form-Scaff expert witness Gary Farrow was heard.

Farrow, an Australian mechanical engineer, took the commission by surprise on Tuesday when he produced a report that neither the commissioner nor Murray & Roberts had seen.

Samuel then decided along with all legal representatives of the stakeholders that in the interests of completing the hearing without undue delay, further continuation with Farrow could make the hearing unmanageable.

Samuel then decided the information presented was sufficient to continue without further cross-examination and accepted the proposals from the legal representatives. He, however, said: “Should the need arise to recall expert witness, I will not hesitate to do so.”

The commissioner set aside July 2 until September 2018 for completion of the case, which were the only dates on which all the legal representatives said they would be available.

To date, five expert witnesses have appeared before the inquiry. They include Farrow, civil engineer Richard Beneke, Ric Snowden and Dr Stefanus Francois van Zyl, all representing Murray & Roberts.

The Section 32 inquiry was set up by the Department of Labour following the collapse of the temporary pedestrian bridge on October 14, 2015 about 3:25pm.

It claimed two lives and left 19 people injured.

The construction of the pedestrian and cyclist bridge commenced on January 29, 2015.

It was originally expected that it would take about six months for the public to know the exact cause of the collapse. The inquiry has experienced numerous postponements.

The commission was appointed by the department in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Star

picture: Chris Collingridge / Independent Media.