The ARMSA tank standard

The ARMSA tank standard

A fit for purpose guarantee on water and chemical storage tanks

The Association of Rotational Moulders of Southern Africa (ARMSA) announced the publication of a South African National Standard: SANS 1731:2017 for polyethylene chemical and water storage tanks, developed in conjunction with the South African Bureau of Standard (SABS).

The SANS 1731:2017 tank standard is proof that the polyethylene tank you purchase has been properly designed and manufactured to be fit for purpose for the length of its warranty life. “It compels tank manufacturers to conform to world best practise,” explains Wayne Wiid, ARMSA Chairperson, “and it protects members of the broader construction, architecture, plumbing, landscaping and built industries as well as consumers, against tanks of lesser quality.”

What does the SANS 1731:2017 tank standard mean to the tank user:
1. Provides specific criteria in terms of the source of raw material, ultra violet protection, overall weight, wall thickness, light penetration, stress crack resistance and impact strength for a range of different sizes.
2. Ensures that the production methods used to manufacture the tanks comply with best practise
3. Requires that traceability is built into the manufacturer’s control systems.
4. Includes an audit check for actual storage volumes vs stated volumes
5. Evaluates the overall appearance of the finished tanks
6. Certifies the requisite number and type of fittings and the date of manufacture.

Productivity Engineering and Services Consultants (PESC) an independent third party auditing company appointed by ARMSA will regularly audit tank manufacturers who choose to comply.

If compliant, PESC will issue a certificate giving independent assurance of a manufacturer’s claim that their products meet the SANS 1731:2017 criteria. Compliant tank manufacturers will be able to market their compliance with an ARMSA /SANS approved sticker on their tanks as well as using the certificate and sticker in their general marketing programmes.

A word of warning from Wiid, “Any tank manufacturer can claim to meet the SANS 1731:2017 standard but without formal certification there is no guarantee. We therefore urge all stakeholders and home owners to request the PESC certificate from the manufacturer prior to purchase for peace of mind that tanks delivered to sites or homes have been thoroughly tested and certified.”

Any queries relating to the adoption of the standard or information on compliant manufacturers can be sent info@armsa.co.za or to the appointed tank standard auditor francois@pescon.co.za.

Hard Hat Equipment Hire – celebrating 10 years of service excellence to the construction sector

Hard Hat Equipment Hire – celebrating 10 years of service excellence to the construction sector

Amongst the Hard Hat fleet of 36 vehicles is this eight ton truck, complete with crane, to lift heavy equipment such as its fleet of ride-on-rollers

Established in 2008 Hard Hat Equipment Hire has grown in leaps and bounds and is now firmly entrenched and recognised as a leader in the market and key provider of equipment to the construction sector.

Teamwork and dedication, a comprehensive range of quality, well-maintained equipment, top notch customer service, advanced operational software systems, enthusiasm and a flair to go the extra mile – are all synonymous with Hard Hat Equipment Hire – a successful and growing business.

The company started out from a single branch – which is now its head office in Edenvale – and has steadily expanded three branches across Gauteng with a fourth having been recently established in Klerksdorp, North West Province.

Strategic Partnerships
Recognising the potential of Hard Hat, Teljoy made a firm commitment to the company by deploying long-standing Teljoy director, Frank Noble, to drive the Hard Hat business from May 2016. Passionate to succeed, he has created a team second to none in the sector.

In late 2017, long-time empowerment partner of Teljoy, the Southern Palace Group, purchased a significant minority stake in Hard Hat, promoting not only black economic empowerment, but also adding a new dynamic to the existing Teljoy rental DNA.

Hard Hat Equipment Hire, celebrating its 10th year of service excellence to the construction sector, offers an extensive range of equipment

“Our continued growth in recent years is in line with our strategic plan to continue to grow Hard Hat’s equipment fleet and to steadily open branches in all the major centres in South Africa,” says Frank Noble, CEO of Hard Hat Equipment Hire.

Equipment
“Our investment in equipment is ongoing,” says Operations Executive, Brenda Rowe. “Although our range of available equipment is extensive, we often purchase new equipment to meet clients’ specific needs. Presently we have 36 vehicles on the road, including an eight ton truck, complete with crane, to lift heavy equipment such as our fleet of ride-on-rollers and a five ton truck with a beaver tail.”

The Hard Hat management team – making clients’ experience unparalleled in every way:
Roger Pike – Financial Manager, Brenda Rowe – Operations Executive, Frank Noble – CEO and Andrew Myburgh – Sales Manager

Andrew Myburgh, Hard Hat’s Sales Manager says: “As a tight-knit team we at Hard Hat have been developing relationships with organisations in the industry who share our value system and ethos, thus steadily building our customer base and efficiency. In addition, we strive to provide our clients with the best, most reliable and efficient equipment, services and support.”

Hard Hat takes pride in maintaining an average delivery time to client of under 2 hours. Furthermore, the company’s turn-around time on equipment swap-outs is excellent, thus creating a significant advantage over its competitors.

Hard Hat has an after-hours standby team ready to assist 24/7, an essential service for those “stuck in the mud” late and after-hours breakdowns.

A few of Hard Hat’s fleet of light towers

The company’s skilled and experienced branch managers each lead reliable and passionate teams, thus enabling a high level of equipment up-time and ensuring strong personal client relations.

Training
Hard Hat has an in-house training facilitator providing on-site training to operators.
This service can also made available free of charge to Hard Hat clients.

Just some of the equipment available from Hard Hat:
Compaction equipment: rammers petrol and diesel; plate compactors; pedestrian rollers 390 – 900 ; 2,7 ton ride on rollers;
Generators: petrol and diesel 5,7 KVA – 10KVA;
Tower lights;
Water Pumps: petrol and diesel 2– 4inch;
Welders;
Floor grinders;
Concrete floor saws; and much more.

Some of the machines available, decked out in Hard Hat’s distinctive colour

Hard Hat Equipment Hire operates its own self-sufficient workshop maintains all its own equipment to the highest standard and strives to keep all equipment as good as new – fully serviced, clean and painted. This facility, in which many of the staff have over15 years’ experience in the field, is second to none in the industry and services equipment for all four Hard Hat branches. A full range of spare parts is stocked and a full history of repairs is kept for each individual machine.

The workshop team have a combined knowledge and experience of over 100 years. Their dedication, extensive knowledge and passion ensures that the necessary back up and support is available around the clock.

“We pride ourselves in the calibre and capabilities of our staff,” says Noble. “Their knowledge, expertise and loyalty is what makes this company the success it is today. Everything we do is geared toward making our clients’ experience unparalleled in every way – from service through to on-site systems management.”

A comprehensive management pack, including all financials, balance sheets, projections for each industry category, sales and purchase of machines is produced monthly for analysis by the Hard Hat management team.

The detail built into the real-time equipment management system not only simplifies the client’s visibility of all equipment it has on-site, but makes it extremely easy and cost-effective to manage, eliminating most, if not all, hidden costs, delays and inaccuracies. A report called “what’s out where” is sent weekly to clients per site in order to assist them in managing hired from Hard Hat Equipment Hire. This can also be sent out daily if clients so wish.

Since its establishment in 2008 Hard hat Equipment Hire has consistently been delivering its services par excellence to its growing client base in the South African building and construction industry. With its head office and dedicated separate workshop in Edenvale, Gauteng, Hard Hat has progressively been opening new branches in important centres in Gauteng and North West Province – with further expansion plans currently in place for the immediate future.
Hard Hat branches and contact numbers:

GAUTENG
Edenvale: Head office and Workshop: 011 609 6443.
Honeydew: 011 795 8240
Silvertondale, Pretoria: 012 844 6140

NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Klerksdorp: 018 462 1166

Hard hat supplies equipment to a range of companies from listed companies through to emerging building contractors – for application on all types of projects, including roads, low cost housing, high rise buildings, warehousing, sewer and reticulation and DIY projects.

BATTEN DOWN – THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR HEROICS

BATTEN DOWN – THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR HEROICS

Just how volatile that thing we call ‘sentiment’ can be, is illustrated by the business sector’s massive surge in confidence in the first quarter of this year. Jumping from 34 in the last quarter of last year, the RMB/BER Business Confidence Index made a blockbuster jump to 45 in the first three months of 2018.

John Matthews, President – Master Builders South Africa

And just as swiftly, it dropped back to 39 in this year’s second quarter.

The jump and its subsequent retreat were driven, as it turns out, by what a lot of people believe was just one factor – vain hope that a change in the country’s leadership was going to give the economy a quick boost.

Seriously, it’s not hard to be optimistic when it looks like that helicopter is coming to save you from the roof of your flooded house as the water rises, but when the darn thing crashes and burns, nobody’s going to blame you for being a bit downhearted. Specially if you feel that the pilot made an unforced error, scored an own goal, or missed the posts by a mile.

In a masterful understatement, BER analysts say the result of their research indicates that right now, close to three fifths of respondents regard prevailing business conditions as ‘unsatisfactory – a disappointing outcome, yet probably an accurate reflection of reality’.

But while despair is not advised (don’t forget, this has all happened before) it’s also not the time for extreme acts of heroism, like diving off the roof into the flood-waters and swimming against the current.

As those in the Cape have learned, when the notorious winter storms hit our shores, it’s best to batten down the hatches and weather the squall. Somehow.

Some of us suffer more than others, and the vulnerable are the most frequent victims.

But in the building industry, disaster doesn’t only strike the smaller players, and two recent national examples have graphically illustrated exactly that – as in the case of Basil Read and NMC.

It’s not really surprising that South African business is a bit bleak at this point, and the situation only bolsters evidence that perhaps positive sentiment based on an improved political climate is not the only factor to rely on for a better economic outlook.

So if there’s any answer, it could lie in not too easily responding with blind optimism, nor relying on the unknown. And particularly, not placing one’s confidence in the untested.

In an industry that’s as old as the Pyramids, we must have come to some useful conclusions over the aeons, that undoubtedly include the value of taking stock of a situation, considering the downside and planning for the recovery.

Perhaps it’s best to look to the past, and if you’ve been in business successfully for a good number of years, be advised by what brought you through the inevitable tough times before. Maybe you will find that size, or rather, right-sizing, does matter, and make the necessary adjustments.

You know what we’re talking about.

John

Joyce Dolly Tembe elected for third successive term

Joyce Dolly Tembe elected for third successive term

Joyce Dolly Tembe

On 26 June 2018, KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association held its 117th Annual General Meeting which saw the Association’s first Woman President Joyce Dolly Tembe, being elected for her third successive term.

In her address, the President noted that over the past year, global economic challenges had placed the construction industry under severe strain, resulting in a significant decrease in the number of construction sites which had a ripple effect on unemployment and economic growth.

Ms Tembe stated that notwithstanding these challenges, the Association achieved targets as set out in the medium-term strategy with the next financial year paved for a new and more challenging strategy to take the Association to greater heights.

She stressed that the key priorities of the Association remained growth of the industry, transformation and skills development, quality infrastructure and health and safety compliance. “It is critical that we embrace concepts which are aligned to the national imperatives of our country”, stated Ms Tembe.

The Executive Director of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, Vikashnee Harbhajan stated that although there was an increase in business confidence at the start of the year, we were yet to see a noticeable increase in construction projects in the KZN province.

Whilst membership was recorded at 725 at the close of the financial year, it was concerning to note that the retention of members was affected by reports of financial constraints and business closures.

Health and safety remained a priority service to the members. It was heartening to note that the Association had also successfully engaged Provincial Treasury on outstanding payments to members.

She reiterated that Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal prides itself on transformation initiatives and made reference to the Emerging contractor programme, Bursary fund and Vuka Makhi programme. The results for Vuka Makhi for the past year were outstanding with a 100% pass rate, boasting 34 distinctions from those who completed the National Senior Certificate Examination in 2017. Ms Harbhajan took the opportunity to congratulate the top achiever, Bonakele Mkhize of Sikhethuxolo High School in Hammarsdale, for achieving six distinctions.

In its efforts to accelerate economic transformation, the Association finalised a Good Practice Note comprising guidelines on the implementation of the Preferential Procurement Regulations and Construction Sector Code, with workshops planned across the province.

Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal

It was pleasing to note that the Association once again boasted an unqualified audit report.

The Executive Director took the opportunity to congratulate the President on her third term of office as well as the elected Executive Council Members.

2018/2019 Executive Council: Top row left to right: Sam Ngcongo, Lance Ridl, Thys Blom, Vikashnee Harbhajan, Lesley Chetty, Francois Louw, Roland Mudaly, Marcus Gonzalves Front row left to right: Thobekile Ndlovu, Vic Naidoo, Khanyisile Khoza, Joyce Dolly Tembe, Patricia Moodley, Moegamat Behardien

The Executive Council elected for the next term of office is as follows:
Joyce Dolly Tembe, Sakhisizwe Development Training – President
Vic Naidoo, Sibonele Africa (Pty) Ltd – Vice-President
Sam Ngcongo, Bencon Building and Civils – Vice-President
Francois Louw, MET Builders – Vice-President
Lance Ridl, Ridl Construction – Vice-President
Moegamat Behardien – Immediate Past President
Thys Blom, Plankonsult
Marcus Gonzalves, FS Gonzalves Construction
Roland Mudaly, Aveng Grinaker LTA (Pty) Ltd
Lesley Chetty, Amandla Construction
Patricia Moodley, Globacon (Pty) Ltd
Khanyisile Khoza, Bahlomile Development and Project Solutions
Thobekile Ndlovu, Thobethulani Trading CC

Another construction icon topples

Another construction icon topples

The firm’s construction division has for some time been experiencing difficulties.

The iconic South African construction firm Basil Read Holdings announced in June that it had applied to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange for the voluntary suspension of the listing of its shares after a key unit started business rescue proceedings. This report Nqobile Dludla of Reuters continues:

The cash-strapped company announced that Basil Read Limited, its wholly owned subsidiary which houses its construction unit, had started business rescue proceedings after it failed to secure bridge funding from lenders.

Its shares at the time plunged more than 90% from a high of 22 cents to close at 1 cent.

Basil Read appointed Siviwe Dongwana of Adamentem Chartered Accountants and John Lightfoot of Matuson and Associates as business rescue practitioners.

Basil Read was awarded the design construct and operate contract for the St Helena Airport in November 2011. The project was funded with UK aid at an estimated cost of £250M GBP

“There is uncertainty in terms of the impact of the voluntary business rescue proceedings instituted at Basil Read Limited, on the Basil Read Holdings Limited Group as listed on the JSE,” it said in a statement.

It added the suspension would be until such time as the effect on the listed group could be quantified.

The firm’s construction division has for some time been experiencing cash flow difficulties stemming from, among other reasons, mismatched cash inflows and outflows, it said on Friday.

To mitigate this, it sought to raise bridge funding from a consortium of lenders in order to complete construction contracts, but was advised on June 14 that a majority of lenders was not prepared to make the funding available to it outside of a business rescue process.

Throughout 2017, Basil Read struggled to obtain money to pay creditors, provide working capital and reduce debt. In the year to the end of March, it reported a net loss of 743 million rand ($55 million), while its order book plunged from 12.3 billion rand to 4.5 billion rand.

The firm is trying to implement a turnaround strategy that involves cutting costs and exiting loss-making contacts and assets.

 

Heartening rise in non-residential activity in 2Q2018

Heartening rise in non-residential activity in 2Q2018

But Building Confidence drops to below 30

The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index lost 14 points to register a level of 29 in 2Q2018 – the lowest since 2Q2012.

The Index indicates that the majority – more than 70 per cent – of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions.

The confidence of main building contractors fell marginally by 4 index points to register a level of 37 in 2Q2018. This is more or less in line with the growth in building activity which remained largely unchanged. Interestingly, there was some discrepancy between the performance of the two sub-sectors, residential and non-residential building, especially in terms of activity.

Building activity for residential contractors was unmoved from 1Q2018 while that of non-residential contractors improved nicely. “This is the second consecutive improvement in non-residential building activity and points to a reasonably positive first half of the year. However, two important aspects should be noted. Firstly, 2016 and 2017 were dismal years for this sector so growth could be exacerbated by base effects. Second, the factors that typically drive non-residential building investment, such as GDP growth, are not yet in place and it would be prudent to view the improvement in non-residential building activity so far this year with caution,” said John Loos, Property Economist at FNB.

A steep 45-index point drop in the confidence of hardware retailers to 2 weighed on the overall building confidence index. According to Loos, “Sales volume growth of hardware retailers deteriorated noticeably in the quarter, contributing to the weaker sentiment. However, the fall in sales seems exaggerated given that building activity, especially among main contractors, remained more or less unchanged from the first quarter. This suggests that other factors such as constrained consumer spending or softer demand in the home renovations market may have negatively affected hardware retail sales”.

Similarly, production volumes of manufacturers of building materials were also significantly lower. This resulted in a fall in confidence to 13 index points, from 45 in 1Q2018.

Activity at the start of the building pipeline continues to produce mixed results.
The confidence of architects slipped to 40, from 43 in 1Q2018, while quantity surveyor confidence was unchanged at 31. However, quantity surveyors reported a marked uptick in activity in the quarter, albeit still relatively weak compared to recent history. According to Loos, “while these results inspire little confidence with respect to a resurgence in building activity going forward, it doesn’t suggest that the sector is entirely in the doldrums either”.

Sub-contractor confidence was stable at 52 index points in 2Q2018. Confidence was stable even though building activity growth showed a clear deterioration.

Conclusion: After rising by 12 index points in 1Q2018, the FNB/BER Building Confidence Index fell to 29 in 2Q2018. The decline was mainly due to the sharply lower confidence of hardware retailers and manufacturers of building material. Nevertheless, activity was – with the exception of main contractors and quantity surveyors – poorer in the quarter. “The continued rise in non-residential activity in 2Q2018 is heartening. However, this was offset by a noticeable fall in hardware retail sales, hardware manufacturing production, and
sub-contractor activity. This suggests slower overall growth in the building sector this quarter,” stated Loos.

The outlook is also uncertain. “The mixed results from the building pipeline suggest that if there is any upside potential for the remainder of the year, it will be limited,” said Loos.

MBSA bids final farewell to Past President Bennie Botha

Bennie Botha

MBSA bids final farewell to Past President Bennie Botha

It is with deep regret that Master Builders South Africa bids farewell to Past President of the (then) Building Industries Federation of South Africa (BIFSA), Bennie Botha, who passed away last month.

Bennie served as President of BIFSA during 2003/2004 and will be well remembered for his contributions to the BIFSA Centenary celebrations in March 2004, as well as the preparations leading up to the name change to Master Builders South Africa later in the same year.

To quote Bennie at the time:
“I have absolute confidence that our industry will continue to grow throughout the 21st century and will continue to be a major factor in the development of our country’s economic welfare.  The men and women who actively participate in this industry today have the same uncompromising steel-willed spirit and belief in their ability to succeed at all costs and in the fact of adversity.”

Benjamin Adam Botha was born in Pretoria in 1944. Having been in the construction industry since 1963, Bennie founded B A Botha, Builder & Contractor in 1967, specialising in house building and alterations. After successfully negotiating work in Plettenberg Bay, he moved there in 1968.

Bennie was an active member of the East Cape Master Builders Association and served as President of the Association in 2000 and 2001. He was elected to the BIFSA executive in 1988.

He also served on various MBA and Bargaining Council committees.

Bennie leaves his wife, Patsy, two daughters and grandchildren.

Bennie’s sharp mind and great sense of humour will be sadly missed.

Govt. non-payment is key to Liviero going into Business Rescue

Govt. non-payment is key to Liviero going into Business Rescue

The days of an honest day’s work are long gone, along with the dream of building our country together. The ongoing crime and unwanted protests, and wanton destruction of property – will be the undoing of this beautiful country of ours with all its potential…

The latest victim in a long daily list is the Liviero Group:

Breaking news – 9 July. The Liviero Group has announced in a statement by its Chairman, Luca Liviero, that, as an interim measure in order reorganise its financial affairs, it has voluntarily placed its companies into Business Rescue.

The Group subsidiaries going into Business Rescue comprise: Liviero Building; Liviero Civils; Liviero Mining; Liviero Plant; and Liviero Energy.

The Liviero Group is South Africa’s largest privately black owned multi-disciplinary construction Group.

Liviero Civils
Key to this decision the Group cites that Liviero Civils is owed in excess of R81 million by government projects. The amount is due and payable and has precipitated legal action being instituted by Liviero to recover these monies from government departments.

Liviero Mining
Liviero Mining has a R4 billion order book and is responsible for 43% of the Group’s annual turnover. Cash flow is crucial to this subsidiary in order to maintain and service its fleet of plant and equipment valued in excess of R1 billion.

Challenges that have impacted negatively on Liviero Mining include: continuous labour unrest and unrealistic demands; intimidation of reliable labour by the community; malicious damage and destruction of plant and equipment; stoppages imposed by Dept. of Mineral Resources.

The statement concludes in saying that it is the Group’s honest intention to utilise this situation as an opportunity to successfully trade out of Business Rescue as soon as possible.