As MBSA members attending our Congress last month in Port Elizabeth will recall, an item of particular interest was raised by Paul Dhlamini, Levies and Grants Manager at the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) who told delegates that artisan development had become a national priority.

John Matthews, President, Master Builders South Africa

He said that government recognition of the country’s enormous shortage of artisans had resulted in the Minister of Higher Education signing an agreement to produce 30 000 skilled artisans by the end of 2030.

It was, he said, necessary to make artisan development non-sector based so that all the SETAs could contribute funds and ensure that we train artisans and reduce unemployment.

This is of course a positive step but there remain numerous hurdles to jump before that full complement of artisans is delivered, more than ten years from now.

And then, those many years on, will the young people trained by standards set here in 2018, be up to the mark dictated by the onset of the fourth industrial revolution? This phenomenon has, in the current and developing environment, spawned revolutionary technologies like robotics, the Internet of Things and other trends that are changing the way we live and work.

The World Economic Forum has been quoted as estimating that 65 per cent of children today will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet.

The foundation, while citing literacy, numeracy and scientific knowledge as critical, revealed that when top executives from leading world companies were asked what they thought the most important job skills would be in 2020, they all quoted “complex problem solving”. Other skills on their top ten list included critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and emotional intelligence.

Will our young South African artisans who now find themselves the beneficiaries of this government-driven renewed training initiative meet the challenges of a work environment set to change, in some ways, beyond recognition?

To ensure they will be able to, a great deal more than government grants will have to be applied to artisan training over the next decade and more. Particularly in our industry, where those who have chosen construction as their career will have to go far beyond the “bricks and mortar” of their trades and embrace the almost unimaginable changes that this phase of our world industrial development will throw at them.

It’s hugely exciting if approached with the right attitude, not only by the apprentices, but more critically by the responsible government departments, employers, industry leaders – and essentially, their teachers, instructors and mentors. The need to instil a culture of broad-thinking, and a holistic approach to the industry at all levels, including financial management, is essential to its on-going health.


Emerging contractors set to benefit from SANRAL-Wirtgen MoU

Emerging contractors set to benefit from SANRAL-Wirtgen MoU

The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and Wirtgen Group South Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will give small enterprises better access to the road construction machinery they need to execute major SANRAL-owned projects.

The agreement will afford small to medium construction contractors full access to the Wirtgen Group’s full suite of leading equipment brands, as well as financing, training and logistics. “This is an important step in the broader national aim to transform the construction and engineering sectors and enable emerging black contractors, including enterprises owned by women and the youth, to participate more fully in major projects,” says Louw Kannemeyer, Engineering Executive at SANRAL.

Infrastructure development will be a major contributor to the efforts to attract investment to the country and was singled out at the recent Job Summit for its ability to create employment and stimulate economic activity.

We are delighted that a global leader in construction such as Wirtgen is stepping up to fill major gaps in the industry that constrain the growth of smaller contractors and impose barriers on their ability to tender for major work packages,” said Kannemeyer.

Equipment is one of the major success factors for contractors in the execution of their projects. If contractors are not well equipped, the country also faces the danger of sub-standard road infrastructure. The agreement will afford emerging contractors greater access to all Wirtgen Group equipment brands, namely Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, Benninghoven and Ciber,” says Waylon Kukard, National Sales Manager at Wirtgen South Africa.

The agreement with Wirtgen is part of a process introduced by SANRAL to open up the engineering and construction industries through its tender and enterprise development initiatives. It will greatly benefit smaller contractors who will now have access to the company’s range of equipment.

Through its leading brands, Wirtgen offers a wide range of equipment, all the way from rollers, bitumen spreaders, sweepers, milling machines, recyclers, slipform pavers, modular asphalt pavers, to mobile asphalt plants and crushers and screens.

Emerging contractors will be able to purchase or lease the sophisticated machinery required to meet the high standards that are in place within the South African road construction environment.

This move will open new doors for Wirtgen to collaborate with small contractors by offering them access to finance, technical assistance, mentoring and logistical support. SANRAL and Wirtgen will also collaborate on issues such as training, supply chains and access to information about tendering processes.

We are confident that this MoU will increase the number of participants across the value chain of the road construction sector and contribute to fair competition,” says Kannemeyer. яндекс

The Jewel’s façade brings sparkle to Sandton

The Jewel’s façade brings sparkle to Sandton

The innovative façade design of The Jewel is amongst the most spectacular architecture currently gracing the South African skyline
Photo: Geustyn & Horak

Boogertman + Partners Architects designed this unique envelope for The Jewel situated in the heart of Sandton.

This innovative façade design is amongst the most spectacular architecture currently gracing the South African skyline.

Developed by Eris, the tower called The Jewel at the new upmarket multi-use development, The MARC, has a shape and a façade like no other. Arup provided specialised façade engineering services on the project, supporting the developer, the architect and the façade contractor, Geustyn & Horak (G&H).

Matilde Tellier, senior façade engineer at Arup commented, “One of the biggest challenges with a building of such unusual geometry was rationalising the façade envelope for efficient fabrication while adhering to the architectural concept”.

The façade’s surface is formed by a mesh of 5 620 alternating gold and black flat triangular elements whose vertices follow a nebula of points scattered in space with a specific logic.

The Arup façade team approached The Jewel’s façade panellisation design by forcing the maximum number of equal triangles on the surface and exploring various combinations of curves. The goal being a smoothly curving façade with a rigorous geometric definition that enabled simplification and repeatability in fabrication of the façade components.

The shape of The Jewel façade was created in plan by generating symmetric double spirals defined by a series of tangential arcs. The arcs of each spiral are of equal length and the radius of each arc increase or decrease uniformly along the spiral. A specific combination of the chord length and the starting radius determine a unique solution for the façade in plan. To generate the façade surface, the spiral curves were swept in the vertical direction along a circular arc and the surface is panellised into triangles.

The structural scheme for the façade was realised at a team brain storming session at one of our daily visits to our favourite coffee shop,” reveals Rudolf le Roux, senior façade engineer at Arup. “The unitised façade is composed of interlocking triangular and diamond-shaped units. In contrast to a typical unitised façade with one panel per floor height, The Jewel façade is made up of four interlocking units per floor.”

The use of parametric modelling methodology enabled the team to solve the issues that the façade contractor would have faced in producing fabrication information for the large number of unique façade panels. Arup’s team automated the positioning and end-cutting of all the aluminium frame profiles onto the 3D surface model, ensuring a high level of precision and reducing the time the contractor needed to spend on detailed modelling.

Tellier added, “We were able to accommodate and review any geometric or material changes and assess their impact almost instantaneously. The flexibility of our design process was a key factor in our contribution to The Jewel, which is much more than a building, it is a work of art”.

Arup façade team leader, Rui Rodrigues echoed this view at his keynote address at the Zak World of Façades conference held in Johannesburg in April: “The use of parametric tools allows us to define parameters of problems to explore solutions and possibly discover new ones, while assessing their effect. A parametric model, for example, could be used to grow a solution to a problem, like sun shading that grows itself on a model of a building in response to sunlight, surrounding buildings, targeting an energy performance threshold or a level of building occupant thermal comfort.”



AfriSam has partnered with black-owned roofing solutions company Malvilox as its cement supplier for the new tile making operation in Chamdor

Technology, transformation and a niche opportunity have been brought together in the recent launch of black-owned roofing solutions company Malvilox, which looks set to become a success story in the Department of Trade and Industry’s Black Industrialist Programme.

Having set up its factory in Chamdor, Krugersdorp in Gauteng, Malvilox has installed cutting-edge technology to manufacture concrete roof tiles in one stream of the business, and lightweight steel trusses in a second stream. Together, these elements make up an innovative roofing system for affordable housing projects – with 18 months of future orders already secured – as well as other segments of the building industry.

The face of this pioneering initiative and economic transformation is Alwyn Cronje’ senior, who has over 30 years’ experience in the building sector and specifically in the building materials manufacturing sector. Malvilox’s executive chairman and managing director is serial entrepreneur and change activist Xolani Qubeka, who has more than 25 years’ corporate business experience. He is the founder and former chief executive officer of the Small Business Development Institute (SBDI) as well as founder and chief executive of the Black Business Council (BBC).

Cutting edge technology has been installed at Malvilox’s Chamdor factory where concrete roof tiles are being produced using cement from AfriSam

In collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the DTI, Malvilox raised R80 million for the establishment of its factory and infrastructure, which will employ some 75 people and create a cost effective contribution to tackling the country’s housing backlog.

The project has been many years in planning, with the first presentations made to the IDC in 2014. After intense scrutiny of the business case and a full due diligence study, including a detailed market assessment, the first IDC funding approval came through in 2016 with subsequent support by the DTI BI Programme. The production site was occupied in late 2017 and preparations have been proceeding apace.

Sharing Malvilox’s empowerment philosophy and South Africa-focus, AfriSam has partnered with this new venture as its cement supplier for the tile making operation. With its 100 tonne cement silo erected outside the Chamdor factory, AfriSam will bulk deliver about three times a week to meet the operation’s requirements. Conveniently, the AfriSam Roodepoort plant is just a few minutes down the road, and each tonne of cement will allow the production of 1 000 tiles.

AfriSam is the chosen cement partner for black-owned roofing solution company Malvilox

It is an exciting opportunity for AfriSam as a wholly South African business and proud Level 4 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment company to partner with a home-grown innovator like Malvilox,” says AfriSam key accounts manager Vincent Erasmus. “We collaborated closely during the planning and establishment phases of this facility, and look forward to taking our partnership forward as this exciting business grows and evolves.”

Malvilox’s roofing package will initially serve mainly the demands of Gauteng’s mega-cities, where affordable housing must be rolled out rapidly to keep up with the province’s high levels of urban migration. The province is South Africa’s largest market for roof tiles, demanding some 500 000 tiles a day from producers. The scope for growth in concrete roof tiles is still substantial, as only 26% of roof covering comprises concrete roof tiles with most of the coverage provided by sheeting and other roof covering material.

The Malvilox production line will produce a new and improved design concrete roof tile which is lighter, but as strong

The factory is strategically located in terms of mega-city developments currently underway in the south and west of Johannesburg, mainly Carletonville, Daggafontein and Vereeniging. This means production for the next ten years will probably be focused within a 100 kilometre radius. Within the next five years, there is also considerable expansion planned for Mogale City, which will represent another 20 000 living units.

The development of the Malvilox facility comes at an opportune time, as procurement regulations for building sites are required to have 30% black supplier input, a philosophy that also made AfriSam the obvious choice when the company was choosing its cement supplier.

The attractiveness of the tile option is clear, as it is cheaper than sheeting when compared in square metres of coverage. The challenge had been to overcome the cost of the structure – the trusses – and this has now been achieved.

Malvilox’s package offering represents both a cost and a time saving, while providing local content in both the manufacturing and the assembly of the components.

The high-tech, digitally driven Framecad equipment produces the lightweight steel trusses and battens according to each specified design, pre-punched and cut to various component sizes producing strong trusses delivered in kit form that can be quickly and easily assembled on site. A 45 square metre RDP house requires only eight of these trusses. Weighing just 28 kilograms each, the trusses are easier to lift and place than the conventional timber truss.

AfriSam’s role in the Malvilox project was to ensure the optimal cement specification for the tile factory

The strength of the trusses – which can be locally assembled on site using high tech screws – allows them to easily bear the load of the 600 or more concrete tiles that are required on each RDP house, giving each unit a solid and attractive roofing structure. To promote worksite efficiency, the roofing system – both trusses and tiles – can be installed on an RDP house by four people in as little as an hour.

AfriSam’s role in the project included working with Malvilox to ensure the optimal cement specification for the tile factory. The production line produces a new and improved design concrete roof tile which is lighter, but equally as strong. The reduced weight facilitates more economical transportation and easier handling on site, and the tiles will carry the SABS mark ensuring customers of consistent quality.

The world-renowned Protile system makes up the backbone of the tile factory’s production facility, and was installed by local agents Jessop & Associates. The tile production plant includes the cement silo, sand hoppers and conveyors that feed an automated roof tile extrusion machine. Specialised cable conveyors transport the tiles to racks, which are moved to high tech insulated heated curing chambers for approximately eight hours before the concrete tile can be removed from the pallet, then strapped and stacked.

The world renowned Protile system makes up the backbone of Malvilox’s tile factory’s production facility

Looking to the future, the Malvilox model can potentially be applied in other markets, and scaled according to the demands of those markets. The company expects to roll out a national footprint as there may well be interest in smaller centres around the country where mega-cities are planned. Indeed, relative to the Chamdor plant, Malvilox is planning to demonstrate that even smaller, more affordable plants like this could be established elsewhere in South Africa – significantly fragmenting the current market and creating access for new entrants to the construction sector.

For further information please contact:

Maxine Nel, AFRISAM

TEL : +27 011 670 5893


Students: Prepare now for the 2021 Advanced Concrete Technology course

Students: Prepare now for the 2021 Advanced Concrete Technology course

The Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town – the epitome of applied concrete technology Photos: Gareth Griffiths

South African cement and concrete industry professionals should be preparing now to be accepted as 2021 students for the SCT50 Advanced Concrete Technology (ACT) course, a certificate globally accepted as the pinnacle in concrete technology.

This is the advice of John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology.

The School of Concrete Technology (SCT) has confirmed that it will again offer tuition for the SCT50 Advanced Concrete Technology (ACT) course in January and February 2021. The School offers this highly prestigious course every two years and enrolment for the 2019 presentation has already closed.

The Advanced Concrete Technology examinations and diploma – presented by the School on behalf of the Institute of Concrete Technology in London – is a challenging course, with examinations covering over 60 topics in concrete technology. So, extensive and intensive preparation is needed simply to start the studies.

Advance preparation

The School of Concrete Technology therefore recommends that in the two year lead-up to the 2021 ACT course, prospective students should enrol for and complete three courses offered by the School: SCT30 Concrete Technology, followed by two important concrete technology and construction courses: SCT41 General Principles and SCT42 Practical Applications.”

Roxburgh says the SCT30 course covers important concrete technology concepts to prepare students for SCT41 and SCT42. “These are essential firm foundations from which attempts at the ACT diploma should be launched. Both provide sound general introduction to most of the topics covered in the ACT. In fact, a prerequisite for being accepted for the SCT50 Advanced Concrete Technology course is a pass in both the SCT41 and SCT42 courses.”

He says it therefore makes sense to use the two years ahead to become fully prepared technologically before the School starts its 2021 Advanced Concrete Technology training.

The School’s broader 2019 Education Programme is now available and contains full details about the above and all other courses to be presented in Midrand, Cape Town and Durban next year.

For full details, phone 011 315 0300 or email or visit

MBAWC awards future Master Builders

MBAWC awards future Master Builders

The construction industry is a major employer in any growing economy. Within the South African context, the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC) has established a proud tradition of producing skilled and semi-skilled people who have worked on major projects all over Southern Africa through training initiatives.

Tony Keal, Group Skills Facilitator at MBAWC says: “In 2018, we invested over R1,9 million on training costs – a large percentage of which was spent on apprentices who are given the opportunity to earn while they learn by being placed with our member organisations for experience whilst undergoing training funded by us.”

At the organisation’s recent Annual General Meeting, awards were bestowed upon two apprentices who have shown particular promise as future master builders. Ryan Castle from Grassy Park was awarded the Buckland Apprentice of the Year Award, while the Rob Johnson Award for Specialist Apprentice in the Carpentry Trade went to Lylle Steyn from Fairways.

Ryan Castle was awarded the Buckland Apprentice of the Year Award

Castle, who joined the MBAWC’s apprenticeship programme in 2016, has completed all of his theoretical and practical training whilst doing his in-service on-site training with GVK-Siya Zama. His employer has praised his eagerness to learn and sharp focus on any task at hand. He is currently waiting to take his trade test.

On winning the award, he says: “I am very proud of myself. I am a lucky guy and I do win a lot of things, but this particular award is an achievement for me. I am a hard worker and a go-getter so I don’t just do what is asked of me, I go the extra mile.” Looking to the future, he would like to either start his own construction company or work overseas.

Lylle Steyn, recipient of the Rob Johnson Award for Specialist Apprentice in the Carpentry Trade

Steyn, who also joined the programme in 2016, is completing his in-house training at GVK-Siya Zama too. His positivity in the workplace and can-do attitude, together with his steady pace of work and performance on site have been noted by his employer. He too is waiting to take his trade test.

He believes that he was selected because he works hard at everything he does. “I always try to do my best.” Steyn shares that he was drawn to a career in the construction industry because it enables people to expand their horizons, thanks to the vast experience that can be acquired on site. With what he has gained from the MBAWC apprenticeship programme, he plans to open his own business.

Both Castle and Steyn are working under the leadership of Donald Perreira who was the Apprentice of the Year Award recipient in 2016 and is today a supervisor in the industry.

For more information about the MBAWC’s apprenticeship programmes and other training initiatives, please visit

Master Builders Association WC AGM

President, John Slingsby, extended a warm and hearty welcome to all those attending the 117th AGM

At Master Builders Association Western Cape 117th AGM held at Belmont Square Conference Centre in Cape Town current President, John Slingsby, extended a warm and hearty welcome to all those in attendance.

He delivered his report on the performance of the company in the last fiscal year and the achievements made by the association during that period.

At the event a 50 year continuous membership award as presented to Danie Hattingh of Coverland.

Danie Hattingh receives a 50 year continuous membership award for Coverland

The Occupational Health and Safety awards ceremony followed and the President congratulated all those worthy entrants who took home awards on the night.

Master Builders Association, Western Cape – Executive Committee 2018/ 2019


Mark Brooks – WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd

Adriaan Fourie – GVK Siya Zama (Cape) (Pty) Ltd

Mark Fugard – Concor Western Cape

Henry Fuller – Levenbach Building & Roofing

David Gelb – Gelbuild Contractors CC

Alton Jooste – Group Five Coastal (Pty) Ltd

Jannie Joubert – Status Africa Construction CC

Fadiel Isaacs – Isaacs Construction

Murray Payne – W Voigt (Cape) (Pty) Ltd

Wynand Smit – Isipani Construction (Pty) Ltd

Jonathan Stevens – Haw & Inglis Projects (Pty) Ltd

Gareth Wall – Dekon Projects (Pty) Ltd

Bricklaying & Masonry – Vacant

Ceiling & Partitions

Wouter Viljoen Scheltema & Co.(Pty) Ltd

Glazing, Aluminium & Metalwork

Dawie Jongh Pinnacle Glass & Aluminium(Pty) Ltd

Joinery & Shopfitting – Vacant

Painting & Decorating

Jonathan Mitchell Damp Control Cape CC

Plasterers & Tiling – Vacant


Barry Van’t – Slot Plumslot CC T/A Plumbing For Africa


Danie Hattingh – Coverland


Alan Haefele AG Haefele & Sons CC

Other Trades

Wendy Damon – Damp Control Cape CC

Manufacturers, Merchants & Suppliers

Chandre Abrahams

Ron Petersen

Corobrik (Pty) Ltd

Rbs Katz Breskal (Pty) Ltd


Roekeya Bardien

Howard Boetcher

Damon Abadia Projects (Pty) Ltd

Supplyside CC

Construction Industry Under Siege

Construction Industry Under Siege

Protesters storm the Oceans uMhlanga construction site in April 2018.
Photo: IOL

Our construction industry remains in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This is not only due to the disastrous legacy of the Zuma era and government’s ongoing indecisiveness in creating economic confidence, but also to the steady expansion of “the construction mafia” – which has now infiltrated Gauteng and other provinces from KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to Musa Shangase, President of Master Builders Association North (MBA North) in his Presidential address to some 200 MBA North members, office bearers, industry stakeholders and guests at the organisation’s annual Awards Dinner held in Centurion in October.

Musa Shangase, President of Master Builders Association North

Our industry is in dire straits with no direction or certainly – exacerbated by shrinking margins, delayed- or non-payment for work completed, rising costs and decreasing revenue.” said Shangase. “Yet in this difficult environment MBA North continues to strive ahead to the benefit of the industry and its members, creating and driving innovative solutions directed at addressing these issues.”

Such initiatives by MBA North include the recent formation of a sub-contractor sub-committee to engage with government to resolve the issue of non-payment; and the Construction Health and Safety division which will implement the new ISO 45001 standard from February 2019.

MBA North Past Presidents in attendance were: Manie Bosch (Formwork Logic), Rui Lavarinhas (Ohlhorst Africa), Pieter Rude (GD Irons) and the Immediate Past President Jason Wilmot (Sir John Hire).

Office Bearers present were: current President Musa Shangase (Corobrik), Vice Presidents Wayne Albertyn (Gothic Construction) and Sello Mokawane (SNS Projects) and Treasurer, Mandla Danisa (4square Projects Group).

MBA North Executive Director, Mohau Mphomela, gave special thanks to the evening’s sponsors: Anquet Construction Solutions (Managing Director Refiloe Mallela – who is currently the Vice President of SAFCEC), Derbigum reinforced waterproofing systems, Kanye-Kanye Projects Africa and FEM.

The following members were honoured with Long-standing Member Awards:

Long-standing Partner Award: Federated Emlployers Mutual (FEM) : 80 years of partnership between FEM and MBA North

Long-standing Member Awards:

55 Years Corobrik

55 Years Ohlhorst Africa

50 Years Edilcon Construction

35 years Mjenzi Construction

30 Years Ambient Contracting Services

25 Years Prodec Paints

10 Years Archstone Construction

10 Years Cairmead Industrial Consultants

10 Years Amkhoib Contractor Consultants

10 Years CKJ Building Construction

10 years Curasure

Recipient of the Presidential Award went to Past President Manie Bosch of Formwork Logic for his dedication and significant contribution to the work of the Association over the years.

Divercity invests R2 billion in Joburg inner-city developments

Divercity invests R2 billion in Joburg inner-city developments

ABSA Towers Main and Jewel City to be redeveloped and linked to Maboneng

ABSA Towers Main

Divercity Urban Property Fund is investing R2bn in Johannesburg as part of its strategy to create thriving mixed-use inner-city precincts. This investment, the largest in the Johannesburg CBD for some years, is focused on the redevelopment of the iconic ABSA Towers Main building and Jewel City.

Newly launched Divercity is an investment fund backed by the experience of some of South Africa’s leading property investors and developers. It is set to renew and re-energise the country’s urban centres with its unique focus on inner-city precinct development that combines commercial buildings with affordable residential space to create inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods. Its strong business case is also transformative in a uniquely South African sense.

Divercity’s major shareholders and stakeholders are Atterbury and Ithemba Property, with Talis Property Fund playing a major part in the formation of the fund. Cornerstone investors will be RMH Property and Nedbank Property Partners, subject to Competition Commission approval. It launched earlier this year with a R2bn portfolio of prominent commercial and affordable residential assets, which will grow to over R4bn on completion of its latest development projects.

Divercity Urban Property Fund

Wouter de Vos, CEO of Atterbury Property Fund, says: “Divercity is leading the way in creating inclusive, sustainable, amenity-rich neighbourhoods and inspiring others to commit to the vision of regenerated cities. The ABSA Towers Main and Jewel City projects are iconic and symbolic of where Divercity is going.”

Following a competitive bidding process, Divercity acquired the 30-storey ABSA Towers Main building from ABSA, conditional on approvals from the Competition Commission.

The currently unoccupied building will be redeveloped into a one-of-a-kind mixed-use building for South Africa, including 520 affordably priced residential rental apartments, a floor of coffee shops, restaurants and recreation, ground floor convenience retail, child care facilities, a public park, integrated public transport facilities and a wealth of public art.

ABSA will also be leasing back nine floors with 10,000sqm of office space in the redeveloped building. Once completed, the development will be valued at over R400m.

We are constantly looking for ways to express who the new Absa is and what we stand for. We are taking an old building and giving it a new lease on life to benefit our colleagues and the broader community. It’s about finding new ways of getting things done by creating a vibrant space where we can live, work and play together,” says Wendy Cuthbert, head of Absa Corporate Real Estate Solutions (CRES).

Jewel City new Urban Plaza

Rian Reyneke, CEO of Ithemba, says: “With its partners, Divercity has an established track record of successful commercial development and good placemaking. Like Divercity, ABSA is deeply committed to the Joburg inner city. This commitment and urban regeneration are the shared focus behind the project. Our likeminded partnership has made it possible to redevelop a building as significant as ABSA Towers Main.”

The project will commence in early 2019, with ABSA expected to reoccupy the towers early in 2020. The 20 floors dedicated to residential accommodation and recreation will be launched in various phases.

Besides creating an inclusive new world-class ‘live, work, play’ environment, the project is also designed to enhance the area as a whole. As part of a wider neighbourhood development initiative, a pedestrian-friendly walkway with street furniture, lighting and art will be created from ABSA Towers Main all the way to Maboneng. This unique urban intervention prioritizes pedestrians and people of the local community above vehicular traffic.

Between ABSA Tower Main and Maboneng is Jewel City, the former heart of the diamond and precious metals trade in Johannesburg, which spans six city blocks that have been closed off to the public for decades. Divercity acquired Jewel City from Redefine Properties and the property transferred on 1 October 2018.

Jewel City will reopen to the public as a vibrant mixed-use precinct with a fully pedestrianized streetscape and a total development value of over R1.2bn once fully completed. The project includes the redevelopment of existing buildings as well as the construction of over 40,000sqm of new buildings in the precinct.

The rejuvenated Jewel City will include an abundance of amenities such as a school, clinic, gym, parking and convenience retail as well as fast food and restaurants. It will also include 20,000sqm of commercial space, 1,200 new residential apartments in phase one and up to 1,000 in phase two. The pedestrian-friendly walkway between Absa Tower Main and Maboneng will past directly through it.

Work on the Jewel City project begins in November with the first phase of retail, commercial and residential space set to be ready by August 2019.

In the next 18 months alone, with its ABSA Towers Main and Jewel City projects as well as R400m of residential accommodation under development in Maboneng, Divercity will launch more than 75,000sqm of new residential space in Joburg – more than 2,500 apartments in total.

Tebogo Mogashoa, Chairman of Talis Property Fund, as well as Chairman of the Atterbury Property Fund explains: “Creating affordable rental accommodation in a mixed-use precinct in a central city location gives wage-earning employees the opportunity to live close to work, which is extremely rare by global standards, and especially so in South Africa. Besides the luxury of offering a short walk to work, the pedestrianised precinct is also integrated with public transport for those who travel further.”

Connected mixed-use developments are widely recognised as creating more economically successful and socially desirable urban environments. But besides being good for Johannesburg, its people, its business and economy, Divercity’s game-changing developments are also good for the environment.

Denser urban living close to work opportunities is prized as an essential strategy for limiting carbon emissions. The two redevelopment projects also represent the adaptive reuse of existing but outdated structures, thereby being sustainable by reducing the need for new building construction, which is a massive contributor to carbon emissions. The new ABSA premises is designed to be Green Star SA rated by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). In addition, the residential component of the building will also use sustainable materials where possible and employ sustainability enhancing interventions that limit energy and water use, and costs, for residents. 

Universities collaborate to launch important OHS research body

Universities collaborate to launch important OHS research body

In a joint statement issued in October, the Nelson Mandela University, Mangosuthu University of Technology and the Central University of Technology announced the launch of the Association of Researchers in Construction Safety, Health, and Well-Being (ARCOSH).

Prof John Smallwood, Professor of Construction Management at the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, told South African Builder that, over a period of time it had become apparent that there were several researchers conducting construction safety, health and well-being (SHW) related research on the African continent. This due to, among other aspects, the publication of papers and personal approaches to collaborate.

A common challenge on the African continent is the lack of construction specific health and safety (H&S) legislation, regulations and statistics,” said Prof Smallwood. “Furthermore, there is a lack of collaboration in terms of construction SHW research.”

The ARCOSH initiated research collaboration will contribute to the development of appropriate legislation, regulations and standards, promotion of appropriate construction SHW scholarship and practices, together with appropriate accident, injury, and occupational disease (OD) statistics in Africa.

The four founding members of ARCOSH:

Dr Claire Deacon, Principal, Claire Deacon and Associates / Research Associate, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Prof Theo Haupt, Research Professor: Engineering, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa

Prof Fidelis Emuze, Professor of Built Environment and Head of Department, Central University of Technology, South Africa

Prof John Smallwood, Professor of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Establishment and evolution

Prof Smallwood explains: “The first phase will entail the attraction of members, and the recording of their primary contact details and research interests. And the second phase will include the staging of the inaugural ARCOSH conference in Cape Town on 3-4 June 2019.

ARCOSH will also be extending an invitation to members to participate in a British Academy funded research project designed to investigate the state of CH&S legislative and regulatory frameworks in the SADC region.”


ARCOSH membership applications are invited from people conducting construction SHW research on the African continent. Applications should be addressed to Prof John Smallwood:


E-mail, a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn page will constitute the initial form of communication with members and the public, followed by the establishment of a web site and the use of other social media. In addition, an electronic newsletter will be produced quarterly.

Initially, documents can be accessed via:

ARCOSH Vision Statement

To be the preferred association for researchers conducting research relative to construction safety, health, and well-being (SHW) on the African continent.

ARCOSH Mission Statement

To promote research and development relative to construction SHW, and contribute to the achievement of optimum construction SHW on projects by:

Promoting research and development to improve construction legislation, systems, processes, procedures, and practices;

Forming partnerships with research organisations, built environment statutory councils, professional associations, registration boards, tertiary education institutions, and other built environment stakeholders, and

Promoting collaboration and coordination of construction SHW research between countries.


Identify construction SHW issues, and “research gaps” that require attention in terms of research and development;

Promote and facilitate construction SHW research and development;

Compile construction SHW guidelines, and practice notes;

Compile a construction SHW body of knowledge, and

Promote and contribute to the development and promulgation of construction specific legislation and regulations in African countries.


The following values form the basis for the Association’s approach to its activities:



Ethical reasoning;







Transformation, and