STIHL – putting the cutting edge into construction

STIHL – putting the cutting edge into construction

STIHL: the first name in construction power tools

Having the right tool for the job makes everything easier, faster, safer. On site, you can trust in STIHL power tools to get it done properly – no fuss, no headaches. When it comes to cutting and boring, there’s a choice of STIHL tools that have been specially designed for the task at hand.

Take for example, the TS 440 cut-off machine. This model can cut in out-of-sight and hard-to-reach areas such as corners, the buried bottom part of pipes, the lower section of walls and other limited access spots where the guard positions on traditional cut-off machines make cutting difficult. The guard on the TS 440 has been adjusted to expose the top portion of the wheel for work-anywhere flexibility. Is it safe? You bet: the expanded guard adjustability is made possible by the TS 440’s world-first sensor-activated Quickstop wheel brake technology, which stops the wheel rotating in fractions of a second if kickback occurs.

Other useful features include a top handle for well-balanced handling and increased manoeuvrability and the electronic water control for easy and efficient water flow adjustment while cutting. It also conveniently retains the last setting. The water flow automatically stops at idle speed and restarts when the throttle is engaged.

If cordless convenience is what you need, look no further than the TSA 230 cut-off machine that is powered by Lithium-Ion battery technology. There are no emissions and its quieter performance make it well suited for use indoors and in enclosed spaces. It cuts neatly and effectively to a depth of 70mm, and when fitted with a choice of STIHL abrasive wheels can tackle steel and metal pipes, concrete, bricks and roof tiles. With an impressive performance, the TSA 230 is easy and comfortable to handle.

The big brother of the TS 440 and TSA 230 is the TS 800, STIHL’s most powerful cut-off saw with a 5.0 kW engine and 400mm cutting wheel. This model is ideal for long cuts and slicing through metal, concrete and asphalt to a depth of 150mm. Its low weight, anti-vibration system, water attachment for dust suppression and wrap-around loop handle all facilitate comfortable cutting, with the added benefit of a long filter service life and increased service intervals thanks to its innovative long-life air filter system with cyclone air routing. This model can be operated by hand or with an FW 20 cart.

For perfect corners, the GS 461 cuts neatly through concrete, masonry and ductile cast iron pipes, making light work of free hand and precision-cutting tasks and boasting an impressive cutting depth. It handles like a chain saw and this manoeuvrability makes the GS 461 ideal for plunge cutting, working in tight spots or close up against a 90° corner. The GS 461 is equipped with low emission and environmentally-friendly 2-MIX engine technology and has an anti-vibration system for added user comfort. The guide bar is fitted with water channels to wash, cool and lubricate the chain, chain track and sprocket nose, extending their lifespan and significantly reducing dust while cutting.

If you need to dig holes for fencing or support beams, for example, the STIHL BT 131 one-man auger is a high performance, lightweight power tool that combines the benefits of two-stroke and four-stroke technology with its fuel-efficient 1.4kW STIHL 4-MIX engine, while the enlarged fuel tank allows for longer working periods without refuelling. This model has a low-vibration handle frame, control handle with stop button, long-life air filter system, and large support cushion for added operator comfort.

So there it is: cutting, cornering, boring – STIHL has a tool for every on-site task. With tools that are simple and efficient to use, cost-effective and powerful, with must-have safety features, STIHL is the perfect working partner.

Steven Motha: a success story of note

Steven Motha: a success story of note

By Tasveera Singh, Marketing and Membership Assistant, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal

Steven Motha accepting the award for Commercial Buildings (under R50m) in 2018 alongside his mother, father and the Association’s President, Joyce Dolly Tembe

Rising from humble beginnings, Steven Siyabonga Motha was born and raised in Madadeni, a township in Newcastle. After attending Phendukani High School and matriculating in 2004, Steven went on to complete his certificate in Construction Management and then later completed a certificate in Project Management through the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).

Inspired by his father, who is also a contractor, Steven founded Sonqoba Motha’s Building Construction CC in 2015. He then joined Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal as a member and saw 2016 as life-changing when he was accepted into the Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Emerging Contractor Programme.

The Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Emerging Contractor Programme provides a platform for new business owners to learn and achieve their business goals.

Steven was one of 25 participants in the programme who completed the training aspect. He was allocated to a mentor, Mohammed Khan from ESE & Projects for six months in 2017. During this time, Mohammed Khan and Steven Motha discussed business goals and put a structured programme in place to achieve those goals.

When his journey with his mentor concluded, Steven entered the last phase of the programme which is “adopt-a-company”. This phase entails participants being linked to larger companies with projects underway where they gain practical exposure to on-site operations and relevant experience. This assists participants exiting the programme as they are more likely to conform to industry standards and best practice. Steven was ‘adopted’ by ESE & Projects for six months where he gained valuable industry experience.

Project ‘Pre-Eminence Studio’ for which Steven Motha won the Excellence in Construction Award in the Commercial Buildings (under R50m) category

The Emerging Contractor Programme has since inception enrolled 192 delegates – 23% female and 21% youth – from across KZN including both urban and rural beneficiaries. Of the 106 delegates who have since graduated, 33% were from women-owned companies while 23,5% were youth.

Steven won the Excellence in Construction Award in the Emerging Contractor category at the Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Annual Awards in 2016 for his single storey building constructed on a strip foundation “64 Nagtagal Street”, as well as the Excellence in Construction Award in the Emerging Contractor category in 2017 for his project “No. 18 Olympic Street”. Steven proudly graduated from the Emerging Contractor Programme in 2018.

Proof that hard work and determination builds a road to success, Steven’s combined skills and education led him to construct the stunning “Pre-Eminence Studio” for which he won the Excellence in Construction Award in the Commercial Buildings (under R50m) category at the Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Annual Awards in 2018.

Steven’s progression in the construction industry is a success story of note, a story which Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal believes is still being written.

AfriSam recycles concrete in its sustainability drive

AfriSam recycles concrete in its sustainability drive

Readymix concrete that is returned to the supplier for various reasons has in the past created an environmental headache, but AfriSam is now able to recycle this material for road-building purposes.

The return concrete has also been used around the readymix plant to pave large areas

While readymix suppliers must always be prepared to accommodate a certain portion of returned concrete from site when the construction schedule does not go according to plan, for instance, disposal of this material can create challenges. So, in line with its commitment to recycling in its Environmental Management Programme, AfriSam has over the years used various strategies to deal responsibly with returned concrete.

A breakthrough was made when the management team at AfriSam’s Jukskei Quarry in Midrand, Gauteng, experimented with including recycled concrete in the G5 sub-base product required for road-building. Standards permit this grade of product to comprise material from more than one source. They also require that it contain about 80% fines content which the recycled concrete was well-suited to deliver.

As a result, some 15 to 20% of the G5 product can be made up of recycled concrete, giving a good mixture of decomposed material and returned concrete. Quality remains key, and AfriSam ensures that all its products comply with the COLTO (Committee of Land Transport Officials) material grading specifications from the South African Bureau of Standards.
AfriSam’s G5 sub-base with recycled concrete was first used on the N1 highway extension work around Johannesburg – part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project – and the contractor was well satisfied with it. Since then, its success has been replicated in a range of other projects.

Waste at the facility that will be recycled

The recycling process begins when the returned concrete is contained in a dedicated area of the readymix site and allowed to dry. Using a hydraulic hammer mounted on an excavator, the dry returns are broken up into chunks of 250 to 400 mm in size. After being hauled to a secondary stockpile, the material is checked and blended by plant operators before being fed into a jaw crusher.

Load-haul operators also play a role in checking that the material is within specification, and must be selective in what they bring to the stockpile to ensure blending of the appropriate quantities before crushing. Crushed material is then homogenised and stockpiled ready for use.
This innovative solution also has positive spin-offs for the readymix site itself. As there is no slush around the plant, there is less potential for contamination and a smaller carbon footprint is created. It should be remembered that no public dumping facilities would accept concrete in these quantities, making these strategic responses even more vital.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the recycling process ensures sustainability by creating a revenue stream for the recycled material; its inclusion in a saleable, quality G5 product means that it is helping offset the costs that returned concrete places on the business.



The term ‘life can turn on a tickey’ was never more appropriate, as South Africans, in a matter of a week, saw what they believed was a bit of a silver lining in the dark economic clouds, become a load-shedding nightmare that once again threatens to plunge us into darkness.

In his State of the Nation address, on February 7, President Ramaphosa sketched some very positive prospects for South Africa, with a fresh look and apparently workable plans for implementing the obvious remedies towards economic improvement. Most optimists believed that the speech contained more than empty promises.

But when, within days, the core of the country’s growth potential – the vital power grid on which every enterprise depends – reached near collapse, well, the silver lining and the light at the end of the tunnel suddenly lost their lustre.

John Matthews, President, Master Builders South Africa

It wasn’t a bad plan that the President presented so we could not be blamed for feeling a bit more cheerful – I had actually penned a pretty positive Comment for this month’s SA Builder. But even while he was making plans to cut Eskom up into manageable bits, the President was apparently unaware of exactly what a mess the utility was in – and how close it was to the brink of disaster. ‘It came as a shock!’ he told bewildered South Africans.

When it comes to his basically 10-point economic rescue plan, if applied in full, or even in achievable stages, it addresses each of the core concerns of all thinking South Africans. Changes to each of the issues he prioritised can only mean improvements in the lives and the general outlook of South Africans – aside from the way the international community will view this country.

But we must keep in mind that this is an election year, and there are promises aplenty at a time like this. And not knowing your power utility is broken makes the President’s promises a little suspect.

So we, as corporate and private citizens of South Africa, have a massive and now increasing responsibility to monitor the progress of each of the reforms that he promised, and to keep him and his government accountable and responsible.

Keep an eye on government’s progress on the transformation of his headliners: Employment, Eskom, Education, Housing, Health Care, Gender-based violence, Substance abuse, Corruption, Freedoms and The Economy.

The reform of each of these issues is key to our progress and wellbeing as a national community.

So, to quote President Ramaphosa himself – watch this space.



CBE Transformation Indaba ignites possibilities

CBE Transformation Indaba ignites possibilities

The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) hosted its second annual Transformation Indaba in Pretoria in February.

The Indaba, under the theme Igniting the Possibilities, served as a “past-present-future” mirror with the aim of gauging the status of transformation and provided a platform for collaboration and sharing of knowledge among academia, the public and private sectors, as well as to mobilise resources towards the BE Skills pipeline focus on unlocking the Built Environment Skills Pipeline through adequate resource mobilisation, skills development and collaborative interventions to drive transformation and lead the South African built environment into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Ms Priscilla Mdlalose, chief executive officer of the Council for the Built Environment addresses the two day Transformation Indaba at the CSIR ICC

The event was attended by over 210 delegates and included high level representatives from the Department of Public Works, including the Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi. Also represented were investors, project developers, manufacturers, government, private sector organisations and companies, developmental organisations, state owned entities, national utilities, private sector, non-profit organisations, the public at large, labour organisations and international development partners.

Amongst those in attendance were: the six Councils for the Built Environment Professions, namely Architecture, Engineering, landscape Architects, Construction and Project Management, Quantity Surveyors and Property Valuers and some of their Voluntary Associations; both Construction and Property Sector Charters; other councils and industry bodies such as Master Builders South Africa, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) the Black Business Council (BBC) for the Built Environment and the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). CBE Council members were represented by the Chairperson and Deputy, Absolom Molobe and Mme Maphefo Mogodi.

The following Resolutions were passed for the forthcoming year:
– Collaboratively drive the Transformation Agenda of the Built Environment sector of South Africa;
– CBE to monitor and evaluate sector-wide Transformation Initiatives/ Interventions;
– All sector role players to contribute resources (financial or human) for joint/collaborative transformation initiatives/interventions driven by a communal/mutually shared funding mechanism; and
– Sector wide reporting on what each stakeholder is contributing.

Global compact earthmoving brand performing well in the local market

Global compact earthmoving brand performing well in the local market

Gehl skidsteers, tracked skidsteer loaders, articulated loaders and TLBs are available in South Africa through ELB Equipment

Following ELB Equipment’s re-launch of the robust Gehl range of construction and earthmoving equipment late last year ELB’s business development manager, Danie Gerber, confirms that this brand’s renowned performance in the materials handling business in SA has led to its quick adoption in the construction industry.

Gehl, an American based company, is one of the world’s leading compact equipment manufacturers, producing a range of rugged and reliable products amongst which are skidsteers, articulated loaders and BHL’s that deliver powerful performance and that are versatile enough to be used across a number of industries, including construction, mining, agriculture and manufacturing industries.

Gerber says the range complements the distributor’s best-of-breed philosophy for world-beating products which have track records to prove their quality and with high levels of service and aftermarket support.

Global acquisition
“The product range arises from the procurement internationally of the Terex Construction brand by the manufacturer’s parent company. The Gehl range is a large and well-known one throughout the world and is in the safest of hands here in South Africa with ELB Equipment. ELB Equipment have been distributing Mustang Skid steers for 10 years now and has converted to the manufacturer’s Gehl brand which is the same product manufactured under a different brand name. This means that ELB will continue to support and provide backup for the Mustang population in the market.

ELB Equipment’s Ernest Moremedi, Dean Logan, Rhett O’Neill and Keon Kardolus

“We will follow up last year’s re-launch with similar events in 2019, targeting the construction and industrial sectors and will communicate and demonstrate products to all our customers in the months to come,” said Gerber.

He added that the Gehl display at Nampo 2018 has already paid dividends with a number of would-be customers already interested in machines. Not surprising, considering that the country’s premium-brand machines are competitively priced and have an additional reputation for having among the lowest costs-of-ownership in the international industry.

Local market
Gehl skidsteers, tracked skidsteers, loaders and BHL’s are designed to be robust, reliable, easy-to-operate and simple to maintain. They represent excellent value with a wide range of variations available across the entire range of machines.

“The re-launch of Gehl into the marketplace is one of the most exciting entries into the local market and represents one of the most anticipated re-entries of a premium brand into the local construction and earthmoving markets in many years. Supported by one of the country foremost equipment suppliers, it is sure to gain the attention of fleet owners across the entire southern African region,” concludes Gerber.

Are your workers trained to work safely at height?

Are your workers trained to work safely at height?

MBA North calls for greater awareness of risks posed by working at height

Accidents involving falling account for over 15% of all incidents recorded by members of the Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company – the second-largest category. “This statistic shows that the construction industry has some work to do in promoting the safety of employees working at height,” says Gerhard Roets of Master Builders Association (MBA) North. “As one of the concerned industry bodies, we are urging members to take advantage of the varied services offered by the Institute for Working at Height, as well as the growing range of specialised equipment on the market.”

The Institute for Working at Height (IWH) is a non-profit, non-statutory body, divided into a professional body as well as a trade association. Its core function is to promote safety for all employees when working at height in South Africa and it provides guidance on which standards to adhere to, good-practice-notes and guidelines to safer work at height. The IWH also advises on appropriate training for various working-at-height scenarios, as well as checking if the training provider is in fact adhering to all the criteria that they should to deliver proper, accredited and quality assured training. It is also the role of the IWH to keep the industry updated on the latest rules and legislation, services, equipment and so on by conducting meetings and seminars.

MBA North in collaboration with The Institute for Work at Height (IWH) and The South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) are hosting a special seminar in Midrand on 20 February 2019 to address this burning issue. For more information please contact Mbuya at or 0118056611.

The IWH has also just begun conducting compliance audits as a way of helping its members to improve their compliance with relevant safety legislation and regulations.

An-Lie Nel, Trade Manager at the IWH believes that training holds one of the keys for ensuring safety when working at height, as well as responding to any accident that might occur. She says that it is important that employers make certain that they only engage with accredited training providers.

“In addition, not only should the training be accredited, it must also be quality assured by the relevant body – there are many fly-by-night providers out there,” she warns. Clients can contact the IWH to find out if a provider they are interested in using is, in fact, reliable.

A particular area that needs attention is ladders, which account for just over 3% of all accidents related to falling, the largest category. Nel notes that while there are no published training standards relating to ladders, the IWH has registered its own set of training outcomes. The IWH is urging its members, and the industry at large, to ensure their employees are properly trained in the safe use of ladders – after all, they are one of the most common pieces of equipment on any building site.

Nel says that contractors should be aware that over the years the industry has developed many regulations and guidelines to help ensure the safety of those working at height. In addition, a growing range of sophisticated tools and equipment is being produced that is scientifically tested and designed for these hazardous working conditions.

Darryl Voysey, Operations Director at Form-Scaff, the agent for Combisafe equipment in South Africa, says statistically the construction sector is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in, with over 50% of all fatalities within the industry relating to ‘working at height’ incidents. It is worth noting that while many of these accidents relate to workers falling from height, an often overlooked but equally critical number of cases are those where damage is sustained by falling objects.

“From an occupational health and safety point of view, it thus makes great sense to invest in tried, tested and approved fall protection equipment. Unfortunately, in South Africa, this portion of the project is rarely specified in the Bills of Quantity, so it becomes an extra expense for the contractor who needs to ensure that it is priced correctly. Very often the temptation is to jury-rig something, but that is risky in itself as this unique ‘solution’ is not tested, and so one has no idea how it will actually perform when required.”

Honeywell’s Mike Murley adds that a safety solution needs to be comprehensive and include netting and fall-restraint equipment. Each site is unique, and so the solution must be able to be adapted to the conditions on (or above) the ground. Contractors should also be aware that reputable service providers will undertake on-site equipment training if required.

Roets says employers have a legal and moral duty to keep their employees safe, and the dangers are obviously particularly clear when working at height. “This is an area in which South Africa is currently lagging, so it’s an issue that deserves our attention. Safety is one of the pressing issues for our industry,” he says.

MBA North in collaboration with The Institute for Work at Height (IWH) and The South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) are hosting a special seminar in Midrand on 20 February 2019 to address this burning issue. For more information please contact Mbuya at or 0118056611.


Construction Sector Wheelchair Challenge

Construction Sector Wheelchair Challenge

South African Builder magazine supports this important initiative by Little Eden. We challenge all MBSA and MBA directors, members, affiliate members and stakeholders in the construction sector to a) encourage their CEOs to participate in this campaign, and b) to demonstrate their pro-active efforts in incorporating wheelchair-friendly design into all of their current and future projects.

South African Builder undertakes to publish details and photos of all participant efforts in either its print or online platforms.

Kindly email your confirmation of participation to me: before 20 February 2019.

Read on …


The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

There are parts of society that are often forgotten in the modern, chaotic, commercial world in which we live. However, the forgotten are not absent. They still exist and, in the right hands, thrive. The truth is that South Africa, and the world at large, has a population of people who struggle with profound intellectual disabilities and the related challenges.

According to the South African Journal of Disability; “Approximately 200 million people live with intellectual disability (ID), making it the world’s most prevalent disability (World Health Organization [WHO] & World Bank 2011).” Of these 200 million people, just under 2% are diagnosed with profound intellectual disabilities. This is the rarest and most severe form of intellectual disability. People living with profound intellectual disabilities are usually physically disabled and often wheelchair bound, they may be blind, deaf and/or mute. This makes it impossible for them to work, live alone or care for themselves. In most cases, they cannot communicate their basic needs. As a result, they are often misunderstood and may not receive the suitable care.

Fortunately there is hope for this situation. Places such as LITTLE EDEN – Society for the Care of Persons with Mental Handicap, offer a safe haven for those who would have had no other means of fending for themselves. LITTLE EDEN houses and cares for 300 children and adults living with ID, 240 of whom come from indigent families or were abandoned.

To meet the essential needs of advocacy and support for people with profound intellectual disability, LITTLE EDEN Society hosts an annual CEO Wheelchair Campaign. The Campaign calls on participants to donate towards the care of the LITTLE EDEN residents, and then spend a day at work in a wheelchair. The use of wheelchairs gives participants a small glimpse into what a wheelchair bound life might be like, keeping in mind that those living with profound intellectual ability spend their lives in one.

According to Xelda Rohrbeck, CEO at LITTLE EDEN; “this Campaign seeks to raise awareness of and generate compassion towards those living with profound intellectual disabilities and limited mobility. We believe that no matter how profoundly disabled a person may be, he or she is still a whole complete being, with a body; a mind; a spirit and a soul.”

Last year’s campaign saw the likes of Discovery Limited’s Adrian Gore, Multotec’s Thomas Holtz, Maurizio Galimberti from Oberon Pharma, and Jeandre Koen of Mix Telematics participating. Each of them spent a day in a wheelchair to support this campaign. Reportedly, Koen described the experience as; “Life changing”, and Holtz stated; “I definitely appreciate my mobility much more since this exercise. I am an active runner and cyclist, so this made an impact on me.”

In the past, this campaign was open exclusively to CEOs, with a donation amount of R50 000. While the donation amount of R50 000 will still be required from CEOs to participate, CEOs and business leaders of small businesses who wish to support the campaign may participate with a donation of R30 000. Participants are encouraged to challenge other CEOs in their field to join in this campaign in aid of LITTLE EDEN Society.

South African financial donations to LITTLE EDEN Society are tax deductible. Supporters of LITTLE EDEN will also earn points on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Scorecard.

Our special children and adults may not experience the world in the same way that we do, but they have so much to teach us! From them we learn about the power of the human spirit, the joy to be found in simple achievements, the satisfaction of caring for those who are weaker than ourselves, love that seeks no reward,” concludes Mrs Rohrbeck.


This year, the CEO Wheelchair Campaign will officially open with a launch event on 27 February 2019. Participants may then select any date in March 2019 to spend their work day in a wheelchair.

All CEOs, interested in participating in the LITTLE EDEN CEO Wheelchair Campaign, please contact Mary-Anne Wright at

LITTLE EDEN is a registered non-profit organisation [001-827 NPO] and PBO [No.930/0000/03] providing life-long care to 300 children and adults with profound intellectual disability in two custom designed residential facilities – Domitilla and Danny Hyams Home in Edenvale, and Elvira Rota Village, a small holding in Bapsfontein.

For more information, visit

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal: Vision 2019

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal: Vision 2019

By Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal

Since the global recession in 2009, September 2018 saw South Africa slip into a technical recession as the GDP decreased in the second quarter of 2018. This resulted in two consecutive quarters of negative growth, with the construction sector experiencing some of its worst ever confidence levels – coupled with the demise of several large construction companies.

Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal

Notwithstanding encouraging signs that South Africa may be gaining momentum to emerge out of a technical recession, as well as the economic stimulus package – in particular the R400 billion Infrastructure Fund to drive infrastructure development which will no doubt boost job creation and economic growth – it is anticipated that recovery will be slow and that 2019 will prove another tough year for our industry.

It is noted that National Treasury predicted economic growth to pick up to 1.8% and 2.1% in 2019 and 2020 respectively. However, this will be dependent on factors such as a stable political environment and optimistic business sentiment.

The Association’s objective for 2019 is to assist its membership to weather the storm through effective lobbying and advocacy to ensure a sustainable business environment. These include deliberations with relevant stakeholder bodies on key industry matters, of which the issue of non-payment is a top priority.

The Association plans to engage with the banking sector on access to finance, waiver of liens, progress payments not made as per contract payment clause, payment guarantees and conflicting clauses between the building agreement and financial agreement.

The Association spearheaded the establishment of the KZN Good Practice Committee and will actively engage on all building contractual agreements, development levies, special conditions of tender, challenges regarding bills of quantities and accuracy of budgetary amounts, amongst others.

The issues on the radar for Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal for 2019 include the scoping of a dispute resolution and arbitration unit and the establishment of a Higher Education institution.

Recently the Association proudly launched its new Mission and Vision Statement along with its Core Values which demonstrates its commitment to its members and to the industry.


Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal is the leading voice of the KZN construction industry, representing the interest of its members through effective lobbying and advocacy, promoting best practice, skills development and construction excellence by providing relevant services and a diverse range of business solutions; thereby creating an empowering and enabling environment for the sustainability of the construction industry.


Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal is committed towards driving a sustainable and innovative construction industry which seeks to achieve inclusive economic growth and development. 

Core Values

  • Fairness

  • Reliability

  • Efficiency

  • Excellence

  • Accountability

  • Integrity

  • Diversity



If you’re looking for predictions about where South Africa is going in 2019, you’re spoilt for choice. Mainstream and social media, as well as informal opinion platforms are full of experts happy to offload their views – many of them negative. It’s a doomsday theorist’s delight, and it can be very destructive.

John Matthews, President – Master Builders South Africa

Many of the problems revolve around Government’s apparent reluctance to deal with the fallout from the country’s nearly decade-long economic calamity – and the inadequate retribution, if any, for offenders.

Frustration is not unwarranted, but there are glimmers of light that many of us either don’t trust, or fail to see. To move on from the major roadblock we have experienced is going to need a very positive attitude and some belief that what is being done right now, is as good as it can be for the time.

There is a strongly-held opinion that after the May elections some really effective changes will be made when Cyril Ramaphosa, and those in his Cabinet who support him, feel more secure in their position. There’s a hint of those changes in some of the President’s moves to repair historic damage during 2018. According to Media24, Citadel economist Maarten Ackerman believes that government will be enabled to concentrate on the business of governing when it “receives a solid mandate from voters”.

And on a positive note, the trade publication SA Commercial Prop News reports that SA’s REIT sector is expected to produce double-digit total returns for investors this year. Confidence that listed property will make a sharp recovery in 2019 is bolstered by the sector’s offshore exposure, “as well what looks like the start of a recovery of consumer confidence in SA.” So if we’re feeling bullish, we are not alone.

With education having been MBSA’s abiding theme in 2018, we must continue to focus on the successful training and teaching of South Africa’s young people, many of whom are still falling through the cracks, in spite of the national applause for the apparently high percentage of passes in the recent Matric results.

The statistics are hiding the fault-lines in our education system and we as an industry need to help set the real minimum standards for effective basic education, training and qualifications, even if only to ensure competent students wanting to enter our own industry. We cannot ignore the huge numbers of children who drop out of the education system and don’t make it through to the final grade. That is the statistic that should be of greatest concern to educators, government and big business if we really believe in redressing inequality.

And while on the subject, let statistics not be the only benchmark for success and achievement. We need to be sure that the basic education offering in South Africa is superb, the teaching both professional and nurturing and the schools well-equipped. That should be our yardstick for excellence, while at the same time recalling the philosophy of social reformer, abolitionist, statesman and a former slave, Frederick Douglass, who said: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”.

Good luck to us all this year