Western Cape Construction And Built Environment Industry In The Spotlight This September

Western Cape Construction And Built Environment Industry In The Spotlight This September

Next month Cape Town will showcase at the 7th Cape Construction Expo why it is a global investment and tourism destination with great potential for further economic development through which to increase employment, income and overcome the major socio-economic challenges facing our city, province and country.

Cape Town is renowned for being a world-class tourism destination, however, I am pleased to confirm that increasingly more businesses identify Cape Town as a forward-looking globally competitive city ready for investment. As the City, we know that our work goes beyond providing basic services and we are committed to working with all sectors to promote and retain investment. It is my priority to work with industry partners to make it easier for individuals, professionals, sector bodies and businesses to become part of this dynamic economy. We understand the barriers for the industry and professional bodies and the concerns of the industry regarding sector economic pressures. We will do all we can to ensure that we continue to be the go-to city on the African continent and globally for business and trade,” says Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

Servicing the entire value chain of the Western Cape’s construction industry

The exhibition element of 7th Cape Construction Expo, that is taking place on 11 and 12 September at Sun Exhibits GrandWest, will showcase the full construction cycle over eight dedicated product zones including building interiors & finishes, construction tools & building materials, mechanical, electrical and plumbing plant machinery & vehicles, smart construction, concrete, windows, doors & façades, pumps, valves & pipes.

Collaborating to overcome construction industry challenges

Mr Jeremy Wiley, a past president of Cape Chamber of Commerce says: “In the South African context Cape Town is the most expensive metropolitan region in which to live, own commercial property and develop businesses. Municipal and provincial authorities could consider making surplus public land available for affordable housing by the private sector, reducing property rates and municipal development levies to stimulate commercial and industrial property development particularly in previously disadvantaged areas and various inner city commercial and industrial corridors.”

Mr Wiley will be joined by Ms Jacqueline Samson, Chief Director of Planning and Ms Phila Mayisela, Chief Director of Implementation at the Department of Human Settlements of the Western Cape Government, amongst others, on an interactive Stakeholder Engagement Forum panel discussion that is running alongside the expo on 12 September. The discussion will highlight inner city transformation, provincial investment and development initiatives, overcoming industry challenges and how public and private sector can better collaborate to unlock construction bottlenecks.

The importance of professional development cannot be overstated

Continuous professional development is the secret to separating yourself from the pack. Alongside the 7th Cape Construction Expo attendees can benefit from the complimentary CPD accredited skills development training workshops.

The ‘Contractors Corner’ workshop area will include talks on health and safety; arbitration & legal compliance; knowing your rights when it comes to ensuring timeous payment, avoiding disputes and preventing damages being claimed; what to look out for when dealing with the specification, testing and disputing of ready-mixed concrete and more.

The ‘Architectural Talks’ workshop area will cover the relevance of CPD including the conditions and validation: SACAP’s and the voluntary association’s roles; understanding what to expect from the National Building Regulations and SANS revisions; understanding timber preservation and more.


The 7th annual Cape Construction Expo 2019 is the only event dedicated exclusively to the building and construction industry in the Western Cape, bringing together 3,750+ stakeholders operating in the sector, it presents a unique opportunity for product manufacturers and distributors as well as service providers to network with key buyers from the sector. With over 100 exhibiting brands featured across the indoor and outdoor exhibition area, Cape Construction Expo offers access to the most innovative building materials and technologies. With eight dedicated sector zones including building interiors & finishes, construction tools & building materials, mechanical, electrical and plumbing plant machinery & vehicles, smart construction, concrete, windows, doors & façades, pumps, valves & pipes. Free workshops and demonstrations will provide training, capacity building, and networking opportunities for all attendees.

A commitment cast in concrete

A commitment cast in concrete

Hannes Meyer – Cementitious Executive, AfriSam *

In April 2018, at its Peninsula Quarry operations near Cape Town, AfriSam’s top management team re-affirmed it’s long term commitment, further entrenchment and investment of assets and resources in the Western Cape.

AfriSam is renowned for its presence and dedication over decades of construction in the Western Cape, including the supply of cement, concrete and readymix for numerous iconic structures – to the benefit of the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape region and their communities as a whole.

Concrete, after water, is the most used

AfriSam plays an extensive and ongoing infrastructure development role in Cape Town and the Western Cape

product on the planet

With our considerable assets in the region, coupled with our innovative logistics operations in directing clinker from Gauteng to the Western Cape, we are able to maintain our competitive edge and deepen our commitment to Cape Town and the Western Cape,” said Hannes Meyer, AfriSam’s Cementitious Executive.

Richard Tomes, Sales and Marketing Executive for AfriSam

AfriSam’s top management team engage with the medai at the company’s Peninsula Quarry near Cape Town *

Richard Tomes, Sales and Marketing Executive for AfriSam, noted that the company is recognised as the market leader in the combined manufacture and supply of concrete materials, namely, cement, aggregates and readymix.

The AfriSam Peninsula Quarry *

We are aware of the progressive migration of people to Cape Town and the Western Cape, and note too that the turnaround of growth in construction will still take some time, however we have in place comprehensive plans for ongoing expansion in the region – to which we remain historically committed,” continued Tomes.

According to Meyer, AfriSam has in place fully approved and signed-off plans for expansion of its facilities in Saldanha Bay. This programme will build out on its existing limestone quarry in Saldanha with the addition of an EIA approved cement plant to be constructed when market conditions are favourable. “This project will enable significant expansion of all AfriSam products in the Western Cape.

Shaughn Smit, AfriSam’s National Sales Manager for Aggregates

Re-construction of the Silos is well advanced – 2016

Building on Meyer’s presentation, Shaughn Smit, AfriSam’s National Sales Manager for Aggregates, described a number of huge forthcoming developments in the Cape Town region: “AfriSam’s projected commitment programme is in direct support of the published 25 year build plan for the V&A Waterfront – where we continue to supply concrete on a daily basis; the “WES Cape” 25 year build plan (a project similar to Century City) which has already been approved by the City of Cape Town; the “Harbour Edge” development by Amdec which is in the pipeline for the Culemborg foreshore area near the Yacht Club; as well as the “joining of the bridges” which will result in another huge development below the bridges.”

De-construction and re-construction of the atrium progresses apace – 2016

Our finest example of commitment,” said Richard Tomes, “is without doubt our participation with the design of concrete for the iconic Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) – the only contemporary art museum in Africa. Here AfriSam sponsored the supply of concrete at cost – and continues to play a key role as a stakeholder through active participation in educational and community programmes revolving around the museum.”

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and AfriSam

Project manager, Franette Ventura

A majestic work of modern engineering and concrete art

Originally completed in 1924, the 57 m high Silo dominates the Cape Town skyline.

Constructed by SA Railways and Harbours, the facility processed hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat, maize, soya and sorghum. It was sited to take advantage of its connectivity to the docks and the supporting rail infrastructure. An iconic building, it is considered an important contributor to Cape Town’s urban character.

Custom-built lifts operate inside two of the cut-away silo cylinders – servicing the six floors of art galleries above and providing visitors with a view into the atrium *

According to lead design architect, Thomas Heatherwick of the famed Heatherwick Studios in London, “We expected a rather cold surface inside the museum, but as we began to work with portions of the old concrete, we realized that it imparts a rather unique character to the building inside – a rather warm one at that.

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

The cut through the concrete of the silo wall must be “like a knife through butter” – Thomas Heatherwick, architect

“like a knife through butter”

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

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

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

There be Dragons in the Atrium

A spiral staircase winds up six floors to the rooftop *

This museum is a symbol and an icon of the confidence we feel about being Africans, the confidence we feel about our place in the world” said Mark Coetzee, Executive Director and Chief Curator.


Deep in the basement are the original silo grain release valves *

* Photos: John Thomé

Acknowledgements: Gareth Griffiths – extracts on Zeitz Museum

Advice to CT contractors on tender submissions during the water crisis

Advice to CT contractors on tender submissions during the water crisis

Master Builders Association Western Cape offers the following cautionary advice to its members regarding submission of tenders, due to the water crisis in the Greater Cape Town area:

At the time of submitting a tender for any works, both main contractors and subcontractors need to be very careful concerning the risks that the situation arising from the current water crisis presents and should carefully consider the following:

Theewaterskloofwater Dam, Cape Town, March 2018

Access to the municipal water supply for use on building site activities is likely to be further restricted, possibly to a major degree, and;
The cost of municipal potable water is likely to increase significantly;
To this end, the specific contract conditions should be carefully studied, particularly as they relate to the party recorded in the contract documentation as being responsible for the supply of water, and the cost thereof.

Note should also be taken that relevant conditions of contract vary significantly. Such variance is not only between different types of contractual agreements, but also between various editions (this is the case with various recent JBCC editions).

Care should be taken to study the specific contract conditions, particularly any amendments to standard conditions, and note taken of the fact that, even where Agreements contain force majeure provisions, this is unlikely to protect the contractor on newly submitted tenders.

Qualifying tenders is permissible in law, but carries risks, particularly in the public sector, where qualifications are likely to result in disqualification. Needless to say, collusion with other tenderers is unlawful.

The risks that will confront contractors and subcontractors include contamination of water from sources other than the municipal supply and stringent quality control measures must be maintained to ensure both the quality of the water as well as the testing of structural concrete and mortars to ensure compliance with design strengths.

Many subcontract agreements allocate the responsibility of supplying water to the contractor. Contractors need to take due account of this

Contract conditions in current tenders are likely to qualify and reduce the employer’s responsibility and risk and contractors must scrutinise the documents to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the risks that any amended documentation shifts to them and take the appropriate precautions when submitting their tenders in order to contain or manage these risks.