2019 – Another Tough Year

2019 – Another Tough Year

By Greg Steele, Executive Director of East Cape MBA

Master Builders South Africa President John Matthews, referred to the “Hard Times” in his opening comment in the April edition of SA Builder. In addition, our National Executive Director of Master Builders South Africa (MBSA), Roy Mnisi, has called on Government to “Save the Construction Industry (SA Builder, April 2019) and we seem to have become an industry beset with challenges and obstacles resulting in hardly any construction projection being free from some or other serious strife.

Greg Steele, Executive Director of East Cape MBA, addresses the EC MBA AGM in Port Elizabeth

We are all aware that the Building Industry recorded negative growth for both the third and fourth quarters of last year thus entering a period of recession. Master Builders, East Cape (MBA) has felt the impact of this decline by virtue of a concerning 10 % decline in its membership over the past 12 months. This has been largely due to business closures, business rescue, liquidations and simply members who can no longer afford the annual subscriptions of the association.

Notwithstanding the difficult period that the industry finds itself in, associations like the Master Builders Association often become even more essential as contractors and subcontractors look for support and assistance with the various issues facing them many of which revolve around late payment or even non-payment as a result of client or principle contractor default. The MBA has again been reliably informed that there are some provincial government departments that have indicated a lack of funds to continue or complete certain projects.

Part of the MBA’s mission is to assist its members in these situations and this sometimes requires intervention at the highest level. Non- or late payment by government remains a major concern and a further survey will be conducted amongst members to ascertain exactly where the problems lie. The disruption of building sites by forums and SMME’s has almost become a norm in the industry and procurement and contractual provisions will need to be reviewed and adapted to suit the changing landscape and to ensure that contractors and subcontractor members are protected and risks shared with the employer where relevant.

EC MBA Port Elizabeth AGM

The client’s responsibility in Health & Safety on site is well defined in the Construction Regulations but are clients aware of their obligations? This is another issue that MBSA is committed to addressing across the country with the support of the local MBA’s in each region.

On a local level MBA, East Cape has committed itself to the recruitment and support of Home Builders and subcontractors in 2019 and much of our strategic focus will be in this area. The promotion of the question “Is your builder a Master Builder?” is foremost in our minds and we are asking Client bodies, Housing & Golf estates and other developments throughout our region this question. This in an effort to market our members to clients on a wide scale based on the following benefits for the homeowner:

  • Status & Quality

    • Use members of this respected 120 year old contractor organisation

    • Values – Skill· Integrity· Responsibility·  Ethics

    • Experienced and graded contractors

    • Good standing reference check

  • MBA Advice for home-owners on their Building Projects

    • Get the best from your building contractors

    • Advice and standard contract documentation

  • Advice on legislative Compliance and Home-owner responsibilities

    • NHBRC

    • Safety Regulations

    • Municipal compliance

  • Dispute resolution

    • Recourse to mediation

    • Arbitration, etc.

  • Our members have access to tailored and relevant services at discounted member rates

    • Contractual and Legal advice and assistance

    • Health and Safety Compliance support

    • Education and Training – Relevant and Accredited

    • Labour Relations support and representation

(All services at members discounted rates.)

Is your builder a Master Builder?

Golf Days

The MBA has held two golf days to date this year. The first in East London on 28 March and the second in Port Elizabeth on 11 April 2019. The East London day was held at Olivewood Golf Estate on the East Coast Resorts Road and hosted a smaller field of around 45 Golfers. The local Stutt Group was a major sponsors of the event and despite the smaller field a great day was had by all.

The PE Golf day enjoyed a bumper field with over 90 golfers on the day. The day was supported by some of the QACCS Golf Club members and proved to be a great start to the MBA’s social calendar in PE region.


The MBA holds and Annual General Meeting in each region or branch namely Port Elizabeth, Southern Cape and Border/Kei with the main objection of electing office bearers for the branches. Through the special efforts of the Executive Committee members in each branch the AGM’s were well attended throughout with almost 200 people in attendance overall. The following members were elected to serve as office bearers.

Port Elizabeth

Chairman – Gregg Clarke – Techni Construction

Vice Chairman – Andrew Scott – William Scott Contracts


Chairman – Peter Jones – ABE Construction Chemicals

Vice Chairman – Dane Langhein – Dekon Projects

Southern Cape

Chairman – Brett Holton – Tusker Construction, Knysna

Vice Chairman – Cameron Ward-Able – Cape Island Construction, Knysna

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