Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal held its 119th Annual General meeting on 30 June 2020 via the Microsoft Teams platform, which saw Bhekisisa Samson Ngcongo of Dambuza Community Development Trust elected to a second term as President of the Association. In his address, he stated that the Association would vigorously pursue the relevant strategies to build a sustainable and conducive business environment and was resolute in its efforts to effect a positive change.
Congratulations to the Executive Council for the next term of office:
- Bhekisisa Samson Ngcongo, Dambuza Community Development Trust
- Joyce Dolly Tembe, Sakhisizwe Development Training
- Vic Naidoo, 2C Projects CC (Pty) Limited
- Patricia Moodley, Globacon (Pty) Limited
- Lance Ridl, Ridl Construction
- Marcus Gonzalves, FS Gonzalves Construction
- Moegamat Behardien, MET Developments
- Thys Blom, Plankonsult
- John Dorning, Stefanutti Stocks Building KZN
- Craig Gainsford, GVK-Siya Zama Building Contractors (Pty) Limited
- Francois Louw, MET Builders
- Thobekile Ndlovu, Thobethulani Trading CC
- Ash Sewraj, Deck, Steel and Concrete CC
- Nelson Rodrigues, Grinaker-LTA
The KwaZulu-Natal based Association presents itself as a one-stop business hub and offers a comprehensive membership service which includes occupational health and safety, building and contractual advice, labour relations and training and skills development.
This is complemented by a wide range of commercial offerings such as Occupational Health and Safety Consulting, Training Academy, Print Studio, Occupational Health Clinics, Conference facilities, Café Indaba and Recruitment Agency – which are designed to assist members with their business operations at preferential rates.
Notwithstanding a severely constrained economy, the Association closed the last financial year with 757 members on its membership roll and once again obtained an unqualified audit.
As part of our ongoing efforts to promote our members, the Association embarked on an exciting member promotion campaign, which included advertising segments on East Coast Radio and the launch of the Master Builders KZN App. The App connects members of the Association to the world of work and complements the Association’s online Find-a-Builder and Find-a-Supplier directories. These initiatives enable clients and the public to easily access their members. The App is available from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
The Association prioritises transformation in the construction industry and continued to run their special projects – the Vuka Makhi programme, Bursary Fund and Emerging Contractor programme. It has been five years since the inception of the Vuka Makhi Programme, which is designed to groom identified learners from school to employment. Tuition is offered to grade 11 and 12 learners in several subjects with about 120 learners enrolled to date. Their 2019 matriculants achieved a 100% pass rate in the 2019 matric examination, with 40 distinctions between them.
To date, the Bursary Fund has supported 121 construction industry aspirants. In 2020, 15 bursaries have been approved comprising qualifications in Construction Management, Quantity Surveying and Supervision of Construction Processes.
The Emerging Contractor Programme has, over the past seven years, contributed to the business and construction management skills of 202 small businesses. The Programme consists of training, mentorship and the Adopt-a-Company phase.
The Association is also the registered Administrator of the KwaZulu-Natal Provident Fund, KwaZulu-Natal Retirement Fund and Midlands Building industry Retirement Fund and also administers the Holiday Pay Stamp Scheme. The Funds recently launched its official website www.kznretirementfunding.co.za
Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal recognised that rising material costs, onerous clauses in contracts, site interruptions, reduced contract periods, increased competition, shrinking profit margins, the impact of load shedding, low investor confidence, ratings downgrades, business closures, high rates of unemployment and the slow pace of structural reforms were among the many challenges that members were faced with. In order to mitigate these challenges, the Association engaged with several key industry stakeholders.
This was further exacerbated by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across the world. The world, South Africa and the construction industry would bear the brunt of the looming lockdowns and restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the virus. This set the tone for the coming months and it definitely would not be business as usual.
The Association remains steadfast in its commitment to driving and influencing a positive and sustainable future for the construction industry.
Following the emergence of COVID-19 in South Africa and the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to implement lockdown from 27 March 2020, the Covid-19 Construction Rapid Response Task Team was established with participation from key industry bodies to tackle the recovery of the industry post the lockdown. The Task Team, which seeks participation and expertise of all stakeholders in the industry, played a pivotal role in making key submissions towards the full reactivation of the sector under Alert Level 3.
Upon full reactivation of the sector, to assist members and the industry as a whole to maintain the necessary Occupational Health and safety protocols during the Covid-19 era, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal launched their COVID-19 site induction video, which can be downloaded from www.masterbuilders.co.za.