MBA North welcomes government’s infrastructure strategy but says implementation is critical

The Master Builders Association (MBA) North has broadly welcomed President Ramaphosa’s vision of massive infrastructure spending as the “flywheel” of South Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Speaking at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium, President Ramaphosa said that 88 investment-ready projects had already been identified by the Presidency’s infrastructure and investment head Dr Kgosientsho Ramakgopa and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille.

However, says MBA North President, Mohau Mphomela, the industry has heard similar rhetoric for the past several years.

“We are in agreement with Minister De Lille that this cannot be another talking shop – it’s all about implementation, implementation, implementation,” he notes. “It’s noteworthy that the President has identified the key role that the private sector has to play in making this project work, but it remains to be seen whether he can deliver on the clear policies and institutional frameworks that will be needed to unlock corporate treasure chests.

“If the state insists on playing a central role, we could see this initiative failing to meet its targets. Everything thus hinges on the ability of the Presidency’s infrastructure commission to convince investors that they are up to the task. Given the state’s poor track record when it comes to managing large projects – Medupi and Kusile come to mind – it is of the utmost importance that they can demonstrate both commitment and capability to investors.”

President Ramaphosa has previously indicated that he wants to attract R1.5 trillion over the next 10 years for the infrastructure development programme.

Mphomela notes that the construction industry has been under severe strain for several years now, with several of its leading players either having gone out of business or in business rescue. The COVID-19 lockdowns have further intensified the industry’s vulnerability. The same scenario is playing out in the cement, engineering and steel industries locally.

“We have lost a lot of muscle, and what was once a world-class construction sector is now a shadow of its former self,” he says. “More delays will further reduce our internal capability to deliver on these ambitious projects, and thus hamstring efforts to rebuild a more inclusive economy.

“The Master Builders Association North stands ready to work with government to turn these plans into reality, but time is running out,” he concludes.

Q&A With Bheki Mdlalose, Group Managing Director, Grinaker-LTA

What was the background for the acquisition of Grinaker-LTA from Aveng by Laula Consortium?

  • Aveng made a strategic decision to exit the South African construction market and focus on mining contracting (Moolmans) and its Australian operations (McConnell Dowell).
  • Construction in South Africa employs mostly black African people and thus it made business sense to hand over the business to black entrepreneurs.
  • Laula is a consortium made up of three businesspeople, representing investment businesses they are controlling, namely: OTEO Holdings (Mlu Manci – Chairperson), Bruce Zungu (Non-Executive Director), Raymond Cele (Executive Director) and Bhekani Mdlalose (Group Managing Director). The major drive was to be a part of the team that will make a difference in South Africa and contribute to the infrastructure in the country. Contractors build monuments that create legacies and last for a long time.

How is Grinaker-LTA dealing with the coronavirus lockdown?

  • This has been the most challenging time for the business and South Africa as a whole. Our message is consistent with that of Government: people should adhere to the lockdown rules and remain at home except for when they require essentials services. If the virus is spread the virus through movement and contact, minimising movement will curb the spread.
  • G-LTA’s leadership has encouraged employees who do not feel well or were in contact with people who have / had been travelling to get tested.
  • Good governance is never more necessary than during a crisis and at a time of significant change. The tough decisions G-LTA leadership has had to take during the crisis and will continue to take in months ahead to ensure that our employees are taken care of and the business is sustainable remains the paramount goal.
  • We have extended our hands to the needy communities that we operate within in the form of food parcels, providing water and essential PPE (this is what we call Ubuntu).

What are Grinaker-LTA’s future plans?

  • Grinaker-LTA has a lot to offer to South Africa’s troubled construction and infrastructure sector. Having pioneered the construction of monuments, the company possesses the skills and tenacity to accelerate the infrastructure stimulus as set out by the President.
  • Our ability to connect and develop meaningful bonds with communities in which we operate will ensure we play a key role in rolling out of infrastructure stimulus.
  • We are familiar with rural and underdeveloped communities – this will make is easy for us to deliver projects in environments we understand.
  • Our commitment to the economic growth of South Africa will position us to deliver the much-needed infrastructure built in South Africa.
  • We are a smaller business now, so we pay more attention to our clients’ needs for better returns. We are also able to make decisions quicker, which will minimise unnecessary delays and costly overruns in the projects we are involved with.
  • We are looking to get involved through the lifecycle and value-chain of the project development.

 

 

 

Notice Regarding Implementation Of Ergonomics Risk Assessment And Medical Surveillance In Terms Of Regulations 6 and 8 Of The Ergonomics Regulations Of 2019, Respectively

Department of Employment and Labour

Under section 40 (3) (b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No 85 of 1993, as amended), I, Tibor Szana, appointed as chief inspector in terms of section 27 (1) of the said Act, and by virtue of the powers delegated to me by the Minister of Employment and Labour, in terms of section 42 (1) of the said Act, hereby grant the following temporary exemption from Regulations 6 and 8 of the Ergonomics Regulation of 2019 in terms of section 40 of the said Act:

For an employer to perform an ergonomics risk assessment and place an employee under medical surveillance, until the 30th June 2021.

Signed

Tibor Szana (Mr)

Chief Inspector: Occupational Health and Safety

FEM & NHBRC OFFICES

FEM OFFICES

Our offices remain closed while we continue to work from home

In line with the guidelines and regulations issued under the lockdown we are continuing to work from home and helping to flatten the curve. Our staff will be able to go through to the offices under extreme circumstances. We will continue to monitor the situation in order to protect our employees and our clients. We thank you for your understanding and reassure you of our commitment to providing you with an efficient service at all times.

We are here for you. Please engage with us using the following electronic platforms:

Medical service providers submission of invoices               : https://ims.fem.co.za

Policyholder submission of return of earnings                    : https://roe.fem.co.za

Policyholder submission of claims                                          : FEM-registry@fema.co.za

Johannesburg                                                                               : (011) 359 4300

Cape Town                                                                                    : (021) 443 2200

Durban                                                                                           : (031) 277 0660

Emergencies                                                                                 : (011) 359 4333

For any other info. log on to                                                     : www.fema.co.za

NHBRC

NHBRC TO REOPEN ITS CUSTOMER CARE OFFICES TO THE PUBLIC ON MONDAY, 8TH JUNE 2020

 The National Home Builders Registration Council will resume offering its full onsite service operations by reopening its customer walk-in centres at its main Provincial Offices as of Monday, 8 June 2020 in line with the Level 3 Lockdown Regulations.

Offices that will be reopened include Sunninghill, Pretoria, Cape Town, George, Durban, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, East London, Rustenburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Mbombela. Our satellite offices in Tzaneen, Witbank, Bethlehem, Thulamela, Mafikeng, Klerksdorp and Newcastle will be phased in gradually over the next few days.

“This is to ensure that we safeguard the health and safety of both our employees and customers by ensuring that the offices are fully compliant and suitable in line with the relevant health regulations. Work is currently underway to deep clean and disinfect all offices nationally and distribute all the necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) as well as deploying the necessary screening protocols and equipment” said Acting Chief Executive, Otsile Maseng.

In keeping with the pronounced Social Distancing mitigatory steps against this pandemic and limiting overexposure, Developers, contractors, home builders and housing consumers, who need to interact with NHBRC are urged to only visit our offices when it is absolutely necessary. e.g. for collection of certificates (i.e. registration and enrolment) and to complete technical assessments.

We further encourage those who need to submit necessary additional supporting documents to do so from the safety of their homes or offices via our online emailing channel and the list per province is;

  1. Gauteng:                GP-online@nhbrc.org.za
  2. Western Cape:       WC-online@nhbrc.org.za
  3. Eastern Cape:        EC-online@nhbrc.org.za
  4. Free State:             FS-online@nhbrc.org.za
  5. North West             NW-online@nhbrc.org.za
  6. Limpopo:                LP-online@nhbrc.org.za
  7. Mpumalanga:         MP-online@nhbrc.org.za
  8. KwaZulu-Natal:      KZN-online@nhbrc.org.za
  9. Northern Cape       NC-online@nhbrc.org.za

Each of our offices has a Covid-19 Task Team to ensure the continued safety of our employees and customers and all visiting our offices are requested to cooperate with the measures put in place.

As an agency of the Department of Human Settlements, we support all the national Covid-19 interventions aimed at providing citizens with dignified accommodation and access to clean water, thus contributing to reducing the risks of infection associated with overcrowding.

MBA East Cape Bulletin – 2 June 2020

With the move to Lockdown Alert Level 3 our MBA East Cape office hours have also changed. MBA East Cape Office hours:
In terms of our MBA Covid-19 Workplace Plan, the MBA Offices will now be manned by core staff from 08:15 to 16:30 daily. A number of staff will continue to work from home or on a mobile basis to consult with members at their premises or on their sites as the need arises and subject to strict Health & Safety protocols.
We will continue to provide the best service possible to members during this time and will ship any documents required directly to your door. These may include:
  • Standard Building Contracts;
  • COVID-19 Ready for Work Plans, etc.
  • Health & Safety Plans and Risk Assessments;
  • Safety Manuals & Registers;
  • Employment Documentation.
Membership Certificates:
MBA members are issued with a new MBA Membership Certificate annually. The certificate is proof that they are a member of the association and in good standing. The Certificate has an expiry date on it and will also indicate the Category of the Member i.e. Building Contractor, Subcontractor or Associate member. All Building Contractor and Subcontractor members are also graded by the association (See Grading of members)
Tenders :
I am pleased to see that the number of tenders are picking up again. All in all 18 Tenders were published today including one extension and an invitation to register on the NMBM Service Provider Database.
Please refer to the tenders page for more information:
Central Supplier Database (CSD):
As mentioned in last week’s Bulletin we have created a special page on our website for members who wish to register on the Government’s Central Supplier Database (CSD). This is a requirement for most municipalities in terms of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations. We are building up an inclusive list of Municipalities with the Website/Contact details for your easy access.
FEM Support:
FEM is providing special support to their Policy Holders including an extension of the deadline for Return of Earnings and special payment arrangements.
Website Improvements:
We are continually making improvements to our website, the latest of which includes many useful downloads for members under one of the General Information pages.
Some of the latest downloads added include all the relevant COVID-19 Documents including Directives, Guidelines, Plans and Permits.
If you don’t find what you need there then please CALL US and we will gladly assist
Covid-19 Posters:
Our new stock of COVID-19 Posters have arrived and are available for order. Please contact Angelique or Diona should you wish to order a set.
As always, please remember to check out the COVID-19 & News pages on our website regularly for updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Construction industry will survive turbulent times

Reports of the demise of the construction industry in South Africa are greatly exaggerated, says construction giant Grinaker-LTA.

Responding to fears that the construction industry is in its death throes thanks to the delisting from the JSE of Group 5 and ESOR and the sale by some of SA’s top construction companies of its buildings and infrastructure units, Grinaker-LTA says South Africa’s construction industry is nowhere near being wiped out.

“There is no doubt that the industry is experiencing serious headwinds due to stagnant growth, low business confidence, lack of investment and now COVID-19 but there is still plenty of life left in the old dog,” insists Bheki Mdlalose, Group Managing Director of Grinaker-LTA. “Like all other South African sectors and like South Africans themselves, we are having to be very inventive and adjust to a new reality with low to no growth, but there are always opportunities for the intrepid.”

Grinaker-LTA points out that while many of the country’s top construction companies have lost up to 80% of their value or been significantly downsized, they still have the knowledge available to be able to scale up quickly to implement massive infrastructure projects.

“Under the new leadership, Grinaker-LTA has right-sized and is focussed on resetting the business so that it can ensure a sustainable future. As the macro-economic environment improves and the South African economy starts growing again, we will still have the intellectual property, technical expertise and experience to be able to undertake the most complex projects. We have no doubt that our competitors will also be able to do so,” says Mdlalose.

Grinaker-LTA points out that there will always be a need for the development and maintenance of infrastructure – both by government and the private sector – and that technological advances and emerging sectors – such as the renewables sector – provide the construction industry with a steady pipeline of work.

It also believes that the substantial infrastructure build programme announced in April by President Cyril Ramaphosa will help the sector to tread water while business confidence and investment is restored.

Grinaker-LTA says it is excited about the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of SA, which will be hosted by the President on June 23, as it will point the way to much-needed infrastructure investment in South Africa. The symposium is expected to provide a credible infrastructure pipeline across six priority areas: water, transport, energy, digital infrastructure, human settlements, agriculture and agroprocessing.

Concludes Mdlalose: “Like everyone else and given the new realities, the construction industry is having to box clever but I have no doubt that it will survive, albeit not unchanged. Grinaker-LTA has experienced many a recession and crisis in its over 125-year history, but we  are still around to tell the tale and we have no doubt that we and our competitors can still deliver.”

ACHASM CONTRIBUTION TO ‘COVID-19’ ‘CONSTRUCTION RETURN TO WORK’ DOCUMENTATION

The Association of Construction Health and Safety Management (ACHASM) is proud to have been part of the Construction Rapid Response Task Team (CRRTT) to assist in getting the construction sector back to work. As our President, Cyril Ramaphosa has implied, we need to remain vigilant and ensure we follow the rules to limit the spread of COVID-19. Adequate health and safety that complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations will provide much of the needed actions to stem the spread of the virus. ACHASM and its members will continue to be part of the team and remain dedicated to the continued health and safety of every industry participant, especially workers.

We would like to thank the following Candidate and Professional Health and Safety Agents for their participation and support in preparing the documentation with our Executive Director, Dr Claire Deacon, submitted to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, and the Department of Employment and Labour: • Michelle Barnard • Jay Bhana • Alfred Cakata • Louis Coetzee • Johan Dempers • David Dolan • Neil Enslin • Vaatjie Heyneke • Tumi Moagi • William Pierce-Jones • Sandile Seme • Liza White

We trust that the industry will continue to work with us to engender healthy and safe working practices that benefit all industry stakeholders – clients, construction project managers, designers, quantity surveyors, contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, and plant and equipment providers.

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal: Reactivation of the Construction Sector

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal welcomes the announcement by the Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country will be moving to Level 3 on 1 June 2020. Most importantly, the reactivation of the construction sector in its entirety under Level 3 will bring much-needed relief to the industry.

Since the announcement of lockdown in March 2020, the Association has been at the forefront of introducing practical interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Construction sector.

The Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team was established with key industry role-players to collectively plan the recovery of the sector post lockdown and to unblock relief measures to ensure its sustainability. The Task Team is convened by Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal and comprises of some 33 organisations in the construction industry. The Task Team made several proposals and submissions to Government Ministers and relevant authorities on the reactivation of the construction sector as well as the recovery of the industry post lockdown.

Maintaining healthy and safe working conditions for all employees is enshrined in the Association’s Constitution. A key priority is to prepare members for the implementation of all necessary health and safety protocols to enable them to return to work swiftly. The Association hosted online member forum meetings, circulated regular ebulletins and created a database of information on its web portal. Members were provided with a COVID-19 Risk Plan guideline and supporting documentation to apply to their respective sites and will also have access to a safety induction video on COVID -19 measures.

For easy access to Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal members, download the Master Builders KZN app available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

 

MBA North gears up to help construction get back to work

Start preparing now for lifting of restrictions, says industry body

The Master Builders Association North (MBA North) has launched comprehensive COVID-19 health and safety consulting and training services to help the region’s construction sector to prepare for a return to work as quickly as possible after restrictions are lifted.

Reopening construction sites after the lockdown is set to be a challenging process, says Gerhard Roets, Construction Health and Safety Manager at MBA North. “Over and above your COVID-19 Workplace Readiness Plan, the Construction Industry will be required to update their current Health and Safety files and re-induct employees on site. Preparing to return to work in a safe and compliant manner could take some time, therefore any company hoping to resume work next month should be preparing to do so now,” he says.

The challenge of compliance with the new COVID-19 directive is exacerbated by ‘information overload’ and confusion about which projects may resume when. Roets says, “Many members are asking how they should prepare. All construction may resume in Level 3 – this includes both commercial and residential construction. But before resuming work, they must prepare a Workplace Readiness Plan and apply for a certificate or permit with the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).”

The workplace readiness plan should include:

* Thorough risk assessments and site-specific protocols in place

* Detailed plans for the phased-in return of workers to the workplace, and staff rotational arrangements

* Health protocols to protect employees from COVID-19, including screening and testing facilities and systems

* The appointment of a compliance officer to oversee implementation of the plan

* Policies on site visitors

* Reporting and escalation measures

Compliance with COVID-19 Health and Safety directives are expected to prove costly for the sector, and will likely slow down work, says Roets. “There are many different areas of work involved, in many cases people need to be working side by side, which complicates compliance with physical distancing guidelines. Preparing the Workplace readiness plan may take some time before they are able to begin physical work, and daily screening and health and safety checks will add hours to each working day.”

The Association says compliance may be particularly difficult for SMMEs. Having generated no revenue in the past two months, they will now have to fund additional COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and incur other expenses.

However, the cost of non-compliance could be devastating. A single worker infected with COVID-19 may spread the virus resulting in site closure; and infractions could result in penalties and fines.

To help the sector prepare to reopen sites safely and in line with new regulations and guidelines, the MBA North now offers consulting and training priced within reach of even SMMEs. The Association can assist both members and non-members in preparing a COVID-19 Health and Safety plan, conduct risk assessments, and can even send its mobile training unit (ToM) to sites to raise workers’ awareness of the new safety protocols in place, which is offered in five languages.

The Association has tailored its offering to help all contractors to get back to work safely as soon as restrictions are lifted.

For further information, please contact Construction Health & Safety Administrator Ashleigh Feeny at ashleigh@mbanorth.co.za.

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR WELCOMES EASING OF LOCKDOWN UNDER LEVEL 3

The construction industry welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the country moving to Level 3 as from 01 June 2020. The sector has been calling for an immediate re-activation of live construction sites that were at various stages of completion when the lockdown came into effect on the 27th of March 2020.

Chairperson of the Construction Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team, Mr John Matthews acknowledged that the easing of lockdown meant that a lot of construction companies on the verge of collapse could be saved. ‘We are optimistic that allowing the construction sector to resume full operations will salvage what is left of the sector. We are pleased that the government gave consideration to the concerns we raised and agreed to a full re-activation of the sector under Level 3. Continued restraints on construction activity was leading us towards a situation where there was little hope of a recovery for a lot of companies in the industry’ said Matthews.

On measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease on construction sites, he added that there was a need for companies to adhere to the strict health and safety protocols that were already in place, for protection of employees. He highlighted the need for self-regulation by all employers in the industry, emphasizing the call by President Ramaphosa that combating the spread of the disease was in the hands of everyone.

‘It is not up to the government to try and monitor every office and construction site, but each and every employer has a responsibility to ensure that the health and safety of employees is guaranteed. The industry has health and safety protocols already in place and any employer in the sector who needs assistance should contact their Association for guidance and support’ said Matthews.

He also added that the Task Team would pursue efforts for the creation of a Construction Relief Fund, to assist the sector with additional PPE requirements. He confirmed that the Team activities would continue beyond the resumption of construction activity, as it was crucial to provide on-going support to employers in the industry and continued engagement with the government in pursuit of long-term sector recovery.

The construction industry was already under siege prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent nation-wide lockdown. However, it has been touted as one of the sectors that the government should prioritise to increase work opportunities and revive the South African economy due to it being one of the major economic contributors and because of the labour-intensive nature of construction activities.

The Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (“CC19RRTT”) is an industry grouping that was convened to charter a recovery plan for the construction sector. It incorporates the entire construction value chain covering suppliers, manufacturers, property developers, built environment professionals and contractors (main contractors and subcontractors).

Participating organisations include:

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA), The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF), South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE), Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), Association of Construction Project Managers (ACPM), The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), South African Black Technical and Allied Careers Organisation (SABTACO), South African Women in Construction and Built Environment (SAWIC & BE), The Concrete Institute of South Africa (TCI), Cox Yeats Attorneys, South African Geomatics Institute (SAGI) , National Construction Incubator (NCI), Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa  (ILASA), Construction Management Foundation (CMF), Association of Construction Health and Safety Management (ACHASM), Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa (AAAMSA), The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM), Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) , ASPASA, Clay Brick Association of South Africa, South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP), Council for the Built Environment (CBE) , National Spa & Pool Institute of Southern Africa (NSPI), South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), South African Affordable Residential Developers Association, (SAARDA), South African Association of Consulting Professional Planners (SAACPP), Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), South African Green Industry Council (SAGIC) , South African Paint Manufacturing Association (SAPMA), Builders Warehouse (Suppliers and Manufacturing), and Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal (MBA KZN) as the Convener.