SANRAL, SAWIC engage on opening up construction industry to women

Port Elizabeth: The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) held a round table engagement with the South African Women in Construction (SAWIC) to deliberate on how the roads agency can further advance interests of women in the construction industry. Held at the SANRAL regional office in Baywest, Port Elizabeth, the engagement was attended by SAWIC’s President, Kile Mteto, SAWIC Eastern Cape Chapter Chairperson, Phumeza Kate, accompanied by a group of SAWIC members that recently completed a training programme with SANRAL. The group of 40 SAWIC women, who received their…

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Renewable energy vehicles can revolutionise South Africa’s public transport system

With a few simple initiatives, South Africa can get into line with the developed world and take a drastic step toward weaning our public transport system off fossil fuels and on to renewables. All it will take is a few aggressive moves by the government, like subsidising the import of electric vehicles, especially those appropriate to the taxi industry. South Africa has the opportunity to fundamentally change the way we operate our public transport system – if we take the opportunity that is staring us in the face. If we…

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It’s a sad farewell to another SA construction company

JOHANNESBURG – Group Five, one of the country’s flagship construction and engineering companies, last month joined a list of growing building firms to close down. The company filed for business rescue and suspended its trading on the JSE, blaming severe cash-flow difficulties that had hit its operations for some time, resulting in major losses and financial constraints. It said it would retrench a large chunk of its 7 000 workforce as it had not been able to service its debt and grow its client base. Group Five fell alongside giants such…

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Rand-Air’s TwinPower generators do mines a ‘power’ of good!

Fundamental to Rand-Air is the ethos of ultimate customer convenience. To this end, Rand-Air has purchased four Atlas Copco TwinPower generators, the benefit of this arrangement being that there are two 550 kVA generators in each container. This containerised generator solution gives a very compact footprint, unrivalled versatility, optimised performance and excellent fuel economy in demanding modular power plant (MPP) applications. In addition, the two modules inside the container can be synchronised so that it is possible to supply either 1100 kVA or 550 kVA – a versatile and portable…

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Confidence in construction sector hits an all-time low

JOHANNESBURG – The debilitating problems facing South Africa’s construction sector were yesterday laid bare after the FNB/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Civil Confidence Index plunged to its lowest level ever in the first three months of this year. FNB/BER said 90percent of respondents were dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions on weaker activity growth, which had weighed on profitability. Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, a property economist at FNB, said the decline was supported by a slowdown in construction activity, and contractors should brace themselves for a continuation of the current weak demand. “It’s not…

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‘Reframing’ construction in Southern Africa: light steel frame building offers quality, energy-efficient and affordable construction which is growing in popularity

The growth trajectory and incremental increase in the popularity of light steel frame building (LSFB) in South Africa has been nothing short of remarkable. In 2004, when the CEO of the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) visited Australia to evaluate light steel frame building, this construction technique was little-known in South Africa. Today, this relatively new building method is now both widely accepted and frequently used locally. “The growth in the popularity of LSF construction locally is due to its inherent innovation, and to the fact that it…

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Kwikspace places first operational buildings for Mpumalanga mine

Kwikspace was contracted to manufacture, supply and erect 10 mobile units to for use at a new mine in Mpumalanga. Consisting of four single-wide and six double-wide prefabricated modular units, they were the first operational buildings to be placed on site. All units, which provide structures for four different applications on the mine, were completed and handed over during 2018, within a specified three-month timeline. One double-wide unit (7 x 7 m) is used as the induction office located near the entrance and five of them make up the site…

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Profits, projects and pressure in the construction industry

By Kenny Ingram, Global Industry Director, Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure This year will see a digital leap forward as many construction companies explore implementing integrated business software into projects for the very first time. Tighter margins, global skills shortages and new industry entrants are all ramping up the pressure on traditional construction businesses to deliver greater productivity and more integrated, cost-efficient projects, on time, every time. 50% of all construction projects worldwide will include modular content by 2022, driven by the growing global skills shortage In March 2018, a new factory opened outside Liverpool, England employing 150 people…

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Unfinished business: What to do when construction halts due to liquidation

OPINION / 13 MARCH 2019, 07:30AM / DIANA BURGER JOHANNESBURG –  The past year has been challenging for South Africa’s construction industry, with some of the country’s best-known construction companies facing business rescue or liquidation. The unfinished business left behind when this occurs can be problematic for project employers in the private and public sectors alike. Although their options are limited, the financial exposure for employers can be mitigated through immediate action, says Diana Burger, senior associate in Bowmans’ Construction Dispute Resolution Department. Here are the crucial steps to take.…

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Construction Indaba to look into regulations compliance

The Department of Labour will on Thursday host a Construction Indaba that will bring together industry role-players to discuss construction regulations compliance in the country. The Construction Indaba will also look at findings of non-compliances identified by the Department of Labour inspectors on construction sites with respect to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). The indaba, which will be held in Umhlanga in Durban, comes in the wake of the recent structural collapses around the country. In recent years, South Africa has seen fatal structural collapses including Tongaat Mall, Meyersdal Eco…

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