Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Damage To Hired Plant


Towards the end of last year the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) reminded us of the basic principles governing the relationship between the owner and hirer of plant.

The Facts

In June 2000 Mutual Construction Company (Tvl) (Pty) Ltd (“Mutual”) hired a CAT 769 articulated dump truck out to Komati Dam Joint Venture (“the Joint Venture”) together with the services of an operator.

The Joint Venture comprised a partnership between a number of major civil engineering companies that was engaged in the construction of the Maguga Dam in Swaziland. The Joint Venture required the truck for use in its operations at the site.

In the early hours of 5 October 2000 the operator of the truck fell asleep while driving it along a haul road. The truck left the road and collided with an embankment and was extensively damaged.

Mutual sued the Joint Venture in the Johannesburg High Court for the cost of repairing the truck as well as for loss of rental income over the period of several weeks that the truck was out of commission whilst being repaired.

The Johannesburg High Court found that the accident was attributable to the negligence of the operator in having fallen asleep. However, it took the view that the Joint Venture ought not to be visited with liability for the operator’s negligent conduct.

Mutual appealed this decision to the SCA in Bloemfontein.

The Contract

The SCA recorded that it is a trite principle of our common law that the hirer of an article is obliged to return it in the same condition in which it had been received at the outset of the period of hire, fair wear and tear excluded.

Accordingly, in the absence of any contractual agreement to the contrary, all the owner of a hired article has to allege and prove, when claiming for damage to the article, is that it was in an undamaged state when delivered and that it was in a damaged state when returned. The onus then rests on the hirer to show that the damage was not caused by any negligence on his part or on the part of any person under his control or for whose acts he is liable.

The case in the circumstances turned on which of the parties was responsible for the negligence of the operator.

There were a few important contractual provisions in the contract of hire which specified that:
  • the operator supplied with the truck would be under the sole and absolute control of the Joint Venture who undertook to give the operator clear instructions and to provide responsible supervision for the operator whilst the truck was in use;
  • Mutual would not be responsible to the Joint Venture for any damages arising out of the acts or omissions of the operator whilst carrying out his duties on site;
  • the Joint Venture agreed to be responsible for all expenses arising from the breakdown, loss or damage to the plant occurring through the Joint Venture’s negligence, misdirection or misuse; and
  • the risk of loss or damage to the truck would pass to the Joint Venture upon the truck being delivered to site.
The SCA construed these contractual provisions so as to make the Joint Venture liable for the negligence of the operator, despite him being Mutual’s employee, and accordingly held that the Joint Venture was liable for Mutual’s damages claim.

Conclusion

The conditions contained in the contract between Mutual and the Joint Venture were based on the Contractors Plant Hire Association’s standard conditions of hire.

It can accordingly be accepted that where plant is hired in terms of these conditions, as a basic starting point, damage caused to plant due to the operator’s negligence whilst the plant is in use by a hirer will be the hirer’s responsibility.

The SCA referred to one of its previous decisions on the same contract conditions.

In this case a crane had collapsed and been damaged when the owner’s operator, acting under the supervision of the hirer’s rigger, attempted to lift a heavy load that was beyond its capabilities.

The court upheld the owner’s claim for damages on the basis that:
  • the damage was caused by the operator’s negligence, for which negligence the hirer was liable in terms of the contract; and
  • the hirer had not proved that its own rigger, for whose negligence it was liable under the common law, had not been negligent.
This article was kindly contributed by Alistair Hay of Cox Yeats Attorneys

Bruce Lyle
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Urgent Message From CETA


URGENT CALL FOR COPIES OF WORKPLACE SKILLS PLANS LODGED BY EMPLOYERS WITH THE CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY (“CETA”) IN RESPECT OF THE PERIOD 1 JULY 2004 UNTIL 1 JUNE 2005 IN RESPECT OF PAYMENT OF MANDATORY GRANTS

CETA hereby urgently requests that all employers who had previously submitted a WSP/s to CETA, in respect of the period from 1 July 2004 through to 1 June 2005, to provide a copy of such WSP (“copy”) together with all supporting documents, including at least the minimum required documents, as listed below. The copies are sought to verify and update the internal records of CETA. These copies must reach the offices of CETA by no later than close of business on Friday, 10 April 2009. The copies must be hand delivered to the offices of CETA - First Floor, Unit No 5, Midrand Business Park, Old Pretoria Main Road, Halfway House and no copies may be sent by telex, facsimile or electronically.

All copies must contain, at least, the following documentation:

a) A legible copy of the complete WSP which was previously submitted to CETA in respect of the relevant period;
b) Written proof and evidence of the date of submission of the WSP; and
c) Written proof of the approval of the WSP by CETA.

For any further queries please contact CETA on tel: (011) 265-5900/37, contactable during normal business hours from Monday to Friday (08h00-16h30).

Victor Smith
Training Manager

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A new Era In Skills Development


At a meeting of the CETA (Construction Education and Training Authority) Council held yesterday in Midrand, a new Council was elected along with a new Executive Committee and new Chairperson.

Gavin Strydom, President of the Master Builders Association of KwaZulu Natal, was elected to chair the CETA for the new term commencing at the beginning of April 2009. Gavin took the opportunity to address the Council and share the vision that he will be applying in this portfolio.

Gavin sees the appointment as an opportunity to bring the Council together and create more cohesion between the various role players. He believes that there were certain unfortunate disagreements and struggles in the past and is striving for total reconciliation at all levels.

He went on to say that employer and employee stakeholders ultimately have the same end-goal, and will benefit from the delivery of the same product - Skills Development. Although the end-goal is the same, the benefits of this delivery to the various stakeholders are different.

Employers benefit because they are able to utilise skilled and qualified people who deliver quality products efficiently and timeously. This in turn means that less resource needs to be wasted on re-working and the risk of delays, along with the financial impact thereof, is mitigated.
From the side of the employee, greater skills delivery provides the employee with a usable qualification which can be used to establish a recognised earning capacity. This in turn gives the employee mobility and translates into the employee developing confidence, earning respect and dignity with the promise of an enhanced standard of living.

Gavin expanded that there would be two overarching areas of focus. The one would be facilitating the actual delivery of appropriate skills to the various stakeholder groupings within CETA. This meas carefully identifying the different needs of the respective role players and ensure that appropriate solutions are provided to take into account differences within the sector. The other aspect is to build on the efforts being made to improve the governance at CETA. Work would have to be done to ensure that no further qualified audits are issued and that all stakeholders are comfortable that governance and the procedural aspects of the running of CETA are at a satisfactory level.

Gavin is looking forward to working with all internal and external stakeholders to make the CETA work for the benefit of all employers and employees in the broader construction industry.

Brandon Abdinor
Executive Director

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Tender Bulletin No 11/2009


The attention of members is directed to the following list of services for which Public Tenders have been invited. The information contained in this Bulletin has been collated from various sources and no assurance is given or implied that the Association approves of the tendering or contractual conditions of any tender and no responsibility will be accepted by the Association in this regard.
_________________________________________

TENDER RESULTS

TENDER NO: ZNT L01121 W – Department of Social Welfare; Conversion of building to district office
SUCCESSFUL TENDERER: Summit Construction

TENDER NO: ZNT L01033 W – Newcastle Provincial Hospital; New stores
SUCCESSFUL TENDERER: Natal Richards Bay Hire CC JV Edge to Edge 1275 CC

TENDER NO: ZNT L001126 W – Forensic Mortuary Central York Street; Upgrade existing Mortuary
SUCCESSFUL TENDERER: Euro Blitz 1074 CC
_________________________________________

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS – CLOSING DATE : 24.04.2009

TENDER NO: ZNTU 00855 W

Mkhuze; Park Homes (Office Park). CIDB 5GB.Site meeting on 06.04.09 at 10h30 at the Wimpy, Mkhuze.

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, NORTH COAST REGION, LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING (1ST FLOOR), ZONE 1, PRINCE MANGOSUTHU STREET, ULUNDI. CONTACT PERSON MR MS MCHUNU TEL: 035-8743374.
_________________________________________

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, SOUTHERN REGIONAL OFFICE – CLOSING DATE : 28.04.2009

TENDER NO : ZNTM00407W

Phateni Clinic, Richmond; New Clinic. CIDB 6GB or if a joint venture 2x5GB or 1x5GB and 2x4GB. Site meeting on 08.04.09 at 10h30 at the R56 (Richmond – Ixopo road) at the D59 turnoff.

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, SOUTHERN REGIONAL OFFICE, 10 PRINCE ALFRED ST EXTENSION, PIETERMARITZBURG. CONTACT MR G NCANANA TEL: 033-8971434.

TENDER NO : ZNTM00367W – CLOSING DATE : 21.04.2009

Marburg: Merewood Secondary School: Sewage disposal installation. CIDB 3CE. Site meeting on site.

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: SOUTHERN REGIONAL OFFICES, 10 PRINCE ALFRED STREET, EXTENSION, PIETERMARITZBURG. CONTACT MS G NCANANA TEL: 033-8971434.
_________________________________________

MSUNDUZI MUNICIPALITY – CLOSING DATE : 16.04.2009
TENDER NO : PU 83 OF 08/09

Supply, manufacture and installation of eight (8) four (4)-bay, Y-Type shelters at the Queen Street Taxi Rank. Site meeting on 02.04.09 at 10h00 at the Queen Street Taxi Rank, south west corner of Queen Street and Calcutta Road, Pietermaritzburg.

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FROM THE PROCUREMENT UNIT OFFICES, 5TH FLOOR, AS CHETTY BUILDING, 333 CHURCH STREET, PIETERMARITZBURG UPON PAYMENT OF A NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT OF R100. CONTACT PERSON MR JAPHET MKHABELA TEL: 033-3922120.
_________________________________________

ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY

TENDER NO : SP2010/MS1: CLOSING DATE 8.05.09

Supply and installation of modular seating including support structure and cladding. Compulsory clarification and site inspection at 12.00 on 9.04.09 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Viewing Platform/Information Centre, Walter Gilbert Rd, Durban.

R1000 NON REFUNABLE TENDER FEE. ALL ENQUIRIES PHONE SCOTT ROBERTS 031-3035256.
_________________________________________

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street
to meet a new neighbour.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better.
………George Carlin

_________________________________________

ENVIRONMENT RELATED LEGISLATION

The National Environment Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act No 24 of 2008 which has been assented to by the President.
&
The draft Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations under Section 24(5) of the National Environment Management Act, 1998 are available to interested Members at the Head Office of the MBA.

Brandon Abdinor
Executive Director

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guide to Safety Toolbox Talks


One of the fundamental rights of an employee is to be informed of the hazards and risk that he or she may be exposed to. The employer has a legal duty to provide a workplace that is safe and free from risk for the employee. Toolbox Talks is a great tool assist with these rights and duties.

Where and How Long:
  • Once a week (at least)
  • Before the start of a shift
  • No longer than 10-15 min.

Managing Toolbox Talks

  • Small Sites - all employees at point of meeting
  • Large Sites - split employees into smaller groups as divided under supervision

Topics

  • Specific to construction activities and related hazards
  • Incident recall - discuss incidents that occurred on the site
  • List of topics available in the MBA OHS Construction Manual

Responsibility

It is not just the Health and Safety Officer but also the site management's responsibility to ensure that all employees are informed on task specific risks on a regular basis. Toolbox Talks must be held in addition to general induction and specific task training.

Record Keeping

It is important to keep a record of all the topics and employees that attended the Toolbox Talks. This could be used as proof that the employer informed the employee of a certain risk or hazard.

Neels Nortje
Health and Safety Manager

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Joint Contracts Committee


The Joint Contracts Committee (JBCC) was created in 1997 and carries out its business activities through a “not for profit” Section 21 company set up in terms the Companies Act No 61 of 1973. The purpose of the JBCC is to create and maintain a suite of contract documentation that provides for equality and fairness between all parties to the agreement.

The documents are widely used and have the approval of the CIDB.

Members are however cautioned about the tendency of some Principal Agents to alter the contents of the contracts, usually to the detriment of the contractor. All public sector works are subject to certain “State Provisions”. These are a set of standard amendments that are insisted upon and contain a number of controversial provisions including a waiver of all builder's liens.

Our Membership Services Manager, Bruce Lyle, is a member of the JBCC and would welcome any suggestions or concerns Members may have about the suite.

Bruce Lyle
Membership Services Manager

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Unlucky 13


The number of Customer Loyalty Programmes has blossomed these last few years, but their accounting treatment has not kept pace.

SAA Voyager's programme, for example, according to recent reports, envisages that only seats which cannot be sold will be allocated as awards to qualifying members. Promising rewards is easy, but ask anyone who has tried to obtain one, and the picture changes somewhat.

Until recently, accountants have not known how to budget for these 'contingent' liabilities. A body with the impressive title of The International Financial Reporting Interpretation Committee (whew!) or IFRIC for short has recently issued guidelines in the form of note 13. Basically, this new accounting standard requires that all future liabilities relating to customer loyalty programmes must be estimated and disclosed on the firm's balance sheet.

Although there are no immediate cashflow implications for such firms, the imposition of IFRIC 13 does make their net asset value (ie assets less liabilities) smaller, making it more difficult for them to borrow from banks or to sell shares in their companies to prospective purchasers.

Accounting for these 'contingent' liabilities already occurs in respect of post retirement medical aid contributions by a firm, and will make for more transparency and consumer protection. It might also encourage some airlines to make more seats available as rewards for their loyal customers !

Clive Hill
Financial Services Manager

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Cybercrime - A Silent Threat


Cybercrime, very simply put, is criminal activity that involves the use of a computer. Other known terms for it include computer crime, e-crime, hi-tech crime and electronic crime.

With IT infrastructure being imperative to modern business, computer crime is a silent threat, capable of ruinous consequences. A Study titled “Unsecured Economics: Protecting Vital Information,” led by McAfee Inc. revealed that companies lost an estimated $4.6 billion in intellectual property last year.

Cybercrime activity, is monitored closely by a group who call themselves Computer Crime Research Center (CCRC). They are a non-governmental, non-profit, scientific research organization which functions on a voluntary basis. Their mission is to research and warn of unlawful acts, involving computer and information technologies.

They communicate their findings via their website www.crime-research.org where they regularly post news articles under header “Latest Computer Crime News”

For Members in the Durban area wanting to find out more:

On 26 March 2009, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with The KZN White Collar Crime Task Group will be hosting two presentations, “Internet Banking from a Risk Perspective” followed by “Cybercrime Case Studies.” The guest speakers are Susan Coetsee head of the Commercial Crime Office (SABRIC), and Stephanie Ramsamy of the Forensic Technology Unit KPMG South Africa.

Ernest Roper
Commercial Division

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Relationships - Levelling the Playing Field


When a contractor enters into an agreement with a client, a relationship comes into being. The conduct of these two parties plays a major role in determining whether or not this relationship will be a satisfactory one. One of the fundamental truths about relationships is that that they need constant managing.

Regular and clear communication is essential to manage the many expectations that arise out of a building contract. If issues are addressed early and comprehensively, they are not likely to escalate and become disputes.

Unfortunately that is not all there is to it. Contracting parties often do not operate from positions of equal power. It is not uncommon to find that clients seem to be in a stronger bargaining position than contractors. This makes sense when one considers that clients create the work opportunities and contractors compete for the work.

Problems arise when clients, and their agents, abuse this inequality of power to impose unrealistic and inequitable demands on contractors, whether this is in the tender specification documents or once work has commenced.

Examples of this type of abuse are many and varied:
• Contractors are effectively forced to contract out of some of the protection afforded to them in terms of standard form contract documents;
• Contractors are forced to accept unfair decisions by principal agents;
• Contractors feel pressured to work to unrealistic deadlines, often compromising workmanship;
• Sub-contractors don’t get paid timeously;

Another from of abuse is poor, defective or delayed performance on the part of government or other statutory authorities. Contractors are often reliant on permits, approval or some other from of authorisation to perform their work. When this is not forthcoming , the contractor is prejudiced.

The Master Builders’ Association has launched a campaign designed to keep the playing fields as level as possible on behalf of its members. We are engaging with bodies representing clients, the built environment professionals and the authorities to take these issues up with them.

If you are aware of, or being exposed to, unfair actions which are causing you hardship, please contact us. We are there to assist.

Brandon Abdinor
Executive Director


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Legal Check - Part 10 "First Aid"


The items featured in this series, are those that are the main contributors to accidents in the Construction Industry.

Part 10 "First Aid" - General Safety Regulation 3
  • Every workplace provided with sufficient number of First Aid boxes. Required where 5 persons or more are employed
  • First Aid freely available
  • Equipment as per the list in the OH&S Act
  • One qualified First Aider appointed where more than 10 persons are employed. One additional first aid attendant for every 50 persons employed
  • List of First Aiders and Certificates on record
  • Name of person/s in charge of First Aid box/es displayed
  • Location of First Aid box/es clearly indicated
  • Signs instructing employees to report all Injuries/illness including first aid/injuries

Neels Nortje
Health and Safety Manager

For back copies of the "Legal Check" series click on the Health and Safety label on this blog.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Environment Related Legislation


The National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act No 24 of 2008 which has been assented to by the President.

and

The draft Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations under Section 24(5) of the National Environment Management Act, 1998

are available to interested Members at the Head Office of the Master Builders Association.

Bruce Lyle
Membership Services Manager

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2010 BY-LAWS

Photo Credit: Source Unknown

In terms of Clause 4.1.2 if the by-laws adopted by agreement with FIFA and the SA Government a Municipality has the right to suspend any construction works within the vicinity of the soccer stadiums without being obliged to pay compensation to any person.

Your Association had made enquiries about this seemingly draconian by-law and we are assured that it will only be applied:
  • Where construction work prevents or impedes access to the soccer stadiums.
  • If there is actual construction work underway in the vicinity of the stadium.
Construction work will only be suspended on the day of a match – there are only 7 matches scheduled for the Durban stadium.

We were also assured that it is not intended to disrupt normal construction activity and that in the unlikely event that this by-law is imposed then there is an undertaking to provide the parties concerned with as much notice as possible.

Bruce Lyle
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Choosing your Internet Access Provider



If you are not already aware, the South African communications sector is undergoing a major shakeup at the moment:
  • Telkom have just sold their share of Vodacom to Vodafone and are also looking at partnering with Cell C. They have already launched some services that compete with the three cellular giants.
  • Neotel, the new kid on the block is slowly gathering a head of steam.
  • ICASA has just licenced a flood of new licences which will effectively allow quite a few new players to participate in the converged communications market.
  • Vodacom and MTN have teamed up with Neotel and are laying their own fibre network. They are both looking at offering fixed line access in the near future.
  • MTN have made some big aquisitions in the first quarter of 2009.
  • The first of a number of new undersea cables connecting South Africa with the rest of the World, will be going live in about three months time.
The list above, is just a small snapshot of the turmoil in the local telecommunications industry at the moment. Up until recently, the consensus was that the increased levels of competition would not necessarily bring down prices, but would increase service and service levels - i.e. for the same price you would now get a faster line and a higher cap (monthly data usage limit).

This week however, Vodacom made some bold statements about having to drive prices down and as we have seen before, if a major player like this makes a move, the rest are forced to follow.

Although we can't as yet predict the future, we can however issue the following warning. As lucrative as a deal might look at this point, do not sign any long term contracts. If you do, you will be locked in to higher prices for at least two years. If you go with an ADSL service, rather pay R500 - R1000 for your Modem/Router, than go for the free option which ties you in to the two year contract.

Probably one of the best options at the moment is to purchase a USB modem (about R1400 new). You can then purchase a prepaid sim card for R10 and load on data bundles as and when you need them. Vodacom and MTN offer them, but at this stage Vodacom has better coverage and their data rates are slightly cheaper.

You can buy a 500MB bundle for R189 from Vodacom. If you are just using the connection to check email and browse the Internet, this should be sufficient for about 30 days. One thing to be aware of, unlike prepaid voice purchases, data bundles do not roll over to the following month. Again however, there are already rumours that this may change very soon.

A great site to have a look at the many broadband deals available is Broadbanddeals.co.za

Gary Amstutz
Commercial and Online Manager

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Friday, March 13, 2009

First Entry - Excellence Awards 2009

Brandon Abdinor (Executive Director of the Master Builders Association) congratulates Ray Basson of Anthony & Basson Development cc

The first entry for this year's Excellence Awards, was received on Friday the 13th March 2009 from Ray Basson, on behalf of Anthony & Basson Development. The project entered, was the Cardinals Motor Show Room in Shelly Beach in the category, 'Retail Building (Below R40 Million)'.

The Excellence Awards is an initiative of the Kwazulu Natal Master Builders Association and seeks to recognize and honour those builders who deliver a superior standard of workmanship and contribute to making Kwazulu-Natal a magical place.

We would like to remind all our Members, that the closing date for entries for this year's awards has been moved to the 8th May 2009. If you would like to submit an entry and require any advice or assistance, please contact the Association on 031 266 7070.

Gary Amstutz
Commercial and Online Manager

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Occupational Health and Safety Breakfast Presentation


Free OHS Breakfast Presentation for Construction Professionals.
Understanding the Client’s Duties as per “The OHS Act Construction Regulations” and Master Builders KwaZulu Natal “New Health and Safety Consulting Service”

Come and join the Leading Construction Safety Expert in the Province, Neels Nortje, for a discussion on your duties as a Client or Client’s agent, according to the Construction Regulations. Neels Nortje is the Master Builders Associations’ Health and Safety Manager. He serves on the Minister of Labour's Advisory Council for OHS and has more than twenty years experience in the Health and Safety industry.

Date: 31 March 2009
Time: 09:00 – 10:00 Breakfast, 10:00 – 11:15 Presentation
Venue: Master Builders KZN, 40 Essex Terrace, Westville, Durban
RSVP to Elishya on Telephone number: 031 266 7070

Please RSVP by not later than Friday 27 March 2009. This breakfast presentation is provided free of charge by The Master Builders Association as a service to the Construction industry. Please note that seating is limited.

Who may attend?
  • Consulting Engineers
  • Architects
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Developers
  • Client Agents
  • Property Owners
  • Project Managers
  • Estate Agents
  • Property Managing Agents
  • Department of Public Works
  • Government Departments responsible for Building Projects
  • Neels Nortje
  • Health and Safety Manager
Neels Nortje
Health and Safety Manager

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Full marks for the Scorecard!


Tired of non-responsive Pension Fund administrators? Inefficient Principal Officers? Incoherent admin personnel? Well, there's good news for the Pension Fund Member.

The Pension Funds Adjudicator (PFA) has introduced an admin scorecard to rate a Fund's performance in responding to and resolving Member complaints and queries.

The PFA will use 5 indicators to rate the Fund's actions. Each indicator comprises 2 tiers, the first one being the time taken to deal with the complaint and the second tier the actual indicator.

The Indicators are:
  • type of complaint
  • procedures followed
  • quality of response
  • willingness to conciliate or settle
  • outcome of the complaint
The aim of the scorecard is to change the way Funds and Administrators handle complaints.
It will promote efficiency and transparency and highlight those Funds and Service Provides which do not handle complaints well.

Members will be able to use the scorecard to assess their trustees, and the financial press will no doubt be reporting on Funds which underperform in this important area of client service.


While the mere lodging of a complaint does not guarantee the result a Member might desire, the efficient handling of a complaint is a vital part of pension law and practice and a right to be enjoyed by each and every Member.

Further information may be obtained from the PFA's website: www.pfa.org.za/site/index.asp

Clive Hill
Financial Services Manager

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kwazulu Natal Master Builders Association to Fund Stipends

Photo Credit: loupiote (Old Skool) from Flickr.com

Bhekwell Group, an emerging training provider, based in Richards Bay was awarded a tender to train unemployed individuals from four traditional authorities in the geographical area surrounding the operations of the firm Richards Bay Minerals, which funded their training.

The training courses conducted were:
  • Carpentry - Roofs and Finishing 45 days
  • Plumbing 45 days
  • Painting and glazing 45 days
  • Scaffolding 10 days
  • Steel-Fixing and Concrete reinforcing 15 days
  • Shuttering 30 days
As at the end of 2008, 127 learners were trained who now require on-site practical exposure of between four to twelve weeks.

The Association has decided to fund a stipend for these learners, for the duration of their on-site exposure. They will also be supplied with t-shirts, sponsored by the Master Builders Association.

The benefit to you is free partially skilled labour.
Your obligation will be to provide mentorship and practical on-site exposure.
The Association’s obligation will be to pay the stipends.

Interested parties may contact Victor on 031 266 7070

Victor Smith
Training Manager

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Monday, March 9, 2009

New Corporate Identity - Kwazulu Natal Master Builders Association



The Kwazulu Natal Master Builders Association will be launching a new corporate identity at a meeting to be held at its offices in Westville on the 19th May 2009.

We would therefore like to advise Members who are using the existing logo on their corporate stationery (Business Cards, Letterheads etc), Vehicles and Signage, to limit the quantity printed and where possible, to hold off printing new corporate stationery until after the launch. The new logo and brand manual will be made available to all Members on the 19th May 2009 and will also be available on our new website (launching on the same day).

The Association would also like to remind Members that there are certain guidelines in place for using the existing logo. These guidelines are in place for the benefit of all Members as well as the Association and aim to ensure the consistent application of the corporate identity, so that the Master Builders Brand is not diluted.

If you are unsure of the guidelines or would like more information on the launch of our new corporate identity, please contact our marketing department. Unfortunately, we are unable to give distribute advanced copies of the new logo.

Gary Amstutz
Commercial and Online Manager

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Friday, March 6, 2009

NO PARKING ALLOWED!


We all know how frustrating it is when someone parks where they shouldn't, but imagine the confusion when someone 'parks' an internet domain name without that name being associated with an existing website or e-mail address. Already confused? Let's get back to basics.

Nowadays businesses need a website to advertise themselves as well as an e-mail address.
In order to avoid two or more businesses using the same website name, a system of registration of names, called 'domain name registration' has been developed. Disputes are adjudicated in terms of the Electronic Communications Act 2002.

'Domain parking' is the registration of an internet domain name without that name being associated with a website or e-mail address. Often this is done with the intention of using it in the future as an active domain name.

The difficulty comes when this parked domain name sounds similar to an active domain name (owned by an up and running business with a website and e-mail). In the recent case of Mxit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd v Andre Steyn, the complainant Mxit alleged that Steyn had registered the name 'mixit.co.za' which caused the public to believe that this disputed name was linked to Mxit's business. The name 'MXIT' had furthermore been registered as a trademark, thus giving it further protection.

The adjudicator, the SA Institute of Intellectual Property Law, ruled that the disputed name must be transferred to the complainant.

Domain name parkers might think that because they are not actively linking their chosen name to a website or to an e-mail address, that they can register any name they like. This case places a duty of care on them to investigate the suitability of their chosen name first.

Clive Hill
Financial Services Manager

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Legal Check - Part 9 "Construction Vehicles and Mobile Plant"


The items featured in this series, are those that are the main contributors to accidents in the Construction Industry.

Part 9 "Construction Vehicles and Mobile Plant" - Construction Regulation 21

  • "Competent" person appointed in writing to Operate Construction Vehicles or Mobile Plant

  • "Competent" person appointed in writing to Inspect Construction Vehicles or Mobile Plant

  • All Vehicles and Plant on register and inspected at correct intervals

  • All relevant Load Certificates available on site

  • Valid Operators Training Certificate available

  • Medical Certificates of Fitness of all Operators available on site

"Competent Person" - means a person having the knowledge, training, experience and qualifications specific to the work or task being performed.

Look out for Part 10 "Fall Protection", which will be featured next week.

Neels Nortje

Health and Safety Manager

For back copies of the "Legal Check" series click on the Health and Safety label on this blog.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Master Builders Association - Moses Mabhida Stadium Visit



The Master Builders Association was recently invited to go on a tour of the new Moses Mabhida Stadium being built in Durban for the 2010 World Cup.

The tour was very informative and we would like to thank everybody involved in making this possible. The Stadium is even more impressive from the inside and none of us can wait to see it completed.

Gary Amstutz
Commercial and Online Manager

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Housing Development Agency Launched


The Minister of Housing, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu, officially launched the Housing Development Agency (HDA) at the ICC in Durban on the 2nd of March. Representatives from national, provincial and local government joined industry and other role-players from the housing delivery sector at the glittering event.

The HDA has been established to develop, manage and coordinate the delivery of housing nationally. Delivery has, in the past, been hampered by capacity constraints, red tape and the efficient identification, acquisition and development of state-owned and private land.

The theory is that the HDA would work with, and support, existing mechanisms by facilitating the reduction of turnaround times. The department aims to double delivery in the next two years from the current 250 000 annual delivery of houses to 500 000.

The Minister also advised that the National Department of Housing had facilitated the delivery of 2.8 million houses in the past 15 years. These houses are home to an estimated 15 million South Africans.

For more information, visit the Department of Housing's website.

We wish the Department of Housing, and all other participating role-players, well in this endeavour.

Brandon Abdinor
Executive Director

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Monday, March 2, 2009

S.A. High Courts Renamed


In line with the Constitutional dispensation for South Africa the new “Renaming of High Courts Act” was signed into law by the President recently.

According to the Act there is now a Division of the High Court in each of the nine Provinces with a name matching the name of that Province. At least one Province will have more than one seat. The Transvaal Provincial Division, which previously included Pretoria and Johannesburg was one that would be divided. The North Gauteng High Court is seated in Pretoria and the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

The High Courts in Bisho, Grahamstown, Mthatha and Port Elizabeth will now be known as the Eastern Cape High Court. The North West High Court is seated in Mafikeng. The former Venda High Court which was situated in Thoyandou becomes the Limpopo High Court and the Kimberley High Court became the Northern Cape High Court. The Cape High Court is known as the Western Cape High Court and the Bloemfontein High Court will be known as the Free State High Court. The Durban and Pietermaritzburg High Courts are now the Kwa Zulu Natal High Court.

Experts have indicated that the changes will have an effect on commercial agreements. Agreements used in commercial transactions frequently identify the Court in which legal proceeding will take place or the name of the Court with jurisdiction. High Courts, generally, only hear civil matter exceeding R100 000 and serious criminal cases. In addition High Courts also have jurisdiction over sequestrations, adoption, divorces, insolvency etc. High Courts also hear appeals from lower Courts within their geographical jurisdiction.

The new legislation originated from a Bill first introduced in Parliament as the Superior Courts Bill during 2000 but subsequently withdrawn to allow for broad consultation.

Pieter Rautenbach
Projects Facilitator

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