Friday, October 2, 2009

In Times Gone By, Sub-Contractors 1908

W.R. Poynton 1908

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal has on many occasions throughout its 108 year history, had to adapt to changing times. Two World Wars, the emergence of trade unions, changing political landscapes and major advances in technology, have all profoundly influenced the course of our history.

When perusing through old Association documents, we encounter some amazing historical events that were recorded for prosperity. Our blog category “in times Gone by” is intended to share some of those historically significant moments with you.

Rights for Sub-Contractors 1908-1910

In 1908 under leadership of W.R. Poynton the Durban Association (as it was known then) set out to secure equitable conditions of contract. After adopting conditions used by the British Institute of Architects as a model, negotiations extended over a period of almost two years during which each clause was discussed separately until accepted.

Copies of the agreed conditions were circulated to the other centres throughout the country together with the Sub-Contractors Agreement, which was also drawn up and concluded by the Durban Association. This necessary document placed Sub-Contractors under the same conditions as Main Contractors and also secured progress payments for them.

The need at the time for binding conditions of contract was evident from an advertisement which appeared in the "Natal Mercury":

"To Builders and Others.

The two storey premises situated opposite the Langham Hotel, Point Road, has been built by me. The job is stopped because I have not yet been paid for the work done. Notice will be given in the "Mercury" when the matter is settled.
M.J. Kerns, Contractor."

Affixed to the premises in question was the following:

"Notice:

Any person found forcing an entrance on these premises, or found on the premises, will be dealt with as a burglar.
M.J. Kerns, Contractor"

The above image is of W.R. Poynton, behind the wheel of his luxury Sedan :)

Ernest Roper
Webmaster
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