Friday, October 29, 2010

South Coast Tennis Day 2010

The second annual Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal South Coast Tennis Day took place at the Uvongo Tennis club on Friday the 22nd of October 2010. Twenty players took part in the event on a day where rain threatened, yet held off long enough not to interfere with play.

Although billed as a fun occasion, players not wanting to disappoint their partners brought with them their A game. Winners on the day were Grant Wood and Annemarie Wege while second place finishers were Malcolm and Marietjie Stols, Michell Burger and Neil Perry took third spot. Booby prizes were won by Bruce Lill and Rina Opperman with Bruce Lyle's name pulled in the lucky draw.

We wish to thank the Uvongo Tennis club for hosting us as well as Yvonne de Kock, who controlled the order of play.

Recently deceased former South Coast Regional Manager Ron Underwood was a long time member of the Uvongo Tennis club and hosting the event there with everybody enjoying themselves, seemed a fitting tribute to him.

Hans Stols
South Coast Regional Manager


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neurons And Transistors

According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, the transistor radio years back had 4 or 5 transistors in it and that was a great technological leap forward.

Now every piece of electronic equipment we use is packed with transistors.
If you take into account a laptop, a PC, a couple of cellphones, Ipod, cars etc, the average person probably has 250 billion transistors under his control.

Now compare that with only 100 billion neurons in your brain.

In my case deduct 30 billion neurons from alcohol use (or misuse) and deduct another 40 billion because I’m a lazy bastard and don’t use them. That leaves me with 30 billion neurons competing against 250 billion transistors.

I’ve decided to give up and stop thinking altogether because I cannot compete. I’m going to spend the rest of my life fishing. :)

Gregory Beykirch
Finance Manager


Monday, October 25, 2010

Award Winners Image Gallery

In our previous post we featured a slideshow containing images of guests enjoying themselves at the 2010 Excellence in Construction Awards evening. Today we feature images of the various recipients, receiving their respective plaques and trophies.

Below is a list of categories competed for in the 2010 competition. To enable you to view the projects that received recognition in various categories, I have made them clickable links, that will take you through to their respective pages on

Supreme Winner (Under R40 Million)
Supreme Winner (Over R40 Million)
Supreme Winner, Iconic
Single Residential
Special Projects
Recreational, Leisure and Hotels (Under R40m)
Industrial Buildings Under R40m
Industrial Buildings Over R40m
Health Facilities
Community Projects
Commercial Buildings Under R40m
Commercial Buildings Above R40m
Alterations & Renovations under R20 million
Alterations & Renovations over R20 million
Civil Projects Under R40m
Civil Projects Over R40m
Apartment Buildings Above R10m

Ernest Roper


Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 Excellence in Construction Snippets

The above slideshow is compiled of images taken of guests at the 2010 Excellence in Construction Awards ceremony. Below are some memorable quotes from dignitaries who attended the event:

‘Ensuring the safety of everybody on site and in the yards is a passion I share with my employer Grinaker-LTA’ Raj Naidoo, Winner of the Award of Merit trophy

‘Over and above everything else, health and safety is the most important element in the construction industry and this is coming through strongly in KZN. I wish it would spread further in the building industry in general’ Thelma Pugh MD of FEM (Federated Employers Mutual)

‘The popularity of the Excellence in Construction programme is indicative of the fact that the building industry in this province views excellence as an important facet in its day to day operations’ Francois Louw, President Master Builders Association KZN

‘The standard of building that we had 60 years ago is still evident today’ Carl Mouton, Adjudicator

Ernest Roper


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Health & Safety Awards Function

The 47th annual Health and Safety Awards function was held at Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Westville premises on Friday the 1st of October 2010. It was a pleasure to have more than 200 people from the building industry, attend the first official function held at the Association, since undergoing a R10 million “greening” transformation which was completed in late September 2010.

As with previous years, sites were scrupulously audited on more than 20 different elements and standards were again extremely high. These included administrative and legal requirements, training, public safety, PPE, housekeeping, scaffolding, electrical safeguarding, plant and machinery, excavations, transport and material handling to name but a few.

The recipients were praised for their adherence to health and safety and our members again came through with flying colours. For detailed information covering this event, visit our news feature on

Ernest Roper


Monday, October 18, 2010

Excellence in Construction 2010

Warwick Triangle Viaduct Outbound

This year’s annual Excellence in Construction awards ceremony was held on Friday 15 October 2010 at Sibaya on Durban’s north coast, near to Umdloti.

Once again this Gala event, the highlight of Association’s calendar, went off without a glitch with those unquestionably deserving of it, receiving due recognition for their outstanding 2010 projects.

2010 saw a change of venue which was decision taken after much debate and consideration. The thinking behind it was that we wanted a venue more congenial than the ICC and felt that the round, superbly decorated conference facility at Sibaya, would serve this end. Feedback thus far has been exceedingly positive with many saying that it was the best Excellence in Construction awards ceremony yet.

The various 2010 World Cup projects brought a uniqueness to proceedings that heightened the occasion, and made it extra special. In order to be the first to publish the results, early on Saturday morning we uploaded the necessary information to our dedicated Excellence in Construction menu on, view now.

Well done and congratulations to all the winners.

Ernest Roper

Friday, October 15, 2010

Accessing of Tender Information

The supply of tender information to members of the Association is a service we proudly provide. It is presented in any easy to read format accessible from the “Tender Services” page on and information is sourced from the Natal Mercury, The Daily News, Isolezwe, The Natal Witness, The Zululand Observer, The South Coast Herald as well as the Government Gazette.

Prior to the launch of the new Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal website in 2009, we used to upload the data to our blog which is essentially for public access. At the time we discovered from our Google analytic stats that the tender information blogs were among the best read.

A lot of time and effort goes into collating this info and in reality, we do it for the benefit of our members, not as a public service. enables us to host it ourselves and password protected it. If you are not a member of the Association and have a need for this offering, join now, you may be surprised at how affordable it is and how much value you get for your money.

If you are a member of the Association and are unable to access the tender information, please contact me on 031 266 7070 and I will provide you with your password info. Keep in mind that for security reasons your membership number will be requested, so please ensure before dialling, that you have it handy.

Ernest Roper


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Energy Roadmap

Government on 7 October 2010 announced its long- awaited draft of the 2010 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

It proposes a long- term energy mix with a dwindling reliance on coal and an increase reliance on strong renewable and nuclear energy components.

The recommendation forms part of a "revised balanced scenario" in the IRP that purports to represent the best trade-off between least investment costs, climate change mitigation, diversity of supply, localisation and regional development.

Statistics SA also announced that the actual estimated volume of electricity consumed during August increased by 0.7 percent compared with August last year.

Pieter Rautenbach


Monday, October 11, 2010

Increase In Vacant Office Space

Vacant office space increased during the third quarter of 2010.

A total of 1,4 million m² of office space was vacant country-wide during the third quarter of 2010 according to latest office vacancy index, issued by the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA).

This had increased to a total of 1 403 763 m² from 1 263 641 m² recorded in the second quarter of 2010 which represented a vacancy factor of 9.7 percent, compared with 8.8 percent in the second quarter.

Experts are estimating that the position is likely to deteriorate further as there is still some 500 000 m² currently under construction which represents about 3 percent of all office space.

Edwin Rode, Property Valuator and Economist, said that the demand for additional office space depended on the confidence level in the recovery of the economy. This could take one or two quarters said Anton de Goede, Property Portfolio Manager of Coronation.

Pieter Rautenbach


Friday, October 8, 2010

Roger Pickles – JBCC Contracts Specialist

Roger Pickles as President of the Association

On the 27th of October 2010 the Association will be hosting a seminar presented by Roger Pickles who will address the latest edition of the JBCC Principal Building Agreement and will focus on the benefits and dangers, surrounding contractors in the management of time and money.

About Roger ……….

Roger immigrated to South Africa in 1975 to join Murray & Roberts Natal (PTY) LTD (then Roberts Construction), as a contracts manager. For the next 18 years he was involved in managing major projects in Natal and became a director of the Natal company in 1987.

In 1993 he was appointed to develop and manage the membership services arm of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal which provides support to its members in running their businesses efficiently, and offers instant advice on numerous specialist subjects.

Resigning from this position in 2007 he currently runs his own consultancy practice in the field of Construction Law and the resolution of contractual disputes.

He is a Fellow of the SA Institute of Building and a Fellow of the Association of Arbitrators and has served as Arbitrator and Mediator in many disputes arising out of building contracts and subcontracts.

On the broader industry scene he served on the executive council of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal from 1980 to 1993 and was president from 1986 to 1988. He served on MBSA’s National Executive from 1979 to 1993 and has served on MBSA’s Contractual and Legal Committee and the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC) for over 20 years.

Ernest Roper



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

R200.00 Discount for Tendering Workshop

Early Bird Bookings made by Friday 15th October 2010 will receive a R200.00 discount on the delegate's rate for the highly popular "Key Principles of Tendering"- Workshop, taking place on Tuesday 26th October 2010 at the Emakhosini Hotel in Morningside, Durban.

The workshop is a must for companies who want to empower their staff to understand the different tendering processes applied by government, how tenders are issued, assessed, evaluated and awarded.

This highly interactive presentation will show delegates how to effectively complete “Responsive & Winning Bid Documents”, how to correctly price a tender and how to claim preference points. Classroom exercises will show delegates how their tenders are scored and awarded under the 90:10 and 80:20 points systems.

Delegates will come to understand how the new B-BBEE Tendering regulations will govern the evaluation and award of tenders, bearing in mind, that in future all tenders will be awarded based on Price and the BBBEE status of the bidder.

The workshop has been attended by more than 500 companies, which gained extensive knowledge on how to prepare themselves for these new regulations and at the same time improved their tendering skills. To book your seat and to receive a booking form, Click Here or visit for further details on the workshop. FREE BEE Assessments will be done for all bookings!

Ernest Roper

Monday, October 4, 2010

50% Discount On Traffic Fines

Durban motorists have been offered another amnesty period to pay their outstanding traffic fines after the Municipality’s Council approved a 50 percent discount on fines.

The Municipality is owed over R950 million in outstanding traffic fines.
The incentive will be implemented on 1 October 2010 and will run for a period of six months. The new incentive follows on the success of the 2008 phase, which yielded approximately R100m.

The effects of the tough economic climate on many people and the pending implementation of the Administration Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) were some of the considerations for this amnesty.

Deputy Head of Metro Police Titus Malaza said: "With the pending implementation of AARTO we want to clean up our database as Metro Police. This means that all people with fines issued before October 1st will get a 50% discount. And all those who will get fines after this date will get a 50% discount only if they pay within 32 days.

Otherwise they’ll be liable for the full amount. This amnesty is open to all members of the public, including taxis, buses and motorists. "Those who have many fines can stagger their payments over the six months grace period." Malaza, however warned that normal law enforcement would still continue over the amnesty period.

"We will still continue with roadblocks to check people with outstanding fines. So it’s better for motorists to pay their fines as soon as possible."

Mayor Obed Mlaba has described the amnesty as an early Christmas Present for motorists.

"This is good news for all motorists, especially the taxi industry. I often feel sorry for taxi people and commuters when our officers have to take action against drivers for outstanding traffic fines. This is an opportunity for them to clean up their records. We want to encourage members of the public to make use of this amnesty period and pay their fines."

eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit
Contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820



Friday, October 1, 2010

Bats In Roofs

The following information was forwarded to the Association and will no doubt be of interest to members who by working in roofs, sometimes come face to face with bats. There is right way and a wrong way of handling the situation, why not find out the right way.

The Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu-Natal is holding a one-day “Bats In Roofs” workshop at the research centre of the Durban Natural Science Museum, K.E Masinga (Old Fort) Road on Thursday 7th of October 2010 at 08h30.

The Course is aimed at all people who work on roofs and will cover myths and truths about bats, the law, poisons and wildlife, exclusions, practical identification of KZN bats, cleaning and sanitizing roofs, and using bat boxes.

The course will be invaluable for pest control operators, architects, plumbers, electricians and any member of the public who have bats in their roofs.

Cost: members of Bats KZN R150.00 per person
Non members R275.00 per person
Group bookings (more than 5 people) R200.00 per person

This includes lunch, teas, and a copy of the Bats In Roofs” Booklet.

Contact Person: Carol Allan
Tel: 031 572 3479
Booking is essential

Ernest Roper