Monday, October 31, 2011

Monitors to be appointed for Housing Projects

A little news snippet I picked up on (via Eye Witness News on twitter) is that Western Cape Human Settlements Department have indicated that they are to recruit more staff to monitor construction progress. This relating to all their housing projects, some of the recruits are to include project monitors.

Department spokesperson Bruce Oom said that they are looking at so called PHP initiatives.

The idea is based on the need to speed up housing delivery in the province, the current backlog is sitting on half a million, the bulk of it in the Cape Town area.

“The department is hiring new staff in the PHP department. The new staff will be involved in project management, quality control and working with community groups to make sure houses are delivered to people who need them most,” Oom said.

Ernest Roper
Regional General Manager



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fishing Competition - Slideshow

Please note that these web albums are best viewed using Firefox Browser. If you don’t have it, Click Here.

The embedded slideshow is of images taken during the Association’s annual fishing competition which took place over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of October 2011. Read All About It !!!!

For endorsing this particular event, we wish thank the following organisations.

Tile Africa
Kentucky Fried Chicken
MCB Construction
Anthony & Basson
NPC Concrete
Builders Express (South Coast Mall)
Builders Trade Depot
Southern Steel
Mica (Shelly Beach Mall)
SA Breweries
Prodec Paints
Barry Krause

While events such as these do represent a unique opportunity for industry suppliers to gain exposure to our members, industry role players as well as the general public, it is the generous support of sponsors that make them a resounding success.

Hans Stols
South Coast Regional Manager


Monday, October 24, 2011

Marketing with Master Builders

2011 still holds one more exciting marketing opportunity for businesses in and around KwaZulu-Natal as well as for those companies looking to expand their range into the KZN market.

The Excellence in Construction Awards evening is a grand platform for you to align your company with Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Showcase your brand to over 350 key stakeholders in the building and construction industry.
  • Identify with construction excellence and innovation in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Align your product/service with the Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal brand
  • Network with your clients and colleagues.
If you are interested in taking part in this prestigious event you can contact me on 031 266 7070, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tanya Leeuw


Friday, October 21, 2011

Make the Most of Your Membership

When somebody uses the term ‘don’t call us we will call you’, unless you really are the bluntest tool in the shed (or a multilevel marketer), you realise that they simply aren’t interested and that the more direct approach would have been to tell you to go fly a kite.

Now imagine an organisation that operates along the lines of ‘Do call us, make an appointment, we will come to you and we won’t charge you for our time’.
In essence that is how Association operates, as a paid up member if you have any matters you would like to discuss or concerns you may have, let us know and your regional manager will happily come and see you.

Our annual membership fee sits at R2400 which is absolutely nominal when one considers the value our members get for it. We calculate that the services members are entitled to, if they were to take advantage of all of them, is valued at around R30 000 per year. It’s fair to say that to a large extent, we do subsidise our members.

If you aren’t getting this sort of value for your membership, you should be. Phone me now and ask me how! (Damn those multilevel marketers)

Everybody who I’ve been through our member benefit matrix with has been blown away by what’s available to them at no additional cost. I recommend that you phone your regional manager and tell them you would like to see them to discuss the benefits available to you, you won’t be sorry.

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manger


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Extension of Comment Period - National Health Insurance Green Paper

The Minister of Health caused somewhat of a stir with the Green Paper on the proposed National Health Insurance published for public comment on 12 August 2011. This was done in terms of Government Notice 657 of 12 August 2011, GG.No 34523.

It was indicated in that Notice that comment must be submitted within a period of two months from the date of publication of the Notice (12 October 2011).

Since the publication of the Notice, requests were made to have the comment period extended. The Minister of Health has accordingly decided to have the comment period extended to 30 December 2011.

Comment can be forwarded to or fax no. 0866330082 or at the following addresses:

The Director, General Health
Private Bag X828
Pretoria 0001

or .......

Reception Desk (Ground Floor)
Civitas Building
Cnr. Andries and Struben Streets

Pieter Rautenbach


Monday, October 17, 2011

Discuss | Contribute | Learn

A reminder to readers that Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal has a well established online forum intended for open exchange of Industry relevant information, as well as to encourage healthy debate.

While on we only publish original industry related articles written by subject matter specialists, the bulk of what we upload to our forum is sourced from other publications, and as a matter of course, we always credit the author as well as the publication in which it first appeared.

Our forum stats tell us that this strategy is working as a lot of people are now reading these articles. I do however feel it’s important to clarify that whereas original content on our website is a non negotiable, with regard to the forum we take a different tack. As long the as information is industry pertinent, we are happy to collate a host of relevant articles penned by outside sources, into one convenient place for you to access it.

That being said, the purpose of a forum is to create a community wherein people who share a common interest are able to engage with one another. So while it does please me to no end that you the reader are finding the information useful, it would be wonderful to hear your comments and to have you contribute.

Our forum motto is ‘Discuss | Contribute | Learn

To join our community, either click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser.

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Foul Smelling Smoker

Once again, we look no further than ‘Darwin Awards’ to source intel for our biweekly post relating to bizarre industry mishaps. This time it involves a smoker, his boss, a plumbing supply store, a blocked loo and a septic holding tank.

Keeping in mind that the articles featured on are reportedly true, this particular incident occurred in 2000, and didn’t end too well for our two protagonists.

A fellow named Mike who worked for a plumbing supply store, brought to the attention of his boss that the toilets on the premises were blocked up. His boss knowing a thing or two about plumbing, in order to rectify the problem lifted the lid off the holding tank outside and poured a bottle of enzymes in, this to break up the solid wastes.

Mike who had been looking on, took the opportunity to light up a smoke and while chatting to his boss, disposed of the butt by flicking it into the open tank.

The moment the smouldering butt landed in the septic tank, the gases inside ignited and blew the vent pipe 30 feet up. The tank exploded skyward, covering the two men from head to toe with its somewhat foul content.

If that’s not bad enough. ....

The toilets on the inside also exploded with excrement spewing liquid, shattering them in the process.

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The History of Census in South Africa

The first census in any part of South Africa was held in 1796 during the first British occupation of the Cape. It was named the Cape Colony Census and the thrust of it was mainly focused on the master-slave relationships which were prevalent at the time. The Census Act of 1914 was one of the earliest statutes of the former Union of South Africa established in 1910.

By 2014 the population statistical process in South Africa will pass the century mark. During the racially segregated years, the thrust of the various census processes were mainly aimed at the white, coloured and South African Indian population groups resulting in low levels of data recorded in respect of the African population. This was further complicated by the existence of the former Bantustans and self-governing structures created in terms of the separate development policies.

With the census of 1985 and again in 1989, the move towards having a census every five years gained momentum. The 1996 census was the first to be conducted after the democratic elections of 1994 on the basis of a full head count. The second full head count took place during 2001 but it was subsequently evident that a 14.1% undercount occurred mainly in the traditional areas with the Eastern Cape comprising 29.7% , Limpopo 25%, Kwa Zulu 23% and the Northern Cape 1% of this figure.

Given the population densities in some of those areas, the undercount meant that as many as one in five persons in South Africa were not counted. The 2006 Census improved on the 17% undercount experienced during the 2001 Census. The aim of Census 2011 is to further minimise the undercount and to be within the 5% international threshold for undercount in a population census.

Pieter Rautenbach

Monday, October 10, 2011

Census 2011 is upon us !!!

"Every Person Must Be Counted" -- Says Minister Trevor Manual

Speaking in the National Assembly the Minister in the Presidency tasked with the National Planning Commission indicated it is in the interest of all South Africans to be counted in Census 2011. He said the greatest risk was people who did not want to be enumerated. Previous undercounts were caused by enumerators not gaining access to all gated communities, informal settlements and remote rural areas.

He reminded members of the National Assembly that in terms of Section 16 of the 1999 Statistics Act when it comes to a census, “every person .... must to the best of his or her ... knowledge and belief, and subject to the right to dignity and privacy, answer, when required all questions put orally or in writing... "

Anyone refusing to answer a question, or who knowingly provides a false answer, could, if convicted, be liable to a fine of up to R10 000 or six months imprisonment or both.

How Long Will It Take To Complete The Questionnaire?

Trial tests conducted indicated that an individual answering all the questions in a household representing ten people will need about 45 minutes to complete the questionnaire

Pieter Rautenbach


Friday, October 7, 2011

"Today we are saying, enough is enough, no more deaths"

Never a dull moment working for the Association, as our colleague in Zululand Paula Leah, recently discovered. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) embarked upon a march in protest of deaths and injuries occurring in the workplace which culminated in them handing over a letter to the Association demanding action.

I highly recommend that every industry stakeholder read this memorandum, and takes cognisance of the message communicated.

The grievance is addressed to the Mining Houses, Department of Mineral Resources, Department of Labour as well as the Construction Industry, they also make it clear that they expect a response within seven days. The strap line reads "Today we are saying, enough is enough, no more deaths".

When we first announced our mandatory safety compliance check as a prerequisite to acquiring full membership status, it was met with resistance from certain quarters. Two years after making the announcement, there are still those who feel we are overstepping our bounds.

Rather than to tick a political box, our motivation for being strong on Occupational Health and safety has always been to ensure the wellbeing of everybody operating within the industry, nonetheless, it does inadvertently serve such an end. In circumstances such as these, when the question are asked it is vitally important not to be found wanting.

To view our response to NUM, click here.

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reasons To Be Positive

With newspapers constantly blurting out exceedingly discouraging headlines relating to corruption, crime and unsavoury politics, my friend and colleague Pieter Rautenbach penned an article for, which left me feeling somewhat optimistic about the future our country.

One glance at the front page of any Sunday newspaper is usually enough to make me think that as a nation we are self-destructive, and that by our own doing, we are becoming less and less appealing to the international community. It turns out, this isn’t the case.

Since 1994 South Africa has been included in numerous surveys covering a range of subjects. In many instances the high levels of crime and escalating corruption has as one would expect, negatively effected the outcomes of such analysis. Pieter informs us that a recent survey conducted by the Reputation Institute among G8 countries show a steady year-on-year improvement with regard to reputation of the country. While we didn’t quite shoot the lights out, we were placed 33rd; we scored a lot higher than many would have anticipated. To put it into perspective, the USA came in at 22nd.

For reasons already touched upon, it’s easy to become negative; however the manner in which the survey was weighted, we scored high in areas we tend to take for granted. Natural beauty of our country, friendliness of people, and economic stability throughout the recession.

Pieter’s article makes for very interesting reading. CLICK HERE

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager


Monday, October 3, 2011

Practical Ways of Saving Water

There are a number of products on the market that will certainly aid you in your drive to save water; many of them, such as water saving showerheads, are sold at the Association. Inspired by my colleague Greg Beykirch’s excellent article “Water Calculator and the Marginal Cost of Water” we share some of the more practical, water saving tips with you.
  1. Don’t wash dishes under a running tap. Rather fill a second basin and rinse off in there. If you only have the one, afterward empty and refill with fresh water to rinse with.
  2. Water your garden at night and try and save it for days that aren’t windy, this limits evaporation.
  3. Try to position sprinklers strategically to avoid watering your neighbor’s property, the side of your house, the dog box and the street out front.
  4. When not in use, make sure your pool has a cover on it, also to prevent evaporation.
  5. Don’t allow for leaky pipes, be it your pool pump, garden hose, sprinkler system etc.
  6. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outside areas such as patios and driveways
  7. When rinsing things like vegetables, place a container underneath to capture water and then use it to hydrate plants.
  8. Fix rickety toilets that continually run, or replace with water efficient models.
  9. Water in fish tanks become nutrient-rich, use in your plants or garden when cleaning the tank.
  10. Drink more beer and less water. (This one’s not for real, just thought it would bring a smile to your face:)
Ernest Roper
Regional Manager Durban