Friday, December 14, 2012

See you next year …… Enjoy!


 It is again that time of the year where the industry shuts down and builders and their staff go off to enjoy a well earned rest.

The Association aligns itself to the industry so we encourage staff to take leave over this period and we also close our doors for a few days. With this in mind, this will be our last blog post for the year. Blog posts, news articles and our e-newsletter will resume their normal publishing cycles on 14 January 2013.

We thank all members for their support throughout 2013, and we wish you all a joyous happy festive season.

See you next year …… Enjoy!

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Mobile Clinic - Trip to Hluhluwe


On the road bright and early we made our way to Hluhluwe. Those in the car were silent, being that on the Thursday we were in Umhlanga, Friday we were in Durban for a team building exercise and now on the Saturday, we were back on the road to administer more medicals.

The directions we were given were precise meaning that the site was found with ease.

Having never actually been to Hluhluwe, Brenda and I were both excited at the prospect. Albeit that there wasn’t much to see, finding ourselves in a place we hadn’t been to before, was nonetheless an enjoyable experience.

No real challenges presented itself, everything ran smoothly and at no point did it prove stressful. This of course was a good thing and before we knew it, we were on our way back home to Richards Bay.

I must also add that everywhere we have been thus far; we have been greeted by such lovely people who are more than willing to assist us when the need arises.

We look forward to our next trip.

Leah Yankasamy
Clinic & Safety Assistant

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mobile Clinic - Road Trip


Starting our trip bright and early in the morning, we were all very calm and relaxed. That didn’t last too long as we realized that the address we were heading to wasn’t to be found by our Garmin GPS device.  So we took out the tablet and searched again, eventually finding Meridian Street we followed the directions as instructed.

It took us to Gateway and made us do a U-Turn back on to the M14, trusting it we followed, which proved a huge mistake.

Supposed to be in Umhlanga, we found ourselves in Mount Edgecombe so we stopped and asked for directions at an Engen garage, nobody could help and after driving around in circles, we eventually came to a dead end!

In the end we arranged to meet the client at Gateway who escorted us to site which as Murphy’s Law would have it, was two minutes away.

When we got there, the parking area had a height restriction of 2.5m! Our trailer could not fit so we had to get the security guard to open up a special gate around back for us.

Thankfully after a horrible start to the day, the medicals all went smoothly and we were soon heading home to Zululand.  At the end of the day, the client was exceedingly pleased which is all that really mattered to us.

Leah Yankasamy
Clinic & Safety Assistant

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Worst Analogies Ever Written


Somebody I know posted this on Facebook and admittedly when I saw it, I had to laugh at some of them. A little light-heartedness on a Monday morning is never a bad idea, so I thought I would share them with you, enjoy.

Winners of the "worst analogies ever written in a high school essay" contest:

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup. (Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring)

From the attic came an unearthly howl.  The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again. (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. (Unknown)

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. (Jack Bross, Chevy Chase)

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. (Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring)

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man." (Russell Beland, Springfield)

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.  (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr.Pepper can. (Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.)

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

John and Mary had never met.  They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. (Russell Beland, Springfield)

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. (Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria)

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon. (Helen Hopp, Yucaipa)

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Certificates From Sangomas


Employers would be well advised read an article penned by Pieter Rautenbach and published on masterbuilders.co.za which takes note of a recent Labour Appeal Court review that may have opened room for employees to produce sick certificates from Sangomas.

The article deals with the review of the Labour Appeal Court in this regard and since the review appears to trump section 23(2) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Pieter requested that I link the article to the text of the Labour Appeal Court review.

It is well worth reading ...... follow link:

Labour Appeal Court Accepts Sangoma's Sick Note 

Ernest Roper
Membership Services

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

About Turn - Changes to BBBEE Codes


Of the proposed changes to the BBBEE codes, Statement 500 of gazette number 35754 pertaining socio-economic development spend, received a lot of media attention.  Were it to be promulgated, it would have meant that business would only score points for donating to100% Black owned charities.

This was of major concern as there are numerous charities that do exceptionally good work that aren’t necessarily 100 %black owned, and rely on corporate support.  Government it seems have done an about turn on this which is fantastic news, as the general feeling is that the country would have been worse off for it.

I know of a particular charity that provides care for abandoned babies of all races and in the event they were to lose their corporate sponsorship, it would spell disaster for them.

What is surprising and possibly unpreseidented is that Statement 500 was withdrawn before the cut off date for public comment. I would surmise that perhaps they had already received so many comments on that particular clause that they decided enough is enough.

...... The people have spoken!

Whatever the reason, thank goodness for it.

DTI Media Statement

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Mobile Clinic – Extremely Cost Effective



Please take note that our mobile clinic rates are extremely competitive.

The convenience of using a mobile clinic to perform mandatory medicals is that the clinic comes to you. With it operating on your site, there is little disruption to the construction process and hardly any downtime. 

If your site is in an outlying area regardless of whether you use us or some other service provider, you are going to be charged a fuel levy to cover the additional cost incurred. The difference with us is, we have two main centres, Westville Durban and Empangeni in Zululand.

If your site is within a 30kl radius of either of those two main centres, there is no fuel charge and if it isn’t, you are charged per kilometre from whichever destination is closest. With that in mind as well as the fact that our rates are already extremely competitive and that members are entitled to a discount, it makes sense to use us, doesn’t it?

For more info contact us on 0861 333 354. We look forward to being service to you.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Affordable Housing in Upmarket Umhlanga


My friend and colleague Sane Mlaba forwarded me an article that appeared on www.kbn.co.za informing us that construction will soon start on the first affordable housing development in upmarket Umhlanga near Durban.

There has been a lot of talk about this development in recent times with many in the area, not exactly overjoyed at the prospect. With homeowners on Umhlanga Ridge having invested large sums of monies for the privilege of living there, the fear is that “affordable housing” will bring property values down.

The article informs us that gap housing, or affordable housing, services the section of the market which does not qualify for free RDP homes but which also does not earn enough to qualify for a bond at the mid-to-higher end of the market and expands on the following headers:
  • Low to Middle Income Earners Make a Step Onto the Housing Ladder
  • Housing with a Focus on a Lifestyle Living Environment
  • Expanding South Africa’s Affordable Housing Footprint
I have uploaded the full article to our forum, have a read and feel free to comment. 

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Umhlanga’s Contentious Tidal Pool

Image courtesy www.umhlangauip.co.za

There is an interesting story doing the rounds about the proposed development of a tidal pool on Umhlanga’s main beach.  The expected cost is about R26.7million and as is always the case with proposals of this nature, there are two conflicting views.

The mock-up image that appeared in the weekend papers make it look spectacular and people will no doubt come from far and wide to enjoy the beach without having to face the inherent dangers that come with swimming in the surf.

The image reveals that the size of it is massive and it looks as though it will be built on the rocky outcrop area between the pier and the lighthouse.

Locals are vehemently against it citing lack of parking in the area among their chief concerns. I suspect that many, albeit they wouldn't admit to it publicly, simply do not want the exclusivity of their upmarket beach town being affected by an influx of people.

DA ward Councillor Heinz de Boer has criticised the proposal:

“At a time when this very same department is warning of climate change, shifts in high water levels and a need to remove hard structures from our beaches, it prepares to spend R26m on a pool that could very well be washed into the sea by storms,” said De Boer.

He further stated that that the project appears to be obscenely expensive.

This past weekend’s Sunday Times indicated that eThekwini Municipality believe that the beach is eroding away and that the tidal pool would assist in protecting the beach from it. Based on visual evidence from the perspective of an individual who enjoys walking along that beach, perhaps eThekwini have a point.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Stairway to Heaven or Banister to Hell


For those of you who don’t already know, the Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor, that recognizes individuals who have contributed to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death due to their own foolish actions.  For our e-newsletter tailpiece, we have again selected  another classic account of one such individual, courtesy of darwinawards.com.

The Kleman Plaza parking garage in Tallahassee has the ideal banister for a long slide, spiraling around an open stairwell all the way down from the fifth floor without a break.       
Brian, 24, was a real-life hero who had saved a friend from drowning, but friends said he was also a "big fan of reality TV and high-risk stunts." The banister was his big chance!
But just sliding down a 5-story the banister was nowhere near risky enough for Brian, so he planned to leap onto the banister to begin his slide.         

He ran, he jumped... and he sailed completely over it, plunging 52 feet to the bottom of the stairwell. A friend fondly reminisced that "Brian had done crazier things than this" before. But this was Brian's first stunt spectacular enough to win a Darwin Award.

According to a police investigation, "alcohol may have been a factor."

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Much Admired Gentleman


I never had the privilege of working with Roger Pickles, I did however meet him on two occasions and it really wasn’t difficult to ascertain why people in the industry held him in such high regard.

When we heard of his passing, we were quick to upload an article on masterbuilders.co.za highlighting his accomplishments and his many invaluable contributions to the industry.  I in fact penned the article, using information we had on record which was easily accessible to me.

We have since received a second article, this time from former Executive Director Pieter Rautenbach who worked with him for many years. Pieter’s article is a great tribute to an old friend which elegantly captures, why Roger was so admired by so many who knew him.

It is titled “A Personal Tribute to Roger Pickles” and although I never really got to know him, it makes me wish I did. 

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, November 12, 2012

A Very Worthy Cause


The Highway Hospice, situated a stone throw away from Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal  is a non-profit organisation that provides palliative care for people suffering from terminal illness. They also provide education and training in palliative care, without expectation of payment.

For those who wish to support their cause, there is very simple unobtrusive way in which do so.

We all from time to time clean out the closet and discover that we have a whole pile of clothing that we no longer wear. Hospice has outlets that sell second hand clothing and the money that is raised goes towards funding their existence. So if you have old clothing to give, you will find them on 59 Locksley Drive, Sherwood, Durban. The contact number is 031 208 6110.

By doing so, you will be donating to a very worthy cause.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager 


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Friday, November 9, 2012

The Customer is Always Right?


I have over the last couple of weeks been dealing with a well known print media group concerning placing an eight page spread into one of their well known publications. It’s an annual insert and we complete all the design work ourselves within their specified guidelines and send it to them in pdf format. For them, its money for jam or at least that’s my opinion.

Albeit that from our side it does require a lot of copywriting and design work which is extremely time consuming, the process is generally straightforward and with it having gone so well in previous years, we stuck to the process we know works best for us.

This year included in the cost, was the services of the publication’s design person should we require it. It was communicated to us as an optional extra and at no point were we told that it's a prerequisite. We knew exactly what we wanted to achieve from the advertorial and felt safe in the knowledge that our own graphic design people were on the same page as us. For this reason we kept it internal which essentialy gave us creative oversight, after all, this is how we had successfully done it in the past!

It turns out that their internal design person has ego issues and felt somewhat shunned when notified that we would again be doing it ourselves. This same individual is responsible for final approval and as it turned out, all of sudden our layout wasn’t good enough.  She referred to their guidelines and pointed to some very petty differences of opinion.  We did our best to accommodate them and went backwards and forwards making last minute changes just to appease her.

I could not get away from the distinct feeling that we were being messed around by somebody who was doing so simply because she could.

One particular episode which to my mind is unforgivable, involved her badmouthing us to colleagues. At the time, we were on the telephone to them and evidently, she had no idea we could hear her ranting in the background.

How this story ends......

Next year when they come to us wanting to know why we went with one of their rival publications (which I suspect they will as we are not talking small numbers), a certain young lady whose name is truly emblazoned on my mind, will get an honourable mention. 

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Power Tower in Northern Cape


I came across an interesting web article that informs us of the construction of a massive tower, in a remote part of the Northern Cape. It reports that an announcement was made earlier in the week by Abengoa Solar, that work on their 50-megawatt Khi Solar One project is underway.

Khi Solar One is to be the first full scale power tower on the African Continent.

Power towers use heliostats which are essentially large mirrors that serve to direct light onto a receiving tower, this in turn heats water or other liquids that are used to produce energy. 

The above image is of the 11MW PS10 power tower near Seville in Spain, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, November 5, 2012

A Bang Up Job - Blasting Expertise


Today we bring you another fantastic example of the innate dangers that come with having a complete idiot on site. It is again courtesy of darwinawards.com and an eyewitness who documented the incident for prosperity, way back in 1967.

This is his account of events:

"I was working on the construction of an irrigation canal in West Africa, and it was necessary to clear the route of some extremely large trees. Gelignite was cheap and effective, and fortunately, we had George on our staff to help us use it. George possessed a Blasting Certificate, testifying to his expertise in this field.

While he was showing an African foreman how to set up the explosives, I spotted George with a cigarette in his mouth, presumably placed there because his hands were occupied with fuse cord and sticks of gelignite. For his comfort, George was seated on a 56-pound case of Special Blasting Gelatin.

Those who know explosives will realize that this situation, in itself, presented no problem. Gelignite may burn when ignited, but will not explode unless prompted to do so by a detonator. As I walked up, I saw that George was inserting a detonator into a stick of gelignite...

We all, with the exception of one tree, lived to tell the tale. However, thinking that I would not believe my own recollection of the incident unless I recorded it, I delayed running for cover until I had taken a photograph, which I have to this day."

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Excellence Awards Web Pages Now Up


For those who perhaps don’t already know, we have a section on our website dedicated to the Excellence in Construction awards and each year we update it to feature the wining projects.

For those of you who interested in finding out more about this year’s winning entries, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that the 2012 pages have gone live and can be accessed by following the link below:

http://www.masterbuilders.co.za/2012_excellence_in_construction_awards.htm

Again, well done to all recipients of awards and well done to the team who put the event together. With several emails of thanks having come through, all feedback received thus far has been exceedingly positive.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The New Mayors Parlour and Lift Installation


Another very interesting project entered into this year’s Excellence in Construction Awards was the new Mayors Parlour and Lift Installation at Durban City Hall that won in the category of Alterations, Additions & Renovations – Non-residential (under R20m).

The scope of work included the complete installation of a new lift, alterations to the existing lift core, the construction of the New Mayor’s Parlour, new offices and alterations to existing offices. 

The work involved construction of a new lift core from basement level to second floor level including demolitions of existing concrete slabs, additional concrete slabs etc.

The site was a controlled environment involving minimal noise and disruptions to the Mayor’s offices.  Time tables for council meetings had to be worked around and contract work on those days had to be minimised.  Further interruption of work caused delays to the completion date. Access to site was also a concern as the current entrance on the basement level was not to be used by contractors. This prompted the use of a mechanical hoist to gain full access to the second floor roof. The building finishes were not compromised and budgets were increased to accommodate the architect’s requirements.

The work was performed by Serengeti Projects CC.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 29, 2012

29° South - 2012 Supreme Winner


In earlier post, I mentioned that the projects entered into the 2012 Excellence in Construction Awards do indicate a shift towards green building. This year’s Supreme Winner which went to Ilembe Building WBHO & Group Five JV for 29° South, is a standout example of green innovation.

Its structure consists of a concrete frame with a brick envelope with an atrium design to reduce the carbon footprint with a minimum perimeter area.  The building has a relatively narrow floor plate of 12,5m which maximizes daylight from both sides of the building, with a high percentage of glass on the external envelope.

The material used for the construction consisted of recycled steel and concrete with reduced cement content.  A reduction in the total voc (Volatile Organic Compounds) was possible with the use of non pvc products and the paint specs were from the evolution range of Plascon.  The external coatings to the walls were Comet coatings which has recycled glass aggregate.  With the emphasis on being a green building a lot of time was given to the energy design of the building to enable a 45% energy saving as compared to another conventional building.  Regenerative lifts were installed together with an efficient HVAC system and lighting as motion sensors.

The highlight of the building is the green roof which is designed as an active park to ensure a minimum of 30% landscape coverage on the site.

A unique feature of the building is the recycled water system where rainwater is harvested and stored in the basement for irrigation purposes as well as  being pumped up to the roof to be used for the ablution facilities.  Surplus run off is further stored in retention ponds around the building.

The building boasts a fully advanced BMS system that is key to ongoing monitoring and the responsible operation of all sustainable buildings.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 26, 2012

A Definite Swing Towards Green

Wild Waves

Something I felt was quite pleasing to observe while working on the project descriptions for the Excellence in Construction Awards, was the amount of consideration that is being given to the environment. Several of the projects entered had adapted green innovation, and some contractors it seems went to great measures to preserve the environment. A great example of this is the WBHO entry 'Wild Coast Sun Waterpark', also known as Wild Waves.

The client Sun International, was particular about the surrounding environment and had a full time environmentalist that ensured no building or dumping of materials took place in the forest areas as well as on the primary dunes.

Before the start of the project all protected species were removed and stored off site.  These trees and plants were then re-planted once the slides and structural work had been completed.

Well done to WBHO and Sun International!

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Unforeseen Challenges

 Winner: Single Residential Above R3M, Southern Natal Construction & Jesjo Building Enterprises JV

Every year, once the Excellence in Construction event is behind us, I begin the arduous task of writing and editing copy for the Excellence in Construction web pages on masterbuilders.co.za. 

The way the process works is that with every entry, the entrant has to provide a detailed description of the project in writing and once the award recipients have been announced, I take that information and summarise it into either three paragraphs or one, depending on whether it  is category winner or a highly commended recognition.

Albeit that it is a slow process and from a time management point of view it takes me out of the loop for a while, I do find it exceedingly interesting. I particularly enjoy learning of the unforeseen challenges that contractors face when embarking upon these projects and how they adapt to overcome them.

Our Excellence in Construction pages should be fully uploaded in about a week’s time. I am aiming for next Friday, Monday week the latest.  If you are interested in finding out more about the winning projects, keep an eye on http://www.masterbuilders.co.za/excellence_in_building.htm

IF you would like to know who the winners were, read our press release.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Excellence Awards - A Job Well Done


As most readers of this blog will already be aware, last Friday night saw the hosting of the 8th annual Excellence in Construction awards.  It was a fantastic evening out and thus far we have only had positive feedback.

I would like to take the opportunity to give credence to the team of people at the Association who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, by sharing one of several testimonials that came through this morning.

The reason why I have particularly chosen this one is that came from a member of the media, whom I would assume attends many such events:

“Dear Tanya 

Thank you again for a wonderful evening and MBA Function. As functions go yours is the Top Event I have attended this year.


Well Done MBA Team.”


Watch masterbuilders.co.za for the Excellence Awards Press Release.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

South Coast Community Initiative


Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal South Coast Region has for several years now been taking on an annual community initiative, aimed at supporting a non-profit charity cause in need of a built structure or renovations to an existing structure. Their latest project is to assist those residing at Reinhardt's Place in Pumula, on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast near to Umzumbe.

Reinhardt's is a registered welfare organisation that attends to the needs of the mentally challenged. Many of its occupants are young people from the local area and maintaining the overheads for such an establishment is always going to prove challenging.

Their electricity bill at present is considerably high and heat pumps are to be installed to assist with consumption. To ensure that the beneficiary does not incur costs, it will be seen to that all labour apparatus gets donated.

Well done to our South Coast members for taking the time to improve the lives of others.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 12, 2012

49th Annual Regional Health and Safety Awards


We have over the last couple of weeks put a lot of time and effort into promoting our annual Gala event the Excellence in Construction Awards which is to take place next Friday night.

Another awards evening that is also a highlight on the Association’s calendar is our annual Regional Health and Safety Awards, which is scheduled to take place on the 2nd of November 2012.

The regional Health & Safety Awards is preceded by the National Health & Safety Awards where members of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal have over the years fared exceptionally well. This year sees the 49th edition. The event is attended by over 200 guests, most of who have a vested interest in Construction Health & Safety and enjoy the opportunity to network with like minded people.

For news on category winners, keep an eye on masterbuilders.co.za and watch the press in upcoming weeks.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Minister of Public Works to Address Us


For those who may not already be aware, the Association is extremely pleased to announce that Minister of Public Works Mr Thulas Nxesi, is to be the guest speaker at the Excellence in Construction Awards evening.

Followers of masterbuilders.co.za as well as regular readers of our e-newsletter may recall Pieter Rautenbach's two excellent articles titled 'Does this Man Deserve a Bells' and 'Does This Man Deserve another Bells' which highlighted the excellent work the Minister is doing. Needless to say we are delighted that he will be there and we look forward to hearing him.

Companies who are interested in aligning themselves with the awards evening will be pleased to know that there are still marketing packages available. Time is however running out so if you do wish to participate, please make sure you contact Tanya on 031 266 7070 as soon as possible.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 8, 2012

New UIF Threshold, Effective 1st October 2012


 
Greg Beykirch  

The Association's Financial Director Greg Beykirch draws our attention to the following important notice:

“A contribution for Unemployment Insurance shall not apply to so much of the remuneration paid or payable by an employer to an employee as exceeds:

With effect from 1st October 2012 R14 872 per month (R178 464 annually)

Please ensure that your salaries/wages program is adjusted accordingly effective 1st October 2012."

Thanks Greg!

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Recipe for Disaster


Included among life’s many great recipes for disaster, are individuals who’s BQ (Bravado Quotient) way exceeds their IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Those who suffer from this infliction are destined to suffer for it and more often than not, are doomed to pay the ultimate price.  One such character was Wayne Roth, 38, formerly of Pittston Pennsylvania.

Wayne was bitten by a cobra belonging to his friend, Roger Croteau, after playfully reaching into the tank and picking up the snake. Wayne subsequently refused to go to a hospital, telling Roger, "I'm a man, I can handle it".

Falser words have seldom been spoken. Instead of a hospital, Wayne reported to a bar. He had three drinks, and enjoyed bragging that he had just been bitten by a cobra. Cobra venom is a slow-acting central nervous system toxin. He died within a few hours, in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania.

Animal lovers will be pleased to know, the snake suffered no reported side effects.   

Reference: www.darwinawards.com 

Ernest Roper

Membership Services Mnager

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More on COID


The last blog we posted comprised of a list pointers with regard to COID registration, which we got off the Department of Labour’s website.

Bearing in mind the source of the information, we assume that the intel is accurate. It has nonetheless been brought to my attention by somebody who I consider to be a very astute individual, that one of the points listed doesn’t sound right to him.

The item in question....

The site states that workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days, are excluded from compensation.

Although I am personally inclined to trust the source, I thought it worth mentioning.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manger

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases


A question we often get asked is if I only employ casual labour, do I have to be registered for COID (Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases)? The answer is yes you do, when people are in your employ, you are responsible for them.

The Department of Labour website informs us that the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act applies to all employers; and casual and full-time workers who, as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease:
  • are injured, disabled, or killed; 
  • or become ill.
This excludes -
  • workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days;
  • domestic workers;
  • anyone receiving military training;
  • members of  the South African National Defence Force, or the South African Police Service;
  • any worker guilty of wilful misconduct, unless they are seriously disabled or killed;
  • anyone employed outside the RSA for 12 or more continuous months; and
  • workers working mainly outside the RSA and only temporarily employed in the RSA.
Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Friday, September 28, 2012

Construction Industry Career Day


Following the tragic death of 10 pupils in a road accident some two or three weeks ago, KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Senzo Mchunu’s announced the abandonment of all school trips for the rest of the year.

With high school learners having had to be bussed in, the MEC's stance has adversely affected the Association’s plan to host a Construction Industry Career Day. Not to be deterred, many of the Schools that were going to attend have welcomed the option of us going to them. The positive outcome is that we will be able to reach more pupils, the downside is, we had some really exciting activities planned which will have to be shelved, as the transporting of heavy equipment just isn’t practical.

Nonetheless, the enthusiasm the schools are showing for it is most welcoming and albeit that there had to be a change of tack, we are looking forward it and believe it will be just as much of a success.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Need A Builder or Supplier?


Our members do seem appreciative of the fact that a lot of time and effort has gone into getting masterbuilders.co.za to the point where we are able to effectively use it to channel business in their general direction.

With this in mind over the last three years we developed three web modules:

Find a Builder Module
Find a Supplier Module (for Associate members)
Private Projects Module

The challenge for the prospective client when using findabuilder.co.za, is that it often isn’t easy finding the right builder for the right job. Our Private Projects module takes the hassle out of it as contractors who are interested in performing the work; make contact with the client directly, not the other way around. 

If you are an organisation or member of the Public and have construction work that needs to be carried out, an easy way to find the right builder belonging to the Association is through Private Projects, TRY IT ! 

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Bridge Too Short


Having possibly encountered idiots of a similar type yourselves, those of you who operate within the Civils industry will probably identify with this news snippet from New Mexico, relating to an incident that took place in July 2000.

“Two young men driving a dark-blue two-door vehicle removed a barricade festooned with numerous warning signs indicating bridge closure, drove past several heavy construction vehicles, and launched themselves off the end of a demolished bridge in Albuquerque on Saturday. The car careened across a roadbed of unpaved I-beams before plunging 30 feet and burying its front end in a dirt embankment at the junction of I-25 and I-40.

The young men, who had been wearing seatbelts, were taken into police custody unharmed. A spokesman for the state Highway and Transportation Department issued a public plea for common sense. "Don't go through those barricades. Find another route. It's the only safe thing to do." The seat belt law is strictly enforced in New Mexico, but unfortunately there is no law against stupidity.”

Source: www.darwinawards.com

Ernest Roper
Regional Managers Durban

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Excellence in Construction Awards – Sponsorship Opportunities


The Excellence in Construction Awards ceremony is the premier event on the Association's calendar. It celebrates excellence in construction and culminates in a gala function attended by +- 400 people made up of entrants, members and Industry Stakeholders.  If you want to align your brand with that of the Master Builders Association, this is a great opportunity to do so.

For this event there are three types of sponsorship categories:
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Gold
The cost varies depending on which package you go for and the reason for having three packages, is to accommodate a range of budgetary requirements.

For more information contact Tanya Leeuw on 031 266 7070
Ernest Roper
Regional Manager Durban

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Monday, September 17, 2012

Update Your Details


Members are reminded to please update their details with us in the event that they do change. I had somebody contact me the other day requesting a list of contractors who operate in a specific area along with contact numbers. I used the opportunity to encourage the person to make use of findabuilder.co.za to which I got the reply that she had already tried, only to find that many of the numbers she attempted to dial, were no longer in existence.

From my own experience, I haven’t had too many problems trying to get hold of people we have on our database, so perhaps she just happened to pick the wrong one or two. In saying that, somebody may well have missed out on a great opportunity to do some good business, simply because they hadn’t forwarded us their new telephone number.

Members are advised to let us know of such changes. You can’t win if you don’t have a ticket, it’s that simple.

Ernest Roper
Regional Manager Durban 

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

Friday, September 14, 2012

Upcoming Training



Those of you who don’t receive our newsletter, will probably not be aware that we have a whole bunch of training courses coming up that perhaps you may be interested in.  They include the following:

  • Supervise Health & Safety on a Construction Project
  • Monitoring and Controlling Costs and Production
  • First Aid Level 1
  • Apply Health and Safety to a Work Area

To find out which courses are available, visit the training page on masterbuilders.co.za.    

If you wish to receive our newsletter, you can subscribe at masterbuilders.co.za using the subscribe tab, down the left hand column.  

Ernest Roper
Regional Manager Durban 

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION. 
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !