Friday, November 28, 2014

One Foot in the Grave .... or Not?


One day back in 1975, a dapper middle-aged French lawyer by the name of Andre-Francois Raffray came up with a scheme he no doubt thought was brilliant.

He approached 90-year-old Jeanne Calment who owned an apartment in a sought after area and agreed to pay her 2,500 Francs a month for the rest of her life, if, when she died he could take ownership of the apartment regardless of how much money had been paid.

The benefits were obvious, Calment would have an income for the rest of her life and at some point in the not too far away future, Raffray would take possession of her property having in all likelihood paid way below market value for it.

The flaw in the plan ...

Little did Raffray know, Calment was in no hurry to meet her maker and had absolutely no intention of leaving this world, without realising return on investment.  

There were indeed some tell tale signs that longevity may have a say in it. Calment’s mother had lived to 86, her father to 93 and her brother to 96, while Jeanne herself was unusually active, having taken up fencing from the ripe old age of 85. Even so, nobody could have foreseen that Mrs. Calment would live to be the oldest person in the history of the world.

The months turned into years and years into decades. Raffray never did collect on the deal as the old biddy outlived him. To add insult to injury, seeing that the contract was only over when Jeanne passed away, Raffray’s widow was forced to continue the payments.  She eventually died at the age of 122, having been paid close to double what the apartment was actually worth.

Reference: www.cracked.com

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In Need of a Bursary? Introducing the Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Bursary Fund


Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal has identified the scarcity of skills within the Building Industry and has realised the challenge that some prospective candidates have in accessing the funds to pay for their skills development.

As the leading Association within the KwaZulu-Natal Building Industry, Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal invites South African learners to apply for a bursary for the 2015 academic year.

Bursaries are intended to encourage candidates to enter programmes leading to occupational qualifications required to address scarce skills within the Building Industry.

Please download the attached application form and return the completed document to us by 15 January 2015. 

Application Form Download (MS Word)  

Please note that only application forms completed in full and accompanied by the required supporting documents will be considered.

All applications will be adjudicated by the Bursary Panel who will decide on the successful candidates.

Successful Applicants will be advised by 30 January 2015 of the outcome.

Victor Smith
Training Manager


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

About The Institute of Painting Contractors

IPC logo

The Institute of Painting Contractors (IPC) was founded in 2006 on the primary objective of ensuring the highest level of quality and professionalism in the painting industry, based on the principles of integrity, service excellence and quality workmanship. They provide South African consumers with a seal of assurance they can trust. 

They have recently undergone a rebranding, to view their new-look website, go to www.ipckzn.co.za

In their latest newsletter they highlight who their Members are and what the benefits of using them are. They also share their code of conduct. See link below:

Download PDF Here


Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The A-Z of Building


The KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association, in association with Buildaid Publishing, bring you The A-Z of building. This new publication will focus on concepts, principals and the practical aspects surrounding quality building and construction safety throughout the building process. Construction safety and building quality are things that have become crucial in these modern times and it is imperative that everyone is made aware of not only what to do on site but what they can do to ensure quality buildings are delivered and that safety on site is never ignored.

Written in easy to understand English and heavily supported with graphics, this publication outlines the entire building process in detail, affording readers the opportunities to not only learn but also how to participate in creating a safer building environment for all. The aim of the publication is to serve as a learning guide and practical handbook to all its members and all South Africans wanting to embrace quality and safety in building.


For more information on the A-Z of building including advertising rates - CLICK HERE (PDF Download) or contact Sharon on 082 560 6699. 

Ross Stembridge 
Building Services Manager


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shortage of Reinforcing Steel and Quality Concerns on Present Supplies


Members are reporting continued difficulties in obtaining the required supply from local steel mills.

This has resulted in the non availability of certain diameters and consequent delays in the supply and fixing of cut and bent material from the reinforcing fabricators.

This has in some cases negatively impacted on the progress on certain construction sites.
In order to mitigate the shortage, imported reinforcing has been used where members were able to secure appropriate supplies. Whist this has, to a certain extent, alleviated some of the problems, it cannot be considered as a realistic long term solution due to the lead times and vagaries of the international steel market.

There is concern however, as to the quality of imported steel.

Association members have therefore been urged to pay particular attention to the conformance of imported steel to SANS 920 for supplies to the construction sector, and to initiate independent verification of test certificates supplied by manufacturers where necessary.

Member companies are addressing the quality issues with the suppliers concerned, and are taking all possible precautions to ensure that no defective material is supplied to the construction industry.

JEFF THOMAS 
DIRECTOR
SOUTH AFRICAN REINFORCED CONCRETE ENGINEERS'ASSOCIATION

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