The State of the Construction Industry on the Table at Building Industry Congress

Economic transformation in the South African construction sector and the impact of ratings downgrades on the development and future of the industry, are topics that will be discussed at the annual Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) Congress, taking place on the 11th and 12th of September 2017 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

The Congress, now in its 112th year, has become an important platform for addressing issues and opportunities within the South African building and construction industry with input from government, building industry leaders, economists and other relevant stakeholders. Under this year’s theme of Building South Africa Together, speakers from these and other sectors will be exploring matters currently impacting the industry.

Kicking off the Congress will be a representative from the Ministry of Economic Development, who will discuss the status of the National Infrastructure Plan along with its implications and opportunities for local contractors.

This will be followed by what is bound to be a lively panel discussion on The State of the Construction Industry in South Africa, with panellists including MBSA President, Bafikile Bonke Simelane; CEO of the Construction Sector Charter Council, Thabo Masombuka; the Competition Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele and the General Secretary of the Black Business Council in the Built Environment, Gregory Mofokeng. The conversation will consider if the new Construction Sector Codes adequately address transformation gaps in the sector, as well as the effects of anti-competitive behaviour, amongst other issues.

The future of the industry will be unpacked throughout the course of the Congress by speakers such as Craig Lemboe, Senior Economist at the Bureau for Economic Research, who will be unveiling what’s in store for the industry and country going forward in his talk on South Africa’s Economic Outlook. The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe, will also be exploring avenues for future industry growth in his address on Regional Integration for African Cooperation and Development.

The Deputy Minister will be participating in a panel discussion on Industry Opportunities together with Chairman of WBHO Construction, Mike Wylie; CEO of the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, Webster Mfebe; MBSA Executive Director, Roy Mnisi; CEO of the Built Environment Professions Export Council, Con Korsten and President of the National African Federation for the Building Industry, Aubrey Tshalata. They will be exploring construction opportunities in the region and the roles of financing institutions and voluntary associations in the development of the construction industry and increasing SMME market access.

A key feature of every Congress are the technical breakaway sessions which enable teams of experts from various aspects of the industry to debate the issues of Construction Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S)Skills Developmentand Regulatory, Contractual and Legal Matters in the Construction Industry. This year’s participants will include Chief OH&S Inspector at the Department of Labour, Tibor Szana; Chief Director of Artisan Development at the Department of Higher Education, David Mabusela; and Programme Manager at the Construction Industry Development Board, Dr Rodney Milford.

Another regular highlight is the exhibition which coincides with the Congress and showcases the latest developments in and services available to the industry. This year, for the first time ever, entry will be free of charge to all contractors in and around the Western Cape.

MBSA Executive Director Roy Mnisi says: “I invite all members of the building and construction industry, suppliers and service providers to join us at this year’s Congress to learn about how we can all play a part in building South Africa together.”

To register, or for more information about the Congress, visit To keep up to date with the latest happenings, follow the Congress’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Source: Master Builders South Africa

Eskom commissions 765 kV transmission line in Western Cape

State-owned Eskom earlier this week commissioned its 765 kV Kappa–Sterrekus transmission line, connecting the Western Cape to the network over and above the 400 kV network.

The 765 kV is one of the highest voltages used for electricity transfer in the world.

This line connects Sterrekus’s 765 kV substation through the 765 kV network to the north. The substation is equipped with the latest switchgear and protection schemes and will be the new hub for the transmission western grid, as it connects to Koeberg and other major substations in the Peninsula.

The 400 kV network to the Western Cape was established in 1974 with only two lines from the North to the Western Cape. Subsequent to that, a third and a fourth in-feed were established.

This is the first major change to the transmission networksince 1974, giving the Western Cape a much-needed secure supply from the major power stations in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The line between Kappa near Touwsrivier and Sterrekus posed severe challenges to the construction teams, as entry to some of the mountainous areas could only be achieved by helicopter. Construction took place mostly by hand.

“It was also difficult to obtain the servitude as the line had to cross the Ceres and Tulbagh valleys and required extensive public and stakeholder engagement,” the utility said in a statement.

Source: engineeringnews

South African Department of Trade and Industry to introduce dedicated agro-processing incentive

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in South Africa is working on introducing a dedicated agro-processing incentive aimed at attracting investment, DTI Minister Rob Davies says.

“This sector is critical because of its labour intensity across the value chain and its high economic multipliers, especially with respect to exports. The incentive will contain strong conditionalities, including with respect to labour practices and empowerment,” says Minister Davies.

The Minister addressed the Manufacturing Indaba in the Western Cape, South Africa. The indaba brings together the country’s industrial movers and shakers with the intent of focusing on and boosting the growth potential of key industry sectors including automotive, construction, forestry and paper and packaging, among others.

Davies says the manufacturing sector and diversification of the economy is a key driver to attaining South Africa’s economic growth objectives.

“We all know that the performance of our economy has been flat, but we were saved by the second-quarter gross domestic product manufacturing statistics. That was mainly through the implementation of a transparent localisation policy that we have developed and this result also demonstrates that manufacturing and diversification of our economy is highly critical if we are to achieve our economic strategic objectives,” says the Minister.

Minister Davies says the largest parts of international trade were mainly focused on intermediate products.

“By the early 2000s, domestic boatbuilding capabilities had hollowed out, with the exception of the luxury yachting sector. Government introduced a stronger industrial financing instrument and boats were designated for local procurement. The sector is now witnessing the crowding-in of private sector funding and capabilities to meet demand both locally and internationally.”

The success of Nautic Africa (a shipbuilder and maritime services provider) now part of the Paramount group and Damen are testament to what can be achieved, Minister Davies said, adding that effort has also gone into the clothing and textile clusters in the last decade in the Cape.

“National government has deployed significant incentives to support, among others, companies in this sector in the province. We have injected R2bn incentives over the last five years to support the industry and successfully raise productivity and competitiveness,” says the Minister.

The MEC responsible for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape, Alan Winde, said the conference focused specifically on agro-processing and oil and gas as they had demonstrated themselves to be key drivers that promote manufacturing.

“We have given ourselves a target of enabling 60,000 jobs in oil and gas at Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone. We are also doing work on skills, energy and for the removing of administrative red tape that hampers the flow of business,” said MEC Winde.

He said the Western Cape had set itself a target of producing 32,500 apprentices in the next three-years to work in the energy space and pleaded with delegates to make use of the unit established in his office to remove red tape.

Source: agricouncil

R6.5m funding available for Cape innovators and startups

Startups looking for funding can now apply to the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) for a share of R6.5m. The fund is looking for pre-revenue and innovative technologies in the agri-processing, health and bio-tech, and manufacturing sectors, says VentureBurn.

The fund is open to Western Cape-based early-stage companies and SMEs, businesses in incubation, entrepreneurs and researchers. Students at tertiary institutions in the Western Cape may also apply as long as the institution does not already have intellectual property claims to the product or service.

Preference will be given to businesses with at least a 25% black ownership and job creation potential.

The chosen applicants will be able to apply for up to R500,000 in funding. Entrepreneurs must also be able to match 20% of the funding in cash or in-kind contributions.

DISF is a product of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). It receives investment and management funds from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The first round of the project, which launched in 2014, targeted 12 startups in the Western Cape out of 151 applicants. The applicants were able to move onto the next stages in their businesses and have collectively created 18 new jobs and a turnover of R2.4m in the past six months.

“The Seed Fund has given these innovators and entrepreneurs a little bit of breathing space and an opportunity to flex their muscles — which is all they really needed to take their next steps,” says executive director of the CCDI, Erica Elk, in a press release to Ventureburn.

“More importantly though, we didn’t just give them the money. We walked beside them every step of the way over the two years, providing support, advice and access to additional expertise when they needed it.”

According to Elk, the DISF has allowed the CCDI to create other investments, such as the Jobs Fund project, which is investing R14.5m into 45 companies over three years. These businesses have created over 464 new jobs as well as doubling in size and turnover.

Another creation is CCDI Capital, which is an SMME investment vehicle, which will manage the second round of DISF funding and another Jobs Fund programme.

According to the Western Cape provincial minister of economic opportunities, Alan Winde, the initiative is supported due to the global potential of businesses going through DISF.

“We have an ecosystem taking shape here at the southern tip of Africa because of programmes like this, because of the environment we are in, and because of the mindset of young people coming into the system. I encourage every person with an innovative idea in the focus areas to apply. This is an excellent platform to take your idea or business to a new level.”

Applications close on 4 November. Those wishing to enter can visit the CCDI Capital website.

Source: agricouncil

Building a Capable State – Hellen Zille, Premier of Western Cape

Building a Capable State – Hellen Zille, Premier of Western Cape

Interview with Helen Zille, Premier of Western Cape

“The Western Cape is number one on every single indicator, including economic growth, and including employment… and it’s because we’ve put an enormous effort into building a capable state.”


Cape wine tourism is about so much more than just the wine

Cape Town – South Africa’s appeal as a tourist destination is unique in the world. There is no other country that offers the diversity of experiences that can be found here.

Traditionally, visitors have come for the wildlife, the natural beauty and the sunshine. More recently, sports tourism and business tourism have taken hold as well.

And, in the Western Cape, wine tourism is also quickly becoming a major attraction. The wine farms have always been there and people have always visited them to taste their produce, but more and more estates are appreciating that it need not end there.

The shift has really occurred as wine producers have accepted that wine doesn’t have to be elitist. You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy wine, and so you shouldn’t have to prove yourself an expert in order to visit a wine farm.

“I think the biggest mistake we as brand owners made over the years was to position wine as too snobbish,” says the CEO of La Motte wine estate, Hein Koegelenberg. “Ten years ago if you walked into a wine tasting facility and you knew nothing about wine they would tell you that you know nothing. But now we have the situation where people are more comfortable and relaxed. It’s about having a good time.”

This shift has led wine estates to reconsider their appeal. They have recognised that while wine should remain the central element of what they do, it need not be the only thing. Tourists are not only going to come because of the quality of the product, but the quality of the overall experience.

“Wine tourism is about brand extension,” says Monika Elias, the publisher of The Wine Tourism Handbook and founder of the Klink wine tourism awards. “Wine is a lifestyle product and there is so much that can go along with that.”

For many estates, the concept of wine tourism began with their tasting rooms and restaurants. Since wine and food are natural partners, this makes obvious sense.

However, it hasn’t stopped there. Estates across the Western Cape have extended their offerings to include everything from museums, to art galleries, to spas and hiking trails.

Visitors can now enjoy experiences such as the mountain bike trails at Oak Valley, or the Pierneef art collection at La Motte. They can visit Antonij Rupert for its car museum or Delaire Graff to view its diamond jewellery.

“The way to market yourself in the modern world is to focus on the experience and not just the product,” Koegelenberg says. “And the offering South Africa is putting on the table from a wine point of view is superior to anywhere in the world. We are way ahead in terms of the range of different experiences we offer and the quality of those experiences.”

Simply put, what is making wine tourism so successful in South Africa is that it has become about much more than just tasting wine.

“If you look at other wine regions in the world, they don’t have this same tourism pull,” says Katherine Harris, wine marketing and sales manager at Delaire Graff. “It’s not just a wine experience any more. It really is a whole package.”

Some wine tourism experiences to consider:

Wine and salt tasting at Fleur du Cap – a unique pairing of wines with foods enhanced with artisanal salt

Food and wine tasting at La Motte – an introduction to how to pair wines to the primary taste sensations

Tastings at the KWV Wine Emporium – including sparkling wine with nougat, sweet wine and liquer with cake, and chocolate with brandy

The Porcupine Trail Wine Walk at Waterford Estate – a two-hour guided walk through the estate’s fynbos, vineyards and wild protea fields

Wine bath at Mont Destin – soak with your partner in a sensual mixture of red wine and warm water

Franschhoek Wine Tram – a hop-on hop-off tour of the rolling Franschhoek valley

“Langtafel” at Mooiplaas – Dine with the estate owners, the Roos family, in the old Manor House

Underground cellar tour at Weltevrede – explore the estate’s historical underground tunnels and experience a candlelit wine tasting

Grand Provence Harvest Day – celebrate the harvest by picking and stomping your own grapes

Vergelegen Starlight Classics – light classical concerts on the lawns of one of South Africa’s oldest and grandest estates

24 Karat Gold Facial at Delaire Graff – A luxury experience at an exclusive spa

Source: moneyweb

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Cape tourism numbers continue upward trend

The Cape tourism sector has remained buoyant despite numerous challenges facing the industry.

Cape Town had experienced steady growth in tourism numbers since 2012, resulting in an increase in the direct tourism spend from R14.4 billion in 2012 to R15.6 billion in 2014, according to research conducted by Grant Thornton, on behalf of the city, over a three-year period.

Of the 1,745,300 foreign arrivals to the Western Cape, just over 94 percent (1,645,469) chose Cape Town as their holiday destination, mayoral committee member for tourism, events, and economic development Garreth Bloor said.

The domestic tourism market also remained buoyant, with 863,351 visitors making their way to the city, representing an increase of just over 191,000 domestic visitors.

“For the first time, the research has identified the spend by domestic travellers on day trips to Cape Town, which amounted to R3.2 billion in 2013. This underscores the importance of not underestimating day trips to the city. We need to take cognisance of the bigger picture – although day visitors do not spend on overnight accommodation, they spend on the city’s attractions, restaurants, local transport, and shopping, among others. At R3.2 billion per year, this is a significant contribution to the economy of Cape Town,” he said.

“This spending power of all visitors to our city helps to stimulate local job creation. We have seen an encouraging upward trend over the last few years, with the number of jobs increasing steadily. Currently there are 38,838 permanent jobs and 15,489 temporary jobs created in the local tourism sector. I am pleased to see this positive trend, especially during the tough economic climate that we are facing currently. Sustainable job creation is a huge challenge so every job created is most welcomed.”

A phenomenal 28,000,000 domestic trips were taken in South Africa in 2014 and there were 10,247,614 foreign arrivals to the country for the same period.

Key findings presented with regard to domestic tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape for 2013/14, included the total direct tourism spend by domestic travellers to Cape Town was R1.9 billion, and the number of domestic bed nights on trips to Cape Town increased by 4.2 percent to 5,467,956.

Domestic overnight spend in Cape Town had grown by 10.8 percent per annum between 2009 and 2014, compared with growth in total domestic spend of 3.7 percent. With an assumed inflation rate of around five percent, the growth in domestic overnight spend in Cape Town represented real growth of 5.8 percent per annum.

The main purpose of domestic trips taken to the Western Cape was generally to visit family or relatives (60 percent), followed by 23 percent travelling to take a holiday. There was a much higher incidence of trips to the Western Cape being taken for holiday purposes as compared with South Africa as a whole.

Key findings regarding foreign tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape for 2013/14, included the total direct tourism spend by foreign visitors to Cape Town topped R13.6 billion, and foreign direct tourism spend in Cape Town had increased by 3.9 percent per annum between 2009 and 2014.

The number of bed nights occupied by foreign arrivals in Cape Town increased to 15,514,877 from 13,392,566 in 2013 – an increase of 2.1 million bed nights. The Western Cape share of foreign bed nights was 22,409,196 for this period.

“It is also interesting to note the shift in the visitor profile of foreign visitors to our shores. We have noticed a trend over the last few years whereby our travellers are much younger today. One of the reasons is that South Africa is known as an adventure destination, attracting younger and more active foreign tourists searching for diverse experiences and holidays that are not offered elsewhere,” Bloor said.

In keeping with the trend of the past few years, more than 60 percent of foreign visitors to South Africa were between 24 and 44 years old, with the majority (32.1 percent) being between 35 and 44. This was closely followed by 31.8 percent in the 25 to 34 age group. Only 10.5 percent of foreign visitors were 24 or younger.

Just over 30 percent of foreign travellers indicated that their primary purpose for travelling was to visit friends. This was followed by 19.1 percent of foreign travellers to South Africa for holiday purposes and 14.2 percent travelling for personal shopping purposes, Bloor said.

Source: citizen

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V&A Waterfront’s Watershed receives double recognition for innovative redevelopment

The V&A Waterfront’s innovative architectural approach to the R50-million redevelopment of a former craft market and disused workshop, into a spacious, bustling hub for quality African art and design now known as the Watershed, was recognised at both this year’s Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) Awards and at the 19th Annual South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Congress on Wednesday, 30 September.

The Watershed was one of only 12 developments in the Western Cape to receive a CIfA Award for Architecture this year, with the Institute commending the re-imagining of a closed, warehouse space into an open-ended ‘indoor street’ that is a lively hub for small businesses.

“There is something about the collective nature of [a] street that brings us firmly in relation to each other… The project beautifully demonstrates the possibility of a more integrated, diverse society,” said the Institute in conferring the award.

The Watershed was also named a co-winner in the ‘Redevelopment of Existing Space’ award category at the SACSC Congress’s Annual Retail Design & Development Awards (RDDA) that same evening. The prestigious awards recognise exceptional shopping centre design combined with economic success within the SA property industry. They have a particular interest in developments with excellent design solutions, and those that achieve a clear overall development goal. A development project’s positive response to its market and its surroundings, use of innovative design and construction solutions, and its embracing sustainable design and business techniques are also heavily weighted.

Formerly the Craft Market and Wellness Centre and commonly known as the Blue Shed, the historic warehouse structure of the Watershed was completely reimagined by the V&A Waterfront and Wolff Architects, and opened to the public for trade in early October 2014.

The now open-ended building has been transformed into double-volume height, with a 100m-long skylight ensuring an abundance of natural light. The southern façade sheeting has been replaced by glass overlooking the Robinson Dry Dock and Table Mountain.

Today, the curated space of the Watershed offers a platform to talented, emerging designers and showcases more than 150 tenants, jointly representing over 365 fresh and innovative brands ranging from ceramics and furniture to textiles, fashion and jewellery.

The Watershed also includes 1000m² of dedicated exhibition and eventing space, a wellness centre and Workshop17, the innovation technology hub.

Source: mybroadband

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South Africa: Dept Improves W Cape Municipalities’ Water Quality

Pretoria — The Department of Water and Sanitation has to date supported 17 municipalities in the Western Cape to enhance water security and improve water quality through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant programme.

This was highlighted during a meeting on Tuesday, where Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, attended the Minister and Mayors (MinMay) meeting of the Western Cape Province, in Worcester.

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The meeting follows an invitation by Western Cape MEC of Local Government, Environment and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, with an aim to share with both provincial and local government the national government’s plans on water and sanitation as they relate to the province.

The meeting also aimed to identify solutions to the challenges facing the province.

The Western Cape is one of the provinces most affected by rapid urbanisation. Population growth figures in the province have had a direct impact on the ability of government to deliver water and sanitation services.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Mokonyane informed the MEC and mayors that the department has recently completed a study on the bulk water and sanitation infrastructure needs for the province for the next 15 to 20 years.

In this regard, Minister Mokonyane said 1 641 bulk water and sewerage infrastructure projects have been identified and require the pooling of resources, both capacity and financial resources between all three spheres of government to ensure delivery.

“As the department we have identified three key priorities, namely, water resource management, solutions to service delivery challenges and the finalisation of a long-term master plan for South Africa on water and sanitation.

“Our engagements must direct us towards servicing un-serviced communities and maintaining our infrastructure adequately in serviced areas,” said Minister Mokonyane.

In order to ensure that we deliver to our people, the Minister added, we must pay close attention to the institutional capacity of municipalities to maintain the infrastructure we are developing to ensure security and quality of supply.

“Without that, we will not win in delivering quality and sustainable basic services to the people.”

The meeting also appreciated the importance of water and sanitation for economic growth and the need to increase cooperation in order to ensure impact through delivery to communities.

Source: allafrica

Book your seat to attend the Water Resource Seminar at Sustainability Week in June

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Eco-Centre to Boost Conservation, Tourism in Betty’s Bay

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says the new Stony Point Eco-Centre in Betty’s Bay, in the Western Cape, is an important asset to tourism which will contribute towards efforts to conserve endangered species.

The eco-centre, situated alongside the On The Edge Restaurant, will also go a long way in benefiting local communities through job creation.

The Minister said the project was a perfect example of how social, economic and environmental responsibility can come together to create a workable and sustainable solution.

“This is a community project and the leadership of the community is central to the success of the project.

“When we launch a project, it is something that deserves a celebration. There are years of hard work that go behind a project that may seem small but are significant to our country. We have got good things to tell the world and we must tell it,” he said.

The launch of Stony Point is part of government’s National Imbizo Focus Week which is a platform for political principals to articulate messages around the priorities of government as outlined in the State of the Nation Address.

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Minister Hanekom said it was important for government to invest in projects like Stony Point as it will, in the long run, contribute to domestic and international tourism.

Stony Point was in the past used as a whaling station, which Minister Hanekom said was an unsustainable practice.

Johan West, the chairperson of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Company, said the area held huge potential for eco-tourism.

He said of the 11000 marine species that are known around the world, 3500 were endemic to the area. The area also has 1400 plant species per square kilometre, making the area one of the most bio diverse place in the world.

Stony Point Peninsula is adjacent to the Betty’s Bay Marine Protected Area and forms part of the Overstrand Hope Spot. The Overstrand coast is home to an important seabird colony which includes five endangered species.

The African Penguin is one of these species, and is experiencing a catastrophic decline in the global population. The Stony Point Colony is the only population of African Penguins that is increasing in numbers.

“I am glad that government invested in this area and this project will benefit people from this area,” said West.

The project was funded by the national Department of Tourism through the Expanded Public Works Programme, which is one of government’s programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed.

It was developed in partnership with the Mooiuitsig Community Trust. The Trust holds the commercial rights to manage the eco-centre and the restaurant.

The On The Edge restaurant is staffed by members of the nearby Mooiuitsig community, who underwent training prior to the opening.

As part of the project, a parking area, paving and walkways, as well as ablution facilities were built. This is expected to enhance the experience of tourists.

About 70 members of the community were provided with jobs and skills training during the eco-centre and restaurant construction phase. Upon completion, the workers were all able to find work.

Solly Fourie, head of Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, said any successes of tourism in the province were celebrated as they contributed to the region’s economy.

He said the project was a clear job creator and will be a vehicle for small and medium enterprises to participate in the local economy.

“Tourism has been elevated as one of the 3rd growth drivers in the Western Cape.

“Any development within the tourism space carries the full support of the Western Cape government.”

Source: All Africa


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