Vezagroup

One-off costs hit Stefanutti

A one-off present value charge of R139m related to a settlement agreement concluded with the government for anti-competitive behaviour and an impairment of R155m attributable to the goodwill of its subsidiary, Cycad Pipelines, affected Stefanutti negatively.

It reported a loss per share of 72.88c from diluted earnings per share of 96.94c in the previous year.

“We have been through a very difficult period.

“However, our businesses, especially those in the building segment, are getting back on track and we should reach profitability overall as a group again in the next financial year,” said CEO Willie Meyburgh.

Mish-al Emeran, an equity analyst at Electus, said the settlement agreement made by seven construction companies, including Stefanutti, to put R1.5bn towards transformation in the sector over the next 12 years had put pressure on a struggling construction sector.

Contract revenue from operations decreased R611m to R9.1bn and the operating profit of R392m in the previous year dropped to an operating loss of R106m this year.

Stefanutti reported headline earnings per share of 10.94c.

Had the one-off charge relating to the settlement agreement not been taken into account, the headline earnings per share would have been 89.86c, which is similar to that reported in the previous year of 89.62c.

The group’s order book stood at R14bn, of which R4.4bn arose from work outside of SA.

Meyburgh said Stefanutti continued to experience delayed payments from clients on contracts.

However, an increase in excess billings resulted in cash generated from operations increasing to R616m.

The group’s overall cash position increased to R1.158bn from R851m at the end of February 2017.

No dividend was declared for the year.

Source: Business Day

Deloitte

Aurecon launches White Paper on buildings of the future

ngineering firm Aurecon has released a White Paper, ‘Buildings of the Future: science fiction or science fact?’, inspired by interviews with professionals across the built environment sector.

The paper shares thoughts around what is driving demand, challenges inherent in reaching intelligent building status and what some of the next steps in the journey might be.

“The major drivers identified in the paper have the potential to reshape the built environment industry in the next 30 years,” Aurecon Buildings of the Future leader Peter Greaves said.

It highlights that one of the biggest disruptors to the design engineering industry is that of new three-dimensional (3D) printing technology, and the impact it will have on the built environment.

“The 3D printer is significantly disrupting the traditional design role held by the structural engineer but, at the same time, presents exciting new opportunities in how building designers will create, relocate and shape buildings of the future,” he said.

Aurecon’s paper shows that a one-size-fits-all approach to buildings of the future is becoming less palatable.

The use of new, flexible construction materials, including composite materials, additive manufacturing concrete, solar polymers and carbon fibre balsa, is fuelling new design approaches.

“These options are unlocking the architectural limitations of size, weight and shape that the building and construction industry works within today.”

Another opportunity highlighted by the paper is further innovation in the building management field by developing shared services in facilities management within a precinct.

Aurecon believes the first real innovators in the facilities management space are likely to be those who explore the idea of shared building maintenance hubs.

“Such hubs will be designed to provide facilities for all local buildings to centrally monitor electricity, water, energy storage common areas and integrate other aspects of maintenance and management of operational efficiencies,” Greaves said.

Source: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za

FIDIC-GAMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The FIDIC-GAMA Annual Conference is one of the biggest networking event for African consulting engineers. It provides a forum for consulting engineers, government officials from all three spheres of government (National, Provincial and Local), State Owned Entities, funding agencies, contractors, suppliers of construction equipment and materials, investors and other stakeholders in the built-environment from the public and private sectors to share ideas on best practices.

The conference also provides opportunities to learn from each other effective ways of dealing with diverse challenges in order to achieve value for money and improving quality of life of the people.

The secondary focus of keynote speakers and delegates will be on improving connectivity of Railway, Ports, Airports, National Roads, Water and Energy, as catalysts of Sustainable Growth and Development of countries across the continent, starting with 16 GAMA countries.

African Partnerships for Sustainable Growth.

Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) and Group of African Member Associations of FIDIC (GAMA) proudly present the 24th Annual FIDIC-GAMA Conference 2017.

Many opportunities are available for members and partners to support this international conference and join hands in the pursuit of African Partnerships for mutual benefit .

Watch the video on Youtube:

Contact for information:

For more information please contact Godfrey Ramalisa ( CESA Manager Liaison)

E-mail : godfreyr@cesa.co.za

Websites: http://www.fidic-gama2017.org.za/ or http://www.cesa.co.za/

GGC2017

2017 Going Green Conference in Durban

The theme of the GGC2017, Public Infrastructure leading through Innovation and Green Technologies, will challenge decision makers in government and industry experts alike to apply new thinking and the adoption of green technologies in reshaping the built environment industry. Essentially it’s about bringing together active collaboration and cooperation to fast track green infrastructure investments within the public infrastructure portfolio.

Our host city for the GGC2017 has been voted an official New 7 Wonder City of the World and is home to the ninth largest harbour in the world; it houses the largest shopping mall in Africa and it also boasts the world’s fifth largest aquarium. The GGC2017 will be held at the Public Works Conference Centre in Mayville, 455a King Cetshwayo, in the heart of Durban, with a wonderful green working space for both pre-and-post conference meetings and networking opportunities. Our GGC2017 host partner, Kwazulu Natal Department of Public Works has agreed to provide this venue for the purpose of advancing green infrastructure programmes in the province and the rest of the country.

The GGC2017 will provide a suitable platform for building professionals to refresh their green building knowledge skills and to explore the innovations taking shape across the public infrastructure portfolio in the country with special contributions coming from the Ethekweni region, from all the three tiers of government. Key topics include sustainable water infrastructure services, energy services, resource efficiency, green finance, and small scale renewable energy developments taking shape across the province and the rest of the country.

The target audience for the conference are all design professionals, consultants, associations, inspectors, contractors including the private trading & manufacturing businesses through the practical training and development of professionals within the built environment. The GGC2017 will also strive to offer plenty of networking opportunities, providing you with the opportunity to meet and interact with the leading built environment experts, industry leaders, government officials, young professionals, students and as well as sponsors and exhibitors via our World Going Green Cafes(see our website for details).

Benefits of attending the GGC2017 include the following:

  1. Contribution to the Building Efficiency Technical (BET) Guidelines;
  2. Career Development opportunities through our accredited Going Green Education (GGE) programmes;
  3. Knowledge sharing between academia, private and public sector participants through the annual Going Green Conferences (GGCs);
  4. Accurate information on environmentally friendly and accredited building products through the Going Green Products (GGP) directory;
  5. Mentorship of Candidate Professionals and tertiary students through focused learning methods that encourages them to be innovative and responsive to the changing needs of the industry.

Building Efficiency Technical Guidelines

The Building Efficiency Technical guidelines is a draft document that was developed through the technical contributions of industry professionals that attended  previous GGCs with the objective of providing technical guidance on the implementation of efficiency measures across facilities namely through:

  1. The implementation of government policy and regulation, such as the National Energy Efficiency Strategy, Energy Efficiency Building Standard – SANS10400 XA, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) standard – SANS1544, Measurement and Verification standard, etc;
  2. Safety and Cost effective measures that can be applied to the benchmarking of facilities; and
  3. Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes.

The development of the BET guidelines was made possible through shared technical expertise of the academia, public and private sector representatives that attend the annuals GGCs.

The BET guidelines will be circulated prior to the start of the 5th GGC for further updates and comments.

By joining our GGPM platform you can qualify to get your GGC2017 fees waived (based on an assessment that will be done by our technical committee). The GGPM platform will provide a gateway to the discussions in Durban, South Africa and an entrance to one of Africa’s leading green infrastructure destinations!! In Zulu we say “Siyanamkela eThekweni”!!

For mor info email – info@greenbdg.org.za.

Online Registrations are now open: http://www.goingreenconference.org/

Deloitte

Atterbury secures new R1bn-plus Deloitte office development tender

Property investment and development business Atterbury has been awarded the tender to develop a new office for Deloittein Waterfall City, in Midrand, Gauteng, as the audit firm consolidates its Johannesburg and Pretoria offices.

The total estimated R1-billion-plus development cost is expected to produce an ultramodern 42 500 m2 property able to house over 5 000 people when completed in the first quarter of 2020.

“We are quickly outgrowing both existing office spaces and are now in a position to bring together approximately 3 700 of our people into one, new, custom-designed building in what is clearly an attractive corporate destination,” said Deloitte Africa COO Mike Jarvis.

The new premises will boast six storeys of offices and four basement parking levels catering for 2 000 parking bays.

“Innovative commercial architecture practice Aevitas designed the new Deloitte headquarters, which will comply with a Silver Leadership in Energy and EnvironmentalDesign Green Rating on completion,” he added.

Bulk earthworks for the project will start in August, with construction starting in the final quarter of this year.

Deloitte will begin operating from its new base from April 2020.

Source:

Eskom seeking Tegeta ‘consent’ to disclose value of Optimum settlement

Department of Public Enterprises director-general Mogokare Seleke revealed on Thursday that Eskom’s legal representatives had approached Tegeta Resources, owner of the Optimum coal mine, to obtain “consent” in making details of a recent arbitration settlement, relating to a R2.2-billion penalty claim against Optimum, public.

In a statement released following news that the State-owned utility and Tegeta had reached a settlement through independent arbitration, Seleke also reported that he had “requested a briefing from Eskom on the arbitration award in the Optimum Mine matter to satisfy [my]self that Eskom’s interests are secure”.

The claim arose as a result of a dispute over coal quality when Glencore was still owner of Optimum, which was controversially bought out of business rescue by the Gupta-family-linked Tegeta. Eskom confirmed the settlement, but did not disclose the value of the award.

“In terms of the rules of arbitration the quantum of the award may be publicly revealed on agreement of both parties. Eskom’s legal representatives have approached those representing Tegeta Resources, owner of Optimum Mine, to obtain the necessary consent,” Seleke said in a statement.

The dispute between Glencore and Eskom featured heavily in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s ‘State of Capture’ report, which resulted in former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe departing the utility in November. Eskom’s commercial relationship with Tegeta has also been the subject of a review by the National Treasury.

Madonsela’s report detailed cellphone records showing that, between the period August 2, 2015, and March 22, 2016, Molefe, then CEO, called Ajay Gupta 44 times and Gupta called Molefe 14 times.

The report also “observed” that the sole purpose for awarding contracts to Tegeta (by then the operator at the Optimum mine) to supply the Arnot power station was to fund Tegeta’s purchase of all shares in Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH). Arnot had previously been supplied by a ‘tied mine’ operated by Exxaro, which moved to close the colliery when Eskomrefused to enter into a new coal supply agreement.

In addition, a hastily approved R650-million prepayment to Tegeta was held up as particularly suspicious, as it appeared to have been used by Tegeta to buy OCH, rather than to capitalise the Optimum mine so as to enable it to supply the Arnot power station. The prepayment also followed shortly after bank funding for the OCH purchase was refused.

The R2.2-billion coal-quality penalty was made public during a high-profile dispute in 2015 between Eskom and Glencore, which described Optimum’s R150/t supply contract with the Hendrina power station as “onerous”.

Glencore indicated that the price being paid by Eskom was below the mine’s operating costs of around R400/t. However, Molefe refused to contemplate a change to the price prior to the contract’s expiry in 2018. As a result, Glencore placed the mine into business rescue in August 2015.

Eskom claims that it continues to receive coal from the Optimum mine at a price of R150/t, while Tegeta has reportedly indicated to Eskom that it intends selling its coalassets, owing to the political fallout over OCH.

Both Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brownhave been criticised for failing to disclose details of the claim awarded to Eskom by an independent arbitrator. It has been argued that the R2.2-billion penalty would have been an important factor in determining the price paid by Tegeta for OCH. Tegeta eventually purchased the mine for R2.15-billion and the transaction became effective on April 15, 2016.

Democratic Alliance shadow public enterprises minister Natasha Mazzone has indicated that she will be requesting Brown to release details of the settlement, while AfriBusiness has indicated that it plans to lodge a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to secure details of the award.

Source: engineeringnews.co.za

G20’s Compact with Africa launched with widespread support

Clear support emerged last week from Group of 20 (G20) members’ Finance Ministers and central bank governors for the broadening of international economic and financial cooperation with African countries to “foster sustainable and inclusive growth” in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

At the G20 meeting, held last week in Germany, the convened governors and Ministers, which included South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, “substantially backed” the G20 Compact with Africa for Resilience and Growth (CwA), a newly launched framework for regional economic and financial stability in Africa.

African Ministers from Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia were invited to the G20, where they each delivered presentations on their country’s macroeconomic environment, reform initiatives and investment projects, the National Treasury said in a statement on Monday.

In addition to the G20 GwA, the G20 Ministers and governors had gathered to discuss the global economic outlook; the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth; international financial architecture; financial sector development and regulation; international tax; and other global governance topics.

“Ministers and governors reaffirmed their previous exchange rate commitments, including that they will refrain from competitive devaluation. Consensus was reached on addressing and reducing excessive global imbalances while promoting greater inclusiveness and reducing inequality in pursuit of economic growth,” Treasury highlighted.

Support had also been obtained for the strengthening of the international financial architecture through further work on a global financial safety net with a “strong, quota-based and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre”; operational guidelines for sustainable financing reflecting the responsibilities of borrowers and lenders; and principles for effective coordination between the IMF and multilateral development banks in the case of countries that are seeking financing for macroeconomic vulnerabilities.

Further, the G20 members endorsed the Financial Stability Board (FSB) policy recommendations to address financial vulnerabilities from asset management challenges.

“There was agreement to finalise the Basel III framework without further increasing the capital requirements across the banking sector,” Treasury commented, adding that the G20 members requested a progress report and the 2017 work plan under the FSB-coordinated action plan to assess and address the decline in correspondent banking.

G20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors will next meet at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC, in April.

How engineers are revolutionising the automotive industry: five major trends

The automotive industry is constantly developing, with new trends that shape it entirely. At the moment innovative technology, new lightweight materials and alternative fuels are shifting the manufacturing process as well as the cars on the market.

From Hybrid and electric cars to self-driving vehicles – these are just some of the engineering trends that are taking the automotive industry by storm. According to global industry experts, the following are top trends we can look out for in 2017 and beyond.

1. The return of enormous SUVs
We can expect to see giant SUVs making a return, but in the form of colossal crossovers. The name ‘crossovers’ is given to vehicles built on a car frame with the design features and functionality commonly associated with sport-utility vehicles – think back to the Hummer. According to a report on AutoGuide.com the popularity of crossovers is constantly growing and bigger versions than what we have seen are set to become even more common. Full-sized three-row crossovers such as the new Audi Q8 and Subaru Viziv-7 will continue penetrating an increasingly anti-minivan marketplace.

2. More high-tech features on all cars
Bluetooth audio streaming is becoming the new norm, and soon we will forget about having a standard CD player in our cars. According to industry experts, in some new cars, such as the new Chevrolet Spark, there are no CD players at all. Instead, you can access music, and more, on the go through infotainment systems. We can expect to see more and more high-tech features such as this one make their way into budget cars.

3. Cars that communicate with each other
Can you imagine your next car being able to communicate with every other car around you? Although it may be a while before we see this in South Africa, according to an article in USA Today, there are already cars that will offer such a revolutionary system in 2017, such as the Cadillac CTS sport sedans with which you are able to share information about driving conditions like speed, accidents and weather. This is the start of what is termed vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, a Wi-Fi-like technology that will eventually be integrated into every new car.

4. More electric vehicles
According to the Washington Post, automakers will be manufacturing even more all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Ford recently announced that they plan to produce 13 electrified models by 2020, and Mercedes is set to produce 10 by 2025. Although statistics show that sales remain low, there is hope that there will be a shift in the market. A lot of money has been spent on their research and development.

5. Systems that will override the driver
We may already be familiar with cars that will stop if the driver fails to apply the breaks. Driver Override Systems relate to autonomous technology, but this is different because the car is actively ignoring a driver’s commands and making its own decisions. There have been reports that by 2020 the rapid increase in car sensor technology will force a shift in priority, giving the car final say – not the driver.

While all these emerging trends sound exciting, if they eventually become the norm in every car, they might increase the price of your desired vehicle, but the good news is that they could have a positive impact on other costs such as your Car Insurance premium – which already rewards drivers whose vehicles have parking and security automation features. You may also be interested to read about South Africa’s Safest Entry-Level Cars.

This article was created in collaboration with Hippo.co.za

Grayston drive bridge inquiry postponed again

Department of Labour’s commission of inquiry into the Grayston Drive bridge collapse along the M1 which was scheduled to resume at the end of the month has been postponed again, the department said on Tuesday.

 

“The postponement and delay is beyond our control and is regretted. The dates scheduled from the May 4 until June 9 will continue as scheduled,” he said.

Proceedings were brought to a halt in August last year and postponed to March 2017 after a short notice request from one of the parties for additional information from an expert witness representing Form-Scaff.

At the time, Samuels said the expert witness, Gary Farrow, an engineer from Australia, was in Melbourne and unable to come to South Africa because construction company Murray & Roberts had requested additional information, in a form of 72 questions. The witness could not deliver the requested information in time for the sitting.

Samuel said the commission would be in a predicament after lost days. “Next year [2017] we will be faced with added pressure because of time. I appeal to all affected parties to commit to time schedules when requested to submit statements and reports, so as to mitigate further delays.”

Form-Scaff, a market leader in the supply of form work, support work and scaffolding to the construction and civil engineering industries, was one of the role players in the construction of a walkway bridge that was built to link Sandton and Alexandra. Other parties involved in the projectwere the City of Johannesburg and the JohannesburgDevelopment Agency, who were clients that appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as an agent. Murray & Roberts was the principal contractor and the supplier of material.

Workers and unions were also lined up to testify before the inquiry.

The inquiry was set up after the October 14, 2015, collapse of the temporary bridge structure across the M1 near the Grayston Drive off-ramp. The bridge collapsed onto cars passing underneath. Two people were killed and 19 other injured as a result. 

EDITED BY: AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY

Taking ECSA to court was a ‘last resort’, says Saice

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Saice stated that the court action arose from alleged irregularities in the appointment of ECSA’s current council, where changes were made – without the legally required consultation – to the outgoing council’s approved list of proposed members for the new council that it submitted to the Minister.

The Engineering Profession Act, No 46 of 2000 (EPA) requires the Public Works Minister to consult with the outgoing council if there are insufficient nominations.

“There were 46 names and four vacancies in the list approved by the council last March,” Pillay said on Tuesday.

He explained that the court papers allege that the final list of council members   to be considered by the Minister in September comprised 49 individuals with one vacancy – meaning six people on the ECSA approved list were removed without consultation.

“We started a consultation process with ECSA, the Council for the Built Environment and the Department of Public Works (DPW) in August last year and still have not been able to come to an amicable solution, which is why we are forced to go the legal route,” Pillay stated.

He added that ECSA’s role was vital to the quality of engineering infrastructure services, as it registers engineeringpractitioners and regulates their practice, as well as accredits education and training programmes in various fields of engineering – ensuring high standards and global recognition.

“By undermining the quality of oversight of engineeringpractitioners in South Africa, the entire pipeline of engineering infrastructure services, manufacturing and production will be at risk,” he stressed, adding that this could potentially result in the health and safety of the public being placed in jeopardy.”

Fellow voluntary association Consulting Engineers South Africa CEO Chris Campbell added during the media briefing on Tuesday that allegations of compromised good governance, the lack of consultation with affected industries, and the questionable integrity of the appointments under the guise of transformation would erode the profession and impact on industry both locally and internationally.

“Our citizens deserve to experience less flooding, and fewer bridge or roof collapses, not more,” he said.

Campbell added that South African consultants work extensively globally and specifically in neighbouring States.

International accreditation through the Sydney, Dublin and Washington Accords is dependent on a substantial peer review system for professional registration with ECSA.

“[ECSA] allegedly [plans to] dissolve the extensive peer review system and [will] consequently compromise the recognition of professionally registered engineeringpractitioners internationally – as it is a prerequisite for being a signatory to these accords,” he said.

Industry players who have joined the court action say the lack of integrity in the new ECSA council appointment process has opened the door for individuals who are unknown to the industry, and who now have undue influence over the profession.

“Senior industry professionals caution that ECSA is at risk of diluting the peer review mechanism . . .  [which] is [also] a prerequisite for South Africa retaining its recognition by the International Engineering Alliance,” Campbell reiterated.

He added that, of particular concern in this regard, is the new council’s aim to disband many of ECSA’s registration-related committees – undermining quality assurance and rigour in the professional registration process.

ECSA, on Tuesday issued a statement, saying it was undeterred by the allegations made by Saice.

It stated that the council nomination procedure was done in accordance with the requirements of Section 4 of the EPA.

“As a statutory council that regulates and registers engineering practitioners, ECSA’s mandate is subdued to the DPW, which upholds the legislative authority for the built environment in its entirety. ECSA is the second respondent in this matter,” the industry body said in a statement.

ECSA said it would not comment further until the court ruled on the matter.