R/€ = 14.49
R/$ = 10.50
Au 1294.90 $/oz
Pt 1407.50 $/oz
Apr 07, 2000
Big QS shake-upBack
Hong Kong|Johannesburg|LUSAKA|Nairobi|Davis Langdon Seah International|Farrow Laing|Mahlati And Associates|Mahlati Ntene Liebetrau|Projects|Transnet|Africa|Australia|Botswana|Lesotho|Morocco|South Africa|Swaziland|Diepkloof Hostel|Nigel Prison|Du Plessis|Fanie|Gary Stevens|Harris Kamanga|Hatla Ntene|Johan Liebetrau|Pusesto Makote
© Reuse this Engineering News Contributing Editor South Africa’s quantity-surveying industry experienced a significant shake-up at the beginning of April, with three long-serving directors leaving one of the country’s largest firms, Farrow Laing Ntene, and setting themselves up in direct opposition.
The new firm, Mahlati Ntene Liebetrau, comprises three ex-Farrow Laing directors, Hatla Ntene, Pusesto Makote and Johan Liebetrau, as well as Nontando Mahlati from Johannesburg’s Mahlati and Associates, Harris Kamanga, based in Swaziland, and Gary Stevens, all of whom also came through Farrow Laing.
An effect of the move is that Farrow Laing has lost its black equity partners, whereas the newly formed Mahlati Ntene Liebetrau – which is being described as the first black quantity surveying firm in the country – is well positioned to benefit from the national commitment to black economic empowerment.
Contracts secured by the new firm include Transnet’s refurbishment of the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg in joint venture with Farrow Laing, the construction of Wilberforce College in Gauteng, and work on the Nigel prison and Diepkloof hostel. The new firm has also bought Farrow Laing’s Lesotho and Swaziland operations.
Liebetrau emphasised that the vision of Mahlati Ntene Liebetrau is to be recognised as independent, strong and competent and even though it will not turn away joint venture projects, it will favour situations where it can be awarded contracts in its own right.
In an interview with Engineering News, Farrow Laing deputy senior partner Fanie du Plessis conceded that the loss of the firm’s two black equity partners – Ntene and Makote – was disappointing, but stressed that the development did not indicate any change in the firm’s commitment to affirmative action or black economic empowerment. “We still employ more previously-disadvantaged individuals than other firms, which includes more than 20 black professionals.” Ten previously-disadvantaged individuals hold bursaries with Farrow Laing.
Du Plessis stated that the firm was already considering strategies to restore black equity. These included the preferred option of promoting promising professionals from within the firm, or purchasing a black-owned quantity surveying company, or head-hunting black professionals. He expressed reservations about this last option though, as it would be preferable to bring in people who have been loyal to Farrow Laing and who are part of the firm’s culture and standards.
Currently, Farrow Laing is engaged in a global realignment and entered a partnership-type agreement, known as a ‘Swiss verrein’, with the world’s largest quantity surveying firm, Davis Langdon Seah International, during 1999. As of the beginning of this month, the firm is to change its name to Davis Langdon Farrow Laing.
Du Plessis is upbeat about the expanded opportunities offered by this new arrangement, and has been exposed to a wider client base including BP and Landlease of Australia. This is likely to build on the international reputation which the firm has built for itself through its involvement in large offshore projects, such as the building of Check Lap Lok airport in Hong Kong, as well as extensive work on the African continent, including the construction of shopping centres in Nairobi, Lusaka, Botswana and Morocco.
Du Plessis refutes any suggestion that his firm’s concern with global expansion have come at the expense of affirmative action in South Africa. “Our international partners expect us to restore black equity in our firm, as they understand the challenges of the South African situation. ”They also expect us to maintain our empowerment record, which has seen most black partners in South Africa come through Farrow Laing.” Du Plessis considers recent developments as the end of another chapter in the firm’s empowerment history, as “another black practitioner has grown out of Farrow Laing”.
Edited by: System Author© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Construction News
As part of Goscor Group, Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) has been providing best practice in industrial warehousing equipment solutions for the past 30 years. The company provides a range of market-leading products, including Crown, Doosan, Bendi and Hubtex. This...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...