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Materials & Equipment News

Interface increases recycled content in its flooring products

By: Donna Slater     3rd July 2020 Modular flooring producer Interface will, going forward, produce its luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products with an exceptionally high (39%) content of recycled material, without compromising any quality. According to the company, this achievement represents a “breakthrough” in sustainable flooring,... 

Plant productivity could be increased by virtual support

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS Group aims to increase the technical resources of its clients’ plants by using local service teams from SMS Group with virtual support from global experts around the world using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. The aim is to improve... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Steel merchant Macsteel has been re-evaluating its business strategy, owing to a steady decline in steel consumption over the past five years, with 2019 being a “new low” and the start of 2020 faring just as poorly – a situation that has been exacerbated by the lockdown because of Covid-19.... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market
BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers

New digital technologies improve manufacturing capabilities

3rd July 2020 Metallurgical plant supplier SMS group has developed digital technology called the X-Pact MES 4.0, along with the Safety Locator Suite system, which both aid in the digital transformation of organisations and help to gain faster insights and more informed management decision-making, with the... 

New booster for industry 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Nitrogen generation equipment manufacturer and supplier NitraLife has introduced a booster for its NitraCut nitrogen generator product, which ‘bolts’ onto the company’s NitraCut nitrogen generator, to increase its nitrogen delivery pressure and therefore also increase the thickness of steel it... 

New booster for industry
NitraLife MD Tom Sowry discusses the new NitraCut booster. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 11.06.2020

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

Automation reduces costs,  increases productivity
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

Future order book to relief pressure for fabricator 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Although the strategic decision to continue to pay employees full salaries during the Level 5 lockdown in April put pressure on its cashflow, steel fabricator and erector Betterect believes a healthy order book of projects for the next 18 months should ensure that the pressure will be relieved.... 

Future order book to relief pressure for fabricator
Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer discusses the company’s strategic decisions, facility upgrades and the concept of ‘Team Africa’. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 12.06.2020

PIC decreases interest in PPC to near 14%

By: Donna Slater     2nd July 2020 State-owned investment management company, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has disposed of a portion of its interest in the ordinary shares of building materials company PPC. The PIC now holds 13.98% of PPC's shares, compared with the 19.92% it previously held.  

Barloworld to exit logistics, shed 2 500 jobs in auto, logistics business

By: Irma Venter     30th June 2020 Barloworld will be exiting the logistics sector, says CEO Dominic Sewela. Announcing the company financial results for the six months ended March 31, he said that the business had been given a three-year period to turn around, with a decision on its future scheduled for September this year. 

Barloworld to exit logistics, shed 2 500 jobs in auto, logistics business
Dominic Sewela

Caterpillar’s philanthropic arm commits over R1m to Solidarity Fund

By: Simone Liedtke     26th June 2020 As the events surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the philanthropic arm of NYSE-listed Caterpillar, the Caterpillar Foundation, is committing over R1-million to the South African Solidarity Fund to assist the country in its response to the unprecedented health crisis. The fund... 

Association warns sector against compromising quality

26th June 2020 Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (Sappma) has urged pipe makers and pipeline installers to avoid giving into the temptation of compromising on quality or sidestepping certain processes and procedures for the sake of saving a few rands. South Africa, like the rest of the... 

MBA North welcomes infrastructure strategy, but warns that implementation is key 

By: Irma Venter     25th June 2020 The Master Builders Association (MBA) North has broadly welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision of infrastructure spending as the flywheel of South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.  Speaking at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa held on June... 

MBA North welcomes infrastructure strategy, but warns that implementation is key

Global steel output falls 8.7% in May, but China lifts production

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020 Global crude steel output slipped 8.7% in May to 148.8-million tonnes as many steelmakers shut operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as top producer China was resilient and pumped out more of the metal. Data from the World Steel Association on Monday showed a sharp contrast between steel... 

More profiles can benefit local market

By: Darren Parker     19th June 2020 The current SANS 517 for light-steel-frame building, which is still in development, focuses only on the application of the C-channel profile, but consulting engineering firm ES Consulting Engineers and Associates structural, fire and energy consulting engineer Wessel Esterhuizen believes that it... 

More profiles can benefit local market
NO LIGHT MATTER Light steel frame building can have more engineering challenges than meets the eye, especially when larger, more complicated projects are considered

Emergency structures present opportunity for sector

By: Darren Parker     19th June 2020 Although the Covid-19 national lockdown proved “disastrous” for the light-steel-frame building sector – as it was for the rest of the construction sector – Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (Sasfa) director John Barnard believes that there are opportunities for the sector.... 

Emergency structures present opportunity for sector
SWIFT AND STURDY The speed with which light steel frame structures can be erected makes them eminently suitable for the building of emergency structures

Training course goes online

By: Darren Parker     19th June 2020 The Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (Sasfa) has had to adapt its five-day training course for building contractors, architects, engineers and quantity surveyors to an online presentation, owing to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on gatherings. The online version of the... 

Training course goes online
JOHN BARNARD Light-steel-frame building could become more popular in South Africa if more local suppliers and builders were properly trained

Absa arranges major bond issuance for Dangote in Nigeria

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th June 2020 Absa Capital Markets Nigeria has successfully completed a debut bond offering for Nigerian multinational cement manufacturer Dangote Cement, as its joint lead issuing house. Absa has allocated 100-billion naira in five-year fixed rate senior unsecured bonds under its 300-billion naira issuance... 

Absa arranges major bond issuance for Dangote in Nigeria

Building confidence at all-time low 

By: Irma Venter     18th June 2020 The First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index has fallen to an all-time low of 4 in the second quarter of this year, following the 13 recorded in the first quarter of the year. This was underpinned by a sharp fall in activity owing to the nationwide... 

 Building confidence at all-time low 

Massmart warns of at least 50% decrease in earnings a share

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th June 2020 JSE-listed Massmart was unable to trade in the majority of general merchandise categories, home improvement and liquor products for most of the month of April, which had a significant impact on its sales during that month; however, from the beginning of May it was able to gradually start trading... 

MBA North urges all stakeholders to reach force majeure consensus

By: Irma Venter     12th June 2020 As the construction industry gears up to return to work as the national Covid-19 lockdown moves to Alert Level 3, industry stakeholders need to come together to reach consensus on a number of contentious issues, says MBA North president and Gothic Construction director Wayne Albertyn.   “A key... 

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 The legislation put in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding the “exceptionally challenging” business environment already faced by companies when operating in Africa, where each country presents its own challenges, says Macsteel Exports senior branch manager Adrian Isemonger. He... 

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa
AFRICAN REACH Macsteel Exports supplies sub-Saharan Africa with the broadest range of carbon steel, stainless steel, specialty steels, aluminum products and value-added processes to all industry sectors

Light manufacturer extends bulkhead range

12th June 2020 Light manufacturer BEKA Schréder has launched its QVAL light-emitting-diode (LED) bulkhead, which forms part of its existing LED bulkhead range. The QVAL is a decorative yet versatile, high-performance and reliable LED bulkhead. The bulkhead outperforms all conventional wall mounted bulkhead... 

Light manufacturer extends bulkhead range
MASSIVE ENERGY SAVINGS QVAL can achieve substantial energy and maintenance savings

Covid-19 delays Sephaku financial results

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 Holding company of construction materials company Sephaku, SepHold, is finalising its financial results for the year ended March 31; however, the restrictions implemented by the South African government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted the finalisation of the company's... 

Agreement signed on overtime, UIF/TERS payment improving, says MBAWC 

By: Irma Venter     9th June 2020 The reopening of the entire construction industry on June 1 under Alert Level 3, instead of the initial suggestion of a staggered approach, caught many companies by surprise, says Master Builders Association for the Western Cape (MBAWC). “Although the return to work was universally welcomed, the... 

Agreement signed on overtime, UIF/TERS payment improving, says MBAWC
Allen Bodill

Work resumes on Wild Coast cable-stayed bridge project

By: Irma Venter     5th June 2020 Construction has started on the foundations for the Msikaba bridge, which is being constructed by Concor Infrastructure in joint venture (JV) with Mota-Engil Construction South Africa (MECSA). The R1.65-billion contract is poised to deliver the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa.  

Afrimat seeks growth opportunities as it posts record results

By: Irma Venter     5th June 2020 Openpit miner Afrimat is “well positioned to grow” its business in the current environment, and should “things go south”, the company would be able to “survive for a long time”, says CEO Andries van Heerden. “We should be well hedged against the uncertainty of the future.” Afrimat mines... 

Company welcomes relaxed lockdown regulations 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th June 2020 Construction materials company AfriSam has welcomed the first steps in relaxing South Africa’s national Covid-19 lockdown, and looks forward to Level 3, which was earmarked to start at the beginning of this month. The relaxed regulations now allow for critical supplies of cement and construction... 

Company welcomes relaxed  lockdown regulations
AfriSam’s Richard Tomes discusses South Africa’s lockdown regulations and the measures AfriSam has taken in response

Protection tech used at office building

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 Construction company Storm Waterproofing Systems’ specialists made use of the Spraylock concrete protection technology to successfully cure, increase the concrete durability of and waterproof the ground and first floors, as well as the roof of the new Deloitte head office in Waterfall City, in... 

Protection tech used  at office building
ALL CONCRETE The Spraylock concrete protection technology was used to successfully cure, increase the concrete durability and waterproof the ground and first floor, as well as roof of the new Deloitte building

Bell's full-year earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Local original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bell Equipment achieved headline earnings a share of 80c a share for the year ended December 31, while earnings a share were 79c. This compares with headline earnings a share of 278c and earnings a share of 283c reported for the prior financial year. 

MBA North calls on all stakeholders to reach force majeure consensus

By: Irma Venter     29th May 2020 As the construction industry gears up to return to work when the national Covid-19 lockdown moves to Alert Level 3, industry stakeholders need to come together to reach consensus on a number of contentious issues, says MBA North president and Gothic Construction director Wayne Albertyn.   “A key... 

MBA North calls on all stakeholders to reach force majeure consensus

Precast-concrete manufacturing complements construction sector

29th May 2020 The precast-concrete manufacturing sector is complementing conventional in-situ building methods by helping to accelerate strategic infrastructure projects and reducing construction costs. It is also augmenting the public sector’s drive to use infrastructure projects to create employment and... 

Precast-concrete manufacturing complements construction sector
PRECAST PREFERENCE The elements are manufactured in a controlled factory environment and then transported to site where they are assembled

Construction industry operating at 10% to 15% of capacity – economist

By: Irma Venter     29th May 2020 Despite certain sections of the construction industry returning to work under Alert Level 4 of the national lockdown, the industry is currently working at only between 10% and 15% of its capacity, says Industry Insight senior economist David Metelerkamp. Construction on public projects, such as... 

Work resumes on N2 Msikaba bridge project 

By: Irma Venter     25th May 2020 Work has started on the foundations for the Msikaba bridge being constructed by Concor Infrastructure, in joint venture (JV) with Mota-Engil Construction South Africa (MECSA). The R1.65-billion contract is poised to deliver the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa.  

Work resumes on N2 Msikaba bridge project
Aerial view of the south side of the Msikaba project

MBA North calls for engagement around lockdown regulations 

By: Irma Venter     22nd May 2020 The Master Builders Association (MBA) North is calling on government to “proactively engage” with the construction industry to firm up the lockdown regulations relating to the industry as quickly as possible.  MBA North executive director Mohau Mphomela says that certainty will help the industry... 

MBA North calls for engagement around lockdown regulations

UIF/TERS claims leading to 'enormous anger', says Master Builders’ WCape 

By: Irma Venter     22nd May 2020 The Master Builders’ Association Western Cape (MBAWC) says it is “cautiously confident” that the construction industry is ready to return to work safely, and maintains that the longer the industry remains dormant, the greater the financial losses its members will need to bear.  These losses... 

UIF/TERS claims leading to 'enormous anger', says Master Builders’ WCape

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has its sights set on accelerating growth in and strengthening its partnerships with the construction sector. 

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator
TOWING THE LINE The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications’ National Building Regulations division assists with the upkeep of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act
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