The annual Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) Conference was held on 1 August at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town. This year’s theme was ‘Shift towards opportunity’ and among the over three hundred delegates was the President of the Master Builders South Africa, John Matthews, President of the South African Institute of Architects, Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, Stakeholder Director from the MEC office, Boingotlo Nthebe, as well as the Chief Director of Construction Sector Regulation at the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, Devon Pillay, among other esteemed guests.
In his opening address, ASAQS President Larry Feinberg said that in an ever-shifting world where work is scarce and competition is fierce, the economies that thrive are the ones who continue to adapt and learn, as well as share their knowledge with others.
“During my many conversations with Quantity Surveyors, skills development and training is consistently cited as one of the biggest challenges our industry faces. The Association will place sustained emphasis on delivering technical programs that strengthen our profession through education, training and upskilling. The way we do business is changing and the ASAQS continues to work towards ensuring that South African Quantity Surveyors remain world-class by staying ahead of changes in the industry,” said Feinberg.
Green buildings outperform the rest
Phil Barttram, MSCI Executive Director, gave a presentation on the ROI of green buildings. “Over the past three years, the Total Return for Green Star Certified Prime and A-Grade buildings has been higher than for non-certified offices driven by consistently better capital growth. This shows that there is perceived lower risk in the future income stream of certified offices.”
According to Barttram, Green Star Certified buildings are more popular with tenants and building occupants. “Green buildings have more natural light and are generally more attractive for tenants. These buildings are resilient to increasing vacancies and the reduced perception of risk is underpinned by the lower vacancies and higher net income growth,” said Barttram.
Strategically planning the next steps
Deshun Deysel, one of South Africa’s leading female high-altitude mountaineers, gave an inspiring keynote presentation at the event. Deysel told attendees that although we can’t always control what happens in our external environments, humans have full control over your thoughts.
“Your thoughts become your reality, which is why you need to set your mind on the things you can control. In the same way that mountaineers regroup during an expedition, businesses should always go back to basecamp to regroup and strategically plan how they are going to move forward. South Africa is experiencing a basecamp moment. It’s time to regroup, rethink, and strategize the next move,” said Deysel.
Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa gave a presentation on the importance of socially inclusive development. “Collaboration between the private and sectors are needed to avoid working in silos. Through collaboration, we will empower ourselves, inspire confidence and be able to contribute to a better future,” said Mpahlwa.
During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the ASAQS Outgoing President Yunus Bayat and MBSA President John Matthews. The ASAQS looks forward to continuing its partnership with the MBSA.