keyboard_arrow_upHelping with housing in Sokhulumi Village
keyboard_arrow_downHelping with housing in Sokhulumi Village

In support of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, an international campaign focused on raising awareness about this issue, leading manufacturer of steel and aluminium products in South Africa, Duro, contributed to the building and donation of four two-bedroomed homes for disadvantaged families in Sokhulumi Village near Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng. Duro partnered with the Department of Human Settlements, the City of Tshwane and South African Women in Construction (SAWIC) in this project. The company donated a variety of high quality, durable steel door frames, combination doors and window frames for the houses. 

keyboard_arrow_upReadymix mortars and plasters boost productivity on site
keyboard_arrow_downReadymix mortars and plasters boost productivity on site

As a solutions-driven company, Lafarge, a world leader in building materials, manufactures innovative products designed to meet the needs of the building and construction industry. 

keyboard_arrow_upAlternative building technologies for Southern Africa
keyboard_arrow_downAlternative building technologies for Southern Africa

South African exports of home grown alternative building technologies (ABTs) into Southern Africa are extending across an increasingly wider footprint as regional economic growth and infrastructural development continues. 

keyboard_arrow_up4-star Green Star SA rating – a first for local government
keyboard_arrow_down4-star Green Star SA rating – a first for local government

The City of Cape Town’s Human Settlements Contact Centre in Manenberg has recently been awarded a 4-star Green Star SA rating. It is the first newly built municipal building in South Africa to achieve a Green Star SA rating. 

keyboard_arrow_upBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress
keyboard_arrow_downBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) recently brought together members of the building industry at its 107th annual congress, convened under the theme Building South Africa. Invited speakers and panel discussions looked at future infrastructure trends, growth opportunities and the challenges and changes experienced in the construction sector. Experts from South Africa and other African countries shared their knowledge and highlighted the need for collaboration among stakeholders to promote the industry.  Environmental issues and sustainability in building were a key focus as was the important role the industry can play in South Africa’s economic growth. 

keyboard_arrow_upSteel windows and doors meet low-cost requirements
keyboard_arrow_downSteel windows and doors meet low-cost requirements

Duro, one of the leading manufacturers of steel and aluminium building products in Southern Africa, has supplied windows and doorframes to phase 3A of the housing development currently under way in Langa, Cape Town. The development is being undertaken by the Provincial Department of Human Settlements and the City of Cape Town.

keyboard_arrow_upHousing needs bulk infrastructure too
keyboard_arrow_downHousing needs bulk infrastructure too

Speaking at the handover of 49 houses at Mantheding Village outside Polokwane in Limpopo in July, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said the provision of bulk infrastructure remains one of the major challenges in delivering houses in rural areas. Sexwale stressed, however, that this challenge did not mean that people in villages should be excluded from receiving houses. 

keyboard_arrow_upTaps and mixers for Garden Cities developments
keyboard_arrow_downTaps and mixers for Garden Cities developments

Well-known Cape property developer, Garden Cities, has expanded its Pinehurst, Durbanville and Sunningdale, West Coast developments significantly with the construction of several new residential villages at the two estates. In line with the company’s commitment to build quality homes with quality fittings, Cobra Watertech’s Dura range of taps and mixers were specified for the bathrooms and kitchens in all the new homes. 

keyboard_arrow_upThe people prefer concrete block paving
keyboard_arrow_downThe people prefer concrete block paving

The people living in South Africa’s second oldest township, Ngangelizwe in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, are happy with the installation of concrete block paving (CBP) on some of their roads and footpaths. In fact, such is their enthusiasm for concrete block paving that when the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport proposed switching to asphalt instead of CBP in 2009/10, objections from the community led to a compromise. This saw tarring being restricted to a ring road around the township while four internal roads and some adjacent pavements were surfaced with CBP. 

keyboard_arrow_upA state-owned construction company?
keyboard_arrow_downA state-owned construction company?

National Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale has again raised the possibility of establishing a state-owned construction company, calling for debate on the idea. Sexwale was addressing stakeholders in the construction industry in Pretoria recently when he reiterated the idea that he first mooted in his Budget Vote speech in parliament earlier this year. 

keyboard_arrow_upSaint-Gobain Gyproc saving energy one house at a time
keyboard_arrow_downSaint-Gobain Gyproc saving energy one house at a time

Saint-Gobain Gyproc is committed to manufacturing products that contribute to the reduction of energy usage in homes and address the need to combat South Africa’s mounting energy crisis, as detailed in the recently published legislation.  Gyproc uses mainly natural materials in the manufacturing of its products and recycled materials in its production processes. As a company Saint-Gobain saves more energy per year than it uses to produce its products. 

keyboard_arrow_upHelping home wishes come true
keyboard_arrow_downHelping home wishes come true

RBA Homes handed over the keys for a brand new home to Lucky Mathibela and his family on Friday 1 June 2012, making good on its promise made on 94.7 FM Highveld Stereo’s Christmas Wish campaign.  When RBA Homes was approached by 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s Breakfast Show and heard Lucky’s story, it welcomed the chance to make a difference in his life. RBA Homes was impressed by the young man’s positive spirit and his desire to give back to his community as a teacher – even though he was struggling himself. 

keyboard_arrow_upAlternative building systems support energy efficiency
keyboard_arrow_downAlternative building systems support energy efficiency

ABP Building Products, specialist in the design, development, manufacture and marketing of alternative building systems that support energy efficiency, has changed its name, because of a naming rights conflict, to Eco Building Systems.  Rodney van Dam of Eco Building Systems says, “We focus primarily on using expanded polystyrene systems (EPS) to provide building products that withstand the impacts of rising building, energy and labour costs. With the promulgation of new energy efficiency legislation in the National Building Regulations, our products are playing a greater role in the South African building environment. 

keyboard_arrow_upPrivate sector support for community housing
keyboard_arrow_downPrivate sector support for community housing

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale recently launched the R300-million high-rise Masimong Community Housing Project in Welkom in the Free State. The project is being undertaken as a partnership between government and the private sector, a response to the minister's call for more involvement in housing delivery from those outside government.

keyboard_arrow_upLeading the way in sustainable architecture
keyboard_arrow_downLeading the way in sustainable architecture

The AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture, initiated in 2009, seeks to identify and honour outstanding South African architectural projects that reflect sustainable outcomes. This year, following a vigorous adjudication phase, 12 qualifying entries have been announced for the 2011/12 awards programme.  The entries will be exhibited at the South African Institute of Architects Architecture ZA 2012 Biennale, to be hosted by the Cape Institute for Architecture in September, in the run-up to the announcement of the award-winning projects in October.  Entries for the 2011/12 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture were submitted under two categories – one for built work that has been beneficially occupied since 15 March 2011 and the other for works of social importance, including research. 

keyboard_arrow_upHousing a key driver in infrastructure rollout
keyboard_arrow_downHousing a key driver in infrastructure rollout

Ahead of the presentation of the Human Settlements Budget Vote 2012-13 to the National Assembly last week (9 May 2012), Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, highlighted the progress the department has made not only in the continuing development of housing and human settlements but also in rooting out the corruption that has, over past years, undermined the delivery of decent housing.  Interestingly, Minister Sexwale raised the question of whether government should not be turning to sizeable, established contractors and their BEE partners rather than the “wheelbarrow and bakkie brigade” to support its housing delivery commitments. He said that while some emerging contractors are genuinely committed to building houses of sound and long-lasting quality, many had shown themselves to be fly-by-nights, abusing taxpayers’ money and government’s resources. 

keyboard_arrow_upJabulani hostels make way for family housing
keyboard_arrow_downJabulani hostels make way for family housing

The R487-million Jabulani Housing Project in Soweto, launched at the end of March, will see the development of 1 919 community residential and RDP housing units completed over the next few years – replacing the existing hostels on the site which are to be demolished over time. The new housing units will provide a more family-oriented environment for hostel dwellers and people from other income groups. 

keyboard_arrow_upEnergy-saving insulation for housing retrofits
keyboard_arrow_downEnergy-saving insulation for housing retrofits

At the 4th annual convention of the GBCSA (Green Building Council of South Africa) held in Cape Town last year, several residential green building retrofit projects were announced by GBCSA CEO Brian Wilkinson, including a British High Commission-sponsored ‘green street’ retrofit in KwaZulu-Natal, coinciding with Durban’s hosting of COP17.  Energy performance and the use of the most appropriate green building materials are key to sustainable building – in housing as in other sectors.

keyboard_arrow_upDonated house demonstrates benefits of clay brick
keyboard_arrow_downDonated house demonstrates benefits of clay brick

A new home built by Corobrik in Lwandle, Strand, is a “dream come true” for disabled resident Angelina Msizi – and a tangible way for Corobrik to show its support for the rights of women and children. The house is a part of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements new Siyazama housing project which consists of 82 units.  Speaking at the official handover ceremony in April, which was attended by Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Corobrik director Bertha Zwane said that the house had been built both as a way for the company to give back to those in need and to demonstrate the appropriateness of double skin clay brick construction with a face brick exterior wall as a ‘best solution’ for sustainable housing in terms of economic, social and environmental considerations. 

keyboard_arrow_upThe CMA House – building plans available
keyboard_arrow_downThe CMA House – building plans available

The Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) is offering architect-designed plans for a 40m² subsidy house, at no charge, to anyone wishing to use them. This initiative is seen by the CMA as one which, if adopted by the construction industry, will improve the quality and building productivity of subsidised housing significantly. Dubbed ‘The CMA House’, the project was officially launched by CMA director, Hamish Laing, at the South African Housing Foundation Conference in September last year.  Laing says the use of modular concrete masonry forms the backbone of The CMA House.

keyboard_arrow_upConcrete poles for electricity distribution at Fleurhof
keyboard_arrow_downConcrete poles for electricity distribution at Fleurhof

Over 3 000 prestressed I-section concrete poles are being supplied by Aveng Manufacturing Infraset for the electrification of the integrated housing development in Fleurhof, Roodepoort, in Gauteng.  The development involves the construction of 9 600 houses, between 30m² and 100m² in size. The building programme began in 2010 and will run until 2016. Some of the units are being sold on the open market, others fall under the RDP umbrella and the balance are being allocated for social rental and the gap market.

keyboard_arrow_upConcrete solutions for infrastructure and housing
keyboard_arrow_downConcrete solutions for infrastructure and housing

Concrete and concrete products offer social, environmental, economic and other benefits in housing as well as in the development of infrastructure for human settlements. These benefits are set out in a leaflet entitled Sustainable Concrete for Human Settlements, published by the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI).  Compared with new, sophisticated and relatively expensive alternative construction technologies, concrete remains one of the most cost-effective and durable building materials. 

keyboard_arrow_upThe Hult Global Case Challenge in housing
keyboard_arrow_downThe Hult Global Case Challenge in housing

Port Elizabeth company, Moladi Housing, has reached the finals of the R7-million ($1-million) global challenge to solve the crisis of creating secure and affordable shelter for the poor. Over 100 presentations from higher education institutions around the world were submitted in the housing category for the 2012 Hult Global Case Challenge – and just six, including PE’s Moladi Housing, made the cut.  Patented by inventor and Moladi founder Hennie Botes, the Moladi model was presented by a team from Kingston University at the regional final in London in March. The team is now bound for the finals which will be held 26 April in New York.

keyboard_arrow_upValue for money in multi-storey rental housing
keyboard_arrow_downValue for money in multi-storey rental housing

Despite the slowdown in demand for homes in some sectors of the market, demand for affordable rental housing remains high. There is, however, pressure on property developers and building contractors to deliver housing projects to the market at a reasonable cost and return. Products such as Elematic South Africa’s (ESA) precast hollow-core concrete floor slabs are a popular choice for such projects as they help save time on site and can contribute to reducing the overall cost of a project.  ESA has been supplying all the precast hollow-core slabs for the Urban Ridge Estate development in Midrand – a 260-unit rental housing development which is being completed in four phases. The estate will be owned and units rented out by Zotec Developments and it is being constructed by Central Development Projects. It comprises three- and four-storey walk-up blocks with two-bedroom, one-bathroom units. The first three phases are complete with Phase Four on track for completion in March.

keyboard_arrow_upHollow-core concrete floor slabs for new housing
keyboard_arrow_downHollow-core concrete floor slabs for new housing

The delivery of decent housing for hundreds of thousands of South Africans remains one of the country’s most important development imperatives. The Echo Group, the biggest manufacturer of hollow-core concrete flooring slabs in the country, is playing a key role in the rollout of new housing projects.  Echo’s advanced hollow-core concrete floor slab technology is being harnessed to accelerate the delivery of thousands of new homes in two new high-density Gauteng “suburbs”.

keyboard_arrow_upNew supplier of steel roofing
keyboard_arrow_downNew supplier of steel roofing

JSE-listed steel processor and supplier, BSi Steel, established a dedicated roofing division in May last year, based at the company’s central steel processing and distribution centre in Kliprivier, Midvaal.  The BSi Steel Group has seen strong growth over the past year and Alan Havenga, manager of the roofing division says, “Roofing is an important aspect of the steel industry. Creating this division is a logical step forward for BSi Steel, to support the company’s plans for expansion into the structural steel industry.”

keyboard_arrow_upSteel-frame construction for All Africa Games
keyboard_arrow_downSteel-frame construction for All Africa Games

South African company, Vela Steel Building Systems, played a part in enabling the fast-track construction of accommodation for athletes involved in the 10th All Africa Games, which were staged in Mozambique in September 2011.  Brent Harris, managing director of Vela, says, “The biggest challenge of this project – which was designed to house most of the 6 500 competing athletes from 48 countries – was the extremely tight construction timeframe.

keyboard_arrow_upStep blocks create convenient seating
keyboard_arrow_downStep blocks create convenient seating

The Terraforce 4x4 Multi Step block was developed originally to be used with Terraforce retaining blocks in order to provide for stairway access up and down retaining walls. The Multi Step blocks soon became popular not only for stairways but to create comfortable, practical seating arrangements at school sports fields and other recreational facilities.

keyboard_arrow_upRural roads upgrade gathers pace
keyboard_arrow_downRural roads upgrade gathers pace

The concept of sustainable human settlements encompasses not only housing but also the infrastructure that enables settlements to function and the amenities that contribute to creating a sense of community and connection among residents. Hence it encompasses roads and storm-water drainage, electricity supply, and water and sanitation systems, as well as amenities such as schools, clinics, shopping centres, recreation facilities and places of worship, among other things.

keyboard_arrow_upVolunteers help to build houses
keyboard_arrow_downVolunteers help to build houses

Building on the success of a 2010 employee community involvement (ECI) project in which hundreds of its employees got involved in helping to build houses for the very poor, Standard Bank once again this year donated both financial and human capital to the annual Mellon Housing Initiative.  The initiative is aiming to build ten houses each in Tembisa, Gauteng, and Witsand, Western Cape, between August and November, building one house a week. The houses will be handed over to families that, until now, have lived in shacks and have had no access to running water or electricity.