Sie sind auf Seite 1von 40

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 

 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Contents Jan/Feb 2010


l CETA l cidb 26 AFSA
29 win a prize
l NURCHA l SAWIC l Khuthaza
5 Challenging Year Ahead insulation
ALTERNATIVE BUILDING 31 The Ins and Outs of Insulation
7 Build a House in One Day

FINANCE 34 Laying the Foundation for Change
11 Making Quality Houses Affordable 36 IN TOUCH

13 A Man with a Plan

15 Painting Need not be Hard Work

18 A Long Road to the Top

22 The Use of Power Tools to Make House
Building Easier

25 Affordable Compact Dumpers

Proprietor and Publisher:

Tel: (011) 781-1401
Fax: (011) 781-1403
E-mail: skillsonsite@promech.
Printed by:
Typo Colour Printing
Tel: (011) 402-3468

Promech Publishing
has a BEE
The “Skills On Site” team - Top: Susan Custers, publisher; Zinobia Docrat, production; Raymond
rating of 78.8%
Campling, editor. Seated: Debbie Pienaar, advertising sales; Catherine Macdiva, administration;
Jackie Nene, subscriptions/circulation.

All rights reserved. No editorial matter published in “Skills On Site” may be reproduced in any form or language without written permission
of the publishers. While every effort is made to ensure accurate reproduction, the editor, authors, publishers and their employees or agents
shall not be responsible or in any way liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the publication - whether arising from negligence or
otherwise or for any consequences arising therefrom. The inclusion or exclusion of any product does not mean that the publisher or editorial
board advocates or rejects its use either generally or in any particular field or fields.

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 


Challenging Many building contractors closed down last year

as a result of the recession that halted so many
building projects in their tracks as people and
companies ran out of money or were denied

Year Ahead
building loans by the country’s banks. Those
that survived the tough times last year can be
rightfully proud, but at the same time should be
aware that 2010 will not magically see a return

ardware retailers like BuildIt, Penny of the good times that were experienced before
Pinchers and Chamberlains are aware the recession.
of this and are placing more emphasis
on relationships with contractors and on
finding ways to add value to contrac- side of the business for example lintels and cement,
tors efforts on site. Pricing is also in the spotlight and but we have complete offerings in areas like paint,
any hardware retailer that thinks that prices can be hand tools and power tools.
hiked in the new year will need to think again. Ac-
cording to the major retailers that we interviewed,
price increases will be kept to a bare minimum. Do you anticipate big price increases across
But, one thing is certain, and that is that building the board? How much?
contractors will have to work smarter and harder in BuildIt: This will depend on the Rand and increases in
order to make the most of the opportunities that they electricity prices. Other than that, we predict normal
have. They will also have to look at using the right tools increases.
for the job in order to maintain quality and speed-up Penny Pinchers: No we do not anticipate significant
time spent on site. price increases, probably in the region of 4 – 6 %.
“Skills On Site” asked the retailers some questions Chamberlains: We anticipate average inflation for
about the year ahead: our industry to be about 4.8 % to 5.5 %. The market
is still under severe pressure and it will be difficult for
What is your offering to small and medium wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers to pass on
the full effect of price increases to the customers. Ad-
building contractors for 2010?
ditionally, a number of major suppliers have informed
BuildIt: We want to cement our position as the leading
us of their price increases that have up to now been
one stop shop with quick service and a huge range
below the 5% mark
from which to choose, with goods at the best prices
and continuous promotions aimed at contractors.
Do you anticipate any exciting new product
Penny Pinchers: Our offering is the availability of a full
range of core and specialist products and services to launches? Please indicate.
the six trades involved in the building process. These BuildIt: Yes, we plan to extend our house brand range
trade focus areas are Masons, Plumbers, Electricians, so contractors can look out for more BuiltIt branded
Carpenters, Cabinetmakers and Painters. products at best value for money prices.
Chamberlains: We offer exceptional service with Penny Pinchers: Green building is the way forward.
highly knowledgeable staff, offering a complete build- In the core ranges not much has changed, however
ing material and hardware product selection that is solar and wind energy at an affordable compact
extremely well priced. Value added services like board level is becoming exciting. Watch this space!
cutting, free local delivery on most goods, kitchen
designs, in-house joinery and our own truss factories
means we offer a complete one stop solution.

Do you stock a full range of building

BuildIt: Yes, we are primarily builder’s merchants and
therefore have a full range in stock.
Penny Pinchers: We have in excess of 60000 products
listed for availability, however the in-stock items aver-
ages about 6000 lines in store. These cover 98% of the
basic core needs in most building projects.
Chamberlains: Yes, we have a complete range of
building accessories. This includes the traditional hard

 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


Name five products that no builder should

be without.
BuildIt: Big 6 – roofing, cement, brickforce, concrete
lintols, blocks and bricks.
Penny Pinchers: A calculator, level, tape measures,
square, plumb bob and note book!
Chamberlains: Good quality tape measure, spirit
level, safety goggles, sturdy aluminum ladder, Stan-
ley knife

Chamberlains: There are no significant new launches,

Name 10 products that will improve efficiency
but the product selection continues to evolve. This of contractors on site.
will include the changes in the color palettes, new BuildIt: It is really hard to choose because we have
models in for example power tools and the change in so many different products that are all useful.
fashionable décor items for example taps and basins. Penny Pinchers: Proper scaffolding, generator, com-
The push for solar geysers might be exaggerated as pressor, air tools, safe ladder, heavy duty extension lead,
it is difficult for retailers to sell as a DIY product. Ad- electric saw, drill and grinder, safety equipment.
ditionally costs on solar are still high.
Chamberlains: Laser levels, quality masonry drill bits,
circular saw guide rails, presoaked waterproofing
Do you negotiate prices based on monthly membrane for difficult waterproofing spots, cord-
volumes of goods purchased? less drills, quality screw driver set, quality socket and
BuildIt: Yes, we are always negotiating prices. spanner sets, correct paint roller for the application,
diamond bales, mitre boxes for cutting angles.
Penny Pinchers: Yes, the price depending on how
much, we buy is constantly being looked at.
Chamberlains: A larger customer will obviously be
offered more aggressive pricing. Once-off deals are
negotiated on bulk purchases.

Are contractors able to buy supplies on credit?

BuildIt: Yes, there is credit available through various
institutions, although at present this is not so freely given
by them due to the current economic situation.
Penny Pinchers: Qualified credit worthy contractors
can buy on credit. We also have special develop-
ment finance schemes available to certain trades
and contractors.
Chamberlains: Yes, we offer credit facilities to ap-
proved customers.
Advice for the year ahead taking into consider-
Do you provide technical assistance to con- ation current and future market conditions.
tractors? If yes, please elaborate? BuildIt: This year will be a challenging year to grow
BuildIt: Yes we do. If it is product related we get the operations, however it is still important to stick to the
supplier involved if we are unable to assist ourselves basics, control costs and always have your finger on
Penny Pinchers: Yes we do. We are able to project the pulse of your cash flow.
assist the contractors in cash flow projections, waste Penny Pinchers: Use suppliers to assist your planning,
and material control to site, design of roofing and costing, quoting and service needs. Customers should
kitchens and cupboards is part of our service offer. always be treated with a long term approach. Adapt
Suppliers are also continually telling us about the use to the ever changing market economic conditions
of their products and this information is available to and remember that there is always a customer that
our customers with us. needs your services – find them!
Chamberlains: No, but our sales staff are well trained Chamberlains: The opportunity’s in the market is endless
and will be able to offer basic advice to the cus- for those bold enough to take them. Improve internal
tomer. Additionally supplier representatives are used efficiency and aggressively promote internal positive
to help our customers who require more technical attitudes and fight negative pessimistic views.

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 

Colourful New Packaging from Coprox
Coprox has recently launched a fresh and colourful range Coprox Waterproof Cement Additive is an excellent
of packaging which makes it easy to identify the correct primary waterproofing solution. It renders mortar, screed,
product for the required application. This development unreinforced concrete or plaster waterproof. Its universal
has been particularly useful for in-store shelf displays and applications range from exterior or interior above or below
storage on building sites. ground level waterproofing of walls and floors to the wa-
On-site the colourful packaging makes it instantly recogni- terproofing of swimming pools, dams, reservoirs, retaining
sable making it particularly useful for product identification walls and basements. It is also an excellent solution for
by unskilled labour. User-friendly instructions are included the plugging of leaks in underground masonry structures
on the packaging making Coprox products easy to use such as underground parking and wine cellars.
and apply.
Coprox Flexible Waterproofing is a UV resistant co-
Renowned for its range of waterproofing solutions and polymer latex which when mixed with Coprox Masonry
decorative coatings, Coprox is recognised as South Africa’s Waterproofing is an excellent seamless waterproofing
leading manufacturer of cementitious waterproofing solu- membrane system for surfaces subjected to moderate
tions and decorative coatings. Its range of products are expansion and contraction. The waterproofing of abut-
available from all leading hardware and paint stockists ments of slabs and walls is a good example of its many
country wide. applications. It is available in an assortment of attractive
Coprox colours making the waterproofing and rejuvena-
Coprox Masonry Waterproofing is an easy-to-use
tion of stained and derelict pool plasters a far more cost
masonry waterproofing solution. It prevents water seep-
effective solution to replastering. This applies equally to
age in new masonry structures and cures damp problems
ponds and reservoirs too. And, when used on its own, it is
in existing ones. Its unique properties make it effective
an excellent general purpose bonding and keying agent
for use on either the outside (positive side) or the inside
and should be used as a keying agent when Coprox Wa-
(negative side) of above or below ground level surfaces.
terproof Dualcoat is applied as a trowel-on application
Its universal applications range from the curing of rising
to smooth or dense masonry surfaces.
damp to the waterproofing of walls, floors, swimming
pools, dams, reservoirs, retaining walls, basements, wine Coprox Waterproof Tile Grout is a waterproof grout-
cellars and underground parking. It can also be used as ing for wall and floor tiles and is suitable for gaps of up to
a decorative finish and is available in a wide range of 20mm x 8mm. It is suitable for exterior and interior use and
attractive colours. is available in a range of attractive colours.
Coprox Waterproof Dualcoat is a waterproof cement Coprox Waterproof Crack Filler is a hardy and easy
wall and floor coating. It is an effective waterproofing to use interior and exterior waterproof crack filler. It is eas-
solution for use on the outside (positive side). It is also a ily sanded to a smooth finish and will not flake or crumble
unique, aesthetically pleasing decorative coating giving when holes are drilled into it.
a naturally aged mottled and rustic appearance which
becomes more pronounced over time. It is available in Coprox Wall and Floor Clear Sealer is a semi-gloss
a wide range of attractive colours scuff and stain resistant sealer suitable for domestic ap-
plications. It is ideal for sealing interior or exterior Coprox
It can be brush applied over most surfaces without the Masonry Waterproofing and Coprox Waterproof Dualcoat
need for a keying agent and provides an elegant textured wall and floor applications and pavers etc.
finish. It can also be trowel applied as a smooth, durable
skim coat finish to walls and floors. It is more cost effective
than tiles and its application is far less labour intensive.

Tel: (011) 579-4300 Fax: (011) 579-4310

 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Build a House in One Day

t is possible to erect a strong concrete house to roof level in just one day using technology and non-tra-
ditional building methods. The technology has been around for more than twenty years and has been
used around South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
In the same way as bridges and other concrete structures are built, the Moladi Construction System uses
concrete formwork to mould the entire structure of the house. It makes use of a simple shell design of
plastic blocks that when completed is filled with concrete and removed when the concrete sets. When the
formwork is removed the entire structure of the house is effectively set in concrete and can be painted, a roof
put on and finishings added. All this can be done in just one day including erection of the formwork, pouring
of the concrete, curing and removal of the forms.
Within 24 hours the walls can be painted and the roof put on. Electricity, water, doors and windows are pre-
moulded and fittings can be attached as required. A number of projects have been completed in South
Africa, Botswana, Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. This is how it works:

Day 1
Start: 11.00am

Step 1
Moladi formwork is delivered to the site
Area = 74m²
Mass = 550kg
Volume = 4m³

• Start the erection of Moladi formwork

• Panels are assembled by general labourers to form
the mould kit of the desired house plan

Step 2
• Internal panels are erected
• Window frames and block-outs (WinBloc) are
• mesh and reinforcing details are placed according
to engineer specifications and external panels are
then erected

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 


Step 3
• Door frames and block-outs (DoorBloc)
are positioned and erection of Moladi sys-
tem is completed (4 hours) with only four

Step 4
• Four labourers are needed to manually fill
the wall cavity with 3.4m³ of an aerated
mortar mixture. The pour is completed
within 2 hours
• FINISH: 5.00pm

Day 2
Start: 7.00am

Step 1
• Moladi formwork is removed. Panel being moved
weighs less than 30kg (3.84m² X 8kg/m²) and can
immediately be re-erected on the next house’s
foundation. Removing the Moladi formwork is
complete within 2 hours.

• FINISH: 9.00am

 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


Step 2
• The structure can be painted with a cementitious
water based textured paint as soon as the Moladi
system is removed. Oil or water based paint can
also be used at a later stage

Step 3
• The walls are 1.5 to 2.0 mPa strong with an ul-
timate strength of 10 to 20 mPa, achieved in 28
days, depending on the mix design of the mortar
(Concrete Water Ratio). An engineer certified roof
is constructed and installed

Step 4
• Final finishing’s, such as plumbing and electrical
fittings, are completed
• The structure is now ready for occupation
• The production cycle is completed within an 8
hour day. The construction cycle includes the
erect of the Moladi system, filling with concrete,
curing of the concrete and removal of the Moladi
formwork the next day. The process makes use
of semi-skilled and unskilled labour and provides
a fast and economical way of building houses
quickly and with little room for error

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 

10 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Making Quality Houses

he Cape Town City Council and Standard
Bank have got together to build an affordable
housing development. The projects was so
successful that it won the National Housing
Foundation’s Award for the Housing Project
of the Year at a ceremony at the end of last year.
The city allocates
appropriate land
to the banks to
develop afford-
able housing and
the banks provide
the finance and
development ex-
pertise. Standard
Bank, assisted
with the develop-
ment of the Leo
Mews project in
Elsies River in the
Western Cape
on land that was
provided by the
Leo Mews was the first project
completed in the area in
terms of an agreement be-
tween the City and Standard
Bank, and the bank’s chosen
development partner Bitol
Development. Left to right: Morgan Munsamy, Standard Bank; Bonginkasi
Madikizela, MEC of Housing; Wayne Muller, Director: Housing
Finance and Leases

The cost of the units range from R237 000 to R254 000,
enabling people with combined monthly incomes as
low as R7 200 to qualify.
“Standard Bank and Bitol supplied housing that, apart
from its price, would not be out of place in more up-
market residential areas. The developer also spent
considerable time helping residents in a nearby older
area with maintenance and cosmetic changes that
improved the entire area- reducing the contrast be-
tween the old and the new in Elsies River. As a result
there is a strong sense of community between new
residents in Leo Mews and established residents in
the area,” says Kevin Duncan, Managing Director of
Standard Bank’s Integrated Residential Developments
division (IRDev).
Standard Bank’s Integrated Residential Developments, Kevin Duncan,
Tel: (011) 770 8000. City of Cape Town, Wayne Muller, Tel: (021) 400
5122. Bitol Development, David Williams, Tel: (021) 949 3482

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 11

Bridging finance and support
for your construction project
If you are a developer or contractor
who has been awarded a tender in
the following categories:

a) Subsidy housing;
b) Infrastructure (e.g. roads,
water and sewerage
reticulation, drainage etc);
c) Community facilities (e.g.
schools, clinics etc);
or you are involved in
d) Affordable housing,
and you need bridging finance
to start your project or you need
performance guarantees, please
contact Nurcha.

Regional offices:
JOHANNESBURG: 011 214 8700 DURBAN: 031 562 0068
BLOEMFONTEIN: 051 448 8120 EAST LONDON: 043 726 0615
CAPE TOWN: 021 422 3167 POLOKWANE: 015 296 0370
CENTURION: 012 658 0176

12 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


A Man With A Plan

eneath the conservative business dress code
lies a man who is full of energy and passion-
ate about helping people and communities. Much has been said in the media about the
He has spent his entire career serving the appointment of Dr Morgan Pillay as manag-
public by either finding engineering solu- ing director of Nurcha, his plentiful skills and
tions to community problems or through assisting with impressive curriculum vitae. In order to find
funding for projects and programs to uplift commu- out more about the man behind the news,
nities around the country. His new role as managing “Skills On Site” recently paid him a visit to
director of the organisation fits perfectly with both his find out what makes him tick, his enthusiasm
personality and his past experience. for developing people and communities and
his plans to improve the reach of Nurcha to
building contractors around the country.

biggest challenge of them all with Nurcha where his

sights are set on taking the organisation to the top of
the construction finance ladder.

Family man
In the same way as his career developed, Morgan’s
private life has closely mirrored his achievements in the
office and he is equally as passionate about providing
a balanced way of life for his family. He is a caring
family man and loves spending time and sharing the
responsibility of nurturing his two children, daughter
Kelisha (17) and son Kiyashan (7) with his wife Sandra.
A lot of quality time spent with his family has led to
his family sharing many of the same interests. While
his daughter’s artistic flair and love for reading and
his son’s passion to help build and restore classic cars
reflect diverse interests.
Apart from family, his passion for restoring old cars
reflects his love for renewing and reinvigorating things
that have become tarnished or aged. Much like his
plans for the housing industry, his cars are carefully
Morgan Pillay, managing director of Nurcha who enjoys the challenge
of breathing new life into old classic cars cared for and rebuilt part-for-part with pride and pas-
sion. The gleaming cars are restored like new and the
end result of such painstaking work is all the reward
In this regard, his working career and private lives
that Morgan needs.
follow similar paths and his capacity to rebuild and
nurture are core to him. Throughout his working career
Morgan has dedicated his time to serving people Future
and communities. This started after he graduated Morgan believes that the key to ensuring better pro-
from the University of Westville in KwaZulu Natal with ductivity in the building sector can be achieved only
an Honours degree in Urban Hydrology water engi- by unlocking the potential of the country’s emerging
neering. His first job was as a project assistant with the building contractors and providing them with the
Development Bank where his passion for infrastructure life skills and financial backing to go from backyard
development saw him quickly progress to a senior builders to mainstream contractors. “After all, builders
management position. have the power to change communities by providing
housing, water and electricity as well as education
His career bloomed and after successful stints with
and health facilities to communities.
Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank, as the head
of the public finance division, Intersite and National “If we develop our building contractors and assist
Housing Finance Corporation where he grew his un- individuals and small businesses to become success-
derstanding of the importance of using infrastructure ful operations then we are able to empower entire
to drive development, Morgan has taken on the communities. As long as there is a will to develop the

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 13


joint ventures between funders and development

Since its inception fifteen years ago Nurcha has organisations will be key to meeting government’s
mandate to provide housing and infrastructure for
financed the equivalent of some 44 houses per
all,” he says.
day ensuring that approximately 220 people per
day have a roof over their heads. This translates to
1333 houses per month (6665 people housed) or
Nurcha advantage
In keeping with his vision for Nurcha to become the
16 000 houses per year (80 000 people housed). premium financier of construction projects in the
country within the next five years, he wants to provide
expanded financial offerings and
bridging finance to a broader range
of contractors from the smallest to
the largest contractors.
“In essence we want to assist start-up
contractors to become mainstream
contractors and later multi-stream
contractors. In turn we want large
contractors to become mega
contractors and want to provide
financial solutions that fit these com-
panies requirements throughout the
transition cycle from small to mega
sized,” he says.
Meanwhile, Nurcha representa-
tives will continue to go into the
field and work with contractors to
guide them to make sound financial
and business decisions when they
undertake contracts. They will also
look at providing custom solutions
to contractors with special require-
ments or that are not able to access
conventional loans of funding.
skills to do the work then all that is required is the fund- In this way he believes that Nurcha will be able to
ing and that is where Nurcha can play an important play a more positive role in the development of the
part,” Morgan says. building industry.

Morgan says he is passionate about providing hous-
ing to the people because owning a house enables
individuals and families to develop their wealth. It
provides collateral for future loans and enables home
owners to create their own wealth. For this reason he
is keen to reshape the industry through the instruments
available to him through Nurcha.
“A top priority is to build even stronger relationships
with government at all levels in order to work with
them to kick-start development projects around the
country. We want to be in a position where government
identifies development areas and we in turn provide
the financial expertise in order to make it possible.
“It is important to realise that government doesn’t
always have the funding required so we want to be
able to provide either the funding required or the
expertise to bring partners together to co-fund large
programs,” he says.
Morgan says that in future there should be better
cooperation between private sector financial institu-
tions, development agencies and government. These

14 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Painting Need Not be
Hard Work

With many painting techniques available it is a good idea to plan your job and decide the best way of finishing
the job on time and within budget. Warrior Paints advises that you first decide what you want to do with your
painting job and then to look at the different paint techniques available to do the job right first time.

Getting the job done right • If you are using stencilling or stamping as a paint-
• Stirring. Get a stick that is long enough to reach ing technique, make sure to paint the walls with
to bottom of your paint can when you are stirring a base colour first and wait for this paint to dry
your paint. When you stir from the bottom the completely before putting the stencils on the wall. 
paint will mix better and the colour that tends to  
settle at the bottom of the paint bucket will be • If you are creating a sponge or rag effect with
distributed more evenly. your paint technique, also wait for the first coat
• Some people find “boxing” necessary. This is when of paint to dry completely and then use a lighter
you have multiple cans of paint that are the same colour over your base coat. 
colour and you pour the paint into one bucket • If you are using paint that has been
to stir and make sure they are exactly the same stored for a while, remove the layer of
colour. If you plan to do this, pour the paint into dried paint in the paint bucket with a
a big bucket and then back into their smaller stick. After this you should stir the remain-
paint cans.  ing paint to make sure there aren’t any
• When you are using a roller, make sure that the lumps.
paint tray isn’t completely full. The paint • Brush before rolling. Although there are differ-
roller should be wet but not dripping.  ent opinions about this, it is easier (and it leaves a
• Paint strokes with a roller should be better finish) if you use your paint brushes before
done in a “W” pattern. Go up and paint rollers during your painting job. 
down with the roller making • When you are using your brushes, only dip the
multiple W’s until they all paint brush in the paint to cover a third of the
overlap and the entire wall brush with paint. 
is covered. After this you
• Don’t use too much pressure when you are paint-
should smooth the paint
ing with a brush or a roller. Keep the pressure light
in non-diagonal strokes to
and sturdy and always try to use long, overlap-
blend glossy finishes.  
ping strokes. 

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 15


gummy residue.
Be sure to either
remove fixtures
(lamps, towel
racks, etc.)
from the wall or
tape carefully
around them.
Press the tape
onto the surface
you are cover-
ing well so it will
form a seal that
paint doesn’t
get through.
• Take care of
your painting
tools. Wash your
paint brushes
with warm
soapy water
and comb the
brushes and roll-
ers to eliminate
fuzz and re-
Tape the borders of the walls properly. Use a high quality painter’s tape move any hard-
ened paint.

Tips and ideas • Keep track of the colours you’re using. Write the
Warrior Paints have listed the top 10 paint tips to make paint colour down so that you can get more of
your painting job a breeze! exactly the same colour if you run out of paint.

Always prepare for your paint job. There are a couple • Use the correct type of roller for each painting
of things you have to do before you jump in and start
painting walls such as cleaning the surface.
• Tape the borders of the walls properly. Use a high
quality painter’s tape. This type of tape adheres well,
blocks paint drips, and will come off with little or no

16 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


job. If there is light texture on your coloured paint, first paint the walls with a
wall, use a semi-smooth or rough stain blocker. This eliminates bleed-through
texture roller. You will get a much of the darker colour or stains and will mean
smoother coat of paint if you fewer coats of the lighter paint are required.
use the right roller. Warrior Paints, Chris Agyrou, Tel: (012) 541 3596, Email: chris@
• Protect your windows. Don’t
forget to put masking tape
around window panes – this will pro-
tect your windows from getting paint on
them and this will also protect the window putty.
• When you have finished, let the paint dry. Come
back in 24 hours to inspect the paint job. There
will be spots that the brush didn’t quite get or that
the roller skipped. Touch these spots up with the
paintbrush or the roller (depending on size of the
sparse paint).
• When finishing for the day put your paint brushes
in the freezer for a night. Wrapping your brushes
in foil and putting them in the freezer will help
keep them soft and also save you a bit of hassle
when you continue the next morning.
• If you want to cover a dark paint with a light

Keep track of the colours you’re using. Write the paint colour down so that you don’t forget

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 17


A Long Road to the Top

Leading business people will tell ment was elected in 1994 he be-
you that the road to success is long came actively involved in building
and can be bumpy. Sam Lubbe from RDP houses for previously disad-
Lubbe Construction has travelled this vantaged communities. Soon the
road, first by bicycle, then by car company was building houses at a
and now, at the head of his success- rate of 160 houses per month and
ful construction company, he con- was able to invest in properties for
tinues to do so - only this time it is development as well as machinery
and manpower to take on some
in a shiny new Mercedes Benz. Sam
pretty ambitious projects. One such
has worked hard to get to the point
project, however, almost derailed
where his business is successful and the business and could easily have
capable of undertaking large scale brought the whole operation crash-
projects using its own funds, equip- ing down around him.
ment and manpower.
“It was a massive shock when a

development that was being un-
t all started 30 years ago when dertaken by ourselves and another
Sam was retrenched from the property development company,
company he had worked for that we had partnered with, got
since he was 12 years old. He had into financial trouble. It was an
gained experience over the years ambitious development project
and took the skills learned and used at Piroville and I was shocked
his severance pay to buy supplies in when our development partner
order to undertake small-scale private Sam Lubbe contemplates his next develop-
went bankrupt and no further
jobs. “At that time Soweto was in the ment. From humble beginnings Lubbe Con-
struction has grown development could take place,”
process of being electrified and I was he recalls.
able to grow the business by installing
electrical outlets in households. Soon the business “It was terrible, the company was not able to honour
was sustainable and we were able to fund our own bank loans, nor could it pay for services and supplies
small building projects and raise funds for bigger and that had already been used on site.” For the first time
better ones,” says Sam
The business was thriving
and through high stan-
dards of workmanship it
became well respected
within the industry. Lubbe
Construction got its first
real big break when Perm
Building Society offered
100 % mortgage bonds to
any of his clients wishing
to make improvements
to their properties. By
1990, on the recom-
mendation of Perm, he
was awarded a major
contract to build a high-
rise block of flats in Israel.
This is where the business
really took off.

Big trouble
After the first democrati-
cally elected govern-

18 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


with me and that had

become angry with me
when I couldn’t pay
them, had once again
become my friends and
the relationships were
put back in order.
“Ever since then Lub-
be Construction and
Nurcha have formed
a tight working rela-
tionship and if I need
bridging finance for
housing or infrastruc-
ture projects I know
where to go to get the
finance and assistance
I need. To this day I do
not go anywhere near
the banks and if I want
equipment or stock I buy
it cash,” Sam says.
Apart from supplies and equipment used for the day-
to-day running of his business, Sam has purchased five
25-ton excavators, a front-end loader, several tractor
loader backhoe (TLB) and three trucks – cash. “Not
bad for a small time building contractor.”
Since the initial funding Nurcha has provided finance
to him to build more than 4000 houses in Kwenele,
Langeville, Orangefarm and Lakeside. During the
same time the company has undertaken bulk water
provision services, roads and other infrastructure proj-
ects that have been self funded. Work for the private
sector and for government is ongoing and Lubbe
Construction has built a number of office blocks,
retail outlets and private houses, as well as schools
and community centres.

Initially Sam had to make use of public transport, and later a It has expanded to include buying its own property for
bicycle, as his fortunes increased developments and other related business ventures.
Far from his humble beginnings as a young tea boy
and entrepreneur riding to site on a bicycle, Sam has
the company found itself well and truly on the rocks. built a comfortable lifestyle with the associated luxuries
Sam, who had until then been proud of his company’s acquired through a successful career. Thanks to hard
ability to pay suppliers, was upset and felt helpless. work and dedication his small start-up business has
Despite his efforts and after many meetings with major grown and now has branches in Botswana, Mozam-
banks the situation looked bleak. That was until he met bique and even as far afield as Sudan and England.
Nurcha Construction Finance and Support Services Like his business, Sam has developed and grown as a
who threw him a lifeline. person and businessman. He has become a jetsetter
that travels the world in search of opportunities for
Long-lasting partnership Lubbe Construction.
A representative from the company, Johan Claassen, Lubbe Construction, Tel: (011) 825-1886, Fax: (011) 825-1694, Email:
was dispatched to assess the predicament and re-,
ported that - with assistance from Nurcha - the situation
could be turned around and the company could be
rescued. “Nurcha was like a silent business partner and
they guided and advised me throughout the process
until I had paid off the debt. This was good because
the suppliers that were always happy to do business

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 19


Parliament Buildings 1910 Union Buildings 1913 Fort Hare University 1916

Loftus Versfeld 1923 Unisa 1946 Hillbrow Tower 1970

Van Staden’s Bridge 1971 Carlton Centre 1973 Koeberg Power Station 1984

Chapman’s Peak 2003 Berg River 2006 And that’s just the beginning...

20 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


18 000 000

16 000 000

14 000 000

12 000 000

10 000 000

8 000 000

6 000 000

4 000 000

2 000 000

1892 1906 1920 1934 1948 1962 1976 1990 2008

*Total industry in South Africa. Cement

While times have changed, our strength has not.

For 117 years, the South African market has continued to demand exceptional
service and quality cement. And, through both trying economic circumstances and
ever-increasing cement demands, PPC has played its part in giving South Africa the
strength to progress and further develop our nation’s landscape.
Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 21

The Use of Power Tools to

Make House Building Easier
as they can be bought at the local hardware store
and are reasonably affordable. These tools are per-
fect for small contractor who are working on single
housing units or house alteration, but when it comes
to building housing projects where many houses need
to be built in a set space of time, within the financial
budget and to high quality standards then these
tools will not do and the contractor will have to turn
to technology for assistance.

Better and faster

Almost every job can be done better and faster with
the help of the right power tools. From the basic drill
and concrete mixer to the wall chasing machines and
grinders, every power tool has its place and can save
contractors valuable time, manpower and money.
“Skills On Site” looks at some really handy power
tools from Makita that we think professional building
contractors should have in the toolbox. Remember,
when choosing a power tool for your specific applica-
tion, bear in mind that buying the right tool with the
correct capacity and strength may cost you more,
but in the long run will increase your productivity and
save you time and money.

In order to build a house a start-up contractor needs

little more than the basic tools and materials, but
that is not to say the contractor will be able to do
the best job he possibly can nor, will the house be
built as quickly as it can be with modern tools avail-

he bare minimum tools includes the right
hand tools like shovels, wheelbarrows, spirit
levels and trowels for cement and masonry
work. Then the contractor will need cutting
equipment and fastners for carpentry. Fittings
for roofing, plumbing and electrical installations will
need accurate measuring equipment like squares,
tape measures, screwdrivers and a drill.
Almost anyone can afford to stock up on these tools,

22 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


Most power tool manufacturers have a wide and the contractor, but it is also one of the most important.
varied range of power tools, some for very specific When it comes to drilling, having a clear idea of your
applications. The first tool that comes to mind is an exact requirements makes it easy for the supplier to
angle grinder. give you the right tool for the job. Although it is not
an absolute necessity it is a good idea to have both
Angle grinders an impact and a rotary hammer drill in your collec-
Angle grinders are available in various wheel diameters tion of tools.
and we recommend the use of a high performance When buying a drill it is important to take into consid-
motor and with a depressed wheel diameter of at eration the use of the drill and to avoid buying drills
least 115mm. This is ideal for cutting floor, wall and that are best suited to light use or do-it-yourself type
roof tiles with a diamond wheel or a masonry abra- of work. Cheaper drills that are sold at retail stores are
sive disc. Makita has a excellent product for cutting often aimed at this market and are usually not suit-
bricks and paving blocks and grinding for all metal able for the tough, rough environment of the building
requirements with a 2200W motor and a 230mm wheel site. For this reason Makita has drills that are strong
diameter. For these rugged jobs the Makita model enough to last. Rotary Hammer drills have highly du-
provides outstanding durability and is built to last on rable mechanical parts and motors with good quality
even the busiest building site. brushes to provide reliable drilling in dusty and dirty
building site conditions. For house building, a drill
Cut-off saw with a drilling range of 4mm – 16mm is ideal for the
A cut-off saw is another contractor and is a trouble-free way of drilling through
power tool which is great to reinforced concrete such as lintols or other very hard
have on site as it is ideal for surfaces. For more general uses a drill like the Makita
cutting rebar lengths and HP2050 13mm Impact Drill has a 2 speed operation,
all other metal cutting is compact and has
jobs (eg. square, run a strong housing that
and rectangular makes it suitable for
tubing). Ease of drilling into wooden
use is of the utmost rafters, ceiling board,
importance and bricks and steel.
contractors should
spend time assessing Wall chaser
the suitability of the ma- When it comes to saving time
chine considering it will some specialised tools may
be used often. make the difference between
The Makita Model 2414NB meeting building deadlines or
is a good example and it not. A tool like a wall chaser
has a specially designed (SG1250) is great to have on any
D-shaped handle for site where you need to chase
easy gripping grooves for plumbing and
and stability. electrical work. When used
It has a with a light chipper, chas-
ing a wall is a quick
and simple
These tools
will not only
make your work standard look very
wheel professional, but the real benefit is the
diameter of time saving. Busy contractors will notice
355 mm and a an incredible impact on their profitability
fast no load speed of on the building contract due to savings
3,800 r/min. These saws on manpower.
can do a job in minutes that Makita has an excellent product for this
would otherwise have taken purpose. Its double wall chaser has
the builder hours and saving 2 blades that can be simulta-
manpower means the builder can get on with the neously varied in depth up
next job at hand. to 30mm, giving you an
even cutting depth
Drill throughout your
The drill may be one of the most basic tools required by cut. Taking into

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 23


consideration that the average PVC pipe is only model is 185mm and the maximum cutting capacity
25mm the depth of cut is more than enough to safely is 63mm with a no load speed of 3,500 r/min.
hide your pipe and then plaster over it. The blades
can also be adjusted from 6mm – 30mm in width for Jig saw
electrical or plumbing uses. When installing standard Finally a jig saw is another great versatile power tool
surface flex (electrical wire) you would only need to to have on hand for cutting of profiles in ceiling board
chase to approximately 15mm. You would use the and cutting Formica tops for the placement of sink
light chipper to efficiently remove the unwanted units. The Makita Model 4350FCT with its built is LED
material, leaving your groove ready to place either job light for easy tracing of your cutting line, and its
PVC pipe or electrical wire. low vibration and low noise level, 3 orbital as well as
a straight cut setting is always a good choice. This
model also has a toolless blade change system and
an electronic control with a speed dial.

The big time

These are just a few of the many tools and power
tools that are available to make the life of the build-
ing contractor easier, while improving quality and
saving time. For building contractors who want to
make the jump from small-time operators to bigger
more successful operations, the use of power tools is
a must. Companies like Makita have a huge range
of tools available. It is a wise idea for contractors to
think about on-site jobs that take up the most time
and to find out if the use of power tools will assist in
getting the job done quicker.
Rutherford – Makita, Tel: (011) 878-2600, Web:

Cold metal cutter

For cutting all corrugated roofing and IBR sheeting
with no burrs or sparks as well as cutting sheet metal
up to 6mm thick, a cold metal cutter is very effective.
Machines like the Makita Model 4131 is ideal for these
applications as the “cold” cutting stops distortion of
material and cuts out the dangers of fire when working
near flammable material. The blade diameter on this

24 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


Affordable Compact Dumpers

Lambson Hire has
purchased a number
of 3 ton hydrostatic
four-wheel drive ar-
ticulated swivel tip
dumpers. “In the past
these dumpers were
not available in South
Africa. Now with the
Wacker/Neuson merg-
er, the compact prod-
uct range (up to 10
ton capacities) includ-
ing skid steers, mini
excavators, dumpers,
multi-terrain loaders,
all-wheel steer load-
ers and telehandlers
will soon be available
locally from Wacker
The 3 ton hydrostatic four-wheel drive articulated swivel tip dumper available from Lambson’s Hire
Major failure area
“In the past we have
found that a major failure area on dumpers was the
gearbox and by going for a hydrostatic drive, this
problem area will be eliminated. In addition, most
dumpers available are in the 1.5 and 2 ton classes
with a pressing need for 3 ton dumpers existing.

Reliable dumping solution

Wacker Neuson’s stylish, heavy duty mid size dumper
range features three payloads (3, 4 and 5 ton), all
with hydraulically operated Powerswivel skips and
hydrostatic permanent four-wheel drive as standard.
The hydrostatic drive system offers operator friendly
hydrostatic controls, which eliminates the need to
change gears while driving making these dumpers
extremely easy and safe to use.
The new dumpers are ideal for surface construction
work, civil engineering, road building, quarrying, indus-
try, demolition and rubble handling, waste disposal,
forestry, farming, landscaping and public works.
Customer enquiries: Tel: (011) 627-7700, Fax: (011) 618-3109,

Log onto to read back issues

of “Skills On Site” or contact
Debbie Pienaar on Tel: (011) 781-1401,
Fax: (011) 781-1403 or
Email: for advertising

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 25

Comparison of
and Competing Materials in Building & Construction
Property Aluminium Roll Formed Steel
(Deoxided: Low Phosphorus)
Strength (Tensile) Very good mechanical properties. High mechanical properties. Average to low mechanical properties.

Density Lightweight High density About three times heavier than

About 1/3 that of copper or steel. About three times heavier than aluminium.
Strength to Weight Ratio Very good. Good. Low
Corrosion Resistance Excellent Poor Excellent
It can be further increased along with Usually requires protective coatings
enhanced appearance through ano- for corrosion service.
dising and other coatings.
Formability Easily formable and extruded in a Readily formable Excellent formability and easily
wide variety of complex shapes Thinner cross-sections than alumini- extrudable. Formable to net shapes.
including multi-void hollows. Form- um extrusions metal cannot always be
ability to net shapes and extrusions located where best used in design.
provides for the placement of metal
where it's needed.
Electrical Conductivity Excellent Poor Excellent conductivity.
On a Rand for Rand basis, twice as Cannot usually be used as an
efficient as copper, used in bus bar electrical conductor.
and electric connector applications.
Thermal Conductivity Excellent Poor Excellent conductivity.
Ideal for heat exchange application. Cannot usually be used as a heat
Energy Savings / Thermal Excellent thermal reflectivity. Poor thermal reflectivity even when Poor thermal reflectivity.
Reflectivity Aluminium can offer energy savings galvanised.
on heating and cooling.
Finishing A near limitless array of finishes can Protective coatings such as paint A variety of coatings and platings can
be applied including mechanical finishes are employed along with be employed.
and chemical prefinishes, anodic electroplated finishes.
coatings, powder coatings, paints and
electroplated finishes.
Recyclability High scrap value Low scrap value. High scrap value.
Routinely reprocessed to generate
new extrusions.
Tooling Economics Extrusion tooling is relatively Typical tooling costs are thousands of Inexpensive tooling costs for
inexpensive. Short lead times for Rands. Long lead times are required. extrusions.
tooling construction.
Combustibility Non-combustible Non-combustible Non-combustible
Does not emit any toxic fumes when Does not emit any toxic fumes when Does not emit any toxic fumes when
exposed to high temperatures. exposed to high temperatures. exposed to high temperatures.

Reprinted courtesy of Aluminium Extrusion Council, USA

For further information on Aluminium and its applications:

Contact AFSA at:

Tel: +27 (0) 11 453 3339 Fax: +27 (0) 11 453 3403
E-mail: Website:
26 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010
Property Aluminium Moulded Plastic Wood
(Polyvinyl Chloride)
Strength (Tensile) Very good mechanical properties. Wide variation in proper- Good compressive proper- Low mechanical properties.
ties from .08 to .8 tensile ties, variable with the
strength of aluminium for species of wood and
glass filled compounds. moisture content.
Density Lightweight Very lightweight Very lightweight Very lightweight
About 60% the weight of About 1/3 the density of About 60% the density of
aluminium. aluminium. aluminium.
Strength / Weight Ratio Very good. Low to good. Low to good. Low to good.
Corrosion Resistance Excellent Excellent Not directly applicable High resistance to alkalis
It can be further increased Choice of compound and Decomposes in the pres- and salts but is attacked by
along with enhanced appear- colour important for ence of some acids. organic solvents and strong
ance through anodising and weatherability (UV). acids.
other coatings.
Formability Easily formable and extruded in a Easily formed or moulded Poor Easily formed or moulded
wide variety of complex shapes into complex shapes. Cannot be routinely formed. into complex shapes.
including multi-void hollows.
Formability to net shapes and
extrusions provides for the place-
ment of metal where it's needed.

Electrical Conductivity Excellent Poor Poor Poor

On a Rand for Rand basis, Used as an insulator, high Cannot be used as an Has electrical and thermal
twice as efficient as copper, used dielectric capability. electrical conductor. Usually insulation characteristics.
in bus bar and electric connector cannot be employed as an
applications. insulator.
Thermal Conductivity Excellent Poor Poor Poor
Ideal for heat exchanger applica- Low coefficient of thermal
tions. (heat) transfer.
Energy Savings / Excellent thermal reflectivity. Poor thermal reflectivity. Poor thermal reflectivity. Poor thermal reflectivity.
Thermal Reflectivity Aluminium can offer energy
savings on heating and cooling.
Finishing A near limitless array of finishes Colour can be integral with Paint and stain coatings Colour can be integral with
can be applied including mechani- material as well as plated, can be employed. material.
cal and chemical prefinishes, painted and hot stamped.
anodic coatings, powder coatings,
paints and electroplated finishes.

Recyclability High scrap value Routinely reprocessed but Low scrap value. Low scrap value; routinely
Routinely reprocessed to generate loses properties; repro- reprocessed.
new extrusions. cessed material is added
to new stock.
Tooling Economics Extrusion tooling is relatively Tooling is expensive Very inexpensive. Relatively inexpensive.
inexpensive. Short lead times for Generally in the thousands
tooling construction. of Rands. Long lead times
Combustibility Non-combustible Combustible Combustible Combustible
Does not emit any toxic fumes May emit toxic fumes Emits toxic fumes while May emit toxic fumes when
when exposed to high tempera- when exposed to high burning. exposed to high tempera-
tures. temperatures. tures.

Reprinted courtesy of Aluminium Extrusion Council, USA

Tel: +27 (0) 11 453 3339 Fax: +27 (0) 11 453 3403
E-mail: Website:

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 27

Hilti PRE 3
rotating laser

Applications Results at the

• Transferring and checking reference
push of a button.
• Excavation work, leveling formwork
for decks
A simple yet tough
• Pouring concrete
• Setting slope
measuring system.
The new Hilti PRE 3 rotating laser is extremely robust and easy to
• Measuring, leveling and control
handle. This is ensured by the single-button operation and
work in civil engineering and building
by the optimal design which takes the unforgiving,
day-to-day construction site environment into
consideration. The integrated Hilti Pulse Power
Advantages technology provides superior measuring perform-
ance even under the harshest operating conditions.
• Extended laser receiver window that
The first-class, complete PRE 3 package, featuring
quickly and easily allows the localization
practical and application-oriented accessories,
of the laser beam
is worth particular mention.
• Automatic shock warning and shutdown
in the event of excessive vibration
provides reliable readings at all times
• Robust design of both rotating laser
and receiver for harsh construction site
• Tripod closes via self-locking mechanism
• Single-button control for quick, simple


• Unique accessories: leveling staff that

has a magnetic nail holder, allowing one
person to set nails in formwork at the
desired height.
• Powered by Li-ion battery pack with
CPC technology (can also be charged
in the car with the proper cable)
• Digital measurement: precise visual
confirmation of how much you are
above or below your desired level

The magnetic staff makes marking Depth of excavation can quickly be deter- No more guess work when leveling props
formwork with nails a one man operator. mined with the extensive receiver window, for decks. Digital measurement gives you
digital measurement and pulse power. the exact deviations to the mm.
28 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010
(Closing date for entries is 25 February 2010)

Answer the following easy questions in the space provided. The answers are found in the pages in the
magazine. There is only one winner and the person will be contacted personally to collect their prize at the
offices of Promech Publishing in Blairgowrie, Randburg.
All correct entries will be placed in a box and a winner chosen. The judge’s decision is final.

1. What is built using the Moladi system?


2. Who is the new CEO of Nurcha?


3. What three power tools that can make contractor’s work easier?

4. When did Sam Lubbe start Lubbe Construction?


5. Where is Zithulele Senior Primary School?



Promech Publishing on Fax: (011) 781-1403,
P O Box 373, Pinegowrie, 2123

NAME: ….....………………………………………

TEL: .....…………………………………………

Estim THIS V
ated A
retai LUABL
Robert McClelland is the proud winner of the Hilti TE1 Rotary
Hammer Drill. He is a self-employed furniture manufacturer with
l Pri
5 90 E a keen interest in interior decorating. He is keenly interested in
0.00 ! joining the building industry and actually found his copy of Skills
On Site while seeking opportunities within the industry

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 29

These statistics are provided exclusively for Skills on Site readers by Databuild, the leading provider of construction related information in
South Africa. Databuild has been providing information for thirty five years and tracks projects from planning through to awarded stages.
Each month Databuild will provide statistics reflecting trends in the industry .
For more information about Databuild please contact us on (011) 259-4500 or visit us at

Number of projects awarded by province

- Nov/Dec 2009
Province Total Number
of Projects
Eastern Cape 89
Free State 21
Gauteng 70
KwaZulu Natal 53
Limpopo 28
Mpumalanga 53
North West 15
Northern Cape 15
Western Cape 96

Grand Total 440

CIDB CIDB Value in CIDB Value in CIDB Value in CIDB Value in CIDB Value in CIDB Value in
GRADING Grade 1 Rmillion Grade 2 Rmillion Grade 3 Rmillion Grade 4 Rmillion Grade 5 Rmillion Grade 6 Rmillion
Eastern 2 12.1 5 2.75 12 17.09 9 97 15 59.68 11 117.2
Free State 4 4.5 2 1.34 6 26.9 3 26
Gauteng 1 1 1 4 4.35 7 23.9 8 70.6 13 74.3
KwaZulu 7 4.95 15 25.14 5 7.2 8 24.8 5 107
Limpopo 4 3.45 3 3.9 4 14.24 5 18.8 4 73.7
Mpumalanga 2 2.4 11 15.29 11 34.1 7 58.8 4 41.5
North West 1 0.5 1 0.85 1 2.4 2 18.9 5 66.27
Northern 1 0.35 3 9 3 11.1 3 26.9 4 33.5
Western 1 16 11.11 14 24.61 10 31.14 9 50.1 2 54
Total value 4 R12.10 37 R26.51 67 R104.73 52 R222.42 63 R355.48 51 R593.47
per grading
in Rmillions


30 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


The Ins and Outs

Your clients may not see
insulation, but they sure feel it.
In this age of energy efficiency
and huge heating bills, more

of Insulation customers are demanding better

insulated homes.

eating and cooling costs make up more least expensive. However, it doesn’t air seal as well
than 50% of the energy consumed as other types and requires careful installation to
in a single-family home. Adding the insulate effectively.
recommended levels of insulation will Batt insulation usually consists of mineral fibre, either
save energy, reduce utility costs and fibreglass or rock wool. It’s used to insulate below floors,
improve comfort. above ceilings and within walls and is best suited for
But do you find yourself standing at the shop staring standard stud and joist spacing that is relatively free
at bags of pink cotton candy, blue patches of fur, of obstructions.
and pink, white and beige boards wondering which When installing, be sure that electrical wires; boxes
one is right for your project? for receptacle or light switches; plumbing pipes; and
ducts do not compress batts. Slice the batts so the
To Insulate or Not to Insulate insulation can be formed around these obstructions
When you renovate a kitchen or bathroom, it’s easy uncompressed. Cut the insulation so it fits neatly around
to get wrapped up in the design. But if you are ripping electrical boxes. Stuff spare insulation between the
out drywall, it’s also an opportunity to back of electrical boxes and the wall sheathing.
add insulation, which During installation, staple flanges to the face of the
not only improves wall studs that face the living space, not to the inside.
energy efficiency but Most insulators ‘side staple’ to leave the studs uncov-
also reduces noise ered. Face stapling also makes it impossible to glue
and increases fire re- the drywall to the studs or joist. Doing it right takes
sistance. lots of coordination between the two trades.
Before you can decide Don’t leave gaps. Gaps of as little as 5% can reduce
if you need to add the overall R-value of the wall or ceiling by up to
insulation, you have to 50%.
check the current level
of insulation in the home.
In many older homes, Loose-fill insulation
insulation levels do not Loose fibres of rock wool,
exist, is too little and is often fibreglass or cellulose
poorly installed. can be blown into build-
Remember that thermal and air barriers must be con- ing cavities or attics us-
tinuous and in contact with each other. If there is a ing special equipment.
gap between the insulation and the back of the wall Generally, it costs more than
or ceiling drywall, the insulation is doing very little, if batts, but, especially in
anything, to reduce heat loss. the case of cellulose, it
reduces air leak-
Start your inspection in the ceiling, and then proceed age in wall cavi-
to the walls and floors next to unheated spaces. To ties if blown in at
check for wall insulation, look behind the electrical enough density
outlets, being sure to turn the power to the outlets off and has better
first. Remove the cover plate and shine a flashlight sound reduction
into the crack around the outlet box. qualities. Also, it
is well-suited for
The Right Insulation for the Job areas that are
Which insulation is best for your project? hard to reach.

Batt and blanket insulation Cellulose fibre

This is the form that you’re probably most familiar Made from recy-
with. It’s fairly easy to work with and is generally the cled newspapers,

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 31


this fibre is chemically treated for fire and insect Spray foam
resistance. It can be installed in walls, floors or attics Spray foam insulation is a two-part liquid containing a
using a dry-pack process or a moist-spray technique. polymer, such as polyurethane or modified urethane,
If you’re doing it yourself, be sure and a foaming agent. The liquid
that the bags are clearly labelled is sprayed through a nozzle into
to indicate fire resistance. wall, ceiling and floor cavities.
When blowing into open wall It expands into a solid cellular
cavities that are not covered by plastic with millions of tiny air-
wallboard, use a Blow-in Blanket filled cells that fill every nook
System (BIBS) to keep the insula- and cranny.
tion in place. Spray foam insulation should
only be applied by professionals,
Rigid board insulation and materials and installation
Made from fibreglass, polystyrene cost more than traditional batt
and polyurethane, rigid insulation insulation. However, spray foam
is used for re-roofing work on flat acts as both insulation and an
roofs, on basement walls, as pe- air barrier; it eliminates the usual
rimeter insulation at concrete slab air-tightness detailing steps, such
edges and in cathedral ceilings. as caulking; applying house
Interior applications must be cov- wrap and vapour barriers; and
ered with 12-inch gypsum board taping joints. This can make spray
or other building-code approved foam cost-competitive with batt
material for fire safety. When rigid insulation. Spray foam in small
foam board is used to insulate containers may be appropri-
the interior of masonry walls, it ate when replacing windows
does not require extra vapour or for other jobs. For windows
retarder treatment. Exterior ap- and doors, use products that
plications must be covered with remain soft and don’t wrap the
weatherproof facing. frames.

32 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 33

Khuthaza promotes and

supports the
empowerment of women
in the housing and
construction sectors.
As a Section 21
(non-profit) company
they encourage change,
partnership and
transformation in the
industry. Their work is
aligned with the vision of
an economic and social
landscape enriched by
the contributions of
women as equal

Khuthaza’s programs include on-site experience and training

huthaza represents the growing body
of women in the built environment and
interacts with government, industry role-
players and other stakeholders to promote
Laying the
Foundation for
the interests of women and the overall
transformation of the industry.

In 2009 Khuthaza took their work in contractor develop-

ment further by launching four programmes targeted
to those at various levels of business development.
The Excavation Programme provides an opportunity
for those exploring opportunities in the sector to get a
feel for construction and assists with market research.
Cornerstone, Connection and Re a abelana are 7-9
month certificate programmes for those developing women’s development. Khuthaza’s Executive Director,
and running construction businesses. Nearly 70 people Elizabeth O’Leary, says that their success is due not to
completed the certificate programmes in 2009. one particular aspect but rather to a combination of
Over the past few years the organisation’s work factors. She mentions the dedication of her team as
has grown and in 2009 they began to expand their being one of the organisation’s greatest assets. “The
scope, previously focussed on housing, into the wider enthusiasm of our people combined with the incredible
construction sector. spirit of the women participants in our programmes are
two key ingredients in Khuthaza’s continued success”
The growth in the organisation mirrors that of the
she says. The multifaceted programmes Khuthaza
women in the industry. Women have steadily been
offers are the product of Khuthaza’s experience
showing interest in the industry and we now see a
over the past several years and the organisation’s
greater number of women pursuing careers in con-
interest in being creative when looking at business
struction and the built environment. The number of
women owned construction companies has increased
steadily with about 40% of contractors in CIDB Grades Another significant factor is the involvement of a
1-4 being headed by women. More importantly, a large and growing number of industry role-players.
significant number of women owned companies Khuthaza works to create a platform through which
have now demonstrated their staying power and women have greater access to opportunities in the
capacity for growth. sector and provides mechanisms for them to engage
with and learn from the experiences of a wide range
of individuals and companies. Khuthaza thereby cre-
The mix ates a unique development environment. In the past
Many have asked what it is about Khuthaza that sets
year, programme participants have benefitted from
them apart, and makes them stand out as a model for
the involvement of many stakeholders including:

34 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010


• MBSA and Concor who provided Health & Commitment, Determination, Contribution
Safety focussed seminars and site visits.
Women are increasingly emerging as leaders in
• The Cement & Concrete Institute provides train- the industry. They have either been in business for
ing through the SCT 10 and SCT 12 courses. a few years or have built careers in the industry
• 50 participants gained practical experience and are starting to give back thereby empower-
while volunteering their time with the Niall ing others.
Mellon Township Trust.
Individually the women bring a variety of strengths
• HR Practice provided vital support in the areas to the industry. To say that they are ambitious is an
of personal and professional development. understatement. They are meticulous, have a great
• Gauteng Piling offered a site visit and workshop eye for detail, thus recognising quality workman-
that focussed on opportunities for specialised ship, and make for excellent managers because
businesses. of their ability to multitask.
• Nurcha Construction Finance played a key “We have been really impressed by the commitment
role in sharing information and skills related of the women in the programmes this year and the
to accessing and managing construction level of teamwork and sharing that has emerged. The
finance. group dynamic we have experienced is probably
one of the most unexpected benefits to emerge
The wide range of role-players involved in the pro-
from our programmes” says Elizabeth.
grammes creates a dynamic learning environment,
enables the participants to build a network in the sector The women have bonded and now act as part of
and provides them with various perspectives. a more cohesive group, interacting and influenc-
ing one another, learning from and supporting one
Khuthaza’s work is supported by a wide range of
another, networking on each other’s behalf and
funders and partners including Standard Bank, FEM,
indirectly promoting one another.
PPC, Bentel, Trencon Construction, BKS and a wide
range of role-players who contribute both financially Khutaza, Elizabeth O’Leary, Tel: (011) 275-0268, Email: info@
and in kind., Web:

Building Businesses
At the end of last year Khuthaza hosted an event energy, their drive to learn and most importantly their
that marked the successful roll-out of the 2009 Con- willingness to share with each other.”
tractor Development programmes and recognized the Sinah Mkhonta, Rose Letlape and Gugu Balfour shared
commitment and achievements of the participants in with the guests their experience in the programmes,
the Cornerstone, Connection and Re a abelana Cer- highlighting the impact on their personal and business
tificate Programmes. growth through the year.

Khutaza, Elizabeth O’Leary, Tel: (011) 275-0268, Email: info@
early 70 participants (including one man), Web:
received certificates in an
informal presentation prior
to the evening function.
At the function, Elizabeth
O’Leary noted that, “Its one thing to
create a great programme, but the
winning ingredient was definitely each
individual participant. They came to the
programmes with a level of commitment
that has astounded us.” The Cornerstone
and Connection programmes met ap-
proximately 3 Saturdays per month from
May, with additional activities during the
week. Attendance has been remarkable
overall and in the Cornerstone programme
5 of the participants have had 100% at-
Elizabeth commented on the spirit of the
programmes saying that, “The participants
have spiced up the programmes with their
Recipients of certificates in Khuthaza Cornerstone program

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 35

In Touch
A simple turn of the tap pours the water out, making
frisam provides clean water it easily accessible for both adults and children. Ex-
cessive water is diverted from the storage tank back
Providing clean drinking water in rural areas can down into the borehole. If someone wants water while
be a challenge for communities that do not have the kids are not playing, an adult can easily spin the
access to clean water. It can be especially hard on merry-go-round by hand.
women and girls who may miss school because they
must walk as far as 10 km each day to get water and Providing a clean water solution, PlayPump systems
care for relatives who have fallen ill from the use of are usually installed near schools or in the middle of
dirty water. rural communities in Africa where sanitation is poor.
Benefits of the PlayPump water system are threefold
In many communities the water that people need ex- providing access to clean, safe drinking water, reduc-
ists; however, it is located deep underground where ing barriers to education and promoting valued play
it is impossible to reach without a well and pump. For and interpersonal skills amongst the youth.
this reason Afrisam has adopted 20 PlayPumps that
serves as a merry-go-round for children while their With more than 1200 PlayPump systems already installed
efforts are used to pump water for the community. in rural parts of South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho,
Swaziland and Zambia, the power of children’s play
In addition to providing easy access to drinking water, is bringing clean water to approximately two million
one of the best parts of the system is that it pays for people.
Afrisam, Victor Bouguenon, Tel: (011) 670-5520,
Afrisam has adopted 20 PlayPumps
throughout the country to provide
clean water to communities

C ommunity gets Christmas

For many years, the Spruitview Multi-
purpose Park project has been in the
planning stages. Due to the planning
foresight of the Ekhuruleni Metro Mu-
nicipality (EMM) and perseverance of
itself. All four sides of the storage tank carry billboards the community, the park was completed by Rainbow
for advertisements. Space around the water tanks Construction on 11 December last year – just in time
is rented to different companies, provided that two for the holidays.
of these spaces are reserved for positive social and
The brief from the EMM was to develop a multipurpose
educational messages, such as the importance of
park for community use, with emphasis on providing a
washing your hands and HIV/AIDS awareness.
venue with mixed activities and not only for sporting.
If a pump breaks, the money from this advertising The site design is to cater for functions as well.
pays for any repairs. AfriSam will be using the adver-
When the project started in June 2009, with a contract
tising space on 20 of these sites around South Africa
value of R12.6 million, the Ekhuruleni Metropolitan
(Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern
Municipality’s Environmental Development Metro
Province, North West) to communicate a social as
Parks Division had the objective to deliver public in-
well as a corporate message and assist PlayPump
frastructure by using labour-intensive methods. Only
International in making a difference to rural com-
local workers were employed on a temporary basis
munities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
in terms of the scope of the work.
How it works Rainbow Construction’s director, Gerald Loe says, “The
The PlayPump water system is a children’s merry-go- Spruitview site lies south of Germiston on a moderately
round attached to a water pump. As kids play and steep slope on dolomite rock. The multipurpose park
spin, clean water gets pulled up from underground consists of 8 000m³ sports fields and an amphitheatre.
into the 2500 litre storage tank, standing seven metres The nature of the intended parkland required exten-
above the ground. sive earthworks.”

36 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

In addition to the basic
classrooms, the school
features a modern
computer lab, science
laboratory and a well
equipped library. The
Vodacom Founda-
tion, as part of their
sponsorship, will sup-
ply all the desks and
furniture required by
the school.
The new school, which
will accommodate
some 300 learners, is
The amphitheatre built for the community of Spruitview a vast improvement
on the old school – a 3
Work included the construction of several elements
roomed mud structure. This was demolished by the
such as two toilet blocks, a lapa that will be used by
community during the school holidays, and 3 new
the community and for hiring out for small functions,
classrooms were erected with no disruptions.
a caretakers house, an amphitheatre, a play park
as well as a skateboard park. Pedestrian paving was The contractor, Mr Nzuzo Mase, was funded by
laid, installation of irrigation and planting of trees and Nurcha and received construction support from
lawn were the next steps to complete this project. Tusk. The school was the third project successfully
This second phase’s value was approximately R11 completed by Mr Mase, who has already completed
million. two clinics near Ngobo and Maclear with finance
and support from Nurcha and Tusk.
Managing Director of Rainbow Construction, Errol
Burman concludes, “The Spruitview Multipurpose Mr Mase won the tender for the school, valued at R
Park is yet another example of our commitment to 15 million and needed up to R 4.7 million in bridging
projects with the purpose to uplift the underprivileged finance. The project started at the end of October
communities that it touches. The park provides a new 2008 and was completed in August 2009 and in-
recreation and sporting facility in an area where one cluded many extras such as an amphitheatre, and
is desperately needed.” ablution block and extensive landscaping.

C ool new school

On a cold, rainy 22 September
2009, the Zithulele Senior Primary
School, just outside Mthatha,
was handed over in a glittering
ceremony attended by many dig-
nitaries, including the Minister of
Education, Angie Motshekga.
The school, a joint venture
between the Department of
Education and the Vodacom
Foundation, boasts 12 class-
rooms, a reception classroom,
an administration block and a
nutrition centre. The centre for
home economics will also pre-
pare food for the children on a
daily basis. The school’s impressive computer laboratory

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 37

R oofs surveyed
Concrete roof tiles are still the most cost-
effective roofing material for roofs built
with trusses. This observation is based
on an updated survey coordinated on
behalf of the Concrete Manufacturers
Association (CMA) by roofing specialist,
Victor Booth Pr Eng. – an independent
consulting engineer.
Last conducted in 2007, the survey uses
data gathered in August 2009 from
several sources. It focused on three
building models, a 57m² (floor area)
house, a 134m² house and a 1 158m² The Golf Course Ext Development, an affordable housing initiative adjacent to the King Williams
Town Golf Course, in the Eastern Cape, the first housing project in which the recently introduced
commercial building. The results of each CMA Roofing System was used
have been published by the CMA in
three leaflets, one for each model.
spacing, among others, as well as cost factors such as
CMA director, John Cairns, says the survey assessed truss and timber sundries, roof erection, roofing material
completed roofs built with trusses which allow for the and fixing, were taken into account. Prices were based
inclusion of ceilings and underlays, and in each case on complete roof structures, however, fascia boards
concrete tiled roofs proved the most cost-effective and gutters were omitted from the survey because
material. these are optional items which make no difference
“An increasing number of low-cost housing devel- to the costing. Likewise no provision was made for
opments are using roofs built with trusses as they underlay, membrane or ceiling construction.
have better insulation and aesthetic properties and Cairns says the figures represent a “snapshot ” in time
ultimately make for much sounder long-term invest- and that price fluctuations of materials and labour will
ments,” observes Cairns. vary from product to product as time passes.
Factors such as floor area, roof area, pitch and truss CMA, Pam, Tel: (011) 805-6742, Email:

T raining for block layers

gun in earnest. Based on course material specifically
developed for laying modular masonry blocks as op-
posed to conventional bricks, the training has been
CETA (Construction Education and Training Authority) developed by the CMA (Concrete Manufacturers
approved training in masonry block-laying has be- Association) in collaboration with a senior block-lay-
ing instructor.
“This is a huge step in the right direc-
tion for the construction industry, as it
will make a direct and positive impact
on the affordable housing market,”
comments Günter Koch, the CMA’s
Western Cape representative.
Towards the end of last year the CMA
completed its trainee and facilitator
training material for modular con-
crete block construction. The course
material consists of 14 outcome-
based activities which comprise the
block-laying unit standard.
“Our new training programme is
designed to address problems and
provided we achieve buy-in from
contractors, specifiers and build-
ing authorities, the reintroduction
of true modular construction will
unleash a new and productive era
in affordable housing construction,”
concludes Koch.
CETA, Kentse Mathiba, Gauteng, Tel: (011)
265 5900, CETA, Peter Cleopha, Western Cape,
Work in progress at a church in Khayelitsha which was built using genuine modular masonry Tel: (021) 949 5325. Tjeka, Gawie Burger, Tel:
and thin bed mortar (TBM) construction techniques (021) 976 8057

38 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010

Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010 39
40 Skills on Site Jan/Feb 2010