Building better this time around Infrastructure is a popular word again. After the 2010 FIFA World Cup the construction, property and engineering sectors were bullish about the prospects and everywhere there was talk of how cranes would soon dominate the South African landscape. It didn’t happen. Several well-known brand names in the construction industry are no more as a result. But now there is a suggestion that things are getting better. More building plans were passed in 2022 and the effects of national government’s 10-year, R2.2-trillion infrastructure plan covering nearly 300 projects will be felt by many subsectors. The establishment in 2020 of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA), a programme within the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure, is an indication of the government’s seriousness. A recent example of the work of ISA was the hosting of the South African Green Hydrogen Summit. In this issue In Opportunity 104, engineers, contractors and infrastructure share the spotlight with mining, energy, climate change issues, tourism and skills development. A story of three entrepreneurs who overcame the odds provides an inspiring final chapter. Two lawyers from Webber Wentzel provide advice for engineers or contractors who might be in legal jeopardy because of global supply-chain problems. Can a contractor protect himself against the situation where a ship is held up in Shanghai with his materials on it? With tourists starting to arrive back in South Africa after the long “lockdown stayaway”, two industry leaders share their views. The return of the events industry is covered in an interview with dmg events Portfolio Director Tracy-Lee Behr but infrastructure is also raised because one of her key events is the Big 5 Construct, which takes place in several locations across South Africa. An insight into the possible effects of upgrades at the Kruger National Park on surrounding communities is provided by Anton Gillis, CEO of Kruger Gate Hotel. The Project Management Institute notes that foreign direct investment increases in countries with good skill levels and asks where the world is going to get the project managers it needs to manage economic growth. A speech by Higher Education Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, on the occasion of the opening of the WorldSkills South Africa (WSZA) National Competition, is reproduced because of its focus on the matching of the training that is provided in South Africa’s colleges with the jobs that are available and need to be filled in the workplace. The gap between these two things needs to be filled, otherwise unemployment and a shortage of skilled labour will persist. Exxaro Financial Director Riaan Koppeschaar lays out the path to sustainability in the era of climate change for a company that used to be known only for its coal mining. He notes that the company has invested in wind power and is preparing the path for a range of global climate scenarios that range from “contained” to “slipping out of control”. The company is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050. Climate change underpins the argument made by the Energy team from Wärtsilä, who argue that optimising energy storage and thermal balancing are the way to go for South Africa. Also related to climate change, Mannie Ramos Jnr, of Abeco, outlines some of the do’s and don’ts when planning for sustainable water provision for big buildings such as shopping centres. Costs can be considerably reduced and every bit helps in saving the planet if certain key steps are taken. Finally, three entrepreneurs share their inspiring stories of overcoming some hard shocks on the way to recovery and finding a new path to business success. All of them are members of the Entrepreneurs Organization and give credit to the body and its members for providing support in tough times. John Young, Editor 8 | www.opportunityonline.co.za www.opportunityonline.co.za Editor: John Young Publishing director: Chris Whales Managing director: Clive During Online editor: Christoff Scholtz Designer: Tyra Martin Production: Yonella Ngaba Ad sales: Shiko Diala Vanessa Wallace Venesia Fowler Gabriel Venter Tennyson Naidoo Tahlia Wyngaard Mandlenkosi Dlamini Gavin van der Merwe Graeme February Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg Kathy Wootton Distribution and circulation manager: Edward MacDonald Printing: FA Print PUBLISHED BY Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07 Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700 Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701 Tel: +27 21 657 6200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gan.co.za No portion of this book may be reproduced without written consent of the copyright owner. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Opportunity, nor the publisher, none of whom accept liability of any nature arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of this book. The publishers would like to express thanks to those who support this publication by their submission of articles and with their advertising. All rights reserved.
News & snippets Industry insights from the past quarter Fostering entrepreneurship Tract Consulting Engineers is going beyond consulting in infrastructure projects. Founder and director Idah Nomsa Deka is encouraging young engineers through Engineering Efficacy South Africa (EESA), a non-profit organisation which she co-founded. The vision of the NPO is to bridge the gap between the worlds of industry and university by providing practical industry seminars facilitated by practising engineers. In addition, courses outside of the formal curriculum are offered to equip these aspirant engineers with the kinds of social skills that are needed in the workplace and are often not part of the curriculum. Finally, EESA acknowledges that not all graduates will find employment while some skilled professionals are also faced with job loss. To counter that possibility, the NPO introduces the idea of entrepreneurship. Idah herself made the leap to become an entrepreneur and she wants to share that experience with the next generation as well as her peers. Wonderbag wins global recognition Wonderbag, a South African product that allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue cooking for up to eight hours without using an additional energy source, has placed in the top 10 of a global environmental competition with a food focus, The Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize. Wonderbag was shortlisted by Food Planet as the only South African-based company and one of only two African entities that offered a game-changing initiative to address the climate crisis through food solutions. Wonderbag was founded in 2008 by Sarah Collins who says that this simple but revolutionary invention was driven by a yearning for equality and social justice that’s since developed into an entrepreneurial solution to many of the world’s humanitarian and environmental problems. ”One Wonderbag can reduce household air pollution by 90% and reduces the amount of firewood collected by up to 80%,” says Collins. The Wonderbag is sold and distributed internationally, including in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, in continental Europe, Reunion, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Inayo Mining is committed to uplifting communities With the company’s headquarters located in Emalahleni, the focus of Inayo Mining is often on communities within Mpumalanga Province. Two examples of concrete help are the donation by the company of 30 food parcels to the Thubelihle Old Age Centre in Kriel (pictured) and the gift of 150 school desks to Makause Combined School, which is located in Phola. As company co-founder and director Thando Maseko says of Inayo Mining’s mission, one of the most important goals is to “uplift black communities who had been marginalised from business opportunities in the industry”. Inayo Mining offers a turnkey mining solution from topsoil stripping through to rehabilitation. Contract mining is the company’s core business. Other services include material handling and plant hire. The company’s steady growth has put it in a position to buy assets and build in-house capacity in areas where the company previously lacked the relevant skills. JAN/FEB/MARCH 2023 • ISSUE 104