Congress to set forth solutions for building a sustainable South Africa

27 August 2014

‘Building a Sustainable South Africa’ is the theme of the 109th annual Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) Congress, taking place from the 21st to the 23rd of September at The Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre in Port Elizabeth.

According to MBSA Executive Director Tumi Dlamini, “Under this year’s theme we hope to come together in order to discuss ways of increasing investment in the sector, particularly residential buildings and public sector buildings such as schools and medical facilities.”

She continues, “The construction sector, the building industry in particular, is crucial for creating jobs as it is not overly reliant on skilled and/or highly skilled workers, with some 74% of the formal workforce in the sector being classified as either semi‐skilled or unskilled. In the total economy, this ratio is only around 40%. This means that any increase in activity levels within the sector can fairly quickly translate into higher employment since a lack of skills does not impose a formidable constraint, as may be the case in other sectors in the economy. Moreover, increased activity levels and hence employment in the construction sector, can have substantial multiplier effects throughout the economy.”

Several highly acclaimed speakers, including Roger Flanagan, Prof John Smallwood and Dr Azar Jammine will be sharing insights related the theme.

• Professor Roger Flanagan, is the Professor of Construction Management at the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading in the UK. He has undertaken studies for the development of the construction industry in the UK, Canada, Malaysia, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Libya, and Estonia. He will be delivering the Congress’ keynote address, ‘The race to the future’. Flanagan will bring an international perspective on the growth of the building industry as well as the strategic role that the industry can play in the development of a country. With his insights on building industries in various developmental states around the globe as well as in the developed world, South Africa will gain much from his expertise as it charts its own way to a sustainable industry.

• Professor John Smallwood, is the Professor and Head of the Department of Construction Management at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He is also the Programme Director of the MSc (Built Environment) Programme and a Director of two research, technology and innovation entities. He will be discussing ‘Preventing “Accidents” in Construction’. Smallwood’s insight will be particularly significant since the industry is increasingly grappling with the tragic collapse of various buildings, such as the Tongaat Mall and recently a house under construction in an upmarket estate in Johannesburg. The most critical questions facing the building industry at the moment is the safety of workers on construction sites and, quite pertinently, the skill levels of that workforce.

• Dr Azar Jammine, the Director and Chief Economist of Econometrix (Pty) Limited, will be tackling the topic of ‘Challenges facing South Africa’s economic prospects in the longer term’. His extensive knowledge of the local and international economic environment have resulted in him publishing a number of articles in international strategic management journals and co-authoring ‘McGregor’s Economic Alternatives’, ‘Trends Transforming South Africa’ and ‘Mindset for the New Generation on South Africa’.
In addition to hearing from these speakers, delegates will get the chance to participate in informative breakaway sessions on topics such as ‘Energy Efficiency/Sustainability in the Building Industry’, ‘Building Standards’ and ‘Education and Training /Skills Development and Students’. They will also have the opportunity to go on excursions to the Coega, Crossways Farm Village or a CSI Project.

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available to companies wishing to support the event and ensure visibility of their brand, products and services to industry players
For more information about this year’s MBSA Congress, please visit
About Master Builders South Africa:
Master Builders South Africa is the leading national representative body in the building and construction industry in South Africa. It is a voluntary membership based organisation whose primary role is to promote the viewpoints and interests of the industry, to promote the highest quality and standards through excellence in service to our members, engaging government and legislative bodies on national policies that affect the industry, for the purpose of creating a sustainable building industry in South Africa.

About the Master Builders South Africa Congress:
The Annual Congress of Master Builders South Africa brings together the Master Builders Association members and other related industry entities from around Southern Africa in order to encourage greater levels of interactivity between members, decision-makers and industry experts and to facilitate the discussion of issues facing the construction world

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