Speakers set to share on ‘Building a Sustainable South Africa’

09 September 2014

The 2014 annual Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) Congress will be taking place from the 21st to the 23rd of September at The Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre, in Port Elizabeth. Now in its 109th year, the MBSA Congress has become the premium gathering for building contractors, construction and project managers, built environment professionals, manufacturers and suppliers to the building industry.

Under this year’s theme of ‘Building a Sustainable South Africa’, the MBSA Congress will once again provide an opportunity for national and African representatives to come together and discuss the latest trends, opportunities and challenges faced by the building industry. The line-up of top speakers together with panel and delegate participation will stimulate relevant information and insight into many aspects of the industry.

The focus will also be on the Eastern Cape, the province that is seeing the fastest growth in a number of areas, such as infrastructure, power generation and commercial and industrial developments.

Some of the speakers scheduled to address delegates will include Clem Sunter, Prof Jonathan Jansen and Dr Pierre Voges.

Top-selling business author Clem Sunter is one of the few specialists in the world on scenarios and their use in corporate strategy. He was one of the driving forces behind the South African High Road-Low Road scenarios that helped pave the way towards the country’s peaceful transition to democracy. Since 1987, he has authored 17 books including the best-selling ‘Fox Trilogy’ with fellow scenario strategist Chantell Ilbury. Sunter was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Cape Town for his work in the field of scenario planning and was also voted by leading South African CEOs as the speaker who has made the most significant contribution to, and impact on, best practice and business in South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen is Vice Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State and President of the South African Institute of Race Relations. He holds a PhD from Stanford University, an MS degree from Cornell University and honorary Doctorates in Education from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Cleveland State University (USA) and the University of Vermont (USA). He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Science of the Developing World. His book ‘Knowledge in the Blood: Confronting Race and the Apartheid Past’ (Stanford 2009) was listed as one of the best books of that year by the American Libraries Association. His new book, ‘Schools that Work’, uses video-documentaries to capture what happens inside disadvantaged schools which nevertheless produce the best results in physical science and mathematics in South Africa. He has also written popular books like ‘Great South African Teachers’ (with two students), ‘We need to talk’, and ‘We need to act’ and is a columnist for The Times and Die Burger. He was recently awarded the Education Africa Lifetime Achiever Award in New York and the Spendlove Award from the University of California for his contributions to tolerance, democracy and human rights.

When accountant Pierre Voges turned 41, he decided that he was tired of arguing about profit sharing and wearing suits and ties every day. So when the mayor of Port Elizabeth approached him to create the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), the objective of which was to regenerate the central business district, he accepted. The agency is not a municipal department but a section 21 company with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Industrial Development Corp as shareholders. Voges explains, “At the MBDA we work on a master plan. Every year we implement two or three infrastructure projects.”

According to MBSA Executive Director Tumi Dlamini, “We are very excited not only to be celebrating our 109th Congress but to hear from these and other exciting speakers about how we as an industry can build a sustainable South Africa. With South Africa celebrating 20 years of democracy, the building industry will continue to play a significant role – driving growth and job creation for the sustainability of the country.”

All members of the building and construction industry are invited to attend the MBSA Congress. For engineers, architects, construction managers, regulators or contractors both large and small the Congress is an important event to address issues affecting the industry and country. Construction managers, engineers, quantity surveyors and architects attending the Congress will gain Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points.

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

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