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The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

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Quantity Surveyors, project managers, cost engineers or anybody interested in the construction industry and built environment should find really useful information on this large web site dedicated to the quantity surveying profession in South Africa. Our Events Calendar lists seminars and events for quantity surveyors, cost engineers, project managers and other role players in the construction industry. Visit our online store to purchase contracts, documents, apparel and software or take time out to catch up on the latest "News". Browse around... we hope you enjoy your stay! Welcome. We're glad you're here.


2018 – Focus on positive collaboration

Dear ASAQS member

2017 has been a tough year economically and politically, but I’m beginning to see hope.

Due to recent political changes, our government is becoming more serious on compliant issues and in making the economy work.

With the 2019 elections coming up government needs to work hard this year to stimulate the economy and making people keep their promises. I’m sure you are as excited as I am about the positive impact this will have.

We should however share in the responsibility of bringing about a new era.

In terms of available projects in the built environment, the private sector has been struggling but the public sector even more so. Quantity surveyors are situated in an interesting position, we must encourage government to stimulate economy and provide advice on how to do it.

I urge all ASAQS members to combat both over- and under-pricing so that projects get completed on time.

I also dare you to have the courage to be vocal if you experience such incidents in projects you work on.

You don’t have to name and shame, but highlight the problematic trends. Framing these trends as advice rather than complaints will go a long way, it will help government to incorporate best practices from the private sector, within the constraints of the public sector.

We all need to speak up and out from offices, ASAQS and on government forums. If something is broken and no one fixes it, it will always be broken. If everyone signs up to fix what is broken bit by bit, it will get fixed.

If we’re vocal enough, we will assist government to achieve what we take for granted in the private sector: projects completed on time and in budget. This will help us all do more with the little we have available in the current economy.

I encourage you to rekindle a positive spirit and trust that our economy is now at an uphill turning point. A positive spirit is contagious and will go far in boosting investor confidence.

To those that had to close their businesses in 2017 please accept my sincerest heartfelt condolences. I have no quick solution to propose. I do however think that it is time for our profession to think about the importance of collaboration.

In isolation we do less, but when we join forces, we can achieve more.

I understand and respect the fear of small firms that they might get lost in big firms. Furthermore, I understand and respect the concern of big firms that individuals from small firms might not want to conform.

I therefore propose that small firms start collaborating to create medium sized organisations rather than isolated micro firms. If we combine our efforts we might find it easier to gain access to all sides of the pie, both private and public.

In closing I want to address the topic of education. While lots of focus has been placed on the need for government to provide free education, the private sector in South Africa should start planning for activities that will support our future professionals in accessing education at a level that will sustain our profession.

The ASAQS will be investigating how it can participate, but we need our members to use their initiative and resources to support these initiatives especially under these economic conditions. You are welcome to contact me if you have any ideas or solutions that will help to secure a bright future for our profession.

I wish you a prosperous and healthy 2018,

Dr Molusiwa Stephan Ramabodu

ASAQS President

Quote of the week

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source - a Sower of Dreams - just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Let Big Data Work for You

Confronting challenges to become a data-driven organization

Over the past 10 years, big data has evolved from a concept to a reality that companies of all sizes face today. Projects can now easily generate gigabytes or even terabytes of information. Big data not only brings the challenge of managing huge amounts of information, but it also presents an opportunity to improve operations. Many construction companies are looking to transform themselves into data-driven organizations, in which everyone has access to the data they need, when they need it, giving them the ability to make decisions based on accurate information. Contactors face several key challenges in creating and maintaining meaningful data integrations, including:

*  The decentralized nature of construction companies, often by market sector or geographical region

*  Partnering models, which require the ability to share information across company lines

*  The disparate nature of business functions on a construction project.

Though the deck may seem stacked against you, these challenges are not insurmountable if careful attention is paid to your company’s technology road map. There are several guiding principles to keep you grounded in your quest to determine the right software to help you become a data-driven organization.

Click here to read on

Confidence at a low... but there is hope

The following appears in the January/February 2018 issue of Walls and Roofs:

Reports* of construction sector confidence plummeting to a 17-year low should not be the reason for investors and developers to lose complete faith in the industry, according to the Building and Property Economics Committee of ASAQS.

“Low confidence in the construction sector is a cause for concern due to the impact on investment and risk,” says James Hanley, chairman of the committee. “The built environment is however known for being cyclical, and these cycles last approximately three years.”

While sensible business planning and building up reserves in their practices are the standard recommendation during times of high confidence and investment, built environment professionals tend to be at the mercy of the market.

What is needed to smooth out the cycles, are better governmental planning and longer-term infrastructure  commitments that enable the sector to respond and build capacity. “If the past is anything to go by, the industry will start to improve soon,” says Hanley. “The construction industry normally lags the general industry by about six months, so improving conditions in the general economy tend to influence the cycle accordingly.”

The committee also warns against aggressive fee discounting that adds additional pressure to professionals such as quantity surveyors. This practice not only threatens the livelihood of individuals, but undercuts the reputation of an entire sector as a severe reduction in fees can easily create a perception that is disproportionate to the real value of a service.

“Fee discounting is at best a poor business decision, and at worst anticompetitive,” warns Hanley. Professionals who portray low confidence in their own skills through a willingness to undercut standard industry fees are doing more damage to the sector than macroenvironmental factors.”

To read the full article please click here

* FNB Bureau of Economic Research Civil Confidence Index (indicating the percentage of civil engineering contractors who are satisfied with prevailing business conditions).

Geotechnical Investigations for Non-Geotechnical Engineers

Minimum requirements for geotechnical investigations with specic reference to housing developments on expansive clays - Peter Day

Can we aord to continue testing soils by standard methods? - Philip Stott

Thursday 15 February 2018
Registration: 12:00 | Lecture: 13:00 - 17:00
Central University of Technology (CUT),
20 President Brand St, Westdene,

Click here for further information

Click here to download the registration form

Farewell to Christelle Bown

Christelle Bown has served as the Chapter Chairperson since 2012, and apart from having been an exceptionally diligent representative of our profession in the Eastern Cape, behind the scenes she has also contributed a lot of her time and expertise in liaising locally with the other Built Environment Professions and - further afield - supporting the work of the ASAQS head office in Midrand.

So, sadly, it is a severe loss to our EC Chapter that Christelle has relocated to Cape Town, she will be sorely missed !

Michael Raaff has graciously accepted the Committee's nomination to serve as interim Chairperson until the Chapter's 2018 Annual General Meeting.

Our very best wishes for every happiness and success in the Mother City accompany Christelle, and we look forward to hearing about her further accomplishments in this exciting new phase of her professional career.

Best Practice Project Assessment Scheme - comments called in December

Members will remember that in August and September last year we informed you of the Best Practice Project Assessment Scheme that the cidb were contemplating to enact.

The draft regulations were published on 1 December 2017 and interested parties had 30 days to submit written comments.

In brief, the regulation provides for a Best Practice Fee of 0,2% of the total value on the date of award of that project on Grades 7 to 9 (i.e. currently on projects exceeding R13 million) To read the discussion document on the regulation please click here.

The draft regulation can be viewed here and stipulates how comments should be submitted to the Director-General of the Department of Public Works.

Building and construction trends from a quantity surveyor perspective

Taking a look at the current construction trends from the perspective of a quantity surveyor, by ASAQS Executive Director, Larry Feinberg.

The built environment is often thought of in terms of only its visible results: buildings, roads, bridges, dams, and so on. A group of lesser-known construction professionals, however, work together for quite some time even before the first brick is laid.

One of these professions is the quantity surveyor – experts trained specifically in the complexities of built environment finance. The quantity surveyor is responsible for ensuring that a client receives value for their money during both the construction phase and the entire lifecycle of the building, road, bridge, dam, etc.

The profession has over the past two years been challenged by a number of changes in the macro environment. 2018 will be the year that quantity surveyors – and other professions in the built environment – create and adopt solutions that secure their relevance and is to the long term benefit of the entire country.

Click here to read the rest of the article on BizCommunity...

Latest RICS journals now available

Building Surveying Journal

The latest Building Surveying Journal December 2017 – January 2018is available from the RICS website.

Barney Hatt, the editor says: " In this issue, RICS Global Building Standards Director Gary Strong reviews our own policy initiatives since the (Grenfell Tower) fire, including plans to develop an international standard on fire safety and a government-backed national register of fire risk assessors with other organisations.

Elsewhere in the edition, we take up the theme of dilapidations, with Paul Spaven reporting on the RICS Dilapidations Forum Conference, Jon Rowling clarifying the meaning of supersession and Vivien King looking at RICS’ dilapidations disputes resolution scheme.

In other pieces, William Glassey and James Morris consider the RICS Conflicts of interest global professional statement, encouraging members and regulated firms to have appropriate procedures in place by 1 January, James McAllister and Stuart Frame unpick the complicated context in which surveyors operate when they offer legal advice, Trevor Rushton scrutinises the performance of cladding systems, and Laurence Cobb weighs up the pros and cons of insurance-backed guarantees."

Free resources

Readers are invited to explore our ever-growing collection of free resources.

These can be found by visiting the Free resources section listed under Resources on our menu-bar and include several free publications.

Have you missed something? Browse to the News section!

Think you may have missed something browse to our news section, it might still be there.

New courses added to GoLearning

In order to assist you we have added numerous new courses to GoLearning and will continue to add new courseware during the year.

Efficient - available 24/7 - do CPD when it suits you
Affordable - at a fraction of the cost of a seminar
Targeted - do courses according to your needs

Eat into your CPD requirements with GoLearning by clicking here.

  Weekend Property & Construction News


In order to assist members to plan their diaries this year in terms of forthcoming congresses and conferences they may wish to attend, we publish the preliminary dates of some of these congresses for your attention:

WCPDF Conference – 10 – 11 MAY 2018

Western Cape Property Development Forum’s Annual Conference entitled “Growing Africa’s Premier Destination through Property Development,” taking place between the 10 to 11 May 2018. 

For further details please refer to the web link hereunder.  The conference content is high quality and very relevant and the event is well attended by industry and comes highly recommended.


What you get: :Banner adverts on the ASAQS website (over 1,000,000 hits/month on average!) A Mini-ad on the ASAQS website and on the Weekend Property and Construction News (over 5,300 subscribers) Preferential exposure of your products and services Targeted marketing at only R484.50 (inclusive) per month
Don't wait, we only have a limited number of slots left.

Contact Bert van den Heever the ASAQS Webmaster


While the ASAQS aims to ensure that its publications represent best practice, the ASAQS does not accept or assume any liability or responsibility for any events or consequences thereof that derive from the use of documents or any other materials, software or resources as they are only intended to provide general guidance to those who wish to make use of it. Such publications, software or resources are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied including but without limitation to warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.