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2015/03/05
Gauteng - Principal Agent - Roles and Responsibilities

The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

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.



LATEST NEWS

Read the National Budget Speech here!

You can click here to download the speech delivered in Parliament this afternoon.

You can also read the Business Day's "Budget in a nutshell" by clicking here.


Western Cape Presidential Tour Invitation

Dear Member,
 
The Western Cape Chapter Committee herewith invites its members to the Presidential Tour Presentation.
 
Date: Friday, 27th February 2015

Venue: 
The Wild Fig Restaurant
Liesbeek Avenue
Valkenburg Estate
Mowbray

Time: 
07h30am - 10h30am 
 
Please note that breakfast will be served. 
 
RSVP: by no later than Wednesday midday, 25th February 2015 at 12h00pm.
 
Registration for this event will need to be done online by logging onto your membership profile. The link to the website is: 
 
Click to Register
 
For any queries regarding this event, please contact Lauren Drysdale on 011 315 4140 or pa-directors@asaqs.co.za.  
 
Please note that the Annual General Meeting will take place on the 26th March 2015 - details to follow at a later date.
 
Kind Regards,

Ann Roese

ASAQS Western Cape Chapter
017 712 1304


Beware, Ransomware is hitting SA businesses like a tsunami

Last week our bookkeeper opened a fax to e-mail and the next minute her computer was hijacked!

A screen popped up that advised us that all files on the computer had been encrypted and unless we pay a 2 Bitcoin ransom (about US 300,00) within 96 hours we will not be able to access the files ever again.

We immediately switched off the computer and disconnected all computers from the network as the new variants of Cryptolocker malware can sniff out mapped drives and using RSA public-key cryptography, encrypt all files on your server or other mounted drives as well.

Opting not to pay the ransom (there is no guarantee that the hijackers will restore your computer) we basically lost all software and information on the computer as we had to replace the hard drive. We were extremely lucky to just lose one computer.

A couple of thousand rand poorer we now have a computer with a new hard drive and a smattering of files a specialist managed to recover from the old infected drive.

In less than a week, more than a dozen businesses in Vanderbijlpark have suffered the same fate and worse!

Because of the way the malware payload is delivered, anti-virus programs are not always able to prevent the infection.

There is no way to recover all your data if your PC has been attacked by one of the the Locker viruses

To read more about this scourge click here.

You may also consider installing CryptoPrevent but please do so only after carefully reading up about it or consulting with an IT specialist. We cannot vouch that this is the ultimate protection but it does seem to offer some defense against ransomware criminals.

A member of our local business chamber also pointed me to the decryptolocker website at https://www.decryptcryptolocker.com/. They (FireEye and Fox-IT) have partnered to provide free keys designed to unlock systems infected by CryptoLocker. We tried to upload some our encrypted files but it would not take on files encoded by the latest CTB locker variant (read this article for more information).

Please advise your friends and family to be alert and aware of the latest crime wave.

Don't delay, make that  backup to an external drive now!

Bert van den Heever
ASAQS Webmaster
25/02/2015


Presidential tour well underway 

This week the president of the ASAQS, Onie Dhliwayo, visited Gauteng and Mpumalanga and spoke to people about some of the challenges facing our members at present.

It seems that the procurement processes followed on government contracts in most provinces presents members with problems and challenges as tenders are awarded purely on price, whether that price is realistic or not.

Members were also anxious about the fact that the finance for some government funded projects currently underway seems to have suddenly dried up.

The current BBBEE negotiations were unpacked in great detail by the executive director of the ASAQS, Larry Feinberg. Most members are stunned when they realise what impact the current negotiations could have on their businesses.

The Presidential tour is not only about looking back over the past financial year but also about exploring ways in which the ASAQS can better serve it's members in future.

We urge you to please attend the meeting in your province as we require your input on several crucial matters.


Ladies at the Gauteng event brightened up the day!


Onie delivering his address in Nelspruit


How will the BBBEE negotiations effect your business?

If you are a Built Environment Professional (BEP) or Contractor then please download and read this document prepared for you by the ASAQS as the contents will have a direct impact on your business.

ASAQS recently published a document entitled "Official Report and Update Regarding the BBBEE Negotiations for the Construction Sector" on the web. The document was also e-mailed to all members as it contains information critical to all BEP's and Contractors doing business in South Africa.

If you have not, as yet, studied this document then please do so by clicking here to download it.

Please take the information as stated through this communication and utilise it in consultation with your BEE agencies to better understand the implications this will have on your business. 

Members of the ASAQS are urged to send any comments that they wish to make to the Executive Director. Your comments will be highly appreciated and will be treated with utmost confidentiality.  Your input will be crucial to determine how our members feel about the current status of the negotiations.


 

QS starts listing portal for built environment professionals

Jannie Lubbe, who recently launched www.helpmebuild.co.za says that; ' ...as a registered Quantity Surveyor i have struggled with getting my name out there and could not find a platform that really catered for my need to be a visible entity in the era of modern advertising (Facebook, Twitter, etc). By making use of www.helpmebuild.co.za I believe I have created the platform to assist all professionals in the built environment in getting there. 

The site allows Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Engineers, Interior Design Architects, Project Managers, Landscape Architects in South Africa who are registered with their respective council to place free listings for their practices and branch offices.

The aim is to only allow registered members of the respected councils to register their companies on the website, thus eliminating the risk of unprofessional services, etc. All registering members will be reviewed and certified as registered by the said council. A company can list up to 25 offices.

The platform generates a map view for the public identifying service providers in the required location with a direct link to the service providers contact details and website link enabling them to comfortably browse through multiple firms and enabling them to get the right person for the job.

Click here to get your practice listed.


Professional Discipline 

The SACQSP fundamental mandate is to establish a professional Code of Conduct and the enforcement of the code thereby protecting the public from unethical behaviour from within the quantity surveying profession.

Ethics is about making decisions on what are good and bad acts, about right and wrong in practical situations. It is concerned with judging what people do and the consequences of what they do. This formal Code of Professional Conduct was compiled and legislated in 2006 with minor revisions as circumstances arose. The content of the document consists of morally oriented policies and a formal guide for the behaviour of users. The document itself and downloadable web references have been circulated to every professional and candidate a number of times in the past 3-years. Yet, there remain numerous infringements reported to the Disciplinary Investigative panel of late.

We encourage all Professionals and Candidates to familiarise themselves with and adhere to the Professional Code of Conduct. This is a serious matter that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. In this light,  the SACQSP will in 2015 require that every registered person is familiar with the content of the Code of Professional Conduct on a regular basis. Commencing the 2015 CPD annual cycle, every registered person will be required to undertake an annual online assessment of their knowledge of the Code of Professional Conduct. Reading/preparation should take 30 – 40 minutes and the online assessment 10 – 15 minutes.

Due to the Registrar's absence during the second half of 2014, many cases that required formal disciplinary intervention were held over in abeyance. Additional legal resources will be engaged and used to action outstanding issues and to ensure that future matters are investigated and resolved in the intended 6 – 8 week turn-around basis.


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


ANNOUNCEMENT OF FORTHCOMING CONGRESSES / CONFERENCES

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 :


ASAQS/SACQSP CONFERENCE 2015

Bloemfontein, 6th – 8th September 2015.

The first call for abstract papers will be on 27th January 2015 and to be in on 27th February 2015.
Draft papers to be opened on 5th May 2015.
Feedback 26th June 2015.
Final papers to be in on 31st July 2015.


ASAQS SPONSORSHIP

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