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2019/02/18 » 2019/03/20
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The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

All of us count!

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.


Power outage

Our offices were without power the afternoon of the 14th March.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Major conference announced by ICEC

We would like to inform you about a major International Cost Management & Project Controls Conference being held in Delhi, India from 9-13 July 2019 by ICEC member AACE-International (India Section).

The event will be held at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). There will be a Pre-Conference Workshop from 9-10 July followed by the Conference from 11-13 July.

Please find attached a brochure for the event. Further details can be found on the conference website at:

There is currently a call for paper submissions. Details can be found at:

The event will have highly acclaimed leaders from Industry and academia from India and abroad as invited speakers. Furthermore the event will also have parallel track sessions on the last day where case studies from practitioners & research papers from leading Universities will be presented.

Each day will start with an Inspiring Keynote address and close with a panel discussion where the panellists will be subject matter experts from India and abroad representing various industrial and service sectors.

There will be arranged tour programs for delegates and families within Delhi and across India.

If you have any queries please contact the Conference Chair Madhu Pillai at:

Madhu is also the ICEC Director for the Middle East.

Understand the law
Surety and guarantee. Birds of the same feather, or not?

Understand the law

“My wife and I are the shareholders of our family company. We need to buy a delivery truck for the business and have talked to our bankers who will provide vehicle finance, provided my wife and I, in our personal capacities, bind ourselves as surety and also provide a guarantee for the payment of the debt. What is the difference between a surety and guarantee or is it the same thing?”

Although both are forms of security for a principal obligation (the payment of your vehicle finance loan), there is definitely a difference between these two forms of security.

A surety will exist where a person (you) enters into an agreement with a creditor (the bank) to stand surety (be bound) for the payment of an obligation by a principal debtor (your company). Should the principal debtor fail to fulfil its obligations towards the creditor (i.e. the company does not pay the debt to the bank) then you (the surety) will be held liable to fulfil the obligation of the principal debtor towards the creditor (i.e. you will be required to make good the debt of your company to the bank).

Click here to read on

Quote of the week

Whatever you go into, you have to go in there to be the best. There's no formulas. It's all about passion and honesty and hard work. It might look glamorous, but it takes a lot of hard work. The blessing with the arts is that you can do it forever.

Hugh Masekela

ASAQS-Accredited Construction Estimating course

ASAQS-Accredited Construction Estimating course by Alusani Skills & Training Network® taking place in Johannesburg soon – A must for ASAQS Members!

Alusani Skills & Training Network ® , who are leading Level 2 B-BBEE training provider to the quantity surveying, construction and engineering industries have released dates for their  highly anticipated ASAQS-CPD-accredited Construction Estimating training course in Johannesburg.

This training course is taking place on the 11 & 12 April 2019 and provides a comprehensive look into the very latest estimating information and it also includes, tips, checklists and additional resources. It is ideal for anyone who is involved in compiling an estimate for the cost of construction work.

“Estimating is one of the most important of all the practical aspects of construction management. There are many complex issues to consider then estimating the cost of a construction project and there are several key elements that come into play which can dramatically shape the entire estimating equation,” says Imogen Tarita, MD of Alusani Skills & Training Network®.

Tarita adds, “Estimating is a multifaceted subject, and in all honesty, it can be very puzzling, especially when you consider that there are so many variables and so much that can go wrong,”

To learn more about this ASAQS–accredited training course or to receive the brochure please contact Faith Rukande on +27 11 447 7470 or email or visit their website

Advertorial placed on behalf of Alusani Skills & Training Network ®  a sponsor of the ASAQS

Value management: when QS and designer are in sync

Value management during a project’s design phase can help manage costs, provide value for money and avoid budget overruns later.

A very interesting article recently appeared on the website of the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It stated that although many see design and quantity surveying as being stand-alone practices, huge benefits can be derived when combining these disciplines at an early stage in a process of value engineering..

They say: "A quantity surveyor (QS) can provide valuable input at the start of a project by providing advice about value engineering and cost management."

So what is value engineering?

"Value engineering is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function to cost. Value can therefore be manipulated by either improving the function or reducing the cost." Wikipedia

The concept originated at the General Electric Company during the 2nd World War when Lawrence Miles, who was in charge of purchasing raw materials realised that when he was unable to obtain a particular material it was necessary to replace that material with another that performed the same function.

Many see the involvement of the QS in the process of value engineering as necessary to realise cost-saving benefits for a project. But genuine value management is far more than just a cost-cutting exercise.

The Designing Buildings Wiki says:

"Value engineering is used to solve problems and identify and eliminate unwanted costs, while improving function and quality. The aim is to increase the value of products, satisfying the product’s performance requirements at the lowest possible cost.

In construction, this involves considering the availability of materials, construction methods, transportation issues, site limitations or restrictions, planning and organisation, costs, profits, and so on. Benefits that can be delivered include a reduction in life cycle costs, improvement in quality, reduction of environmental impacts, and so on."

With cost overruns measured in billions of rand, spent on projects that are hardly fit for purpose government will start to rely more heavily on the value management knowledge that Quantity Surveyors can bring to the table.

If called on to lead a value management exercise, will you be able to do so?

To find out more about value management click here.

The Critical Path: Critical to Project Cost Control

The old adage that “time is money” also holds true when it comes to the construction industry but QS’s as the “financial managers” of the project, tend to leave revisions of the date for practical completion to the principal agent instead of getting actively involved and so assisting and empowering principal agents in their task.

Contracts generally used in the local construction industry do not specify how the duration of a project should be monitored and adjusted.

The latest version of the JBCC PBA says the contractor shall (in clause 12.2.6): “Prepare and submit to the principal agent within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of construction information a programme for the works in sufficient detail to enable the principal agent to monitor progress of the works” (emphasis is mine).

A simple bar chart will suffice in monitoring the progress of the works but will be of little value when considering extension of time claims unless it was derived from a critical path programme.

Clause 23.2 of the JBCC PBA lists thirteen events that lead not only to a revision of the date for practical completion, but also to an adjustment of the contract value. The contract, however, offers no assistance in how these events should be evaluated.

Contract instructions, for instance, could lead to concurrent delays where two or more instructions are issued that happen concurrently but only the instruction that impacts on the duration of the works should be evaluated and considered when adjusting the time-related items priced in the P&G.

Here is a 15 minute overview of the critical path method that you may find interesting:

Small- to medium-sized and even some large contractors seldom have the in-house ability to provide the principal agent with a CPM programme and this leaves us in a quandary if we wish to control costs associated with the duration of the project.

Project teams sometimes do not have the knowledge required to interpret a CPM programme when it is presented to them and are then at the mercy of the contractor when events impact on the critical path.

In my opinion this may be one of the reasons why many projects are tackled with a "hope-for-the-best" attitude and why so few projects finish on time.

So what are some of the possible solutions to these problems?

  1. Familiarise ourselves with Project Time Management as defined and explained in the PMBOK Guide that can be obtained for about R1,300.00 from Takealot or Loot.
  2. Specify in the P&G what will be required for an acceptable programme. The contractor can then price against this item to have the programme compiled and updated by a skilled person. If we insist on “proper” programs, contractors will develop the capacity to do so.
  3. Include a rudimentary CPM programme with the procurement documents, preferably in electronic format so that tenderers can use it to determine whether they have the resources to meet the programme.

These are my personal suggestions, but what do you think should be done to improve time management in the built environment in South Africa?

Article by Bert van den Heever

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

Click here to leave a comment with your views below the article in our news section

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:

ASAQS Annual Conference 2019

Save the date: 01 August 2019 @ Cape Town

Further details: TBA


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.