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News & Press: 2015 News Items

President's Christmas Message

Thursday, 03 December 2015  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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Fellow ASAQS members,

As 2015 draws to a close we can look back at a particularly challenging and eventful 2015.

The ASAQS is the custodian of the interests of the Quantity Surveying Profession in South Africa and it is the only organisation with this goal as its primary focus.

Since 1908 the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors has tried to achieve and maintain the following goals and ambitions for the profession and to:

  • Advance and promote the science and practice of quantity surveying and cognate matters
  • Uphold the dignity of the quantity surveying profession
  • Watch over, promote and protect the interest of its members
  • Afford opportunity for the interchange and recording of the body of knowledge and experience of quantity surveying

As we take stock of the past year we are proud to say that we:

  • Negotiated the alignment of the Construction Sector Charter with the new B-BBEE generic codes: – This proved especially challenging and placed a heavy burden on our two negotiators, Deon Vermeulen (Past ASAQS President) and Larry Feinberg (Executive Director of the ASAQS). Although a new charter could not be agreed on before the November deadline, negotiations will continue and we all owe Deon and Larry a huge debt of gratitude for spending hundreds of hours in pursuance of a fair deal for all our members, big or small.
  • Found a new director for our EduTech Centre:- We were extremely fortunate that Karl Trusler a registered quantity surveyor with a passion for teaching applied to fill the vacancy. Karl has made his mark with the bespoke CPD courses he rolled out to our chapters and the huge success that was achieved with the first ASAQS conference, “Building on Sunshine”.
  • Planned and launched the first ASAQS Conference of the new millenium:- We thought of starting small and based our planning on 100 people attending the one-day affair in Johannesburg. It soon became clear that we underestimated the demand for a relevant QS-centred conference and changed the venue to one that could seat 210 attendees. In the end more than 40 people had to be turned away. In 2016 we wish to build on this success.
  • Finalised and launched the new Standard System:- Under the able guidance of Dr. Corné de Leeuw the Standard System of Measuring Building Work, Seventh Edition was launched during an auspicious occasion on the 1st October. During the evening I handed special commendations to Prof. Thys Siglé, Ms Elmarie Edwardes and Mr Rufus de Villiers, the members of the committee, to Dr. de Leeuw and also to Prof. Klopper for his contribution to the Model Bills. Mr de Villiers could not attend the evening due to illness and passed away the very next day. I also wish to thank all the people who worked in the background and without formal recognition by reading over and editing documents, converting the model bills into different file formats, etc.
  • Promoted the profession:- We were fortunate to find Jan de Beer, a seasoned journalist and publicity consultant. We have employed Jan on a retainer basis and during the past three months the ASAQS, it’s staff and members were highlighted in numerous trade publications and newspapers. These reports are accumulated under News/Press Clippings on our website.
  • Started the process of updating- and producing new documents:- Work has started on a Quality Management System document. The system will be suitable for smaller practices who do not wish to embark on the full ISO route. We expect that this document should be ready early next year. We are also looking forward to two new bills, the FIDIC preliminaries and a preliminaries bill suitable for use with the NEC. The preliminaries bill for use with JBCC 6.1 is also being scrutinised. We expect that the different Preliminaries will be ready towards the beginning of the second quarter next year. Our examples of Economic Viability Studies, Reinstatement Valuations and Cost Reporting are ancient and need to be refreshed. The first two documents should be ready for publication early next year. The Guide to Elemental Estimating has been amended and is also almost ready for publication. The trade preambles need urgent revision and our members also urgently need a guide to life cycle costing. My heartfelt thanks to all our members who so tirelessly contribute their time and knowledge to the revision of our documents. We will be honouring them with special commendations as and when these documents are published.
  • Started the EduTech Q&A on our website:- Members will find the new section added to the resources in the CUG. Here questions posed to EduTech by our members are published with the answers provided by the Centre. The technical support given by EduTech is of immense value and I have used their services myself on a matter where there were differences of opinion on the interpretation of the contract.
  • Opened our very own training centre:-  Already a few bespoke courses have been offered to our members at our premises and EduTech are working on bringing you more during the new year. We will be rolling out the popular courses to the chapters when demand- and logistics allow us to do so.
  • Developed- and accredited CPD courses:- Karl has developed a number of in-house courses, which we roll out to chapters at very affordable prices, the latest being training on the differences between the old and new standard systems. A list of accredited courses by service providers will be made available to chapters who can then choose which of these courses they wish to have presented in their region. In many instances EduTech forego income from the accreditation process and rather negotiate a discount for our members.
  • Streamlined our administration processes:- Members who contact the ASAQS offices should be assisted efficiently and effectively. Systems and procedures have been put in place to ensure that the ASAQS becomes an organisation that we can all be proud of. At this moment we have less than 4% of the invoiced fees outstanding and I wish to thank our members for their contributions that ensure that we can continue to carry out our goals and ambitions. To each and every member of staff at the ASAQS, my heartfelt thanks for your hard word during the past year.

We also at this juncture think of the members of our fraternity who have passed on. Names like Neels Heunis, Rufus de Villliers and fellow board member Frans Senekal. Our hearts go out to their families and friends who will miss them during this festive season.

Next year will bring it’s own challenges and the ASAQS will assist- and support our members however- and where ever we can.

We all deserve a well·earned break and I wish you a blessed vacation with your families and loved ones over the Christmas and New Year period.

My warmest regards and best wishes to all fellow quantity surveyors,


Bert van den Heever
President of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors 2015/2016