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News & Press: 2019 News items

In Memorium - Dr Corné de Leeuw

Thursday, 31 January 2019  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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A personal tribute by the Executive Director of the ASAQS

A great cedar has fallen.

It is with great personal sadness and respect that I notify you of the recent and sudden passing of Dr Corné de Leeuw one of South Africa’s outstanding leaders and pioneers within our profession.

Possessing an incredibly astute intellect, business acumen and management skill, Corné combined these formidable qualities to rise to the top as a respected leader within the built environment being recognised and respected both locally and internationally as an icon within the quantity surveying, property valuation and property development professions.

His immense contribution and devotion to the QS fraternity and construction industry over the course of many decades, has left a technical legacy that would have come into contact with every professional within the built environment in one way or another. He was truly a servant of our industry and our profession and was always extremely and sincerely humble in recognising and acknowledging his vast contribution.

Corné was instrumental in the formation and progression of the Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS), by advocating for a cooperative approach of its member countries by creating a forum for the exchange of quantity surveying methodologies and practices on the African continent.

He was a key player in the formation and editing of both the JBCC and PROCSA suite of construction contract documentation. He was for many years a member of the ASAQS’s Model Preliminaries Committee and played an active and indispensable part in many essential industry committees (both current and historical), too numerous to mention.

He was my mentor, and I will be forever grateful for the many things that I learned from him over the brief 7 years that I have been privileged to know and work with him. I am just one among many that will miss him more than any words will ever be able to say.

His unrelenting energy, passion and enthusiasm for making positive changes on countless committees, associations and professional bodies can only be adequately appreciated by taking a step back and looking at the profound and monumental contribution that Corné has made to the profession of quantity surveying over the course of his incredible career.

Past President

  • Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS)
  •  South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP)
  •  Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS)
  •  South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA)

Awards

  • Gold medal of the Chapter of South African Quantity Surveyors (now the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors) for student performance (1957)
  •  Gold medal of Honour of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors for his contribution to the enhancement of quantity surveying and property development practice in South Africa (1999)
  • Regional Director’s Award of the International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC) for his contribution to the cost management profession in Africa (2006)
  •  Distinguished International Fellow award of the International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC) in recognition of significant contributions to the cost management profession (2008)
  •  Award from the Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS) for contributions to quantity surveying in Africa (2008)

Professional career

From 1953 to 1957 Dr De Leeuw worked part time as a student for the quantity surveying firm of Borckenhagen and Louw in Pretoria. In 1958 he established his own quantity surveying practice in Pretoria

Up to late 2000 he was the executive chairman of the C P de Leeuw Group of quantity surveyors, property managers, property valuers and property brokers

By the time Dr De Leeuw retired from the C P de Leeuw Group it had eleven offices in South Africa, one in Namibia, two in the United Kingdom and one in the United Arab Emirates with fourteen associated offices worldwide

On leaving the C P de Leeuw Group Dr De Leeuw and his son Gerhard established DelQS (Del Quantity Surveyors (Pty) Ltd) in Johannesburg. In October 2005 DelQS established a branch office in Pretoria

Specialist knowledge

Dr De Leeuw has specialist knowledge in building and property economics (including financial viability analysis), value management (value engineering), contractual and legal matters related to building construction and in property valuation

Dr De Leeuw’s experience in building and property economics (including financial viability analysis) is as follows:

  • For many years actively involved in the work group on building and property economics of the C P de Leeuw Group. This work group conducted research on subjects related to building and property economics, published working and general manuals and issued computer software on the subject for use in the C P de Leeuw Group. Subsequently involved with DelQS in the same capacity.
  •  He was until December 1999 a member of the board of directors of Richway Retail Properties (a loan stock company) quoted on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, until June 2008 a member of iFour Properties Limited (a loan stock company quoted on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange), a past member of the board of directors of Sanlam Properties (a subsidiary of the South African assurance company Sanlam) and a past member of the board of directors of Cullinan Properties (a subsidiary of Cullinan Holdings, a quoted company). Until a reorganisation in the late eighties a member of the Pretoria local board of the United Bank (later merged to form Absa Bank) and prior to that of the local board of the Standard Building Society.
  •  For many years involved as a director of Kondotel Vakansies (Pty) Ltd (Durban Spa timeshare development)
  •  Over the years actively involved in real estate broking and property management companies (eg Urban Property Consultants (Pty) Ltd, Rentagent (Pty) Ltd and C P de Leeuw Properties (Pty) Ltd
  •  For many years he has been lecturing and presenting papers on building and property economics.

A brief outline of Dr De Leeuw’s experience on contractual and legal matters related to building construction is as follows:

  •  For many years actively involved in setting up the procedures to be followed by the C P de Leeuw Group in dealing with procurement for construction projects. Since 2001 fulfilling this role for DelQS
  •  Chairman of a seminar on the new suite of construction agreements when introduced in July / August 1998 by the JBCC (Joint Building Contracts Committee of South Africa). He was a member of the ad hoc revision committee of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors for the JBCC 2000 documents
  •  For many years a member of the Model Preliminaries Committee of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors. In 1998 involved as a member of an ad hoc committee in completely rewriting the model preliminaries for the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC). For some years chairman of the preliminaries subcommittee of the JBCC (until this was disbanded in 2007). Currently the chairman of the preliminaries committee of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS)
  •  A member, and on two occasions chairman of the National Contracts Advisory Committee (NCAC) (disbanded in 2007), a committee which had representation from the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) and the Building Industries Federation (BIFSA). Dr De Leeuw, with others, represented SAPOA on the NCAC
  •  Currently a member of the Professional Services Committee (PROCSA) representing the Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS) and the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) on that body. PROCSA is the author of the generic Client / Consultant Professional Services Agreement
  •  His practical experience in contractual dispute resolution was gained as a practising quantity surveyor

A brief outline of Dr De Leeuw’s experience in property valuation is as follows:

  •   Involved as expert witness in a number of major expropriation and / or cases involving the valuation of property, notably the expropriation at the time of land for the Centurion town centre and a number of high level cases with Adv Rit van Rooyen and Adv Gerrit Grobler
  •  He established in the early 1970’s the property valuation company C P de Leeuw Appraisers (Pty) Ltd and acted as chairman of this company up to his retirement from the C P de Leeuw Group in late 2000. C P de Leeuw Appraisers (Pty) Ltd had, when he retired, offices in Pretoria, Pietersburg (Polokwane), Port Elizabeth and Cape Town
  •  Dr De Leeuw has in recent years (2001 – 2003) been a specialist adviser to the Public Investment Commissioners (PIC) on the acquisition of property and property related investments varying in size from R34m to R1,3b. In this capacity he inter alia evaluated the formal property valuations of other property valuers
  •  From August 1986 until June 2002 Dr De Leeuw was a member of the Pretoria Valuations Board
  •  Personally involved since 2001 in valuing a large number of properties, notably a series of grain and wheat mills for Premier Foods Limited
  •  In the past a lecturer at the Unisa Programme for Real Estate Practitioners (PREP) course and on behalf of the South African Institute of Valuers on various property valuation topics

Larry Feinberg
Executive Director
The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors
31 January 2019