Articles in Category: Industry news

Getting off the grid, forever

Rory Florence showed Cape Business News what he has done at home to get off the grid, become more sustainable and be less reliant on electricity due to the continuing load shedding crisis in South Africa.

Getting off the grid, forever

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Century City Conference Centre & Hotel almost complete

The Century City Conference Centre & Hotel recently held a tour of their milestone development, where invited guests were given a personalised tour of the soon to be completed multi-million rand project.

Cape Town’s new conference venue was designed as the hub and pivotal point of the precinct, and is being built to complement the Cape Town International Conference Centre and to add to the allure of Cape Town as the top conference city in Africa.

This is part of a significant private equity investment by the Rabie Property Group to promote business travel to the Western Cape.

This development is pioneering a new mixed-use GBCSA rating to ensure implementation of sustainable green design principles. Just fewer than 2000 guests can be accommodated in up to 20 different venues.

Facilities include four large combinable halls, a Ballroom, large open-plan foyer for exhibitions and launches, 12 meeting rooms, and an 80 seated business lounge.

The Conference Centre and the 125 room hotel will front onto a large, 1,200m² active square which is destined to become the new commercial and hospitality hub of Century City. The new conference centre and hotel are generating a huge amount of interest from the industry, with an avalanche of daily business enquiries.

The Century City Conference Centre and Hotel is on track to open in February 2016 and the first bookings have already been confirmed.

Public and private sectors engage at Cape Construction Expo

The Cape Construction Conference and Expo kicked off yesterday with a high-level panel discussion featuring key players in both the public and private sectors of the local construction industry. Chaired by Wesgro CEO Tim Harris, the public sector was represented by Donald Grant, MEC: Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC: Human Settlements, Alan Winde, MEC: Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism and Lance Greyling, Director: Trade and Investment, City of Cape Town.

SME contractors require expensive guarantee products for public sector construction work

Government needs to look at how these entrepreneurial businesses can access affordable and suitable insurance products so they can participate in state projects.


When SMEs participate in government construction projects, they are increasingly being asked to provide some form of guarantee. These types of instruments relate to the contractor’s performance of all terms and conditions of a construction contract. They protect the beneficiary, being government, against financial loss when performance on the project becomes problematic.

“But many small business owners struggle to obtain these guarantee bonds or sureties from the financial services market,” says Honest Chikeya, Executive: Underwriting and Reinsurance at PCBS.

Chikeya explains that the issuing financial institutions will only offer these guarantee facilities after engaging in a thorough process which prequalifies the contractor for such a facility.
This process takes an in-depth look at the contractor's business operations, its financial strength to support the guarantee, and its ability to meet financial and contractual obligations. It also considers if there is a clean credit history; an established bank relationship and line of credit; adequate capital equipment for the specifics of the project; and suitable industry ratings.
Chikeya says this is where SMEs often run into difficulty.

New MyCiTi station for Cape Town’s Century City

Century City’s inclusion in the city’s Rapid Bus Transit system will get a further major boost with the opening of a new direct MyCiti route from Dunoon to Century City via Omuramba station and the opening of six new stations, including one in the burgeon

The new Trunk route, T04, will culminate in the public transport interchange at Century City’s new Trunk Station, which was developed at a cost of R34 million.

This is according to Rabie director, Colin Green, who says this is part of their commitment to unlock additional development rights at Century City. The release of bulk infrastructure at Century City is linked to various infrastructure projects, of which the Trunk Station was one.

“To date a total of just over 1 000 000sqm of bulk has been released, and close on 800 000sqm has been completed. The balance comprises projects in various stages of the planning and subdivision process.”

Green says Century City was already well serviced by public transport by rail with the nearby Century City Station and a well-managed, dedicated taxi rank, but the completion of the MyCiTi Trunk Station will add a new dimension to public transport with MyCiTi’s fast, efficient and reliable service, making Century City arguably the most accessible node in Cape Town.

Public pushback on Cape council projects

Some residents, business owners and civic groups feel the council have railroaded them by failing to consult properly on key projects such as urban renewal in Manenberg, the South Road MyCiTi route, the Good Hope Centre’s long-term leasing and dedicated

The Cape Town city council has been slammed by a host of irate community organisations – most recently in Manenberg – for pushing through massive, multi-million rand projects without proper consultation with the residents who will be directly affected.

Complaints about poor public participation have dominated discussions in recent months about the council’s proposed MyCiTi route through South Road in Plumstead, the construction of green cycle lanes in Woodstock and the planned lease of the Good Hope Centre to a film company.

After the Western Cape government and the city council launched a “re-imagining Manenberg” proposal last week, community groups such as the Community Policing Forum (CPF) complained that residents had not been asked about their needs.

The council said that it could not respond immediately to the Cape Argus’s “broad query” about the extent of its public consultation on these projects, as it would need input from several departments.

State-of-the-art hospital for Tokai

A new state-of the-art, 148 bed hospital is being constructed by Murray & Roberts Western Cape in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

The Melomed Tokai Private Hospital, estimated to cost R350m and create over 1,000 new jobs, is scheduled to be completed later this year. The project marks a significant vote of confidence in the Western Cape economy and healthcare sector.

Melomed Hospital Holdings is the largest, wholly black-owned and managed private hospital group in the Western Cape. The Melomed Group had its humble beginnings in 1989, with the Melomed Gatesville Private Hospital (also built by Murray & Roberts) being the first private hospital on the Cape Flats. Melomed then went on to acquire Melomed Mitchells Plain and Melomed Bellville hospitals and in 2014 the group established Melomed Claremont Private Clinic, which is a standalone psychiatric clinic in Claremont.

The 17,000m² Melomed Tokai Private Clinic is situated on the corners of Main and Keyser roads, and will be the only fully fledged acute medical facility in the immediate and surrounding community, which, according to the hospital group, is currently underserviced with private hospital beds. This will be ably backed by Melomed24, the Melomed Hospital Holdings Group’s dedicated emergency response ambulance service.

Greenmarket lease plan gets go-ahead

The City of Cape Town’s plan to lease Greenmarket Square for five years has been given the thumbs up by the Cape Town Partnership.

“Appreciating the need to create and maintain excellent public spaces, we share the city’s vision to realise the potential of not only Greenmarket Square, but of all significant public spaces in the broader city - both from an economic perspective and to the benefit of all Capetonians,” said Cape Town Partnership’s chief executive officer, Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana.

The city this week approved a recommendation to start the public process that will guide the proposed granting of rights to use, control and manage Greenmarket Square, one of the city’s oldest public spaces, and St George’s Mall.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, said it was expected that the successful “partner-operator” would be able to raise the public and private sector investment needed to make it a more vibrant and sustainable space.

Bold plan to transform Manenberg

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government on Wednesday unveiled ambitious plans for transforming Manenberg.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo promised the residents of one of the most volatile suburbs in the country a R3 billion “skyscraper” medical facility as part of the plan to urbanise the area through the Violence Prevention through, Urban Upgrading project.

Addressing the media, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille announced the city’s commitment to upgrading and investing in the area by integrating the ideas of local leaders from the Community Policing Forum and NGOs.

“Residents want to see Manenberg go from a dormitory area to a safe, secure, diverse, vibrant, innovative, attractive, cohesive and substantial neighbourhood,” she said.

Unemployment eases in second quarter 2015 as construction industry creates 79 000 new jobs

SA employment increased by 198 000 in 2Q 2015 compared to 1Q 2015.


“The unemployment rate decreased by 1.4% to 25% between the first and second quarters of 2015,” Statistician General Pali Lehohla said as he released the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the second quarter of 2015.

This gain was largely due to 177 000 informal sector jobs being created. With decent job gains and a 263 000 person increase in the “not economically active” population, the unemployment rate fell from 26.4% to 25% in 2Q.

There was, however, a 1.5% q/q increase in the number of discouraged workers (part of the not economically active tally) which somewhat flatters the lower unemployment rate.

Cape Town’s new conference centre to open in February 2016

The Century City Conference Centre & Hotel recently held a tour of their milestone development, where invited guests were given a personalised tour of the soon to be completed multi-million rand project.

Cape Town’s new conference venue was designed as the hub and pivotal point of the precinct, and is being built to complement the Cape Town International Conference Centre and to add to the allure of Cape Town as the top conference city in Africa.

This is part of a significant private equity investment by the Rabie Property Group to promote business travel to the Western Cape.

 

Construction of new Happy Valley primary school nears completion

The R45 million Happy Valley Primary School in Blue Downs, being built by the Department of Transport and Public Works, is scheduled for completion at the end of July 2015.

The new school will be able to accommodate up to 1 120 learners and is expected to open its doors in the 2016 academic year.

This is wonderful news for residents and children of the Happy Valley informal settlement, as most learners are currently attending the Blue Downs Primary School. The Department started construction in January 2013 when land adjacent to the Silversands High School became available.
The single storey buildings boast warm, calming exteriors and low maintenance face brick finishes on the external walls. Buildings provide easy access for learners, including those with disabilities. There are dedicated open and secure courtyards for each school phase – junior, intermediate and senior – each with a specific colour. The edges of the courtyards provide good protection during inclement weather.

New retaining wall under construction along the sea at Clovelly

The City of Cape Town has reached the halfway mark with its multi-million rand rehabilitation of Main Road, one of the Southern Peninsula’s most scenic access roads.

Apart from the construction of a new retaining wall above the old Clovelly station, new underground services are also being installed to secure the provision of potable water to the residents living in the south.

The third and final phase of the Main Road rehabilitation project will be concluded in the latter part of 2017, with the investment in the new road surface, retaining wall at Clovelly, and underground services amounting to approximately R304m.

The new road surface covers a distance of approximately 4,5 km from the intersection with Atlantic Road in Muizenberg to the intersection with Clovelly Road just past Kalk Bay. The work coincides with the installation of new underground sewer pipes, water mains, stormwater pipes, and low-voltage cables, as well as street lights.

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Cape Town International Convention Centre Cape Town, South Africa

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