26 April 2016, Manzini, Swaziland.Cycling enthusiasts of all ages can register from 2nd of May 2016 for the annual Inyatsi Nkonyeni G2G MTB Classic that will take place on 13th of August 2016 at the Nkonyeni Golf Estate in Nkonyeni, Swaziland.
The race, sponsored by Inyatsi Construction and Nkonyeni Golf Estate, is one of the top races on the local racing calendar and offers cyclists of any fitness level the opportunity to participate in races over 10, 20, 35 and 65 km, starting and finishing at Nkoyeni. Entry fees are E60.00, E100.00, E160.00 and E200.00 respectively. Entire prize money this year is E 20,000.00.
The Manzini Lions Club will benefit from the funds raised through the race, while the race will also be used to educate cyclists about safe cycling by enforcing the “No helmet – No ride” rule and to promote and develop Swaziland as a tourist destination.
“Inyatsi Construction is proud of its involvement in promoting healthy lifestyles through involvement in various sport sponsorships for cycling, golf, netball and soccer. Our sponsorship extends from supporting big league team, Mbabane Swallows, to sponsoring local soccer academies and first division soccer teams,” says Vitor Oliveira, Chairman of Inyatsi Cycling club.
He emphasises that sport sponsorships is part of Inyatsi Construction’s investment in communities close to its construction projects to encourage people to stay healthy by being fit and participating in sport. Young people also learn the important life skill of working in a team when they participate in sport, which stands them in good stead when they are employed as adults.
“Sport is also a unifying force and offers employment and skills development, not only for participants, but also for referees and coaches.”
Cyclists can register online at www.cyclevents.co.za or on forms available at Adventure Sport in Manzini and Mbabane, Nkonyeni Golf Estate or Inyatsi Construction at Inyatsi House in Manzini. Everybody who registers for the 65 km race before 20 May 2016 will receive a free cycling shirt and those registering for the 35 km before this date, will receive free arm warmers.
13 July 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa. Africa must stop believing that it cannot think for itself in the construction industry and grab the opportunities on the continent, says the head of one of the biggest construction companies south of the Sahara. “The future is unbuilt without the right transformation. If mind-sets and the general attitude do not change, the future will pass us by and leave Africa wondering what happened to our future,” says Frans Pienaar, chairman of Inyatsi Construction.
An unbuilt future means people focus on the present without considering the importance of a sustainable future in the construction industry. This includes exploring trends and innovative ways to stay relevant in the industry.
Pienaar warns that countries such as China and India will grab our development opportunities if we do not act to ensure that we control the future of Africa. “While we wait and fight internally about smaller and sometimes petty issues, the rest of the world takes what is theirs for the taking, including development opportunities and investments in infrastructure, such as educational and development infrastructure.
“Foreign direct investment will go to countries that embrace investment and actively seek investment, which makes it good business for the funding agencies. While Africa focuses on internal problems and issues, these opportunities will pass us by,” he said.
According to Pienaar, a special kind of transformation is needed in construction to prevent an unbuilt future. “Unlike other industries, the engineering and construction sector has been slow to adopt new technologies and there was no major transformation in the industry. As a result, productivity has stagnated over the past 40 years, or in some cases, even declined.”
Client bodies can help to alleviate this problem by embracing a new future and acting with political courage, says Pienaar. He calls on industry players to make courageous changes now instead of waiting for the political landscape to improve. “Let’s not worry about what is in it for me, but rather worry about how quickly we can implement something that will benefit everyone. Do not blame the past. Build a new future that we can be proud of in a decade from now.”
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a requirement rather than simply a desirable characteristic. The pursuit of sustainability is bound to affect both the construction process as well as the built asset itself. The construction sector produces an enormous amount of waste and therefore more efficient use and recycling of raw materials will offer huge potential benefits, even on a small scale.
Pienaar says this problem is specific to Africa because the cut-throat competition in the construction industry has forced construction companies on the continent to quickly evolve in a bid to match current demands and changing times. “Existing and emerging trends are changing the construction industry in Africa more so than elsewhere, because we believe the nonsense from the rest of the world that they know better than us. We are the only long-term solution to Africa’s problems. Let’s step forward with courage and determine our future by implementing and not procrastinating.”
Technology has made impossible projects possible and therefore the construction industry must adapt to the latest technology that will see them increase productivity and profitability at the same time, while cutting cost.
“Construction is using more technology, but unfortunately, the bulk of construction companies are exporting their wealth to the rest of the world. We bow to the pressure of funding agencies and do not do enough to protect ourselves against being raided by external entities. Africa will be the World Growth Centre for the next few decades, but we are exporting jobs and business to the rest of the world, because we think we cannot do it ourselves,” Pienaar warns.
May 2016 - The link between creativity and reality in construction provides greater advice and information on turning ideas into practical solutions and supporting new ideas, says Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction.
Innovation in the construction industry is not only dependent on the company itself, but is influenced by clients, manufacturers, structure of production, industry relationships, procurement systems, regulations and standards, and organisational resources.
“Creativity in the construction industry entails problem-solving and leading-edge solutions in order to deliver world-class projects, while reality refers to the need for innovative technologies. However, not all construction companies are investing enough in this important aspect,” he says.
Innovation strategies are needed that include improving client leadership, building better relationships with manufacturers and mobilising integrated approaches to construction projects. “We also have to improve the flow of knowledge through the development of more intensive industry relationships and integrate project experiences into our processes to ensure we retain tacit knowledge between projects.”
According to Pienaar it is equally important to promote innovative procurement systems to enhance problem-solving, as well as adopting non-standard solutions and allocating risk equitably. He says strengthened performance-based regulations and standards and building organisational resources are also very important.
“Construction companies must implement practices to successfully adopt or generate innovation that will ensure growth and survival, especially for young and small firms with public clients,” he says.
11 May 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa. Thobile Bhembe, the first female site agent at Inyatsi Construction, was honoured on the 10th of May at the 2016Women in Construction Awards, for Excellence in Career Development.
She is the only female site agent in all the Inyatsi subsidiaries across the sub-Saharan market, which includes Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. Thobile was nominated because she is so dedicated, and her work ethic makes her a shining example of disproving the myth that construction is a man’s world.
Thobile joined Construction Associates, a subsidiary of Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings, in 2003 at the age of 23 as an intern in civil engineering. She started at head office to learn all the procedures, policies and systems needed to be implemented successfully on site, and to absorb the culture of the company.
Being a fast learner, Thobile was sent to site as an intern on her first project three months later. Two months later she was promoted to the position of junior site technician, based on her hard work and commitment. Thobile was offered an office position, but declined in order to continue with her role on site.
At one stage two site agents asked for her to work on their sites and, based on her impeccable work ethic, the company decided to let her work on both sites on designated days. She was promoted to site technician in 2009. She received her first project to run in 2010. Thobile was later promoted to site engineer on this project and afterwards she managed a few smaller projects successfully.
In 2015 she was promoted to junior site agent for a project valued at E24 million, for the rehabilitation and construction of a maternity ward at a hospital in Mbabane. This was a fast-track project with a short deadline with funding from the World Bank. All eyes were on her as a woman in a man’s world, but again Thobile showed her mettle by remaining on schedule and budget.
“Inyatsi is extremely proud to have Thobile as part of our family, as she flies our flag high. We cannot wait to see her continued growth within the organisation and the positive impact she will have on the industry by changing the perception in society that a woman cannot achieve what a man can. In her words, ‘’Construction is everyone’s world, regardless of gender,’’ says Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction.
Women in engineering remains an issue, as women are still under-represented, with the percentage of women graduates in engineering still below 20% in many countries on the continent.
“Inyatsi Construction has taken this call seriously and therefore we nominated Thobile as the leading example of how the construction industry is working to increase the number women in construction,” Pienaar said.
April 2016 -
The construction industry in Africa must take responsibility to inspire young people from the continent to become leaders in the construction industry because it is the only way to ensure that the economy of Africa grows and develops.
Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction, says new projects developed for Africa enable the economy and therefore the future. “Infrastructure development drives economic development. Efficient implementation at the construction phase has a downstream impact on economic growth and development.”
However, he points out that there are challenges faced by the construction industry in encouraging young people to become leaders, because modern society has lost the emphasis on ethics, integrity and hard work.
“Dedication, commitment and perseverance are alien concepts to the youth of today. Everyone wants a quick fix and fails to see the benefit of taking a long-term view. The prevailing attitude of entitlement also creates a climate where self-interest thrives and the greater good does not count.”
Pienaar says these challenges can be overcome by current leaders setting an example of operating with integrity and taking a long-term view. “We should set an example of pursuing the greater good and the rest will fall off and fall behind. We should go into the future with purpose and dedication.”
Therefore, Pienaar explains, he finds it is also important to select young people with the attitude to become leaders in the construction industry. “All of us have talents, skills and abilities, but in the end our success is determined by our attitude. It is true that qualifications and training is important, but it is easier to learn new things than it is to change a bad attitude. I can teach you a new skill, but you have to decide about and adopt an attitude.”
According to Pienaar, young people in Africa have to cast off the attitude that they are not good enough compared with skilled people in other countries. “We have everything it takes to grow and become world class leaders,” he says.
March 2016 - Small and medium enterprises face various challenges in Africa, particularly in the construction industry. These include lack of financial and technical capacity; lack of access to construction projects and information; and poor cash flow due to slow payment from government, says Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction.
“However, the construction industry can help small and medium enterprises to overcome these challenges by assuming some of these burdens. In order to do this, the industry will need client bodies to support them.”
Pienaar would like to see incentives offered to business for helping small and medium enterprises. Business is, by definition, profit-driven and should small and medium enterprises have the potential to improve a larger company’s bottom-line performance, helping them will become a focus area.
“With volatile world markets and the adverse influence on developing economies, it is important to overcome the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in the construction industry. If we overcome these challenges, it will create employment opportunities, improved technology, better quality and service delivery and a large capacity base which can be mobilised at short notice should the market grow quickly,” he explains.
Small and medium enterprises can support growth of economies in Africa and the rest of the world. With a very low overhead structure, these enterprises are ideally suited to be cost-efficient. Unfortunately, this can count against them as they struggle to get good deals from established business and cannot get the credit or the pricing that large businesses can arrange, Pienaar says.
He believes government should incentivise businesses to assist small and medium enterprises to ensure they also gain that competitive advantage. “Government and big business can also assist in ensuring small and medium enterprises obtain good deals in insurance and the financial markets. And government can ensure that projects run cash-positive to enable small and medium enterprises to meet their commitments and build a track record that will contribute to a good reputation in the market.”