Construction company plans to return R3,5bn in cash through a share buyback facilitated by Rand Merchant Bank

Monday, 10 September 2007 02:00

Aveng HEPS up 100%

The focus on capacity building across the Aveng Group is illustrated by the expansion in capital expenditure

Sunday, 08 July 2007 02:00

A Holcim distribution for Aveng

Aveng can expect a bonanza in September when the company releases its results for the year to June

Friday, 08 June 2007 02:00

New Landmark Takes Shape

The massive new Fairland office complex – a new landmark at the intersection of Gauteng’s Beyers Naude Drive and the N1 Western Bypass – is taking shape, and construction is on track for completion in early March 2008, building contractor Grinaker-LTA has announced. The firm is undertaking the R715-million construction contract for this 120 000 m2 development in a joint venture with Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon.

Construction Industry“The concrete structure and structural steel roofs are complete,” notes Grinaker-LTA Building managing director Neil Cloete. “"The brickwork is nearing completion, and the windows and glazed screens
are being installed. Construction of the unusually shaped fire stair pods - which are designed to display signage – is in progress.”

Inside the buildings the contractors are currently installing access flooring and ceilings. The finishing trades, such as tiling, have just started, Cloete adds.

”The roadworks for the paved parking areas and access roads has also started and we are trying to make as much progress as possible before the next rainy season,” he concludes.

This office complex is being developed by RMB Properties for tenants FNB Homeloans and Wesbank.


The extensions, which were undertaken in joint venture with Sivukile Contractors, include the lavish new theatre where the much touted stage production of The Lion King will open to the public tomorrow (June 6). Boasting a seating capacity of 1 900, the “Montecasino Teatro”, as it has been named, represents a truly outstanding achievement in engineering and construction, comments Grinaker-LTA Building managing director Neil Cloete.

Construction Industry“It is the largest theatre in the southern hemisphere, and sets new South African standards in world-class entertainment facilities. One of the most exceptional elements in the construction of the theatre is the massive transverse beam supporting the semi-circular mezzanine level. Spanning the entire 31.4 metres across the auditorium, this beam not only supports its own weight but also the dead weight of the terraced upper gallery and the live weight of 800 people.

“The theatre’s structural steel truss roof weighs 60 kg per square metre, and is designed to keep noise - such as aeroplanes and Highveld thunder - out of the theatre. The building is supported by piled foundations and has a concrete frame and cavity brick walling, for acoustic purposes among others,” Cloete notes.

Some 4 million bricks were used in the extensions at Montecasino, together with 25 000 m³ of concrete and 2 000 tons of reinforcing steel.

A new four-storey, 179-room hotel has also been added to the development, as well as a new parkade comprising 994 parking bays, a conference centre and outside entertainment area. The latter is the rugby field-sized Montecasino Piazza, which is modelled on an Italian gathering place. “It is surrounded by buildings and features a bell tower as its focal point. It opens Montecasino out into Gauteng's magnificent climate and is designed to be the ideal venue for a wide variety of outdoor activities and events. Restaurants and the hotel line the Piazza.”

The Montecasino development has been extended by a total of 42 000 m2. All the additions match the design of the original Montecasino complex, with its aged look that represents the prevailing architecture in the historic Tuscan village of Monte.

The challenges faced by the contractor during this project included redirecting a spruit that flowed through the development site. “The project team also faced the additional challenge of contending with an above average rainfall at this time,” Cloete says. “The spruit was finally diverted along the eastern and northern borders through a storm water culvert set in a deep trench. A manmade wetland waterway was constructed above the culvert to provide a neat, attractive solution.”

In addition to trials posed by Mother Nature, Grinaker-LTA also rose above other challenges at Montecasino. One of these was the specification that this project should not interrupt the 24-hour access to the VIP parking area beneath the casino, the entrance of which is located on the east side of the existing complex - precisely where all the construction took place. “The only solution was to continually move the access road in and around the construction site as work progressed.  With clever planning, this was successfully accomplished.

“This project was a rewarding follow-up to Grinaker-LTA’s completion of the original Montecasino complex in 2000,” concludes Cloete.


Thursday, 03 May 2007 02:00

Kimberley prison 'well underway'

Construction of a R662 million prison outside Kimberley, one of seven new jails, was well underway, the construction company said on Wednesday.

Construction IndustryThe medium security facility would accommodate about 3,000 men and was due for completion in November 2008, said contractor Grinaker-LTA, part of the JSE-listed Aveng Group.

Three of the other prisons, announced in 2002, would be built in Leeuwkop, Johannesburg, Nigel on Gauteng's West Rand and Klerksdorp in the North West.

Chairman of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services Dennis Bloem said the seven new prisons were designed to make rehabilitation of offenders easier by housing fewer people, about 10 to 15, in sections.

At present there were communal cells designed for 30 that housed up to 119 prisoners.

"By overcrowding you are brewing more criminals than rehabilitating them. You can't manage so many people in one cell. The smaller the group, the better for the social worker, for the psychologist, for the teacher and prison officials."

According to the University of London's International Centre for Prison Studies, South Africa had 160,198 prisoners by the end of 2006, but could accommodate 115,344 prisoners - an occupancy level of 138.9 percent.

Bloem said what contributed to the overcrowding was the large number of awaiting-trial prisoners, about 50,000.

He said the committee would meet the correctional services department on May 22 to get a progress report on the new prisons.

Grinaker-LTA contracts manager Cyril Kitching said the Kimberley prison was designed around a 10m wide central thoroughfare with a control room at its centre.

Medical and education facilities, industrial workshops, a vocational training centre, multi-purpose hall, kitchen, laundry and segregation unit would be situated on either side of this avenue. Twelve accommodation blocks and three recreation centres would be situated behind these buildings, said Kitching.

The facilities would cover more than 41,574 square metres and would be reinforced concrete structures with brick walls. Roofs would be made of timber or structural steel with sheet metal covering.

Kitching said local labour would be used for the project and workers would participate in an HIV/Aids awareness programme.


Construction firm Grinaker LTA was excluded from the bidding process to build the King Shaka airport in Durban because it could not commit to the black-economic empowerment procurement required by Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa)

The Silverstar Casino Resort will comprise three gaming venues – the main casino, smokers’ casino and a VIP casino.


The Pietermaritzburg High Court will on Monday begin hearings into the validity of a legal challenge brought by construction group Grinaker-LTA

Thursday, 14 September 2006 02:00

King Shaka airport ‘ready by 2010’

The King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy will be operational in 2010’s first quarter, when the current facility, Durban International Airport, will be decommissioned.

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