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Africa Outlook

&
Kies
Belo

BELO & KIES

South Africa's hands on construction company



With a focus on a continued reputation for quality and efficiency, Belo and Kies adopt a hands-on approach to construction

Writer Emily Jarvis
Project manager Arron Rampling

Belo and Kies is a privately owned construction company that was formed in 2000 by the two directors: Wimpie Kies and Victor Belo. As the company structure firmed up, other members of the Kies and Belo families joined the management team of the company and its current structure positions it well for further growth.

Up until the company's inception, Wimpie and Victor were employed by one of the major construction companies in South Africa. Boasting a wealth of experience in both academic and practical settings, the directors are highly experienced and competent team leaders, who like to adopt a hands-on approach with all their construction projects. This mix of qualifications is what has stood Belo and Kies in good stead and allowed it to progress to become the award winning company it is today.

"The key to good quality is a hands on approach by myself and Victor. We set the correct standard and then ensure that the standard is achieved by managing it carefully, we never leave a team on their own. That is one of the contributions that has helped the company become a success; we like to be as involved as possible," explains Mr Kies, one of the company directors. Management consciously cultivate adherence to a daily activity cycle, paying close attention to the planning, organising, action and control stages of any given construction project. "We deliver a good quality product, and are very hands-on with this process. We have a foreman on site who manages each project and undergoes regular performance appraisals so that we can work on any weaknesses staff may have."

In addition to this emphasis on quality, regular reviews of individual employee performance are undertaken. Belo and Kies adopt systems and procedures to support quality control and ensure that safe working practices are in place. This is underpinned by a philosophy of having the right people on board to deliver a quality product to achieve excellent financial results, creating what the Directors term as a "mutual beneficial relationship with clients where clients perceive value for money and the company achieves cost effectiveness."

When it comes to health and safety, Belo and Kies continues to strive for excellence and places a very high priority on safety policies. The Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Procedure Manual sets out the company commitment to the identification, assessment and management of the Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Risks and Hazards. "We strive to have our systems in line with OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001," Mr Kies affirmed.

Belo and Kies have completed over 350 contracts since its inception and maintained partnerships with Xstrata and Exxaro, carrying out commercial and industrial constructions. As proud members of the MBA (Master Builders Association), CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) and NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council), the company have projects in a number of locations spread across the country, with 40 management staff and 300 labourers behind them.

The company have successfully completed a wide variety of projects over the last year including FleurDal Shopping Centre in Bloemfontein, three Virgin Active leisure centres, Atkinson house apartment conversion and New Jozini Shopping Centre; a R110 million shopping mall built over ten months in 2013 in a rural location.

A Solid Reputation
Through their past projects, Belo and Kies have managed to establish themselves as a company that can deliver big projects on time, without compromising on quality. Mr Kies told Africa Outlook that although the recession had been taking its toll on the construction industry in South Africa in terms of margins and the amount of work available, the industry has started to turn. With more jobs available and more acceptable margins surfacing once more, developers have now learned not to simply contract the cheapest construction company, "they would rather negotiate to get someone with a good reputation for quality and workmanship."

Moreover, the company has managed to secure a good order book for the next twelve months, with several projects lined up including Tugela Ferry shopping centre in Natal, Wall Street Mall in Rustenburg, a Virgin Active gym in Waterfall Park Kyalami and Ivydale shopping centre in Polokwane. Kies identified a trend that a lot of developers are expanding their portfolios by completing regional shopping centres, some even in rural areas: "These projects have been a key factor to secure us future work and further our reputation for quality. The demand for shopping centres in rural areas is also on the rise."

Belo and Kies have a high number of returning sub-contractors and suppliers that have supported them over the years. "Loyalty is key to our success. Most of our staff are local to each individual project, which helps to support the economy wherever our projects take us," remarks Mr Kies.

The company are constantly reviewing and tweaking their structures, systems and procedures to keep up with the pace of growth in the construction industry. "We can only be successful with a proper support team in place. We are very selective with our team, requiring those who can take a project by the reins and accept responsibility for their area, and train others. In other words, people who support our slogan: Building South Africa."

Reinforcing their workmanship, the company has won a wide array of awards including MBA first place certification and Safety Management Shield for the Xstrata Spares Stores, a five star grading for Occupational Health-Safety-Environment for the New Jozini Shopping Centre and many other MBA awards.

With a remit to be acknowledged as a reputable construction company who deliver a quality product safely and right first time, Belo and Kies promises fruitful returns for both contractors and shareholders.

To find out more, visit their new website: www.beloandkies.co.za