Latest Construction sector features from across Africa.

Latest Construction Corporate Stories

Roko Construction

From the ground up Family-run ROKO Construction is at the forefront of business developments across the East of Africa, looking to expand into new markets Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Arron Rampling With the effects of the recession still being felt across Africa, none more so than in the construction industry, rising costs, stronger regulations many companies are keeping a close eye on the bottom line. UK losses three years ago had a ripple effect on construction projects, but ROKO has groomed into a self sufficient company in the majority of construction disciplines and provides employment for an average of 1,800 people, placing great emphasis on training its technicians and craftsmen to produce an exceptionally high standard of workmanship. Materials are produced locally and from the Preferential Trade Area wherever possible, and imports are facilitated by ROKO's association with the SAI Trading Company in Europe. Boasting of a legacy spanning forty five years in the construction arena, ROKO has from inception, nurtured the brand into one of exceptional construction benchmarked on the quality of their works that speaks for itself. The co founders, Rohrer and Koehler, with a vision to set up in Africa and use Uganda as the spring board for further growth, proceeded to register ROKO in 1969. ROKO Construction Limited, as it is known now has become a household name synonymous with quality in construction with branches in Rwanda and south Sudan. For efficiency and timely delivery, materials are manufactured locally and from the PTA area where ever possible. Mark Koehler, Managing Director

Kasese Nail & Wood Industry

Hitting The Nail On The Head Kasese Nail and Wood Industry (KNWI) is graded as a "Grade One" company for infrastructure work and building by the Ugandan government. Africa Outlook talks to Director Mark Nsubuga and learns more about the firm's fascinating story. Writer Chris Farnell Project manager Arron Rampling Infrastructure is a big deal in Uganda and the companies working to improve it have a big task ahead of them. But one such business started out with far more humble beginnings. Mark Nsubuga, Director of Kasese Nail and Wood Industry, explains its story. "We were incorporated in 1982, as manufacturers making wire nails and carpentry and joinery products," he says. However, it wasn't long before they realised that the company would need to set its sights higher. "We had to diversify because that line of business wasn't all that lucrative," Mark admits. "We moved into construction and today we mainly work on civil engineering products such as roads, bridges and buildings." The move turned out to be a wise one, and from there Kasese Nail and Wood Industry, or KNWI as it's often known, has gone from strength to strength. "We've grown from a relatively small company ten years ago to a medium sized construction firm by Ugandan standards," Mark says. "And we're looking to expand over the next few years. We have a plan and are looking forward to seeing it put into action to get our business where we want to be. It's 100 percent Ugandan owned. We're operating exclusively in Uganda at

G Ampofo & Partners

Contributions To The Ghanaian Construction Industry Ghanaian construction consultancy firm G. Ampofo & Partners was established in 1978 and it is well versed in managing countrywide projects. Africa Outlook talks to Managing Director Sam Asare. Writer Rebecca Wigmore Project manager Arron Rampling For almost 40 years, G. Ampofo & Partners has been building a distinguished reputation as one of the most trusted construction management firms in Africa. Based in Ghana, the company offers a wide variety of services including quantity surveying, management and construction cost consultancy, and project management. GA&P, as it is often abbreviated, has worked on a number of countrywide projects including the design and supervision of classroom pavilions and technical auditing of the community secondary school project for the Ministry of Education and it has provided project management services to International companies such as AP Moeller Maersk Group. These include the Maersk Office Project, which is now the head office of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and the recently commissioned 36,000square metre Inland Container Terminal in Tema for APM Terminals. "We raise our construction standards to match international practice and work to maintain high ethical standards," Sam Asare, the company's Managing Director explains. In addition to efforts to keep improving services, GA&P has worked hard to diversify and provide every service a client might need under one roof so that the complex process of construction management is kept as simple and streamlined as possible. "The founder of the firm and I set up a consortium that would provide that one-stop shop. We

Mantrac Nigeria

Powering up Mantrac Nigeria distributes and supports the full range of Caterpillar construction machines, power systems and material handling equipment. We talk to strategic planning and marketing manager James Agama. Writer Chris Farnell Project manager James Mitchell The Mantrac Group is the sole dealer of Caterpillar products across the African continent and Mantrac Nigeria is their Nigerian division. This unique market position has meant that for over 60 years the company has been closely involved with the vast majority of major construction jobs across Nigeria. Providing sales and rentals of Caterpillar products, as well as maintenance, servicing and onsite training for the same, Mantrac Nigeria has fortified a dominant position in the construction and earthmoving markets, and it is proving increasingly essential for the power generation needs of the oil and gas sector. It's hardly a surprise that the last decade has seen a 300 percent rate of growth as the company has expanded to ten separate branches around the country. And Mantrac Nigeria is needed now more than ever, as Nigeria is in need of a huge overall to its infrastructure. "There is a heavy, heavy infrastructure deficit in our country with regards to power and construction," says Mantrac Nigeria's strategic planning and marketing manager James Agama. Poor infrastructure naturally makes business more difficult. "Like most multinationals in our country, we find the infrastructure can be very challenging," Agama admits. "The operating cost is high. Also there are limits on the resources which are available." Mantrac Nigeria has placed itself as a crucial resource in

Concord Cranes

Reaching new heights In 2012 Investec facilitated a transaction whereby Concord Cranes Ltd became the holding company of Anglo-V3 Crane Hire and Elcon Crane Hire. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Successful couples don't just make promises to each other; they commit. And commit to each other is exactly what Elcon Crane Hire and Anglo-V3 have done. In 2012 Investec facilitated a transaction whereby Concord Cranes Ltd became the holding company of both entities. It was a watershed moment. "That's right it was a big development," says David Wilkinson, Elcon's founder. "It all started really back in 2011 when we released an equity stake in the Elcon Group to Investec and this was followed in December 2012 with a merger between Elcon Crane Hire and Anglo-V3. We weren't looking for a partner but negotiations took place whereby Investec, who had already decided to invest in Anglo-V3, wanted us to join and become part of a much larger network and of course we've always looked for new avenues to develop our business interest over a larger African footprint. We soon realised the future of the crane industry might be to have a bigger footprint in South Africa. It is still our intention today." Both Elcon and Anglo-V3 are longstanding participants in the South African crane hire industry and both have strong family histories. They continue to trade under their individual branding and livery and are managed by the same management teams – Herman van Staden leading Anglo-V3 and David heading up operations at Elcon. "Concord Cranes

VDMV Property Group

Ahead of the curve VDMV Property Group currently has properties with a market value of R1 billion. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Industrial property is often-overlooked, traditionally considered 'dirty'. According to Fanie Botha, however, it is "the best inflation linked passive income generator to create long term wealth". Mr Botha is part of the team at VDMV Property Group, a South African property company with a focus on the industrial market mainly in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The group is gaining momentum and was formed by Izak van der Merwe in 2003. It has, over the years, expanded into property management, leasing, sales, joint venture partnerships, turnkey contracts and project facilitation. In 2008, VDMV entered into a joint venture with Standard Bank Properties to procure 35 hectares of vacant land for development. The profits from this venture are being reinvested into a new R500 million development of 96 hectares – Brackengate Business Park. There is another R100 million portfolio in Johannesburg. "It has been an interesting few years," says Botha, who came in to help take VDMV to the "next level". "Over the past five years, our strategy has been to structure and consolidate the business to an extent and we bought the parcel of land in 2008 to plan, service and develop it. We've just gotten out of the red with that. Now it is about what lies ahead." Botha explains that the structure of industrial and commercial leases in South Africa is fairly unconventional compared with Europe and the U.S. In South

SA Corporate Real Estate Fund

The turnaround specialist Rory Mackey has put SA Corporate Real Estate Fund on a much sounder footing thanks to a new focus and four pillar approach. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra SA Corporate is a diversified property unit trust listed on the JSE. It invests in retail, industrial and commercial property, mostly in the major metropolitan centres of South Africa and its portfolio consists of 139 properties. The fund however is a traditional underperformer, lagging the market in terms of distribution and share price growth. But where some see adversity, others grasp opportunity - I'm talking about people like Rory Mackey. He has had an eventful year, stepping in to head up SA Corporate. He's the fifth CEO in six years. "The funds woes stemmed from a series of poorly timed acquisitions, disposals and funding structures," he says. The result was that while other listed property firms have boomed, SA Corporate has limped along. You could say the only way was up. But that wouldn't strictly be true. A turnaround in the recent performance (which led to 7.3 percent distribution growth) has been attributed to a strong industrial portfolio and recovering retail assets as well as a new policy rolled out by Mackey. "We have had a busy 12 months initially formulating a turnaround strategy and then executing it," he says. "Given that the market had lost confidence in the fund due to it being a historic underperformer, it was essential that tangible results from the turnaround strategy were evident very quickly. This we

Motseng Project Management

Mega expansion for Pavilion Motseng Project Management is fast carving out a niche as one of the very best end-to-end property development and project managers around. Africa Outlook talks to managing director Dewald Van Staden to find out what makes this award-winning company work so well and learns more about the redevelopment of Durban's Pavilion Shopping Centre. Writer Hannah Eiseman-Ranyard Project manager Stuart Shirra Motseng Project Management (or MPM to those in the know) manages a portfolio of over R5 billion. It is part of the larger Motseng Investment Holdings Ltd, the largest black-owned property management group in South Africa, and it has been highly specialised company from the start. It has a small and focused portfolio specialising in retail and commercial developments and is currently overseeing the first phase R228 million development of the iconic Pavillion Shopping Centre in Durban. The Pavilion, owned by Pareto Ltd, has been a huge success for over 20 years. What will its redevelopment mean, and how did Motseng Project Management (MPM) win such an impressive contract? "At Motseng Project Management (MPM) we are very small and focused," explains Mr Van Staden. "We get involved in understanding the client's business, and we want to contribute to the bigger picture. We are involved from concept to feasibility, so we can offer a complete service." The advantage of working as part of a group environment is Motseng Project Management (MPM) can offer clients the attention to detail of a smaller company, yet has great range. "We are selling a host of services,"

Hyprop Investments

Africa beckons Hyprop Investments is South Africa's largest listed retail property fund and it recently co-invested a 37.5 percent in Atterbury Africa, which develops and owns quality shopping centres in Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra South Africa's Hyprop Investments doesn't need much of an introduction. It is the country's largest listed retail property fund and its portfolio is valued at a cool R21.5 billion. It is a giant and its property portfolio includes 11 prime shopping centres located in South Africa's largest metropolitan areas. Its shopping centres are distinguished by their prime locations, extensive and superior tenant mix and popular anchor tenants, making them the preferred shopping destinations in South Africa. Flagship assets in the fund include Canal Walk in Cape Town, Clearwater Mall and The Glen in Johannesburg and Woodlands Boulevard in Pretoria. "Listed property, with a market capitalisation of R210 billion, was the best performing South African asset class in 2012, yielding a total return of 35.9 percent," says CEO Pieter Prinsloo. "As South Africa's largest listed shopping centre fund, Hyprop's premium regional and super regional shopping centres performed well during 2012, demonstrating their core strength." "Our portfolio comprises of high quality shopping centres in South Africa," he adds."The centres distinguish themselves from their peers by their key locations as well as size. Our centres are classified as Super Regional, Large Regional, Regional and Value/Lifestyle, servicing a broad spectrum of shoppers in South Africa. Retailer growth and demand drives the development and expansion of our current centres' footprint in the respective

Dip Civils

Driving operational excellence DipCivils (Pty) Ltd is a Civil Engineering contractor that specialises in the construction of roads and other services throughout South Africa. Procurement Manager Raymond Carter-Johnson tells us more. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra DipCivils (Pty) Ltd is a Civil Engineering contractor that specialises in the construction of roads and other services throughout South Africa. It is in the unique position of being able to fulfil clients' needs on "comprehensive basis" by offering composite solutions involving not only the construction of services exclusively, but all the road and concrete works infrastructure as well. The company was formed in 1993 and to date has successfully completed over 1000 separate projects. Procurement Manager Raymond Carter-Johnson says that it is "constantly in the pursuit of excellence" in the production of high quality civil engineering works. "We aim to provide superior returns to all relevant stakeholders whilst providing an employment environment conducive to transformation and the development of talent and skills," he says. "Our core values of commitment, responsibility, respect and communication influence how we act day to day, and is not what we merely aspire to. Translating this into reality means that we are keenly focused on providing a quality product to our customers, and strive to exceed their expectations." DipCivils is registered with the CIDB as a 9CE Contractor and is a member of the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors. Its key strengths? "Definitely the commitment, loyalty, responsibility and respect of our employees and the fact that we are all focused on