Oxford Parks is an architectural focal point along Oxford Road in Rosebank. On completion, this site will house five buildings on a master basement structure. Oxford Parks Phase 2 is a testimony to meticulous coordination on the part of Concor Buildings to ensure the concurrent construction of three different buildings would run smoothly.

This phase includes the simultaneous construction of 203 Oxford Road – Life Healthcare’s new

10 000 m2 head office, 8 Parks Boulevard – a 4 000 m2 multi-tenanted building housing inter alia Metier Private Equity and G+D Currency Technology, and 6 Parks Boulevard – 3 400 m2 offices for Arup, Sony Music  and Sony Publishing.

The buildings, together with Phase 1, 199 Oxford Road, were designed to complement each other, and their respective footprints fit together in a jigsaw puzzle configuration, proportionately occupying the site to optimise the usage of this prime pedestrian precinct with its generous public environment.

Through bold yet sensitive design of the buildings, together with the hard and soft landscaping of the outdoor piazza area, a natural environment was created ensuring a harmonious blend of business, life and leisure for the end user. Accommodating all parking in basements has shaped a precinct that is pedestrian friendly and offers a safe retail experience.

Martin Muller, Concor Buildings’ contracts manager, explains that all the buildings are constructed to be compliant with Green Star design requirements. 199 Oxford Road in Phase 1 achieved a 5-Star Green Star rating. All specifications on the project are in line with Green Star requirements and the buildings in Phase 2 are also designed to achieve 5-Star Green Star ratings.

A comprehensive Environmental Management Plan was adopted that amongst many criteria, specified the installation of waste management systems to maximise recycling from waste generated on the project. Another environmental intervention was the installation of state-of-the-art HVAC systems in all the buildings presenting energy saving, efficiency and sustainability features including air-cooled systems to eliminate water usage.

To optimise energy usage during occupation, different striking façades provide the respective buildings with both aesthetic interest and added energy benefits.

Muller emphasises Concor Buildings’ commitment to health and safety on site. “Creating a strong safety culture is always a challenge on bigger projects with a large number of subcontractors but Concor’s pledge to its Stop.Think.Act initiative has seen active involvement becoming a trend on site.”

“Visible Felt Leadership from the entire production and safety team ensures that contractors, subcontractors and tenant contractors execute work safely at all times. This is vital as on average there are 350 workers from 22 different contractors on site and this will increase as tenants start with their fit-out activities,” he says.

The COVID lockdown added a new level of challenges and anxiety to the construction industry. According to Muller, through early preparation and policy implementation, Concor Buildings ensured it was ready to start again on site once the lockdown restriction relaxation allowed construction to commence on 1 June 2020. Implemented daily scanning points, wash stations, social distancing measures, signage and continual communication led to construction activities being back on track from day one after the restrictions were removed.

Risk management became a particularly important part of this project considering that the lockdown delayed construction by more than two months. Concor Buildings has clearly demonstrated its agility value by completing the buildings in, or close to, the originally contracted completion dates.

During this period, Concor Buildings ring-fenced long-lead manufacturing items and key focus points with the client, subcontractors and suppliers. These pro-active interventions ensured all materials were delivered on time allowing subcontractors to finish off when the client required the areas for tenants to take occupation. These measures also ensured the contractor could mitigate most of the additional costs due to the COVID lockdown period, ensuring practical completion (PC) dates are achieved as per the contract.

Sony Music, Sony Publishing and Arup have taken occupation of 6 Parks Boulevard, which was completed on time. The first and second tenants in 8 Parks Boulevard took official occupation on 1 September 2020, a week earlier than the extended practical completion date of 9 September 2020. Again, testimony to Concor’s agility and commitment to meeting project targets.

The Life Healthcare tenant installation in 203 Oxford Road started ground and first floor handover on 10 August 2020 with all other floor level handovers on track with overall building practical completion on 2 November 2020. This date, which was extended due to lockdown delays, will be achieved through client and professional team assistance, identifying risks and dealing with these before they occur, dedicated resources and time management on the buildings.

Muller adds: “As is the case on all the projects we undertake, quality plays a major part in the execution of this project. Progressive snagging is implemented to ensure that works are checked and signed off as completed by each trade. This practice results in a minimised snag list of items to attend to once the buildings are complete, ensuring that the end user experience is not spoiled by contractors fixing incomplete works once tenants have taken occupation.”

This was a particularly challenging period, but through Concor Buildings’ commitment to its values, one of which is care, the contractor is still producing an upmarket and modern product while demonstrating care towards all parties on site and careful attention to the various features of this complex project.


IPD South Africa has announced it can now supply IPD’s cryo-treated bolts, offering considerably longer life bolt with less internal stress and optimised tensile strength.

After introducing its cryo-treated C15 head bolt kit (C15CHBKFR), the response was so positive that the company also made cryogenic head bolt kits available for the 3500 engine applications (1310420-8FR). The cryo-treatment allows proper and even clamping forces across the cylinder head while reducing head bolt fatigue – extending the life of engines and keeping them running.

Cryogenic heat treatment is a carefully engineered process during which the temperature of materials is reduced to about minus 190° C. The components are kept at that temperature in liquid nitrogen to remove residual stresses. The temperature is then ramped back up to room temperature, followed by a mild heat treatment process.

IPD cryo-treated head bolts do not require any extra torqueing, as stretching does not occur. They are packaged in their own netting to prevent abrasions, and each cryo-treated head bolt has a blue dot on its head to show the user that it has been cryo-treated.

These IPD parts are made and cryo-treated in the United States, where each part is subjected to rigorous quality control and inspection processes led by IPD’s in-house quality assurance team.


Meticulous coordination by Concor on the Oxford Parks Phase 2 project facilitated the smooth and simultaneous construction of the different buildings and was one of the reasons Concor won the Building Contractor category at Construction World’s Best Projects 2020. The project was also acknowledged with a Highly Commended Award in the AfriSam Innovation Award in Sustainable Construction.

Oxford Parks is a focal point along Oxford Road in Rosebank and on completion will house five buildings on a master basement structure. The buildings are designed to complement each other, fitting together in a jigsaw puzzle configuration to optimise usage of this prime precinct.

The project includes Building 2 – Life Healthcare’s new 10 000 m2 head office, Building 3 – a 4 000 m2 multi-tenanted building housing inter alia Metier Private Equity and G+D Currency Technology and Building 5 – 3 400 m2 offices for Arup and Sony Music.

Construction work of Building 5 started in February 2020. Initially designed as a three-storey structure, these plans were modified to meet requirements of the tenants, Arup and Sony. An additional slab was added to accommodate a private entertainment area, as well as recording studios on the fourth level.

A number of energy-saving and sustainability features were incorporated on this project. A waste management system maximises recycling, while the buildings feature elements such as air-cooled systems to eliminate water usage, primary variable flow pumping, distributed digital control for central comfort monitoring, load control under standby conditions and linear diffusion to isolate the solar loads. Unique external façades provide aesthetic interest to the individual buildings and optimise energy usage.

The COVID lockdown added new challenges, but through Concor’s commitment to its values, one of which is care, the contractor is still producing an upmarket and modern product while demonstrating care towards all parties on site.

Concor has clearly confirmed its agility value by ensuring practical completion (PC) dates were achieved as per the contract despite construction delays, mitigating additional costs.

Both Sony and Arup engineers have taken occupation of Building 5 which was completed on time. Tenants in Buildings 3 took official occupation on 1 September 2020, a week earlier than the extended practical completion date. Tenant installation in Building 2 started on 10 August 2020 with all other floor level handovers on track with practical completion on 2 November 2020.

Progressive snagging ensured that works were signed off as completed by each trade thus minimising the snag list once the buildings are complete.

Oxford Parks Phase 2 is another project to be added to Concor Building’s impressive portfolio of successful projects.


With decades of opencast mining experience – both for clients and for its mining operations – SPH Kundalila has extensive insight into how to maximise efficiency on site.

According to Graeme Campbell, SPH Kundalila’s group commercial operations manager, efficiency starts with a focus on the high-cost components of mining projects. Campbell highlights the key objective of reducing the rate per tonne moved while ensuring high uptime levels and preventing unexpected stoppages.

“Contractors influence their rates considerably by having access to the optimal size of load and haul equipment,” he says. “While there are more companies in the market with fleets of smaller haul trucks, for example, the limited capacity of these units may raise the rate per tonne for the client.”

Illustrating the case with a 200,000 tonne-per-month mining operation – working 18 hours per day for 26 days per month – he points out that a contractor could use six 18-tonne trucks or just four 40-tonne units.

“Using fewer trucks of higher load capacity impacts a range of costs,” Campbell says. “There would be 16 operators required instead of 24, and the size of the maintenance facilities that must be made available are also a function of the number of trucks in operation.”

The lifespan of the equipment is also a factor, with the smaller trucks expected to complete about 20,000 hours – around five years – in their productive lives. By contrast, the larger mining trucks can generate returns for anything between 30,000 hours and 50,000 hours – commonly reaching 10 year lifecycles.

“Of course, the larger equipment comes at a much higher capital cost, so are really only within the reach of established and successful companies like SPH Kundalila,” Campbell says. “In this way, the large contractors are able to assume a significant portion of the capital burden for mining clients.”

He highlights that these larger contractors can often achieve even more economical rates per tonne than the mine itself, as the equipment used can be carried over to new projects – extending the period over which the value of the asset is amortised. After closure, a limited-duration mining project, on the other hand, may be left with equipment that still has value but which it is not possible to realise.

“Compared to the smaller truck market which services the broader earthmoving industry, there is much less of a market for the larger mining trucks, so they are often not easy to sell at the end of a contract,” he concludes.


Centralising information from its proximity detection system (PDS) hardware and monitoring devices, Booyco Electronics offers mines a rare opportunity to become both safer and more productive.

According to Anton Lourens, CEO of proximity detection solutions leader Booyco Electronics, a single source of information on the mine’s assets is the key to enhancing operations by identifying patterns of unsafe behaviour.

“Our Booyco Electronics Asset Management System (BEAMS) is essentially a central information hub for the mine’s PDS assets,” says Lourens. “The software suite is a web-based application used on a robust database, linking the PDS hardware products and the monitoring devices.”

This provides a single source of data that can be leveraged for greater insight into relevant aspects of the mining operation – raising the level of safety and productivity in the workplace.

“The real achievement of BEAMS is that it allows the data from our Booyco CWS, Booyco PDS or Booyco CXS to be analysed for patterns which indicate unsafe behaviour,” he says. “Customers can then design an appropriate intervention to prevent any further occurrences.”

He emphasises that this allows a mine to paint a picture of the complete working environment, shedding new light on operational issues which were previously not visible. Measuring the working environment and interactions in this way then means that risks and bottlenecks can be actively reduced and managed – boosting productivity as a result. This helps to give mines an in-depth view of the operation and the performance of their related assets.

“We have engineered BEAMS for easy implementation,” Lourens says. “It can be used on web browser platforms, and is designed to be adaptable to the information and infrastructure environment.”

BEAMS can also integrate with the lamp room management systems in underground mines, ensuring legal compliance with lamp room requirements. It helps mines locate its safety equipment such as lamps, self-contained self-rescuers and gas instrumentation.

“BEAMS can be set up to suit the needs of each user,” says Lourens. “It can generate a standard set of reports, or be customised to specific requirements.”


Having the advice of chute experts at an early stage of developing a minerals processing plant will save costly downtime and unnecessary maintenance down the line, according to Alwin Nienaber, technical director at Weba Chute Systems.

“Despite the constantly improving technology that goes into modern process plants, there is still insufficient attention paid to chute design,” Nienaber says. “This becomes a costly oversight for plant operators, who pay the price later in terms of expensive downtime and frequent maintenance.”

He highlights that it is still common to see corners being cut in overall plant design and construction, with project owners often prioritising fast start-up at the lowest possible cost.

“This approach is false economy. In particular, chutes play a vital role in keeping material moving safely and efficiently through a plant,” he says. “A poor chute design or construction will simply mean that the end result is not fit for purpose, and that will cost the plant dearly.”

The solution, Nienaber says, is to involve a chute expert as early as possible in the plant design process. This will ensure that each chute’s duty is clarified and the relevant parameters can be included in the upfront design. With its decades of experience, Weba Chute Systems can also contribute valuable insights into the process of placing and configuring of chutes within the plant layout.

“We witness many situations where a plant design does not give enough consideration to issues of material degradation, impact, noise, dust and safety around the transfer points,” he says.

The same applies to extensions or alterations to existing plants, where changes in ore characteristics or throughput necessitate modifications to the plant arrangement. Where the operating configuration changes, it is likely that the chute design and placement will need to be modified too, says Nienaber.

Customers also benefit from the company’s experience in the chutes’ interaction with other equipment – affecting equipment sizing, clearances and support structures.

“In our experience, for example, we see many mines underestimating the top size of the material they plan to handle,” says Dewald Tintinger, technical manager at Weba Chute Systems. “It may be necessary to specify larger conveyors, to reduce spillage and damage to equipment.”

He emphasises the importance of getting the solution right the first time, as incorrectly specified equipment may be difficult to move or modify at a later stage.

“Working with 3D modelling, we start the chute design from basic concept and develop the solution from there,” says Tintinger. “The use of design databases by EPCMs can potentially lead to an inappropriate design element. We can ensure that the chutes are suited precisely to their duty and application.”

He also notes that Weba Chute Systems takes full responsibility for its chutes, which has led to considerable interest from EPCMs. The chutes’ reliability reduces EPCM risk and contributes significantly to project success and uptime.


Zest WEG has entered South Africa’s wind energy industry, combining exciting turbine technology with its established footprint in the local economy.

The development of a direct drive, gearless wind turbine by its parent company WEG is a key factor in Zest WEG’s plan to grow a client base among wind farm developers, says Alastair Gerrard, integrated solutions executive at Zest WEG.

“With WEG’s latest 4,2 MW wind turbine solution – which augments its initial offering of a 2,1 MW unit – we see considerable scope for broadening our technology offering locally and into the rest of Africa,” he says.

With four decades as a local supplier, manufacturer and service provider in South Africa, he says Zest WEG has extensive market presence and knowledge upon which to build. In particular, the company is well-placed to meet the local content requirements for participating in the wind energy segment.

“We have prepared the ground for developing local skills and supply chains in our contribution to wind energy projects,” Gerrard says. “Given our experience in South Africa, our products and solutions also meet the necessary regulations and standards, including grid code compliance, which is vital for projects that will feed power to the national utility.”

The positive take-up of the WEG wind turbine – mainly in South America – is reflected by the 647 MW of capacity that has contributed to the market in recent years; another 181 MW is in the pipeline. He highlights that having no gearbox in the turbine offered a number of benefits.

“There is increased efficiency, less noise and weight, and one less component means less maintenance,” he says. “The whole design is focused on efficiency and reliability, for maximum output and uptime.”

The WEG turbine also includes the transformer in the nacelle, rather than at the tower base. This transformer steps up the 925 volts generated by the alternator to 33 kV, reducing losses through  more efficient energy transmission. There is also then no need for a separate transformer and its associated infrastructure at ground level. “We are looking forward to leveraging WEG’s tried-and-tested turbine technology from Brazil, from our established foundation as a well-recognised local player,” Gerrard concludes.


Bucking global economic trends, mineral processing equipment specialist Multotec has opened a new, larger manufacturing facility in China to meet growing demand.

The 3,200 m2 factory, based in the busy port city of Tianjin about 100 km south-east of Beijing, is over double the size of the previous premises, according to Ken Tuckey, one of the directors of Multotec Screening Systems (Tianjin) Ltd. It focuses on producing the company’s polyurethane screen panels, including specialised panels for fines dewatering and classification.

“The expanded facility was necessary to increase production capacity, as sales have grown rapidly since Multotec became directly involved in this business in 2017,” says Tuckey. “The investment in China is also an important part of Multotec’s global strategy to get manufacturing operations closer to end-customers wherever possible.”

Multotec had taken over the business from Tema Screening Systems in 2017, which had started up in 2006 and focused mainly on the aggregate and quarry sectors. Multotec’s sales have expanded mainly into China’s mining industry, but the factory’s increased capacity is also allowing it to produce for other parts of the world.

Running the operation on the ground since 2018 is general manager He Pu, a local expert with 20 years’ experience in mineral processing. “The new factory has taken careful planning over the past year, and had to obtain a range of strict government approvals,” he says. “Even though the Covid-19 pandemic did present some challenges to our schedule, we were still able to move into the new plant in May this year.”

He Pu highlights the importance of innovation as a key ingredient for any company to break into the Chinese market. This has been vital to the early success of Multotec, which has proven a range of product advances around Africa and other markets. He says that recent improvements in China’s manufacturing sector has also underpinned the success of the local business.

“The focus in the mining sector in China has shifted towards increased efficiencies and improved quality,” He Pu says. “Multotec is now well positioned to take advantage of this especially with the innovative screen panel technology that it can offer the market. This is underpinned by our quality manufacturing processes as well as our excellent local supply chain.”

Multotec’s Chinese company is ISO-accredited with strong in-house quality control expertise, he says. This makes it unnecessary to bring quality control personnel from Multotec head office in South Africa, demonstrating the business’s cost effective and sustainable foundation. The number of local staff members has increased and includes a strong sales team with good links into the mining sector. The company also has distributors and agents across China, bringing services and products closer to the mines.

With the new polyurethane moulding machines, the upgraded plant is running double shifts to optimise production levels. The latest technology equipment – combined with Multotec’s experience and ongoing training in factory – ensure a consistently world class quality of polyurethane panels. Accelerated in-house manufacture is also speeding up the delivery times to local customers.

“The opening of this plant marks the beginning of a new era for Multotec,” says He Pu. “We have ascended to a new level, not only by enlarging the area of the workshop but by adding new equipment.”

He concludes that the availability of Multotec’s innovative panels from the new plant will boost the company’s brand in the Chinese market and create a firm platform for continued growth.


“The key to sustainable growth in Africa is partnering with locally owned companies who have proven track records, are technically sound, have a strong market knowledge and business culture aligned with our own”,  Taylor Milan, Africa business development executive at Zest WEG.

The company, a fully owned subsidiary of WEG, currently has 28 appointed partners in 22 sub-Saharan African countries outside of South Africa, and is expanding its footprint into new sectors across the regions. With extensive manufacturing and assembly facilities in South Africa, Zest WEG is driving its African growth strategy through local partnerships with carefully selected Value-Added Resellers (VARs).

“The local content mandate is playing an increasingly important role in the supply of equipment and services into the formal business sector across the African continent,” says Milan. “It brings services closer to the customer, while empowering local business and building local economies.”

He highlights that the company’s VARs are also chosen for their technical and operational capability and capacity to offer customers more of Zest WEG’s portfolio of products and services.

“While our early offerings focused primarily on electric motors, the company now promotes a comprehensive portfolio of electrical products and solutions ,” he says. “These include geared motors, low and medium voltage drives and  automation, panels, MCCs, E-houses, power and distribution transformers, mini-substations, a selection of traditional and renewable and hybrid power generation solutions as well as electrical infrastructure and mobile solutions.”

Milan notes that the business is also diversifying beyond mining into other sectors, notably oil and gas. On a global level, WEG has been active in this industry for many years and has built a strong industry specific product portfolio and knowledge base. Other sectors where gains are being made in sub-Saharan Africa are agriculture, general industry, water, cement and utilities.

The company’s on-the-ground presence has been strengthened recently with the appointment of established local company Panaco as its VAR in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Magare Company Limited in Tanzania, and Repelectric in Kenya with a number of other appointments currently being finalised across sub-Saharan Africa.

“Zest WEG’s Africa network is also increasing the number of local repair facilities that meet OEM standards,” Milan says.

“It is of considerable benefit for customers to have localised WEG-accredited repair facilities in-country,” he says. “This increases local support, while ensuring that equipment repairs are carried out in accordance with WEG specifications to deliver the performance and longevity that customers and OEMs expect from WEG products.”


AfriSam is synonymous with environmentally conscious manufacturing processes, honouring their values of ‘People, Planet and Performance’. As a leading supplier of construction materials, AfriSam has over many years pioneered and sustained numerous initiatives towards a greener planet across all its business units, for the benefit of all stakeholders and at all touchpoints.

As one of the top ten CO2 emitters globally when measured per capita, the cement manufacturing industry is often singled out as the culprit in the greenhouse gas debate and comes under fire regularly to reduce its carbon footprint.

“AfriSam was at the forefront to introduce proactive measures in the southern African cement manufacturing sector,” according to Nivashni Govender, environmental specialist at AfriSam. “To put actions to our concerns, we established our own environmental department as early as 1992 and developed an environmental policy just two years later.”

“Continuous investment in research and development has enabled AfriSam to improve processes, technology and products with the ultimate goal of energy optimisation and emission reduction encompassing the complete range of our products: aggregate, cement and concrete,” says Govender.

“It is in our cement manufacturing business where the most notable impact on the lowering of carbon emissions is achieved. Our ongoing focus on alternative fuels and resources (AFRs) has allowed us to steadily reduce the amount of coal burnt in our cement kilns, which in turn contributes to lower CO2 emissions,” Govender says. “One example is at our Dudfield plant where we developed and implemented process modifications to allow us to co-process scrap tyres – a strategy that also contributes significantly to addressing the environmental hazards posed by tyres when they are disposed of in a landfill.”

Govender continues: “Cement kiln emission improvement has been the AfriSam way for a long time, setting the benchmark for others.”

“The introduction of our green cement product range in 2000 added to our goal of becoming one of the lowest CO2 generators per ton of cement in Africa,” she expands. “The use of extenders in our cement has resulted in a substantial reduction in our clinker factor without compromising the quality of our products.”

Energy and water conservation are ongoing programmes, featuring high on AfriSam’s environmental agenda, according to Govender. Energy efficient lighting has been installed across the company’s cement, readymix and aggregate quarry facilities, and water conservation has become a priority in all its operations.

“Our programmes focus on reducing the amount of water per ton of cement and aggregate produced, or per ton of readymix prepared,” she says. “Our readymix plants, for instance, have strict re-use and recycling processes, and must recycle at least 50% of their grey water generated, on-site.”

Dust suppression remains another critical environmental priority for all AfriSam readymix plants. Where deemed necessary as an additional measure, automatic dust suppression systems using fine recycled water mist have been installed around the perimeter of identified plants with additional systems where the readymix trucks are loaded.

“When it comes to aggregate production, rehabilitation and biodiversity at our quarry sites is a priority. As early as 1986 AfriSam formed the first trust of its kind specifically to cater for rehabilitation costs on closure – even before this was a legislated requirement for mines,” she says. “Our current strategy of concurrent rehabilitation – in which we rehabilitate as we mine – has proved very effective both from an environmental and ecological perspective, as well as a cost perspective.”

AfriSam’s attention to protect and foster biodiversity, especially where species are protected by law or are endangered, involves detailed and ongoing research to measure the environmental impact of operations on species of flora and fauna. As a commitment to protecting biodiversity, specific biodiversity plans have been developed across all cement and aggregate sites.

“Environmental protection also has implications when it comes to cultural heritage,” says Govender. “When an area of underground caves were discovered at one of our then active quarries near Sterkfontein in Gauteng – part of a World Heritage Site – we decided that the value of this contribution to our country’s cultural heritage and scientific knowledge far outweighed any income the quarry could generate for the company. Working with the University of the Witwatersrand, we donated this valuable national treasure over for scientific and public use, while continuing to support its maintenance.”

The environmental focus extends to the management of waste generated at all operations, where oil, conveyor belts and pallets are reused or recycled wherever possible, and waste is separated on site to allow for more environmentally friendly disposal. Disposal to landfill is the last option.

In addition to taking responsibility for their own actions, AfriSam plays a leading role in creating awareness and establishing open debate about sustainability within the broader context of the industry. One such platform is the “AfriSam-SAIA Awards for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation”, launched in 2009.

The awarded projects and programmes make a positive contribution to communities and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as the reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation and the use of sustainable or renewable construction materials.

“AfriSam’s reputation of caring for the planet, people and the environment is evident in the way we manufacture our vast product offering and how we conduct our business,” Govender concludes. “This philosophy is underpinned by the Centre of Product Excellence and applies to all business units to actively measure and manage their impact on the environment, whilst continuing to produce high performance products with low carbon footprints”.