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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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Phase 1 of Morocco’s US $190m Al Houara project nearing completion

Construction of phase one of US $190m Al Houara project in Morocco is set to be completed by the end of 2018 with the opening scheduled for the beginning of the second quarter of 2019.

According to Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Attiyah, CEO of Qatari Diar, the project covers 234 hectares including 60 hectares of protected forest and 2.5 kilometers of a waterfront international beach resort. It is located on the Atlantic coast between Tangier and Asilah in Morocco. Phase 1 of the project includes a Hilton Luxury hotel and an 18-hole golf course.

The project combines authentic Moroccan culture with European culture, and comprises hotels, residential villas, a health club, an international golf course, shops and multi-service facilities. It also has 250 rooms and 150 apartments of coastal land. Certain to be a top tourist destination, Al Houara will draw visitors from Europe, The Middle East and North Africa.

According to minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts, and Social Economy Mohamed Sajid, the project will be part of Qatari Diar’s strategy to promote continuous development. “The Moroccan government will exert every effort to co-operate with Qatari Diar to make this project a success” he added.

Qatari Diar Real Estate Company was established in 2005 by the state-owned fund Qatar Investment Authority to support Qatar’s economy and to “coordinate the country’s real estate development priorities.” The company is headquartered northeast of Doha. 

  • Published in News

Nigeria to construct 1400 affordable housing units

Nigeria is set to construct 1400 affordable housing units following the US $10m committed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to construct the housing units  in estates across Nasarawa State.

FMBN’s Managing Director, Ahmed Dangiwa said the project   will be implemented in phases, the first being 100 units. Each of the six geopolitical zones in the country will have 200 units. As the units focus on affordability, they will also adjust to suit local specifications.

The housing units will comprise 3-, 2- and 1-bedroomed flats and semidetached bungalows. The prices of the housing units range between US $9000 and US $23,000. Dangiwa added that within six months, at least 100 housing units are expected to be delivered. To ensure the success of the program, land was provided by the government.

FMBN spokesperson, Zubaida Umar said that eligible workers with a loan requirement below US $14,000 will not pay any equity contribution. Workers whose loan requirement falls at US $14,000 and US $41,000 will provide 10% equity contribution instead of the previous 20 and 30%.

Dangiwa confirmed that US $1.2m was approved by the bank to build 90 units of three-bedroom bungalows for the members of Staff of Multipurpose Cooperative Society of Dalhatu Araf for Specialist Hospital in Lafian through the Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL).

So far, the FMBN has financed over 25,600 housing units and has issued 16,505 mortgages. The bank has plans of issuing an additional 10,726 loans towards mortgages and 15,000 housing units.

  • Published in News

NCA, NEMA regard education as key to avoiding demolitions in Kenya

The National Construction Authority (NCA) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) have resorted to focusing on educating Kenyans on the ‘necessary legal requirements’ for developers to avoid demolitions, ahead of the big 5 construct East Africa exhibitions.

The two government institutions observed that with some 4,000 buildings targeted for demolition in Kenya, there is urgent need for construction professionals to review the correct legal approval process as a means of safeguarding future projects and avoid losses occasioned by demolitions.

NCA and NEMA, who sit on the technical committee charged with auditing unsafe buildings and those built on wetlands, say that the current demolition action whose primary focus is reclaiming riparian land in Nairobi is an example of what could happen if asset owners neglect to follow the due legal process.

The two authorities announce they will utilise The Big 5 Construct East Africa, the official Exhibition of National Construction Week Kenya, to highlight these issues.

According to NEMA, non-compliance includes adding extra units on top of the approved ones, encroachment into the road reserve, encroachment into the riparian reserve and failure to observe the building line and setbacks.

Both NCA and NEMA representatives will be speaking at The Big 5 Construct East Africa from 7-9 November at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. More insight into the topic of demolition in Kenya will be available to visitors through the free CPD-certified workshops at the event.

Forty workshop sessions will cover Affordable Housing, Technology & Design in Building Construction, Project Management and Engineering and Sustainability in Construction. There will be a dedicated series for Women in Construction.

The Big 5 Construct East Africa

The Big 5 Construct East Africa will also bring over 220 exhibitors from more than 20 countries to showcase the latest building innovations and solutions. Now in its second edition, the launch event welcomed over 7,000 participants in 2016, hosted more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries, and held 20 workshop sessions.

The National Construction Week, organised by the NCA, is backed by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development. The event also enjoys the support of the Engineers Board of Kenya, the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Green Building Society, Kenya Property Developers Association and many more high-level trade associations in the construction industry.

  • Published in News

Civil contractor confidence falls to historic low in Q3 – CIDB

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business conditions survey has shown that civil contractor confidence fell by six index points to a historic low of 27 during the third quarter.

Weakness in all the underlying indicators, especially construction activity, contributed to the drop in confidence. Discouragingly, CIDB said, demand for new construction remained a constraint and implied that activity growth was likely to remain under pressure in the near future. From a grades perspective, confidence fell to historic lows of 25 and 15 for Grades 5 and 6, and Grades 7 and 8, respectively. Respondents in these grades experienced a sharp slowdown in activity, which weighed on profitability.

Meanwhile, general building confidence has been trending downwards since early 2017. During the third quarter, business confidence shed three index points to 30. CIDB monitoring and evaluation project manager Ntando Skosana noted that business confidence among general builders fell to its lowest level in almost seven years.

“Unfortunately, the outlook for this sector does not look promising, as the demand for new building work remains a constraint.” She added that the third-quarter CIDB survey results suggested that pressure on smaller building contractors, in particular, is escalating. Since last year this time, business confidence for Grades 3 and 4 builders has dropped by a cumulative 19 index points to 28.

On a provincial level, the deterioration in sentiment for both general builders and civil contractors in the Western Cape was of particular interest. “After outperforming other provinces for some time before this quarter, building and civil contractors in the Western Cape came under pressure, in line with other provinces.

“The fact that lower confidence was so pervasive across grades and provinces, highlights the broad-based nature of weakness in the building and construction sectors.” Skosana stated. The CIDB SME business conditions survey is conducted quarterly among Grades 3 to 8 CIDB-registered contractors (categorised into Grades 3 and 4, Grades 5 and 6 and Grades 7 and 8), both for the general building and civil industries. 

  • Published in News

Dangote Cement to bankroll $275 million project in Niger

The Dangote Cement group has begun construction work on a cement plant in Keita, near Tahoua, in western Niger.

The construction of the US$275 million project is expected to last 26 months and will include the construction of a 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry. The plant will have an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons and is expected to bring down the price of cement, in a country that currently imports 80% of its cement from neighbouring Nigeria and Benin.

On 9 October, Niamey authorised Dangote Cement’s local subsidiary to conduct a research on “coal and related substances” on four permits in the Agadez and Tahoua regions. A government statement said that the company had agreed to invest $2million on each permit over the next three years. It also agreed to finance collective infrastructure worth up to $50,000 per year for each of the areas hosting the permits.

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, with the highest population growth with a record fertility of 7.6 children per woman.

  • Published in News

Zimbabwe: cement sector has excess capacity – Lafarge

The cement industry has excess capacity to meet the 1,3 million tonnes annual domestic demand as the sector has an installed capacity of 2,4 million tonnes, an official has revealed.

Last month the market experienced cement shortage, which the country's largest cement producer, PPC Zimbabwe, attributed to annual maintenance works at its factories in Harare and Bulawayo. As a result of the temporary shortage some hardware shops, despite the improvement in cement supply, increased the price of the commodity from $11 for a 50 kilogramme to $15 depending on the brand.

There are reports that some dealers are also demanding US$12 per 50kg bag of cement, while others are charging 25 bond notes. Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe commercial director Ms Edith Matekaire said the sector has enough capacity. "The current installed capacity in the cement industry is still around 2,4 million tonnes. Demand is only 1,3 million, so there is excess capacity . . . so, why are we currently having the shortage.

"Today what we are experiencing are issues to do with forex in relation to our ability to maintain and keep our production running at optimum capacity," she said. At present, Ms Matekaire said her organisation has an excess of $2 million backlog of forex required by the cement producer to maintain its plant. "We therefore have delays in kiln shutdowns. Normally these must happen at specific times. If they happen during peak periods, we will begin to experience the shortage that we have.

"And if the forex is available, delays in forex allocations result in critical shut downs, which have impacted on the supply of cement," she said. The sector is dominated by three major players, PPC Zimbabwe, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe and Sino-Zimbabwe Cement. Ms Matekaire said in light of the micro and macro-economic challenges facing the cement industry, beyond 2020 the local cement industry would begin to run out of capacity.

The depressed supply of cement has seen institutional and individual projects being delayed as projects owners spend time looking for cement at official prices, which is however, not available.

  • Published in News

Entries for the 2019 PPC Imaginarium Awards closing soon!

Entries for the 2019 PPC Imaginarium Awards in South Africa and Zimbabwe are open! The prestigious competitions invite creatives to test their skills and produce innovative works using Portland cement-based concrete. Entrants stand to win their share of publicity, mentorship opportunities and over half-a-million-Rand in cash prizes!

  • Published in News

South Africa and Rwanda to receive US $500m energy fund finance

South Africa and Rwanda are set to receive US $500m from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help fund the upgrade and expansion their power grids, in line with the Bank’s ‘High 5s’ programme which aims at tackling  the power  problem by improving access to electricity to Africa bringing with it industrialisation and economic development.

Amadou Hott, AfDB vice president for power, energy, climate change and green growth, confirmed the reports and said the approved programme will support the government to add over 193,000 new on-grid and over 124,000 off-grid connections.

In its commitment to South Africa, the bank has loaned US $217.9m to the state electricity provider Eskom, including US $25m from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), a joint project with the People’s Bank of China.

The funds will be directed towards the construction of 555 km of 400 kV transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, as well as the upgrading of substation equipment in Mpumalanga as part of the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP).

In Rwanda, the bank has approved a loan of US $266m towards an expansion project for the electricity supply system, which is part of a drive to transform the country into an export-oriented economy. The US $266m is a joint amount of US $192m AfDB loan from the bank and US $74m credit from the African Development Fund, over three years, and will go into the scaling up electricity access program (SEAP II).

Additionally, the programme will see the construction of 7,317 km of low voltage power lines and 795 km of medium voltage, aimed at improving the power network across the country and providing power to communities with no access to power.

  • Published in News

Besix chosen for Africa’s tallest tower in Morocco

Belgian contractor Besix and Travaux Generaux de Construction de Casablanca (TGCC) have been chosen to build the BMCE Bank of Africa tower in Rabat, Morocco, it was announced on 11 October.

Rik Vandenberghe, chief executive of Besix, said: “The Bank of Africa Tower will be an emblematic building for the country. I am proud to see Besix participating in its construction in Morocco, a kingdom in which it has been a pleasure to work in recent years. In the case of the Bank of Africa Tower, we can count on our solid expertise in high-rise construction.”

The Brussels-based company has already completed the Tangier Med II port expansion and built the Mazagan Beach seaside resort in Morocco. The 250-m building is being developed by O Tower, a subsidiary of Moroccan company FinanceCom Group. Its 55 storeys will host a luxury hotel, office and apartments, with an observation deck at the top.

The design was by architects Rafael de la Hoz and Hakim Benjelloun, who are hoping to be awarded a LEED Gold energy efficiency rating, thanks in part to the fact that a third of the tower’s façade will be covered with photovoltaic panels.

The tower will be the centrepiece of the Bouregreg Valley Development Project, which is itself part of the “Rabat City of Light” project, master-planned by UK engineer Atkins. The district aims to boost the Moroccan capital’s cultural profile with, among other things, the Grand Théâtre de Rabat, and the Maison des Arts et de la Culture, which was begun in 2014.

The project has had a number of false starts. In March 2016, King Mohammed VI was reported to have been present when the scheme was launched, at a price of $300m. Its start date was then pushed back to October 2017, at which China Railway Construction Corporation International (CRCCI) was TGCC’s construction partner. CRCCI will “continue to provide support” to the scheme, according to Besix’s press statement.

The works is due to start on 1 November and to be complete by the end of May 2022.


  • Published in Projects

Waterfall named Best Mixed-use Development in South Africa for fifth year

At a lavish ceremony held at the exclusive Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah hotel on 11 October 2018, Waterfall Management Company received the Best Mixed-use Development in South Africa 2018/2019 award for the Waterfall development.

Besides scooping this prestigious award for the fifth year in a row, Waterfall was also nominated for Best Mixed-use Development in Africa by the International Property Awards – Africa and Arabia chapter. Now in their 26th year, the International Property Awards celebrate the very best projects and professionals in the industry worldwide, covering the regions of Asia Pacific, Africa and Arabia, Europe, USA and the Americas, as well as the UK. 

Judging focuses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability.

The highest-scoring, five-star winners from each category in Africa will compete against the five-star winners in the other regions of the world. Following this re-assessment, the 2018 International winners in each category will be identified as the ‘World’s Best’. These winners will be announced at the grand gala event at the Savoy Hotel in London on 3 December 2018.

Last year, Waterfall not only won Best Mixed-use Development in Africa for the fourth year running, but also achieved top honors for the first time, being named Best International Mixed-use Development 2017/2018.

Willie Vos, CEO of Waterfall Management Company, said; “Waterfall made history last year as the first South African company to ever win the Best International Mixed-use Development award. We can only hope that we can achieve the same feat in 2018. We are thrilled to have once again won Best in South Africa. Fingers crossed for Best in Africa and then the world!”

Waterfall Management Company is the Property and Asset Management Company of the Waterfall land. Since 2004, Waterfall Management Company has been working with developers and investors to create the largest mixed-use development in Africa. This 2,200-hectare leasehold development in the heart of Gauteng, offers integrated, fibre-ready live-work-play environments that provide unsurpassed quality of life in a vibrant urban environment.

In addition, Balwin Properties won the Best Leisure Interior South Africa award for the Lifestyle Centre at The Polofields, Waterfall, designed by LYT Architects.

More information from www.waterfall.co.za or  www.propertyawards.net

  • Published in Events
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