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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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Attacq unveils Africa sculptures at Mall of Africa

JSE-listed Attacq this week unveiled its latest art development, titled “There is no time like the present” and located at Mall of Africa.

The sculptures, each reaching a height of 5.5 m, represent the two “faces” of Africa. “The line sculpture represents an Africa rooted in tradition; the bare bones of a continent that holds us all together. The second sculpture, built from mirror-finish stainless steel plates, allows us to see the wealth of opportunity and the inherent potential that lies within all of us, “Attacq said in a statement on Thursday.

“At Attacq, we want our buildings to represent the very best in architectural design. This was an opportunity to partner with an incredibly talented local artist and make a historic landmark in Johannesburg,” said Attacq COO Jackie van Nierkerk.

The sculpture was created by Rina Stutzer, a full-time artist and creative adviser to the collective art studio and foundry, Dionysus Sculpture Works (DSW), in Pretoria. She has participated in multiple international exhibitions in Australia, France and Great Britain; and been honoured for her work with awards that include the Ekurhuleni Fine Arts Award, The Rendezvous Focus Painting award and the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association Art Project award.

“With this particular piece, I wanted to create a reflective abstracted African continent, which physically acts as a binding force of the collective, showing us the image of a world that looks familiar from one vantage point, yet different from another. The sculpture holds up a mirror to our identity, our potential and our place in the world,” informed Stutzer.

 “There is a growing demand for local African art and we, as Attacq, felt we should lead the charge by investing in this installation and hopefully encourage more companies to help develop home-grown talent and invest in local art,” Van Nierkerk added.

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Attacq’s Ellipse Waterfall achieves towering first-week sales

JSE-listed Attacq, in collaboration with JV partner Tricolt, is recording high sales volumes on Phase 1 of Ellipse Waterfall, the first high-rise residential development within Waterfall City, with sales totalling R420-million in the first week.

The new residential development was announced in early October. It will be situated in the heart of Gauteng’s newest business node, and notably, has sold over 65% of the available units in a little over a week. “This achievement speaks to Ellipse Waterfall’s unique value proposition. Its strategic location, pristine surroundings and world-class amenities, make Ellipse Waterfall a no brainer for discerning investors,” Tricolt CEO Tim Kloeck said in a statement on Thursday.

The development comprises four towers – Newton, Kepler, Da Vinci and Galileo – totalling 590 apartments. Phase 1 comprises two of the four towers set to be completed by 2021.Based on current progress, construction for Phase 1 of Ellipse is estimated to start in early 2019.

“Unlike other mixed-used developments that are fast running out of space or building on top of decaying infrastructure, Waterfall City is essentially brand new. Its buildings, roads and infrastructure are built to the highest quality and its strategic location at the crossroad of the province’s major transport routes makes investing here a smart long-term decision,” said Attacq development head Giles Pendleton.

Prospective buyers are able to select from executive one-bedroom apartments, starting from 45 m², to flagship three-bedroom duplex penthouses that offer up to 327 m² of living space, including private rooftop gardens and heated pools.

Attacq CEO Melt Hamman says: “With various blue-chip firms, such as PwC, Accenture and Deloitte, taking up residency within Waterfall City, there is a growing need for us to expand our residential offering. Ellipse Waterfall is the first step towards meeting that demand.”

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Cesa supports economic recovery plan

Industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) welcomes government’s focus on infrastructure development in support of economic recovery and job creation, as illustrated in Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) last month, says Cesa CEO Chris Campbell.

He says Cesa supports the development of an infrastructure fund in partnership with the private sector to enhance economic growth and improve governance. Further, he notes that infrastructure must be “brought to a state” at which it can and will stimulate other economic activities.

Cesa is pleased that government is developing a framework for financing infrastructure that will enable investors to assess potential long-term returns on public infrastructure projects. However, Campbell says South Africa needs to stimulate the growth of its economy before investors will invest in the country, but there is still uncertainty, and many promises are made prior to an election year. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

Although Cesa welcomes these positive steps by government, Campbell cautions that there are still many challenges to confront such as discounting the professional fees of consulting engineers, which is plaguing the sustainability of the consulting engineering industry.

Campbell warns that the quality of the service provided will be sacrificed, should a client be asking for a discount. Consulting engineers provide expertise for industries, and being frugal on compensating for their professional services could have dire consequences for infrastructure projects.

“Consulting engineers’ fees make up about 2% of the life-cycle cost of the investment. If the professionals must reduce their fee, they don’t have enough time and cannot afford to put in the expertise that would be required to help the client efficiently spend the other 98% of the cost.

Campbell believes that there should be a stronger partnership between procurement departments and technical practitioners, and that the private sector, along with the consulting industry, must create a better understanding of how to better derive value for money from investment in infrastructure.

He notes that Cesa plans to work closely with Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (Misa  and offer support in terms of training regarding procurement and delivery management and hopes that this will aid in addressing the issue of discounting the professional fees of consulting engineers, Campbell concludes. 

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Industry should use slowdown to train staff

The construction industry should use recessions to train staff to gain a competitive edge when work volumes increase, says cement and concrete technical services provider.

The Concrete Institute’s School of ConcreteTechnology senior lecturer John Roxburgh. “It is crucial to have competent people on construction sites and the money spent on training will be repaid tenfold.” He says concrete is extensively used in all civil and constructionprojects and sound concrete technology knowledge is important. Having trained staff who are competent in all relevant aspects of concrete practice will result in contracts being carried out more quickly, more economically and with fewer costly site errors and repairs.

The School of ConcreteTechnology is positioned to provide the relevant education to meet the needs of concrete practitioners on site. Roxburgh recommends that contractors should identify suitable people in the organisation and “champion” them to become concrete specialists, thereby helping to prevent mistakes and train other employees.

Further, he mentions that a training provider’s experience in providing up-to-date and relevant concretetechnologyeducation should be considered before selecting one. The School of ConcreteTechnology’s consulting division is involved in the writing of standards, publications and the assessment of the latest technologies. Further, the certificates the school issues are well recognised in the industry.

Its 2019 education programme will offer 16 courses, developed to meet the needs of the concrete and concrete-related industries. The Advanced ConcreteTechnology diploma course will be presented in the first half of next year and again in 2021. The course is globally recognised as the leading qualification in concretetechnology and examined by the UK-based Institute of Concrete Technology.

The Concrete Institute – of which the school is part – offers researchers and students an Information Centre with over 130 000 publications, he concludes. 

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