Quantity surveyors take on more major projects

Cindy Preller

EASTERN Cape quantity surveyors are excited about taking on major projects in the region.

At the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) Eastern Cape annual general meeting yesterday, chairwoman Christelle Bown said the organisation was excited about the big building projects in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.

Bown, who was re-elected as chairwoman, said 80% of foreign investors in South Africa visited Nelson Mandela Bay, which indicated positive prospects for the metro's economy and potential opportunities for employment among built environment professional practitioners These potential employment opportunities included a call for private sector investment in the Bird Street/Belmont Terrace area for supporting small businesses, student accommodation, residential accommodation for young professionals and the general upgrading of the metro as well as a proposed retail shopping mall planned for Coega Village, she said.

Bown also referred to an encouraging provincial snapshot view, compiled by Databuild, of positive overall trends in the construction industry in the Eastern Cape arising from increased expenditure on education projects and intended developments in the retail and industrial sectors.

One of the ASAQS's national professional body's new strategies is to assist quantity surveyors across the country with technical queries by providing them with the service of contacting a panel of experts.

Addressing delegates at the AGM in Port Elizabeth yesterday, ASAQS national deputy president Onesimo Dhliwayo said this service was similar to the "call a friend" option on the television show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. "It gives credibility by offering a professional knowledge database and will be to the benefit of all the members," Dhliwayo said.

Delivering the education report to the AGM was Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's Quantity Surveying head of department Professor Roy Cumberlege.

"The department will continue to cultivate the key attributes and benchmarks of world-class excellence in quantity surveying education and research," Cumberlege said.

A total of 37 students graduated last year with the BSc construction economics degree. However, the dropout rate for masters degrees in built environment (MSc BE) was high – in 2013 only six of 38 candidates graduated – because they had not completed their work, Cumberlege said.