Press release from Jan de Beer, cell 082 456 3677:

Despite the slump in the building industry, Gauteng Piling is still experiencing strong demand for its services, says the company’s founder and MD, Nico Maas.

“The company’s order book is, in fact, so promising that we are even fielding offers from potential buyers,” Maas, who established Gauteng Piling in 1996, states.

He says Gauteng Piling has managed to keep afloat during one of the worst recessions the SA construction sector has experienced because of pre-emptive measures learnt at the school of experience. These include:

  • A return to owner-driven management. Maas, for decades a prominent and respected building industry leader and spokesperson, is now again personally leading the family-owned company;
  • The quest for joint ventures whenever possible. This policy has already been implemented and will be expanded in future; and
  • Tight control on spending through rig and plant refurbishment rather than spending on expensive new equipment.

Gauteng Pilling some years ago already introduced a plant modernisation programme to maintain its reputation for fast response to piling commitments. Most of Gauteng Piling’s piling rigs are tyre-mounted allowing for quick establishment on site. “The refurbishment policy has proved most successful with our fifteen rigs performing extremely well. Rebuilding is far less expensive than purchasing new units and this has enabled Gauteng Piling to remain competitive in this vastly competitive industry,” he added.

The company certainly has some impressive high-profile projects testifying to its expertise. For example, the provision of over 400 piles to provide the foundation for Southern Africa’s largest single-phase retail centre, Mall of Africa in Midrand; expansion of the Fourways Mall; as well as additional and challenging extensions to the Market Theatre complex in Johannesburg count among the more than 1700 contracts already handled by Gauteng Piling.

Maas says piling is an operation that calls for experience and the ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions. “Apart from coping with a major slump, increasingly stringent health and safety standards are now imposed by the government, contractors and designers. This involves certifying lifting equipment, providing maintenance and inspection records of auger rigs, and compliance with a myriad of other measures that just about prevent fly-by-night operators entering the industry,” Maas adds.

Among the many current or recent projects awarded to Gauteng Piling, which no longer has Barrow Construction as a shareholder, are:

  • Piling indoors within the confines of the SAMCA Floor Tiles plant at Babelegi, Hammanskraal, to provide the foundations for a new ball mill;
  • A contract for a total of over 280 piles – some up to 20m deep – for a new hotel and office development for Barrow Construction in Waterfall Office Park in Midrand;
  • Interlocking piles to prevent water ingress for ventilation shafts at the Glencore mine at Rustenburg – a contract with exceptional safety requirements;
  • Underpinning expansive concrete foundations at the Nkumbula Secondary School in Springs, a contract for the Gauteng Department of Education;
  • Providing 130 piling foundations for a new residence in Bassonia being built on a formidable slope by RRD Construction – an unusually challenging assignment calling for special equipment; and
  • Providing more than 60 piles for a new office block in Brooklyn, Pretoria.