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Power Group is at the forefront of South African engineering and building development. An innovative industry leader with 31 years experience in the sector, the civil construction company is initiating an exciting new project in 2014, expected to be the biggest of its kind in the country’s history. The Group’s marketing manager Gary Power offers insight into the ways in which the company is making a real impact to business and the local economy through this lucrative venture.


A simple pledge made by a fledgling organisation in April 1983 remains its cornerstone today. The words “to improve the quality of life in Africa through infrastructure development” marked the beginning of a company that has changed both cityscapes and landscapes, constructed profitable luxury residential estates, built industrychanging road and office blocks, developed economic housing schemes and above all, provided the solid groundwork to service it all.


nitially, Power Group started only as a small construction group and has since grown into the largest non-listed construction group in South Africa,” says Power, “The Power

Group is split into Power Construction, which incorporates both Power Civils and Power Building, and Power Developments, the property development division. Power Construction is responsible for forty seven percent of all the civil infrastructure and basis for the new wind farms in South Africa. This is more than any other civil contractor in South Africa.” The group’s national activities certainly span an impressive field: from property development; turnkey housing and road and earthworks construction, to rehabilitation and renewable energy, and is acknowledged to be one of South Africa’s most innovative and influential contractors. Active in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape, as well as in Gauteng, one of the nine provinces of South Africa, the company operates nationally from the Head Offices in Cape Town. Power Developments is the property division of the Power Group, formed in 1991 and started by constructing small residential developments. Since the early 90s, the South African government has been actively rolling out subsidised housing for the poor which accelerated the company as a housing developer and to date, it has constructed over 50,000 houses. The company’s branch initiates and manages multi-million Rand turnkey developments – developing and building residential, industrial and commercial properties within

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a wide-ranging portfolio: from high-density housing projects, to prestigious developments and commercial course developments. It is planning to add to this already notable profile by embarking on an

upcoming and crucial role in community housing, an ambitious project

a health clinic; library; community shopping centre; fuel station and

that will see the company construct 3,200 subsidised and private

various commercial sites,” says Power, “Residents can work, play and

homes at the Pelican Park Project in Cape Town this year – the biggest

live without leaving the development and send their kids to school

integrated development ever in South Africa.

across the road.” To bolster such an ambitious project, the Power Group has

Cementing the landscape

already delivered significant success with the first FLISP (Financially

Buyers are offered several choices on different types of property

Linked Individual Subsidy Programme) units in the Western Cape.

to suit various budgets; Pelican Park will include 2100 BNG (Breaking

The programme is open to any South African who is 18 years or older

New Ground, government subsidy housing) houses to beneficiaries

and has never received a government subsidy before. Applicants

earning less than R3500 (£197) per month, 720 GAP houses, open to

apply for a bond first, and then a FLISP application is handed in. “It

anybody earning between R3500 – R15000 (£197- £844) household

assists those buyers who earn more than the R3500 (£196.50) cap

income per month, and open market housing, open to anybody/

for BNG housing and could never afford a bond before,” explains

household earning above R15000 (£844) per month, all in one

Power, “This has taken huge innovation from the Power Group as


there is currently only two other developments that are able to sell

The BNG houses are 40m² two-bedroom houses with basic

homes at under R300 000 (£16,842) in the Western Cape. There is a

amenities, given to beneficiaries at no cost and are funded by the City

cap house price of R300 000 (£16,842) on FLISP but we are trusting

of Cape Town. The single and double storey GAP units, launched at

this will be increased to R400 000 (£22,457) shortly.”

a record R290 000 (£16,280) are the cheapest new freehold house

The Pelican Park Project has already garnered significant

available in South Africa, and the essence of the flagship project.

encouragement and approval, both in South Africa and further afield,

These GAP houses are 42m² and consist of two-bedroom, single

and has been nominated as World Design Capital focus project

storey, semi-detached units as well as double storey two, three and

this year. A further coup for the company is a partnership with the

four-in-a-row 42m² units. There are 359 Open Market units with

International Nelson Mandela Build, hosted by Habitat for Humanity

three optional sizes of 48m²m (two bedroom), 56m² (two bedroom)

South Africa, where more than 3,000 volunteers will work onsite at

and 74m² (three bedroom) free standing houses, with an optional

Power Group and donate their time to build 100 houses in just one

single garage as well. To date, the company has already completed just

week. This innovative consumer education, backed up by service

over 400 houses and has a further 2,800 to build by the end of 2017,

and product aims to achieve great things. “It is another way of

“The landmark development will include a primary and a high school;

integrating different cultures and income brackets,” says Power, “It is


only through these strategic partnerships and those with the banks,

commitments to employees, and

is very unusual in the tough

local and provincial government that makes these developments

by extension, the South African

construction industry.”

possible. A number of local businesses are in fact benefitting from

community, the company offers

These trusts are proving

their contribution on this project and moving forward they will

co-ownership to staff affiliated

effective: the 420 unit holding

put a massive amount of money back into the local economy with

with the company for five years

employees now hold the same


or longer. Thus, employees can

share of ownership in both

have a direct share in the profits

Power Construction and Power

generated from the financial


successes of each year alongside


the three shareholders, Power


Group Holdings; the Power


Power to the people The Power Group prides itself on having a progressive and innovative Organisational Development department, that has not only paved the way for the Group, but spearheaded civil industry








shareholding through



Group; and the Power Group

the Employee Trust will be in

training programmes and even assists smaller companies with

Employee Trust. “A few years ago,

workers’ hands at all times.

advice and guidance. Training and development for its 1800 staff is

all 450 staff members that have

“While projects, plant, tenders

compulsory and part of the culture; all employees complete a PDP

been working for the Group for


(Personal Development Plan) which is reviewed annually. “We believe

five years and longer were given

different companies performing,

that any other construction and development company can have the

30% shares in the company,”

the Power Group is ultimately

same machines and similar products, but ultimately the staff make

Power explains, “Many of our

about people . . . People joining

[the company] different and you will often hear the term the “Power

management and staff have

hands, working together towards

Family”, says Power.

been working for the Group for

a shared vision,” says Power.




The last 15 years has seen significant change at Power Group,

more than 20 years and some for

The ‘sharing of knowledge’

both structurally and strategically. One of the more notable

even more than 30 years, which

within the company manifests

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itself in many ways – from formal training courses and ‘learner-ships’ to experiential training and workshops. Annually, Power Group enrols a vast number of students, either as bursary holders, or as trainees and eighty percent of these students come from previously disadvantaged communities, “Because we care about the wellbeing of our staff and their families, we are committed to maximising our peoples’ potential through ongoing development and coaching,” says Power, “Knowledge sharing through skills transfer is a vital way of achieving and maintaining this culture of ongoing improvement.” In addition, these strong principles of corporate responsibility transfer neatly over to customer focus. A dedicated PR division that actively focuses on client relationships coupled with an annual internal and external customer evaluation has resulted in significant customer loyalty; the majority of clients have been making use of the Power Groups services for more than 20 years. “It is testament that we are not a company that comes in, does a project and walks away afterwards,” says Power, “We pride ourselves on completing work ahead of schedule and beyond our clients’ expectations. We are only one of the very few companies that have an internal civil and building construction and property development division, complimented with expert project managers to offer a turnkey service.”

Keeping promises “The Power Group has proudly completed over 31,300 BNG houses to date, which is more than 1,000 units per year since our existence,” remarks Power. “The new integrated model is more sustainable, and I believe is the future of housing in South Africa. “Pelican Park is an R660m (£37m) development, started in 2012 and will be completed by 2017. We are currently completing roughly 80-100 houses per month. Over 450 houses have already been handed over and construction on a 6000m² shopping centre will begin in June 2014. More than 600 jobs have been created on the Pelican Park development alone.” How will these plans adhere to the company’s core pledge and principles, I ask. “We need to move away from a hand-out mentality and specifically, from creating an entitlement culture,” asserts Power, “The GAP market is a new market for the Power Group, and we look forward to assisting in providing homes to the more than 500,000 families in this bracket in the Western Cape alone. We look forward to continuing to be a market leader in South Africa and we are also very excited about our new venture in Namibia and looking at expanding into the rest of Africa.”

The Power Group is ultimately about people: people joining hands, working together towards a shared vision.”


Power Development  

Corporate Brochure

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