Haw and Inglis
New contracts cementing Haw and Inglis position at the top
New contracts cementing Haw and Inglis position at the top Editorial – Christian Jordan Production – Hal Hutchison
Haw and Inglis are currently upgrading roads all over the country. The company boasts one of the rare stories of success in what has been a very difficult climate for construction businesses. Managing Director, Adrian Robinson, tells IndustrySA about the company’s plans for the future and what is needed for the industry to grow.
The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd, generally known as SANRAL, has a distinct mandate – to finance, improve, manage and maintain the national road network, sometimes referred to as the ‘economic arteries’ of South Africa. With ten million registered vehicles (and a number of unregistered) the country’s roads are constantly under strain and this makes the SANRAL mandate a significant challenge. SANRALs only shareholder is the South African government, represented by the Minister of Transport, Ben Martins, and the parastatal
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organisation has a vision to be recognised as a world leader in the provision of a superior primary road network in Southern Africa. How does the SANRAL go about achieving this vision? Well, primarily the goal is to work with industry experts, through a tender process, who have expertise in road construction and rehabilitation and one of the companies in a position to offer this is Haw and Inglis. Established in 1984, the company is renowned for its capabilities in the road construction industry. Its roots can be traced back to the early 1900s and today Haw and Inglis is one of the industry leaders.
Haw and Inglis
“In the future, we hope to work more with the wind farms in the renewable sector”
Since its inception, the company has grown organically and new entities have formed as a result. IndustrySA recently spoke to Haw and Inglis Managing Director, Adrian Robinson, and he explained more about the group structure and the big projects underway right now. “The Haw and Inglis Group has many interests but three main divisions: Haw and Inglis Civil Engineering (Pty) Ltd, Great Karoo Crushing (Pty) Ltd and Haw and Inglis Projects (Pty) Ltd. “As we grew, it became apparent that we had to formalise operations to run the company to its full potential.
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We are proud to be a Haw & Inglis supplier for over 15 years. Komga Motors was established in 1978 We specialise in the transport of earthmoving machines. We are situated on the N2 highway 60Km north of East London.
PO BOX 18 Komga 4950 TEL: +27 43 831 1218 “H&I Projects focusses on building work. Normally construction companies will split operations between civil work and building work and we did that, starting H&I Projects in 2005. Before this, we never entered the building market officially, although we had done some small projects with low cost housing, but H&I Projects now solely work on specific building projects. “Great Karoo Crushing (GKC) is our plant and crushing subsidiary. This was formed in 1999 through a natural split. They look after the construction plant and aggregate processing and we hire the plant and subcontract the crushing of aggregated to them on our sites. Having three separate companies ensures proper cost control and it’s easier to record and understand what’s going on in the business.”
DRIVING THE BUSINESS There has been less and less construction opportunities for companies in the last five years, especially since the FIFA World Cup in 2010, but Haw and Inglis are currently working on major projects, all over the country. “We have a R350 million contract just south of Mthatha on the N2, passing in front of Nelson Mandela’s home in Qunu. At this stage it is due to end in February 2014. The contract is part of the upgrading of the road
between Mthatha and East London. “We also have a contract with the Provincial Department of Police, Roads and Transport of the Freestate, worth over R300 million, in eastern Free State, between Heilbron and Petrus Steyn, where we are upgrading the R57. That is due to finish in August. “We have another R300 million contract on the N7, north of Cape Town and also a R350 million contract at Citrusdal. It is SANRAL’s intention to upgrade the road (N 7) from Cape Town to Namibia and there is a lot of money being spent, we currently have three of the contracts on this piece of road, with a forth contract to be awarded imminently,” says Mr Robinson. Although the pipeline is strong, Mr Robinson suggests that the major investments that have been made into infrastructure by the government have not been felt by Haw and Inglis, saying: “This amount of work is normal for us; we have not seen the increase that has been mentioned by the government. There has definitely not been a major increase in construction work. “Our contracts mainly come from SANRAL however we also work for provincial governments. “90-95% of our work, on the civil side, is government tenders. We do private work but those contracts are few and far between.”
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company report RENEWABLE ENERGY One of the primary objectives of any business is expansion and Haw and Inglis is no different. The company has been proactive and found opportunities in the renewable energy sector and water and sewerage management sector, industries that have become popular for diversification for construction companies. “In the future, we hope to do more work on the wind farms in the renewable sector,” says Mr Robinson. “We will construct the roads for access to the towers and the concrete foundations for the wind towers. It is hoped that this type of work will take up 20-30% of our capacity in the next few years.” To ensure the company is fully equipped to take on the challenges of a new sector, Haw and Inglis bolstered its concrete capacity by purchasing a Port Elizabeth based company with experience in concrete construction. “For the renewable energy sector, we acquired a company called Ursa Civils in December 2012. Until recently they were the only company that has built a large foundation for a wind tower in RSA. This is a new industry in South Africa and we acquired the company
with the vision of expanding our contracts with renewables and also water and sewerage work. We feel that there will be many opportunities in this sector.
“Our expansion into the continent will definitely happen; it’s just a matter of time”
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www.maritimemotors.co.za “They have worked in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape so they have a broad knowledge of working in various parts of SA, which aligns well with our roadworks construction, which is also based on working nationally,” says Mr Robinson. While contracts with the companies owning the wind farms are not completely solid just yet, Mr Robinson expects commitments to be made very soon. “We are in the closing stages of contract negotiations with the private companies that own the wind farms or supply the turbines, and we hope to have that all secured in the not too distant future. “The farms that we will be involved with will have a number of turbines, ranging from ten to 47 so there are huge requirements for concrete work on these wind farms.”
HI-TECH MACHINERY The way that roads are laid has changed over the years, probably thanks to John Whitford Griffiths, one of the names intertwined with the deep history of Haw and Inglis. The Welshman came to South Africa in 1903 and introduced ideas of asphalt surfacing and tarring. Since then there has been many name changes,
mergers, acquisitions, rebrands and start-ups but the activity has remained the same for Haw and Inglis. However, the techniques have changed to incorporate the latest and greatest technology. The company now own and operate a fleet of machines and this fleet is constantly been upgraded as Mr Robinson explains: “Our machines come from a wide range of suppliers including CAT, Komatsu, Bell, Haum, Wirtgen, Bomag, Todano, Etnyre, Mercedes Benz, Broce, SEM, JCB, Vogele, Toyota, etc. We try and keep the ‘family’ of plant from the same manufacturer, for instance our excavators will all be from Komatzu. We own over 250 pieces of construction plant, 140 LDV’s and a further 260 pieces of smaller plant. We recently invested in a couple of new ‘recyclers’ and have taken delivery of one WR 240 last week from Wirtgen, with another arriving in two weeks’ time. They cost approximately R6 million each. The key machines in the field need to work and be very reliable with little downtime. We therefore have a very ‘calculated’ policy of plant replacement, trying to keep our fleet of machines as new as possible. “The machines develop every five to ten years, they are always being upgraded but the fundamental idea remains the same.”
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company report ECONOMIC CONDITIONS Haw and Inglis is one of the industry leaders in the country’s road construction industry. As mentioned above, the company is continuing to use its expertise on major projects around the country and expanding to serve new industries. They are a big contributor to the economy and local communities, employing over 1600 people and providing training and development for all members of staff. The company is also an Impumelelo Top 300 CSI company but achieving this sort of success has been a challenge and things are not getting any easier thanks to the tough economic climate which currently has a hold on the industry. “Since the World Cup, the construction industry has taken a real beating. Turnover from civil work now, compared to 2008/09/10, has probably halved. It has been severe and has influenced us,” says Mr Robinson. He is also conscious that some companies, even large organisations, have had to close their doors because of the slowdown. “There are not many companies starting up because of these conditions and there have been a number of
companies that have been liquidated, not just listed companies, medium to large organisations who were doing relatively big contracts have closed down during the last year. The conditions are very tough at the moment as all the capacity the industry built up towards the soccer World Cup is now ‘chasing’ very little work.” Although Haw and Inglis will be spreading their work in the future, the economic difficulties in the construction industry would be helped by more government spending as Mr Robison explains: “It helps to diversify, although the breaking in to new markets definitely has its own complications. Our work with renewables will help us through this stage but it is important that government put their money where their mouth is. The pipeline of projects isn’t getting to the implementation stage fast enough and they need to get the ball rolling.” To ensure efficiency during these tough times, the company is committed to operating as sustainably as possible, something which flows from board level right through the organisation.
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“We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 accredited, and will also be ISO 18000 accredited before the end of the year” says Mr Robinson, “there are not many construction companies in this country that have this certification. At board level we decided that it was the right thing to do so we changed our way of doing things to ensure we work sustainably. “We have fantastic employees and a wonderful relationship with everyone. Everyone pulls in the same direction and our employees are a critical part of our success.” The commitment to quality and sustainability has helped Haw and Inglis to remain healthy, even during a difficult few years, and as a result the company is actively looking to expand their footprint and enter the continental markets – potentially massive opportunities for a business with the right skills. “We have always been looking to Africa as an option” says Mr Robinson. “We have been to Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and a host of other countries to look at projects. Our expansion into the continent will definitely happen; it’s just a matter of time and waiting for the right opportunity to arise.”
When this expansion eventually gets under way, there is no reason why Haw and Inglis cannot go on to become one of Africa’s ‘go to’ civil infrastructure engineering companies and with a lot of hard work, eventually a leading contractor in the renewables and water and sewerage industries as well.
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