Piet Martins in the year 2000 as president of the Gauteng Master
Builders Association. 
Still currently an active member.

History & Experience

I believe that the key driver to ensure a project is successful and proceeds according to programme is the Project Management thereof. Given the importance and scope of the projects we project manage I felt it important to give you some piece of mind regarding our expertise and background. The below list is not all jobs ever done – but I merely highlight those relevant to the present construction environment!

1. Experience

  • Well known in construction industry as leader & manager
  • Well respected in the construction industry for the last 40 years
  • Compiled the Construction Contract Management Manuel (Best Practises & Procedures for managing construction, civil and building contracts)
  • Past President of the Master Builders Association in the year 2000
  • Managing Director for 20 years in Corporate construction Groups of 2 large companies
  • Managing Director of various SADC Countries
  • Constructed major projects in South Africa and SADC such as high rise buildings, residential developments, commercial projects (hotels and shopping centres) and office blocks
  • On Civil roads, bridges, various mining work on primary crushers, water towers, reservoirs, cement plants & power stations!

Examples of recent projects:

South Africa SADC
  • Castleton Residential Dev – Plettenberg Bay (R220m)
  •  Tshilidzi Maternity hospital (R120m – 1990)
  •  Makweng hospital (R400m - 1999)
  •  Donald Fraser Hospital (R110m – 1992)
  •  Hilton Hotel Sandton JHB (R350m – 2000)
  •  Protea Place Sandton (R400 m – 2010)
  •  Melrose Arch JHB (3billion – ongoing since 2003)
  •  Taj Palace CT (R550m – 2009)
  •  Crystal Towers CT ( R650 m – 2010)
  •  Galleria Shopping Centre Durban (R750m- 2009)
  •  Gateway Durban North JV (R1 billion 2006)
  •  Dept of Foreign Affairs Pretoria (R1.4 billion 2010)
  •  Batemans new HO Edenvale (R300m – 2011)
  •  Holiday Inn Umhlanga (R180m – 2008)
  •  Involved in Green point Stadium (R3 billion – 2009)
  •  Wax Plant Sasol (R130m – 2011)
  •   Cement Batch Plant – Port Shepstone - 2009
  •  Cecilia Makawane Hospital (R400m – in process)
  •  SANRAL HO Midrand (R500m – 2010)
  • Hospital Extentions:
    - Masulu Hospital (56 m USD – 2004) Luanda
    - Chevron Cabinda (25 m USD – 2004) Cabinda
  •  Private clinic Lusaka (44m USD – 2005)
  •  Serowe Hospital Botswana (400m pula – 2007)
  •  Gabarone Private Clinic (250 m pula – 2008)
  •  Diamond Sorting Facility De Beers Gaborone (420m pula)
  •  Old Mutual Towers Windhoek (Highest Building to date) (500m 2008)
  •  Nova Vida Town Luanda Angola (R 2.5 billion - 2005)
  •  Tati Nickel Francis Town (R180m – 2007)
  •  Twin Towers Office and Residential Gaborone
    (380m pula and 220 m pula – 2007)
  •  Shopping Centres Gabarone (220m pula – 2006)
  •  Marupuli Power Station (400m pula – 2006)
  •  Power Stations and Sub-stations Namibia (150m pula 2007)
  •  Ross Pinah mine extensions and open cast mining – civil structures
    (R600m – 2007)
Crystal Towers above


Note: All developments are inclusive of Roads, Infrastructure and related services:

(Value in '000 millions)

400 Homes – Garankuwa - Medunsa
500 Homes - Mogwase
820 Precast & Conventional Units - Sua Pan Botswana
300 Low Cost Units - Gaborone
1800 Low Cost Units - Dobson Ville
3000 Low Cost Units - Kokstad
1500 Units Matjithaba View- Dunnoter
2000 Homes – East Bank Alexandra
2500 Units (Pre Cast & Conventional) Nova Vida - Luanda
R 165.0

Piet Martins was awarded the 'Housing Person of the Year' Award by the Institute of Housing SA in 1998.

See below more info on specific projects to illustrate variety, range and depth of projects:

7 Star Taj Hotel - Cape Town:

The Previous Barclays Bank in central Cape Town was reverted into this 7 star facility:

Nova Vida Luanda - Angola:

The Nova Vida Housing Development is the largest building project ever undertaken in Luanda, Angola. Phase 1 provided housing for 30,000 people on a site area of approximately 440 ha.

Completed within a very short construction period, the Angolan government initiated the first phase of the project in the late ‘90s. Meaning ‘new life’ in Portuguese, Nova Vida is a model of engineering and construction excellence aimed at improving the life of impoverished citizens. The project posed a number of challenges including the sourcing and transportation of suitable building materials, the operation of a multinational and multilingual workforce, as well as the challenge of providing on-site skills training and mentoring. I was assigned to carry out work that ranged from conceptualisation and design, to the construction supervision and project management of this multi-faceted undertaking. I also oversaw the operation and maintenance of the existing infrastructure to ensure the longevity of assets. Nova Vida is a prime example of what can be achieved through teamwork, expertise and innovation, and an understanding of the needs of the client. The achievement of the Government of Angola’s vision sets a precedent for similar, future developments throughout the country and elsewhere in Africa. Following the success of phase 1, Group 5 was also appointed to work on phase 2 of the project. The project received the Concrete Society of Southern Africa’s Fulton Award for ‘Excellence in the Use of Concrete’ in 2005. On completion this project profit before tax was R300m, on an average of R80m per year!

The above experience makes me an African Specialist and I am being quoted in various newspapers, business and engineering magazines and academic text books on such.

2. Services

2.1 Project Management (Full Value Chain)

• Client Identification/Relationship & Business Development
• Acquiring property with legal aspects
• Appointment and control of consultants
• Handle environmental processes and Green Star rating
• Planning approval with Authorities
• Tender for the construction phase (involvement of local community & BEE participation)
• Construction Management (Main Contractor with sub-contractors)
• Handle all commercial, financial and HR operational responsibilities
• Monthly Project meetings with client, contractor and consultants
• Control handover and work completion including the induction of the final operator!
• Issue of final completion certificates
• Control latent defect period!

2.2 Construction Management (To take full control and fixing of existing projects)

• Align with Safety Standards and Requirements if needed
• Monitor and action programme issues
• Handle and control of consultants and professionals
• Can assist and handle all staff related issues
• Handle Client relationship
• Handle all revenue issues
• Cash flow forecast and targets
• Handle claim/penalty issues
• Have large data base of sub-contractors for urgent actions needed
• Consultative and transparent approach with client, consultants and contractor towards completion, including snagging etc.
• Obtaining work completion certificates with various authorities and take control of final account with client in full as well as handle all sub-contractor matters
• Handle and control process for latent defects

2.3 SADC Projects

Because of extensive previous experience we can handle all aspects of SADC projects

- Country risk analysis
- Over-border rules, commercial, financial, HR and operational requirements
- Logistical experience re planning and programming in Africa by ship/air/rail/road
- Have extensive experience re the involvement with governments and high level officials of various SADC countries
- Data base of existing expatriates who are prepared to work in SADC


• Senior Executive Screening and appointments (Fees negotiable)
• All other positions as required in the industry
• Data base available
• Assessment and training of placements
• Expatriate training!


My work life started with Department of Water Affairs after joining the Group 5 and later Murray & Roberts before deciding to proceed as Consultant!

Hilton Hotel Sandton

4.1 GROUP 5

I have worked for Group 5 for 23 years of which I was a MD for 14 years. The first 8 years was as the MD of Housing Projects in South Africa. The last 6 years I was the MD of Group 5 International up to the end of 2006. During this time I finished:

• Various Low Cost housing projects in SA with infra-structure and services
• Various High income residential projects (± 120 projects)
• Projects in Angola - (Luanda and Cabinda)
• Chad - (Ndjamena)
• Cameroon - (Yaoundé and Duala)
• Nigeria – (Lagos and Abidjan)
• Zambia - (Lusaka)
• Botswana – (Gabarone) see below

This facility is the most sofisticated diamond sorting and valuaing facility in the world.

During my tenure with Group 5 I managed to also serve in the year 2 000 as President of the Master Builders of South Africa.


I met Brian Bruce in October of 2005 at a function held for past Presidents of MBSA and SAFCEC. After a brief discussion he said that he would like me to consider joining the company. I was appointed as Executive Director for all M&R Infrastructure Projects, replacing Jim Woods retiring in March 2006.

I started with M&R on the 1st of February 2006 dealing with:

• Ocon Bricks
• Harvey Roof Tiles
• Rocla
• Tolcon

After less than a month I was summoned by Brian Bruce and Keith Smith to assist sorting out issues in SADC after which I took over control of SADC. Subsequent to this I took over Murray & Roberts Building SA as well!


In March 2006 I visited Windhoek and found:

• The company’s turnover was ± R90 m per annum.
• The economy was very cyclical.
• In 2011 the turnover went up close to R400m per annum!
• This means that this business went up nearly 5 times from before.
• EBIT margins have never been less than 10%.
• I was also fundamental in starting Dynamic Concrete Solutions (Ready Mix Company).


In the same month of March 2006 I was asked to fix Botswana. During my first visit to Gaborone I found:

• Absolute chaos!
• Turnover not even R120 m per annum.
• Out of only 5 sites the only project which was basically worthwhile was BDVC – Diamond Facility Building.
• All the other contacts had some major contractual issues with losses and major outstanding payments. 
• From a R120 m turnover we increased the turnover up to R532m currently.
• EBIT has never been less than 6 – 8%.
• Botswana is still very successful with huge potential. Expats not even 5% of total staff and workforce!

Gabarone Towers Pic


I was asked to at the same time to go and sort this company as well in which we have a 47% share.

• Took responsibility when the turnover was not even R30m per annum.
• Liaised with my contacts and assisted them with Zimplats, DRA and other contracts.
• Negotiated the British Embassy Project in Harare on Cost plus 11% basis. Value R16 million pounds.
• Turnover per annum increased to R150m per year!


• Negotiated the 250 bed clinic in Lusaka with upfront payment and establishment fees.

4.5 SOUTH AFRICA - 2008

  • I was appointed by Keith Smith to assist in the DFA PPP as they have been made preferred bidder.
  • On the Design and Construct I did all of this and established an R60m mistake on various errors. This basically had an effect on the IRR and therefore there was no participation at concessions level and only from a D + C activity.
  • Started the DFA on early works agreement and became the Chairman of the Exco.
  • Project build – completed 2 months late but still with a reasonable margin.
  • After major issues in M&R Construction Keith Smith asked me to take charge of M&R Buildings - had to fix once more:
    • Bedford Square – 2 years late, R100m loss including penalties – 135 s/c final account to be sorted out. Final account – brought down the loss to about R30m.
    • Port Shepstone NPC – also R89m – I was in the steering committee to deal with Piet Strauss.
    • Major losses and old Contracts with no provisions and bad workmanship.
    • Issues in the Western Cape that I had to deal with and was asked to fix.




• Since I took over the financial results changed. The profit before tax annually was as follows:

- 2008/2009 = R29m
- 2009/2010 = R30m
- 2010/1011 = - R7m (loan order book)

  • The financial year 2010/2011 was a disaster year for all companies because of low order books as well as work constructed with no guarantees on payment!

In summary my contribution to M&R bottom-line including SADC countries was every year for SADC R+50m. One year it went up to R+60m. If I add the South African contribution my contribution to the company was between R80 – 90million per year. Before I left M & R I was able to negotiate with ABACUS 4 projects to the value of 2.4 Billion which is only now under construction! Apart from my construction expertise I believe the above gives evidence of my commercial acumen.

Currently - Piet Martins & Associates are

  • Involved with various projects such as Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (R1.2 billion) to be completed by July 2015, Frere Hospital (R170m) and smaller BEE projects;
  • Executive and senior management appointments as well as lower level teams and sub-contractors for various projects;
  • Training courses (see website for examples and related Newsletters);
  • Coordination of on-site training courses on various projects.
  • Curriculation of Construction English workbooks to train illiterate workers to communicate in English! These workbooks are aligned with ABET literacy outcomes, including all work processes, health and safety, construction information and 20% social English (Banking, life style issues etc.) to function in society. The books are designed to take the worker from total illiteracy to Grade 11 level, after which a Grade 12 Certificate is completed with the National South African Department of Education.
  • Association with Amadi (Africa Management Development Institute) University in Zwaziland to introduce, establish and coordinate a myriad of training interventions with clients and associates in Africa!

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