John Matthews, Group CEO of Garden Cities (NPC) (RF), the historic Cape suburban development company, accepted two top honours on June 27, at the Big 5 Construction Awards ceremony in Johannesburg. One was for the company’s ground-breaking new green building development, Northridge Coastal Estate, on Cape Town’s west coast, and the other for the SA construction industry collaboration initiative, Construction Alliance South Africa (CASA), of which he is Chairman.
The Northridge and CASA victories were achieved at the Big 5 Southern Africa Construction Awards event at the Gallagher Convention Centre. Northridge won in the Sustainable City Initiative category and CASA’s win was in the Industry Partner of the Year category.
Garden Cities’ big win was for its newest project, the approximately 429-home Northridge Coastal Estate (NCE), a residential development in Sunningdale, on the western seaboard of Cape Town.
NCE has been designed to incorporate all the essentials of sustainable development, that include: preserving the local biodiversity; planning for climate change; conserving energy, water and materials; enhancing community interaction and espousing smart city features.
It has previously also been awarded the first 4-star Green Star (Sustainable Precincts v1.1) by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
Construction Alliance South Africa is a remarkable initiative which united the construction industry under one umbrella body made up of around 37 professional, contractor, supplier, manufacturer and other allied industry bodies. Members are, in effect, the construction value chain, with Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal as the Convenor. Chairman John Matthews says the need for unity in the sector cannot be over-emphasised. “We are not only confronted with the enormous challenge of rebuilding the construction industry but also to make it more inclusive, transformed, innovative and competitive. The Alliance also unifies and amplifies the voice of the industry and broadens the channel of communication with government, particularly at this time when construction is taking the lead in the economic recovery of South Africa.”
The movement emanated from the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team, a voluntary construction industry collaboration of organisations across the sector. For the first time in South Africa, the task team was established to provide a collective construction industry response to the shutdown of all industries imposed by the lockdown regulations of the Disaster Management Act of 2002. Its function has since broadened to where it’s seen as an award-winning initiative, essential to the building industry.