Oldest Structure in Africa

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Where and What is the Oldest Structure in Africa?

The Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt

The vast majority of the oldest structures constructed are the ancient Egyptian Tombs, so it comes as no surprise to learn that the oldest structure in Africa was none other than the Saqqara Step Pyramid of Djoser – the first of its kind, and the largest building of its time.

The original Egyptian pyramid, the Pyramid of Djoser – is also known as the Saqqara Step Pyramid, as it is located in the Saqqara Necropolis, Egypt, and has a ‘step’ like the design.

The step pyramid was built as a Tomb for the pharaoh, Djoser between 2670 BC and 2650 BC [during the 3rd dynasty] in Saqqara, Egypt and stands 62,5 metres high, with 121 x 109 metres base and 330,400 cubic metres volume, making this superstructure not only the oldest structure in Africa but also the oldest “intact large-scale” stone monument in the world – a fact often overshadowed by Egypt’s group of most famous pyramids.

When completed, the Step Pyramid rose 204 feet (62 meters) high and was the tallest structure of its time.
The actual chambers of the tomb, where the king’s body was laid to rest, were dug beneath the base of the pyramid as a maze of tunnels with rooms off the corridors to discourage robbers and protect the body and grave goods of the king. Djoser’s burial chamber was carved of granite and, to reach it, one had to navigate the corridors which were filled with thousands of stone vessels inscribed with the names of earlier kings. The other chambers in the subterranean complex were for ceremonial purposes.

You cannot help but marvel at these ancient structures and recognise the strides in engineering and architecture made by the ancient Egyptians – and all without access to the tools and technology we have available today. It is astonishing!

Fun Facts and Food for Thought:
– The Djoser Pyramid was reopened for visitors earlier this year, in March 2020, after a 14-year restoration
– The 6-Tier, the 4-sided structure took about 20 years to build, with about 100,000 free skilled workers
– It is considered the earliest large-scale cut stone construction
– It is the only pyramid from the old kingdom that had 11 of the King’s daughters buried inside
– There are tunnels beneath the pyramid stretching across a labyrinth of 5,5 km in length
– The pyramid was initially a Mastaba tomb, which then [after expansions] evolved into 6 layers built upon each other
– This magnificent tomb was, in its entirety, built from limestone
– The Architect of this everlasting masterpiece, Imhotep – was a commoner, and among other titles and talents, he was an Engineer, Physician, a Priest, and a Sculptor

Afrika Lovers

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About Jackie Van Zyl

My epic journey at Leads 2 Business started September 2008, as a Researcher / Data Capturer in the Tenders Africa Department. I joined Customer Relations in 2011, where I have had the great pleasure of being part of the Dynamic L2B Admin Department [From 2011 to present]. I deal with the Registration and Administration details of New Account Activations, and Existing Account Upgrades, etc. I also assist with client & staff queries. I’m a ‘think-out-of-the-box’ individual and an excellent problem solver. I am hardworking, meticulous, efficient, friendly and always happy to help! I look forward in assisting you with any queries you might have

How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

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How to reduce your carbon footprint.

With the constant growth of population across the globe, it is imperative to be aware of things you can do to save the planet. Adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle can really make an impact on the overall climate preservation.
Below are a few practical changes you can make in your day-to-day life to reduce your carbon footprint.

There are simple tweaks that you can make which in return can save you energy and money.
Turning off your lights and appliances when they are not in use. Using laptops instead of desktops, as they use less energy. Replacing your fridge, if it’s 15-20 years old as they can be “energy hogs”. Planting trees around your home.
Using the following 5 R’s of zero waste:
Refuse – Avoid single use of plastic and paper
Reduce – Buying only what you need
Reuse – Dispose of less and upcycling items where possible
Rot – Find a nearby food drop off centre
Recycle – Glass and metal

The most environmentally friendly diet is one with less meat (red), as red meat production uses a lot of water and land. Growing your own garden consisting of lower food chain products such as vegetables, fruits, grains and beans can be one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint. Eating in season and locally, can really help to reduce the carbon footprint created by shipment of your foods, especially when you consider how far your food had to travel to get to you.

As a consumer society, we think of fashion as disposable items and often justify buying the latest styles. Resulting in our wardrobes being overly populated and resulting in most of our clothing items in landfill sites. Which presents an issue of contamination as some of these clothes are not “organic” and often sprayed with lots of pesticides. To mitigate this overload, we can re-purpose old clothing, buy locally handmade garments and vintage.

Toxins emitted by transportation engines are not only very dangerous to human health, but the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from transportation engines far surpasses emissions from electrical generators. This identifies transportation engines as one of the biggest sources of air pollution.
Where plausible you should walk, cycle or take a bus to your destination. When using a vehicle, spread your carbon burden by inviting people to share your commute. If you are frequent vehicle user, service your vehicle regularly to reduce emissions.
Most importantly “Go easy on the gas”.

Going Zero Waste
NY Times

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About Andile Shange

I'm a Software Developer at Leads 2 Business since 02 June 2014.

Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s quote is from the great leader, Nelson Mandela. Did you know July is his birthday month? We thought quotes from him would be most suitable this month.

“I never lose. I either win or learn.” Nelson Mandela

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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

N2 Wild Coast Road

“Take a walk on the wild side”  or drive or ride, whatever blows your hair back.

The Wild Coast, the southern tip of KZN and north of the Eastern Cape, a stunning, almost untouched, part of the country, and because of the lack of road access, it is also one of the poorest areas in South Africa.  The development of a new road system would benefit the area to encourage tourism and to allow the area open to economic opportunities.  However, the environmental aspect needs to be fully considered and there has been public participation in making a decision over several years. 

As of May 2019, a project had been opened to upgrade the surface of 15km of the Road DR08046, which is a portion of the Wild Coast Meander.  As at the 14th of May 2020, the current status is underway. 

The positive is always moving forward and reaching out to those in need.  However, the world has suffered quite a dramatic change of viewpoint recently, so would reaching out to those in need by constructing a road for growth be beneficial?  Or would it be best to leave them untouched? 

The Negative and Interference

In 2018 the villagers of Pondoland had pleaded for the new road to not to take place, as it would destroy their land and their way of life. They are the people of this land and they have spoken up.

In 2019 there was a write up in the Moneyweb: “Engineers leave SA due to ‘construction mafia’”.  Projects are compromised with illegal site disruptions. These illegal site disruptions caused some listed construction companies to withdraw from parts of the N2 Wild Coast Road Construction, due to fearing for the safety of their employees.

This is what makes me feel torn.  There is always positive with every negative and vice versa.  Growth and infrastructure are what people want and need.  Millions are poured into beautiful places so that the whole world can visit and the local community can benefit.  Yet it is the beautiful and untouched places that get destroyed by too many people. The simpler things in life aren’t so simple anymore.  Do we need to have every corner of our planet touched and modernised and built up?

I’ve given the facts, but my gut is saying leave it “WILD”, leave it as it is because it is just that, BEAUTIFUL and untouched, with infrastructure and upgrading the beauty will be taken away and we’ll be left with yet another oversaturated tourist attraction.

The project is on the way, let’s hope that all the positives come out from this:

The people get what they need, the wildlife remains “untouched” and wild. The land remains a well sufficient and working ecosystem even with the interference of people. And education of the area to form respect for the land.

To view these tenders and projects in full, one needs to be subscribed to our website, contact us for further details:  www.L2B.co.za

Projects available to view on L2B website regarding the N2 Toll are;

  • N2 Toll – Mtentu Bridge
  • N2 Toll – Msikaba Bridge
  • N2 Toll – North & South Haul Roads

Recent Tenders available on L2B:

  • N2 Wild Coast toll highway Section 20 between the Lingeni intersection km 1540 and..
  • N2 Wild Coast Highway Section 20 between the Msikaba River Bridge and the Mtentu River Bridge
  • Msikaba River Bridge On The N2 Wild Coast Toll Road
  • N2 Wild Coast Toll Road Supply Of Crushed Rock Material
  • N2 Wild Coast Toll Highway Section 21 between Kulumbe Village km 2150 and the Mtamvuna.
  • N2 Wild Coast Toll Highway Section 19 between Ndwalane km 7560 and Ntafufu km 922.

I think back to Ballito in the late ‘80s early ‘90s and look at the bustling metropolis it is today.  Yes, it provides work and community, wow has it grown! Even in two years since the road access from Zululand to Maputo in Mozambique has opened up access and work for the local community. The tourists seem to be visiting Ponto d’Oura and Malangane less which means the Vendor market has changed. Maybe for the better, it is still something to consider.

What does your gut feel?


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About Tara Hutton

My employment at Leads 2 Business commenced in January 2010, where for two years I worked in the Directory Department establishing a better understanding of construction and where Leads 2 Business fitted in. In February 2012, I moved to the Accounts department where I have been looking after accounts queries and anything related to accounts since then. I have been told by many that I’m resilient, yet caring individual and good to have on “their” side. Calm under pressure, which is quite useful in my line of work. I am proud and honoured to be part of the L2B mothership adding my bit to the greater good. Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Leads 2 Business in 60 Seconds

Our comprehensive, online, resource platform delivers daily leads to help you make informed business decisions. Find construction Tenders and Projects within the building, infrastructure, mining and industrial sectors. Opportunities are researched throughout South Africa and Africa. We put new business prospect leads within your reach.


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

South Africa’s First Plastic Road

The moment I heard of South Africa’s first plastic road, I was extremely inquisitive about the research and input it took to pull this type of project off successfully. I can tell you, personally, I was not disappointed by the difference this could make to the future of our South African roads.

Shisalanga managing director, Donavan Deane Koekemoer stated that this tackles two of South Africa’s biggest problems. One of which is damaged roads and the other is recycling plastic waste. In one of the reports found on Averda, quoted “The unfortunate condition of many of our primary and secondary roads demands an immediate and long-lasting solution. The citizens who use these roads to get to school, work and clinics every day deserve safe roads that are well-maintained,” says Koekemoer. “On the other end of the scale, there is an urgent need to recycle plastic waste in South Africa, to minimise the waste ending up in landfill sites, and to reduce other environmental threats,” he adds. Koekemoer also said that the company would expand the use of this plastic-based road throughout South Africa.

The road was successfully paved by a company named Shisalanga Construction, a subsidiary of road construction company Raubex Group and officially put to use in March 2020. The road consists out of 3 million plastic bags. 1 km of the road makes use of 1,8 Million single-use bags.  The plastic-asphalt mix used to make the road is more durable, less prone to potholes and more heat resistant than tar. This way of paving roads is also much cheaper to maintain than normal tarred roads. The Asphalt is made our of bitumen and stone, which Bitumen can be extended with recycled plastic materials, reducing the amount of fossil fuel used. The roads will eventually only be using waste from the Municipality in the area where the road is being built.

Kouga Municipality is piloting the new approach to tarring roads in partnership with MacRebur SA.
MacRebur is planning on establishing a plant in South Africa. This will be creating more Job Opportunities as well.  

News 24
Cape Town etc
SA people

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10 Interesting Facts about the Eastern Cape

1) Established:
The Eastern Cape was established on the 27th April 1994, before this it was part of the Cape Province. The areas that were taken from the Cape Province to create the Eastern Cape are Transkei, Ciskei and the Eastern portion of the Cape Province.

2) Consists of:
The Eastern Cape is 170 000 Square kilometres of mountain ranges, sandy beaches and even lush forests, stretching from the Southern Drakensburg to Tsitsikamma. It boasts a coastline of 800km from Cape Francis all the way to the Wild Coast.

3) Climate:
The climate in the Eastern Cape is subtropical and is mild towards the North. With hot summers the winters are cold with snowfall towards the northern mountains. The annual precipitation increases by 550MM between Graaff-Reinet in the West and East London in the East.

4) Harbours:
The Eastern Cape is the only province that has 3 harbours, namely Port Elizabeth, East London and Ngqura. The trio of ports connects South Africa to the global economy.

5) Wild Life:
Big 5, no!  The Eastern Cape is home to the big 7, namely the Great White Shark, Southern Right Whale, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and majestic Lion.

6) Adventure:
If adventure and pure adrenalin are what you are after the Bloukrans River Bridge is the place to be for the very popular bungee jumping. The bridge spans 451 meters in length and hangs 216 meters above the Bloukrans River, it is situated near Nature’s Valley and was built between 1980 and 1983 by Concor.  

7) Sport:
The Eastern Province boasts a premier rugby team namely the Isuzu Southern Kings whose home ground is the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth that is appropriately named after a local hero, icon and former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela. The Isuzu Southern Kings are one of only two teams that represent South Africa in the Guinness Pro14 tournament overseas.

8) Automotive:
The Eastern Cape is home of Volkswagen South Africa, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu and Ford Motors. The Province manufactures 50% of the Country’s passenger vehicles and also exports 51% of the vehicles that are manufactured here.

9) Agriculture:
The Eastern Cape has fertile soil and due to this is able to produce many different products that include Fruit, Chicory, Olives, Tea, coffee and maize.

10) Icons:
Former president Nelson Mandela, Former president Thabo Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo are some of the icons that were born and bred in the Eastern Cape.

Global Africa Network
South African Hotels
Wikipedia EC
Wikipedia Bloukrans
Visit Eastern Cape

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About Karen Garner-Savory

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2009, and have served as Head of Department of Telesales and Administration from 2010 until the present. I oversee both the Telesales department as well as the Administration of our Johannesburg Office.

OPINION: SA’s construction sector is in ICU. Here’s how government can help

Like most sectors of the economy, the South African construction sector has been struggling prior to the lockdown instituted by government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This restriction on almost of all projects further pushed already struggling construction companies down the cliff.

All comes against the backdrop of well-known industry issues such as declining government infrastructure spend poor payment practices within sector’s supply chains and more importantly, the broken industry operating model that is no longer fit for purpose.

This declining trend in public infrastructure spend is largely due to municipalities and state-owned companies substantially reducing their spending over the past few years. Transnet, Eskom and several major state-owned companies have struggled to access capital markets to finance capital projects and infrastructure programmes.

Most municipalities have been consistently underspending on conditional infrastructure grants and are they are not collecting enough revenues to finance their capital budgets. The same trend is visible in infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP. Government can change this.

For instance, without even lifting a finger, the government can consider practical and actionable strategies already presented and tabled by the industry.

In response to Covid-19, the construction sector has since formed a Construction Sector Covid-19 Task Team, currently comprised of over 30 organisations representing major suppliers, contractors, regulators, professional associations and built environment professional services firms. This Task Team has since worked with government to develop an industry-specific Covid-19 Construction Health & Safety Protocol. Furthermore, the Task Team has submitted a comprehensive short to medium term plan government of actionable reforms to help the sector recover.

This initiative shows that the construction sector is already working together to respond to the impact of the Covid-19 and ensure sustainability of the industry over the coming weeks and months, as well as to enable it to play a full part in South Africa’s economic recovery as the global search for vaccine progresses.

However, the sector also needs support and a clear commitment from government expedite various infrastructure policy reforms.

1. A predictable and reliable long-term infrastructure pipeline

A forward-looking pipeline of planned projects and programmes of economic and social infrastructure is urgently required to help construction companies understand which infrastructure investments government is currently prioritising. By publishing the pipeline, the government will help provide visibility, knowledge and understanding of where infrastructure investment is being made and by whom. Publishing projections of longer-term infrastructure investment will boost market confidence and will help the sector with business planning. This is important because the 18 Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) which were coordinated by the Presidential Coordinating Infrastructure Commission established during the Zuma administration lacked transparency and to this day no one has a clue about their progress. The recent announcement that the Presidency will host the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium is a step in the right direction.

2. A single government body to coordinate infrastructure planning

The government should establish under the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure an infrastructure planning and coordinating body that will combine fragmented efforts and infrastructure related work currently done in different government departments. The Budget Facility for Infrastructure within Treasury, the GTAC Capital Projects Unit, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission within Trade, Industry and Economic Development, the Public-Private Partnerships Unit within Treasury and ultimately the newly established Presidential Office for Investment and Infrastructure led by Dr.Kgosientsho Ramokgopa should all be merged into a single entity will coordinate all infrastructure planning and coordinating efforts of national, provincial, local government and major state-owned enterprises. This has obvious benefits for the sector. The current level of fragmentation is problematic and wasteful. The lack of transparency by DBSA on the R100bn Infrastructure Fund is also concerning.

3. The use of innovative infrastructure procurement delivery methods

Government should also commit to moving away from the unsustainable transactional and cost-driven procurement of infrastructure and instead embrace the creation of value-driven, collaborative procurement methods that can deliver investment programmes that secure the outcomes demanded by clients and the public. The use of alliance contracting, integrated project delivery and design-build procurement could help address the gaps and failures presented by the current traditional construction procurement delivery approach.

The myth that lowest cost equals best value only survives because of the lack of best value options to compare it with. Furthermore, the processes of designing infrastructure, obtaining tenders, administering contracts and dealing with claims all incur transaction costs, management costs and overheads down the supply chain. These costs are embedded in every price submitted by tenderers and in the final price paid by the owner. The construction industry shows little interest in measuring these costs in a consistent manner and this lack of transparency. Government can change this.

South Africa needs high performing infrastructure. Without it we have little hope of improving the productivity of our economy. Without an improvement in productivity, we will not be able to secure the quality of life demanded by our growing population. Yet the model we use to deliver and operate much of our infrastructure is broken. Too often it produces assets and networks that are expensive, perform poorly and fail to exploit the advances in technology that are transforming other industries. Too often the supply chain that delivers our infrastructure seems locked into a cycle of low margins, low investment and dysfunctional relationships. Covid-19 has presented our government with an opportunity to change this.

By Mr, Ronnie Siphika is the Chief Executive at Construction Management Foundation and member in the Construction Sector Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Team.


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

4 of the Biggest Green Energy Projects in the Eastern Cape

4 of the Biggest Green Energy Projects in the Eastern Cape

Green energy is becoming very popular over time and more green energy projects are being developed almost every day. Going green is defiantly the trend in today’s era.

Something pretty awesome to think about is that the existing investment in South Africa’s sustainable energy projects totals to R142 billion, almost five times what SA paid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I can defiantly believe this as I am a Regional content researcher in the projects department and the amount of sustainable energy projects I research is bizarre.

I want to tell you a bit about some of the biggest green energy projects in South Africa.

The first largest wind farm in South Africa is the Cookhouse Wind Farm. This wind farm comprises 66 Suzlon S8 wind turbine generators with a capacity of 135.8 MW. The cost of this wind farm was an estimate of 2.4 billion. This wind farm is located just outside of Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape.

Coming a close second is the R2.9 billion Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm that comprises of 60 turbines. Something quite awesome about this windfarms turbines is that if the wind blows too strong, at around 25mps, the turbines break automatically and then rotate to 90 degrees. Pretty nifty I would say.

Amakhala Emoyeni which means “aloes in the wind” in isiXhosa is Third on my list. This wind farm is located near Bedford in East London. This R3.94 billion wind farm comprises of 56 Nordex N117 / 2400 turbines with a capacity of 2. MW each.

Last but not least is the Enel’s Gibson Bay Wind Farm, with an estimated cost of R2 billion is located in the Kouga Municipality in East London. this wind farm has a capacity of 108.25MW.

Judging by the price tags on wind farms looks like going green is good for the environment and for your wallet.

Until we meet again.

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About Sonet van Wygaard

I started working at Leads 2 Business in 2014. I was part of the Tenders Africa team and have now recently moved to Private Projects. I love every second of it!

NHBRC regional offices to resume, satellites phased in


While the National Home Builders’ Registration Council (NHBRC) provincial offices will resume full service operations next Monday, 8 June, satellite offices will be phased in gradually.

The satellite offices are in Tzaneen, Witbank, Bethlehem, Thulamela, Mafikeng, Klerksdorp and Newcastle.

Developers, contractors, home builders and housing consumers, who need to interact with the NHBRC, are urged to only visit offices when it is absolutely necessary for the collection of certificates (i.e. registration and enrolment) and to complete technical assessments.

“We further encourage those who need to submit necessary supporting documents to do so from the safety of their homes or offices via our new emailing list,” read the statement.

The new emailing list is:

1. Gauteng: GP-online@nhbrc.org.za

2. Western Cape: WC-online@nhbrc.org.za

3. Eastern Cape: EC-online@nhbrc.org.za

4. Free State: FS-online@nhbrc.org.za

5. North West: NW-online@nhbrc.org.za

6. Limpopo: LP-online@nhbrc.org.za

7. Mpumalanga: MP-online@nhbrc.org.za

8. KwaZulu-Natal: KZN-online@nhbrc.org.za

9. Northern Cape: NC-online@nhbrc.org.za

The NHBRC said each of its offices has established a Covid-19 task team to ensure the continued safety of employees and customers. The council urged all those visiting its offices to cooperate with the measures put in place.

“As an agency of the Department of Human Settlements, we support all the national Covid-19 interventions aimed at providing citizens with dignified accommodation and access to clean water, thus contributing to reducing the risks of infection associated with overcrowding,” said the building council.


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

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