So how do you become the McGuyver of Twitter Tender influencers?
No, I am no guru of the Twitterverse, but I spend a bit of time using it. As far as social goes I can operate with a fair amount of ease on some social media platforms. But it still takes time to find your feet and potentially find the information you are looking for. So today’s tip would be how to find useful Tender tweeps to follow on Twitter. They may or may not be tendering themselves, but have knowledge or report on topics or factors that effect Tendering or the Construction industry.
Now I am sure that everyone has their own list on Twitter with their favourites, and this one is by no means exhaustive. This is a BEGINNERS guide. So, hu erm, with no further adieu….
Step one would be to start at the beginning…. have Twitter loaded on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. If you are at a loss, you can click this link to the Twitter App and be directed to Google Play to download it. Then get yourself versed on using this microblogging tool quickly on either YouTube or by getting the lowdown from a social media leader like Mashable.
So you are up to speed. Easier than you thought right!?!
For keeping in the know about what is happening in the Construction industry on the continent:
Well, there is your starting point. An easy one at that. This will help give you a foundation to begin with until you learn more about Twitter and find more interesting tweeps to follow. Please let me know who you find that is interesting … always good to meet new people.
Until then, see you in the Twitterverse at @L2Bcoza.
The first instinct when faced with the task of describing “A Day in the Life of a Researcher” is to list the various tasks and duties that have to be done throughout the day, and the week, the month and the year. The fact that the light slowly drains from my brother’s eyes when I waffle about my day, is a clear indication that this might not be the best approach. It’s not that he doesn’t care about what I do (I pay his bills, so he has a vested interest), it’s that the “how” has no context for someone on the outside. The usual follow up question is “It got done, right?” is a clear indication that the “how” is not as important as the end result.
“Researcher Sympathy” only comes from other researchers. Like “Accountant Sympathy” only comes from those who inhabit the daunting world of debits and credits. How long can you feign interest in that?
No one on the “outside” really cares how many phone calls you made, or how many people you had to speak to and introduce yourself to and state your purpose to and how far you had to stretch the definition of “polite and professional” for the information that is our bread and butter. If you aren’t in the trenches with us, then you can’t really understand the perseverance required sometimes. And if you’ve been nodding your head knowingly through that last sentence, then I hate to break it to you; but you are a Researcher. How many times today have you spelt “L-E-A-D-S, like leading someone”?
I reread my blog article “Understanding Awards” from 29 October 2014 for some sort of inspiration, and I’m happy to announce, nothing has changed. The same challenges and concerns, the same misapprehension and suspicion we faced back then is alive and well today. So how do I convey the energy spent and the time taken, without boring the life out of you or utilising the “humblebrag”.
[tweetthis]Our business is information. Fast and accurate information. [/tweetthis]This information takes the form of leads or doorways of opportunity, as you will. We present it, and our subscribers run with it.
Think of our day like a race.
There’s a starting point and an end (metaphorical because, especially on a Friday, it definitely feels like it will never end). And all along the way there’s certain checkpoints that have be reached and ticked off the list. Tender notices are meant to have a certain regularity to them. The Government Tender Bulletin is published each Friday, for example. If we don’t reach these checkpoints, we have to go in search of them or keep coming back until we can tick them off the list.
Think of it like an Easter egg hunt, where someone is constantly hiding Easter eggs.
Doesn’t tell you how many eggs there are but assures you that they are in fact out there. And sometimes hides the eggs in the same place that you’ve already searched over and over again at irregular intervals. And your phone won’t stop ringing while you are searching for these eggs, and some of the eggs are cracked. And then there’s Scam eggs. And you get the picture.
This race (I’m mixing my metaphors) is not a straight line, but a circle. It just starts again. And on the information ride, there’s nowhere to get off. These checkpoints can represent anything really. They are the newspapers we buy (maybe not for much longer according to National Treasury) and the websites we check. They’re the telephone calls and emails needing to be answered. They are our current subscribers and potential subscribers. They are the tender awards and award follow ups. Illusive site registers, bidder’s list, bills of quantity and tender documents.
It’s a bizarre balance between maintaining routine and consistency and then trying to adapt to the unexpected. Anything can throw a spanner in the works, from Municipal strikes to newspaper delivery to a slow internet connection. The balance between expectation and reality. It’s only experience and willingness that has taught us how to deal with these bumps in the road. The metaphorical duck on water comes to mind.Except the duck has developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and an unhealthy obsession with internet speed.
The long and the short of it is, that we deliver.
You don’t have to worry about the “how” because we’ve got that covered.
I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.
So its roundup time. End of year contemplation combined with a healthy amount of mayhem. But as we close off and tie up all the loose ends in a pretty bow, I wanted to present you with a neat package of all the best the year has had to offer. Well, strictly speaking, the 10 best blog posts we have had to date (which trickles just over a year) voted by your foot traffic.
Now that you have had your fill of a good combination of facts and humour, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you well for a fantastic festive season and peaceful New Year. Our offices will be closing on the 15th December and re-opening on the 6 January 2016.
Until then, have a wonderful break and hopefully rest.
It is always inspiring to learn about developments that are taking place in our country, especially those developments that aim to uplift communities by providing necessary infrastructure, and that have the community’s best interests at heart. Also many projects are using innovative technologies in construction which will help to reduce negative impacts on the environment, which is something of great importance. There are also other large and exciting developments to look forward to, some of which will change landscapes forever. Many developments have progressed throughout 2015. Some highlights, which cover developments across all nine provinces over 11 months of the year, are mentioned below:
It was reported in January that work had commenced on 300 residential units that would form part of the massive Modderfontein City development in Gauteng. Modderfontein City will see the development of 1600 hectares of land over the next 10 to 15 years.
In February, The Green Point Athletics Stadium was officially opened, after a two year delay. The stadium boasts state-of-the-art facilities, such as a cobalt blue tartan track.
March contained an abundance of positive construction news, completing the first quarter of 2015 on an exceptionally high note.
The Youth in Construction Expo took place at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg from 2 – 6 March 2015. The focus of this Expo is to provide high-school learners with information on the many different career choices that are available in the construction industry.
Also in the first week of March, the Steyn City development was launched. Steyn City is a huge mixed-use development and is the largest construction project to take place in Gauteng in many years, after Waterfall in Midrand.
The Coega Development Corporation made an announcement early in March that a notice for an Environmental Impact Assessment would be issued for the possible development of a cargo airport and an aeronautical or aerospace industrial cluster in the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
A sod turning ceremony took place towards the end of March 2015, for Phase 1 (Roosendaal) of the massive Delft integrated housing project. The four phases of the development are: Roosendaal; The Hague (Phase 1); Eindhoven and The Hague (Phase 2). This development will improve the living conditions of many of the area’s residents.
The KwaDukuza Municipality approved the site development plans for the Ballito Junction mega mall (PPA’s 14139 and 14140) . The existing shopping centre will be expanded to more than six times its current size.
The Robert Clarke Water Treatment Plant at Matla Coal Mine in Mpumalanga was launched in April, and is designed to alleviate water storage constraints, make sure mineworkers are safe and protect natural water resources.
On the technological front, students from New York have developed the M-App. M-App is “a real-time tool that monitors and evaluates road construction projects to maximize service delivery and root out corruption”.
An announcement was made in May that an International Convention Centre will be built in Rustenburg.
Thavhani Property Investments and the Thulamela Municipality announced the transfer of the land on which the Thavhani Mall (PPA’s 13674 and 13675 ) will be constructed.
Construction of Phase 2 of Central Square in Sandton (PPA’s 10792, 10793 and 10794) commenced in July, and will comprise a 12-storey apartment block.
A launch and ribbon cutting ceremony took place in August, for the construction of Sizabantu Piping System Manufacturing Plant. The SPS Manufacturing Plant is the first plant to be built as part the RBIDZ’s Phase 1A.
A sod turning ceremony, to mark the official commencement of the Thavhani Mall in Limpopo, took place in August.
A Tender for the design and construction of a solar-powered plant was issued by Telkom. The proposed solar plant will form part of Telkom’s Centralised Energy Centre Project at Telkom Park in Pretoria, and will eventually allow Telkom to be electrically fully self-reliant.
A briefing session took place in August for a Tender that was issued by Transnet National Ports Authority, for a cruise terminal facility at A and B Berths in the Port of Durban.
This is not exactly a highlight in terms of construction in particular, but definitely in terms of educating people about the natural environment in which construction takes place in. With the start of a very warm Spring season and the location of some construction in close proximity to forest areas, a very large African Rock Python, measuring 3.8 metres in length and weighing in at 31 kilograms, was found at a construction site at Izinga Park in Umhlanga in September! Thankfully, the snake was not harmed, but instead a snake removal company was called in to remove and relocate the reptile. Applause for all involved!
Sanral received awards for both the Umgeni Road Interchange and the Candella Road Project. The Candella Road Project forms part of Sanral’s “green roads” initiative. This initiative aims to reduce the impact that road construction has on the environment. The innovative design of the Candella Road Project also increases skid resistance. The bridges in the Umgeni Road project were built using an innovation construction method, known as incremental launch.
During the month of October, it was announced that there are plans to revamp the former Victoria Embankment, to be ready for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Another announcement made in October, was that of the major R1.1 billion revamp on the cards for The Pavilion shopping Centre in Westville (PPA’s 16674,16675 and 17164) , near Durban.
During this month of November, it has been reported that the VW PeoplePavilion, a multi-purpose complex for Volkswagen which is located in Uitenhage and was completed in 2013, received an award from the Eastern Cape Institute of Architects. The building was recognized as one of the leading architectural buildings in the Eastern Cape.
December is fast approaching, and with the builders’ shutdown period looming, many developments are nearing completion. I am sure that there will be many positive news stories reporting on the completion of exciting new developments.
I hope you enjoy many of the new or upgraded facilities that may be opening in your area during the festive season!
Here’s to all the new and exciting developments that will be taking place in the year ahead. Bring on 2016!
I had the privilege of joining the Leads 2 Business content team in January 2012. I work in the exciting Projects department, following the progress of construction developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.
and a whole brand New City to be built in Egypt (another desert??)
These are some of the developments that spring to mind…developments that take your breath away…but how on earth are these small, money hungry countries going to fund, let alone develop these ambitious projects? Projects so ambitious they raise eyebrows…well, mine mostly.
For example . Zimbabwe wanting to build a Disney Land at Victoria Falls…a pipe dream at the moment, but what a dream!! Just to keep tourists there longer than a day or two.
African Development Bank is one way, but most of the investments are coming from China.
The Chinese footprint in Africa has been cemented. In the last decade, investment in Africa by the world’s second-largest economy has surged to $2.9 billion from $75 million, and with it China’s influence can be seen everywhere.
The next question… who is going to build these huge developments?
China of course.! If a Chinese company has invested in a Project, you can be sure that they will be building it too. Build, Own, Operate. But there are benefits, the Chinese do subcontract some of the work to the locals.
Swaziland, however, in an effort to ensure that their local contractors still have work and can tender for contracts, have implemented the rule that any projects less than E120 million cannot be awarded to foreign companies.
So, what has this have to do with developing Africa? Just feeding Africa does not solve anything. Providing them with employment that doesn’t warrant anything more than maybe digging a hole in the ground, painting a room, something that doesn’t require much skill, but providing these people with employment, a sense of self, educating them. Providing them with purpose. A trade. Hope. To me, that is really developing Africa.
When I used to imagine Africa, I used to think of trees, rivers, wildlife, war, jungles and deep dark Africa … nothing much could be happening there right?
According to a Port Development Plan by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), dated September 2014, various developments have been listed for the Ports currently under the TNPA’s care and control, namely Western Ports: Saldanha Bay, Cape Town and Mossel Bay; Central Ports: Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London and Eastern Ports: Durban, New Durban Dig-Out Port and Richards Bay. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the activity at South African’s various Ports.
Port of Saldaha Bay – In 2013 with the aim in increasing the iron ore export from the Port of Saldanha Bay, Transnet proposed a third tippler and associated infrastructure, for which Gibb (Pty) Ltd were appointed as the Independent Environmental Assessment Practitioners. The tender for the Construction of Vault, Tunnel, Buildings and Ancillaries for Transnet Tippler 3 Project at the Port of Saldanha was advertised at the end of July 2015 (DTA 525896) and is expected to close on 08 September 2015.
Port of Cape Town – The Request for Proposal for the New Cruise Terminal Facility at the Port of Cape Town was advertised in December 2014 (DTA 487279), and in June 2015 the announcement by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) was made of the preferred bidder being V & A Waterfront (Pty) Ltd. According to the media statement, the V & A Waterfront will invest just under R179 million to finance, design and develop the terminal and the agreement includes the operation, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the facility back to TNPA after a period of 20 years. Currently, V & A Waterfront are in negotiations to sign the lease, and it’s expected that any development will only commence after May 2016.
Port of Mossel Bay – The most recent tender concerning construction in the Port of Mossel Bay is the Request for Proposal for Extension and Construction of the Administrative Building in the Port of Mossel Bay (DTA 500781) which was advertised in March this year. So far no award has been made.
Port of Port Elizabeth – TNPA expectes to relocate the Manganese Ore Terminal and the Tank Fam to the Port of Ngqura. TNPA expects to start shipping manganese ore out of Ngqura in 2019 and the relocation should happen before this. As of December 2014, it could take these four years before the Manganese Terminal at the Port of Ngqura is completed therefore ending the relocation from the Port of Port Elizabeth. Apparently the plan is to convert the Manganese Terminal and tank farm land into a vehicle terminal, the timeframe for the decommisioning and rehabilitation of tank and manganese land is 2018 to 2021. As of 14 August 2015, Transnet Port Terminals was issued with a permanent operating license for operating the manganese terminal at the Port of Ngqura.
Port of Ngqura – Manganese Export Expansion Project at the Port of Nguqura involves the upgrade and expansion of the rail network, new bulk minerals export terminal and the reinstatement of existing berths. Infrastructure will comprise new roads, infrastructure services and buildings as well as new equipment: stackers, reclaimers, surge bins and an unloading system (tippler), a conveyor system linking the stockyard with existing berths and these berths will be equipped with twin shiploaders. The tenders for the Port of Ngqura Manganese Export Terminal (DTA 444247) as well as Phase 2 of the Rail project (DTA 444237) were advertised April 2014. The tender for the Design, Supply, Installation and Commissioning of 2 Shiploaders for the Ngqura Manganese Export has been advertised in August 2015 (DTA 527882) and ix expected to close on 22 September 2015. The tender for Design, Supply, Installation and Commissioning of a Rotary Dual Wagon Tippler Facility including Supply and Installation of Apron Feeders, Dust Extraction and Suppression Systems, for the Ngqura Manganese Export Terminal is also out (DTA 527873) and also closes on 22 September 2015. Port of East London – In July 2014, it was announced that the Coal terminal at the Port of East London would move to the new Port of Ngqura and be operational in approximately five year’s time. Future development that might be expected is the extention to the Port of East London to include an expanded container terminal, refurbish liquid bulk facilities and boat building.
Port of Richards Bay– With regards to the Port of Richards Bay, plans include the establishment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.
Port of Durban – The Request for Proposal for the Design, Development, Financing, Construction, Operation and Maintenance and Transfer of the New Cruise Terminal Facilities at the Port of Durban was initially advertised in June 2013 (DTA 382061). No award was made and it was advertised again in July 2015 (DTA 524504) The RFP is expected to close on 02 October 2015.
Durban Dig-Out Port (DDOP) – “From 2019 to 2042, Transnet will embark on its medium-term projects, which includes the new dig-out port. The new harbour will be built at Durban’s old International Airport and will require the construction of: a breakwater and entrance channel; a 16 berth container basin and terminals; and a new automotive terminal, among other infrastructure”. So far the driver for the DDOP remains the same, demand will exceed capacity at the existing Port of Durban by ±2025. Although nothing has advanced beyond the planning stage, the current view is that the first phase should be operational by 2025. (PPA 10166)
I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.
This is one of the most asked questions that I have received over the years. What is the difference between a Tender and a Project? So I thought I would break it down as best as I understand it.
A Tender is is put out for supply of services or products where various entities can bid to be awarded the contract. This is one phase in a Project life cycle and generally happens over a short period of time e.g. two to three weeks.
A Project is the full life cycle from Conceptual stage to Completion/Postponement/Cancellation.
The stages of a project could be broken up as follows:
Conceptual stage is the beginning phase of the project.
Client / Developer – Feasibility Process – Securing Funding – Request for Proposal – Procedural stage involves obtaining various approvals and authorisations. Basic Design – Geotechnical Study – Licensing – EIA Process – Property Rezoning – Professionals.
Design & Tender
This stage involves detailed design, the tender process and bill pricing. The majority of the Project Professionals have been appointed at this stage. Bidding Contractors’ details are listed under Bidders. Detailed Design – Expression of Interest – Negotiation – Tender – Anchor Tenant – Invited List.
Awarded & Underway
The main contractor and subcontractors have been awarded and construction is underway.
Practical completion is nearing the end or is structurally complete. The project is on hold for various reasons.
All this information is captured on our system in an accessible manner for our subscribers so they can keep up to date and put their business’s in the right position to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.
This is a very basic explanation, I know. If you want to add to it, please feel free to provide feedback for those reading.
Sherina Swart heads up our Directory team. We asked her to give a description of what happens on any given day in this Department to help our friends and followers have more insight into what goes on at Leads 2 Business.
In our Directory department we are always kept busy… some may say that the Directory is the core of our business, as all Projects, Tenders, Awards, Accounts etc. are linked to our Directory…. we talking about well over 100.000 entries!
We are the busy bees Monitoring your: Failed Directory Searches (and secretly researching and adding anything you couldn’t find) and your Failed Directory emails (We locate the correct email and happily redirect your email for you…. with out you even knowing)
Not to mention the copious amounts of emails we receive daily informing us of Company relocation, Name Changes, Merges etc. from clients and staff alike.
We are a friendly bunch in Directory so all feedback in regards to Directory changes or anything you need assistance with is GREATLY appreciated.
Do you want increased success in business in the coming year or the chance to enjoy the success you’ve achieved more? Maybe last year was not a great year and you want to change your business outlook?
So what are some of the things you can do?
1. Get Delegating!
There are so many things you need to do when you are running a business, its very easy to convince ourselves that we need to do all of them. It’s not surprising that at the end of a business day we are exhausted and we have no time for ourselves. Delegation is critical to maintaining that all important work-life balance.
So how can our Lead system help you with that all important time factor, delegation and ultimately money?
We are going to start by sending you targeted information on a daily basis. Straight away you are going to save yourself the time of sifting through newspapers, gazettes and websites as well as the subscription expense to these sources.
You are in control with how much or how little information you receive, as everything you want or need to know is determined via your profile.
As for the art of delegation, you can send Tenders, Projects or Awards to your team and get them to follow up on your behalf.
2. Promote your business
Too often the task of marketing and promoting your business slips to the bottom of the to-do list, especially when there are more urgent jobs looming. Why not use some of the time you have created by subscribing to our service & delegating leads to your team to promote your business? It doesn’t take too much time or financial resources to do this on our system. Update your entry on our Platinum Directory and get your name out there so companies can find you, your products and services.
Planning is vital if you want a blossoming business and there are tools at your finger tips to make this process easier. Earlier we spoke of delegation, now is the opportunity to get feedback on how things are going with your team. Find out which leads have worked for you,which professionals you need to follow up on, who will be attending the next site meeting and where you will be collecting your next set of tender documents from. To assist you in this process we have a handy tool called Leads Management System which will enable you to download reports on your team and begin building an outlook for the year ahead.
There is a certain amount of buzz that seems to fuel business when you begin interacting, creating a forum for new ideas, refining old ones or creating new contacts. Make use of our Platinum Directory to create points of contact with Professionals or other potential businesses you could set up joint ventures with in future months.
5. Set realistic goals & make time for you
Setting goals is a valuable habit, specifically if the goals lead to success as opposed to stress. Resolve to make achievable goals rather than pipe dreams as these only lead to frustration. Part of these goals need to include taking time for yourself. All work and no play is an unhealthy recipe, so please take the time to invest in yourself, if you do not, who will?
We understand this aspect of life and have created a business calendar where you can set reminders and synchronise this with your Outlook or Google calendar.
Let us make your life easier. You can see how by clicking here.
I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence.
Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.