L2B Blog: What is SAFMA?

When I hear the term facilities management I think of companies like Servest, Bidvest, Broll etc. It is a question often asked by building owners and occupiers as well as professionals in the property industry.

So… What exactly does facilities management entail? Here are a few definitions from various websites:


What is Facility Management?

  • All services required for the management of buildings and real estate to maintain and increase their value.
  • The means of providing maintenance support, project management and user management during the building life cycle.
  • The integration of multi-disciplinary activities within the built environment and the management of their impact upon people and the workplace.


Simply put, it is the management of buildings and services.

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) defines FM as a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.

FM can be split into two areas of hard and soft services. What is the difference between the two?

Hard Services – are ones which relate to the physical fabric of the building and cannot be removed. They ensure the safety and welfare of employees and generally are required by law. These include:

  1. Building fabric maintenance                                                                 5. Air conditioning maintenance
  2. Decoration and refurbishment                                                              6. Lift and escalator maintenance
  3. M & E plant maintenance                                                                     7. Fire safety system maintenance
  4. Plumbing and drainage                                                                        8. Minor project management


Soft Services – are ones which make the workplace more pleasant or secure to work in. They are not compulsory and can be added and removed as necessary.

Carrying out a Facilities Needs Assessment will help you to identify which services are actually needed by the company and which are unnecessary. These include:

  1. Cleaning                                                                                                5. Recycling
  2. Security                                                                                                 6. Pest control
  3. Handyman services                                                                              7. Grounds maintenance
  4. Waste disposal                                                                                      8. Internal plants


How important is Facility Management?

Facilities management has gained importance over the last few years as businesses have identified that well-managed buildings and utilities help companies function effectively and efficiently. Facilities management team consists of professionals involved in the day-to-day analysis, maintenance and repair of the company utilities. The facilities management team should also actively be involved in strategic planning activities that help in cutting costs and increasing employee productivity.

According to a Deloitte report on the “Strategic Role of Facilities Management”; almost 75% of facilities professionals agreed that facilities management has a significant strategic impact. However; only around 20% of a facility manager’s time is spent in strategy and planning activities while a whopping 53% is spent on the regular day-to-day operations.


About SAFMA (South African Facilities Management Association) – www.safma.co.za

“The South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) is a self-sustaining body recognised locally and internationally for its meaningful role in the South African Facilities Management Community. SAFMA defines Facilities Management as an enabler of sustainable enterprise performance through the whole life management of productive workplaces and effective business support services.


SAFMA offers its members many benefits, including sharing expertise with other facilities management professionals in South Africa and internationally, access to an advisory service, networking events, establishing contacts overseas, keeping up-to-date on local and international facilities management trends.


The primary objectives of SAFMA are to facilitate, promote and support skills development for Facilities Managers through working with the Quality Assurance Councils and with Endorsed Training Providers – thereby enhancing skills supply. SAFMA aims to promote and encourage networking between Facilities Management Professionals to ensure an exchange of information and best practice. Click here to read more”.


The end goal for any business is to cut costs, improve staff productivity and increase ROI. An effective facilities management process is vital to an organisation as it covers almost all the business aspects and their role in strategic planning helps a company achieve their business objectives.



How Important is Facilities Management? | Empower CS

South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA)

Facility management – Wikipedia


About Candice Van Aswegen

I started working for Leads 2 Business in May 2012 as an Account Co ordinator and more recently the Deputy Head of Department for the Telesales team. I schedule appointments for the Account Executives with potential clients.