The Southey Sound – Edition 8 – June 2013


Company News

Unique turbine insulation project undertaken

Project News

High profile contracts by Tate & Nicholson

How well do you know Southey?

Leap Science & Maths School

Things exceptional Southey employees do


Southey Gauteng awarded NOSA 5 stars



MerSETA and Southey partner to train



The dreaded NCR/CAR


Southey Staff

Who work for us?


A sad farewell

We lose 205 years of service


A personal triumph

technical Director cycles 1600km


On the lighter side



Southey successfully completes unique insulation system on Turbine


In July 2012, Southey Contracting Gauteng was approached

to provide a new system of insulation to a 600 MW turbine that needed to be rebuilt and returned to service. The Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), ALSTOM requested Southey to undertake this work which did not conform to the specification of the Asset Owner, however is becoming a regular occurrence in Europe.


Turbine Insulation – Thermal image indicating areas of heat loss


The asset owners were particularly keen to engage with both Alstom and Southey

in the development of this system, as it would reduce the re-insulation after the completion of mechanical repairs in the future by approximately 3 days which would then enable the turbine to go back on load that much sooner and hence more cost effectively.


The challenges were many and varied.

These included the very complex design requirements to have each of the approximately 1500 insulation pieces specifically design-detailed as well as ensuring that the insulation properties of the system met the requirements of all concerned.

This was not a straight forward job

and required a significant number of computer-aided design hours being consumed and then translated into the final product. Numerous details had to be resolved and these included limitation of oil contamination of the insulation material, fixing arrangements, weight limits of each of the insulation components and connection of the elements together.

Apart from this new insulation system,

there was also a significant amount of “traditional” insulation that was required to be installed and this was due to the extensive work that was done on the “rebuild” of the turbine.


Some of the Project Team and the newly insulated Turbine


Access to a turbine is exceptionally confined and played a significant role throughout the process.

This meant that the number of technicians deployed was always limited so that there was not an over-crowding situation. During the initial fit ups of the insulation to the turbine, it was clear that despite some extensive design work, substantial modifications were required due to the actual not being the same as the drawings that had been issued. As is always the case, time did not permit the re-design and re-manufacture and therefore innovative solutions were employed and the work was completed. The true test was yet to come.


Once the entire HP Turbine, Intermediate Turbine, Cross Overs and ancillaries had been completed,

the testing commenced and it was with confident trepidation that the results were measured and recorded. It was initially clear that the overall system was a success and performing within the high expectations that had been set, however some small adjustments and modification were required such that the specifications and limits were exceeded and the final result surpassing the specified requirements.


To all of the personnel involved, a hearty congratulations and thank you

for once again going beyond the expected to achieve a fantastic result, one that we believe will stand us in good stead going forward.


The finished article exceeding expectations




Tate and Nicholson appointed to put the roof on Cell C and is enjoying the attention.


Tate and Nicholson, the specialist Roof Sheeting division of Southey Contracting

have been appointed to install the roof sheeting and side cladding to the “Cell C Campus” in Johannesburg.  This new development, located at the Buccluech Interchange (N1/M1/N3) in the north of Johannesburg, is being built by Group 5 building and will be the new home to Cell C. The warehouse which forms the largest portion of the contract that was awarded to Tate & Nicholson is 12 500m2 in extent for the roof with an additional 6 500m2 for the side cladding.


A view of the new Cell C Campus – Sheeting by Tate & Nicholson


Work commenced in December 2012

and is due to be completed (the current known scope) by June 2013. The Buccleuch interchange is one of the busiest interchanges in the Southern Hemisphere and therefore the progress and standard of installation is reviewed daily by hundreds of thousands of motorists. Tate and Nicholson welcome this added attention to their work and have willingly shown what they are indeed capable of.


This is not the only contract where a large number of motorists have had the privilege to observe Tate and Nicholson in action.

They have recently completed the new Grundfos building which is located at the N12/N24 interchange. This too is a very busy intersection of highways (one of which goes to the O.R. Tambo Airport and the other to Witbank) and therefore has also been under great scrutiny.




Leap Science & Maths Schools


Southey Contracting Gauteng has adopted the Leap Science and Maths School

in Marlboro/Linbro Park (LEAP 3) for Corporate Social Responsibility projects. This school was established in 2008, whilst focusing on Maths and Science, provides excellent, free, all-round educational opportunities to young people.

Here are some of Leap’s aims :

  • Provide free education to students with potential from high need township
  • Insist that all students study mathematics, physical science and
  • Have an extended school day (8:15am to 5:15pm) and provide Saturday classes and holiday
  • Encourage self awareness, confidence and personnel development.
  • Engage students in community work and activities that affirm cultural
  • Have smaller classes and schools to support accountability and help build


This schooling system works and this has been proved in the exceptional results

that they have managed to achieve. Their pass rate is 94% for Matric with 75% of these graduates going on to tertiary studies. Compare this with the startling and very concerning National statistics that in 2011, only 40% of the Grade 12 class took Mathematics. Of this 40%, only 40% got more than 30% for the final exams (or an astounding 16% of the matriculant entrants!).


This is surely unacceptable when we consider the need for mathematics that has been identified.

We sincerely hope that our assistance at this school will provide a platform whereby young South Africans can be given the opportunity to develop and hone their skills and become successful adults who are able to provide the country with the necessary skills it requires to go forward.


At the end of last year, our new Floor Coating division undertook to apply floor coatings

to some of the class rooms at the Linbro Park school. This may seem unimportant however, the quality of the flooring that they repaired was not only in very bad condition but could also have been considered dangerous.


Southey entered 2 teams in the “ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A LEAP GRADER” competition

at the Leap School in Linbro Park for Mandela Day. The sad news is that both were beaten badly and the pupils put the Southey Employees to shame! It was a wonderful experience for all who were involved and a lot was learnt by the Southey Employees about the school and its aims. It was a wonderful experience and the leaners at the school were clearly very proud of their achievements and the fantastic opportunities that this school gives to them.


For more about LEAP Science & Maths Schools go to :


Things really exceptional Southey Employees do…


  • Enthusiastically learn all aspects of business

– they look to learn about other areas of the business so they’ll positively impact multiple areas of the company.


  • Steward the company

– they look to make decisions about expenses and opportunities with the long-term future of the company in mind.


  • Generate viable opportunities

– strong networkers from all divisions see company growth as a collective effort and constantly keep their eyes open for ways to more than pay for themselves.


  • Resolve issues before they become issues

– they are always looking to improve systems proactively, and they do.


  • Tell it like it is

– they find kind ways to bring uncomfortable information to the surface, but they DO bring it to the surface.


  • Demonstrate high standards, with low maintenance

– amazing employees quietly drive their own high standards.


  • Grow themselves and others

– they lead by example in how to advance without creating animosity or resentment.


  • Research, apply and refine

– the best employee proactively explores options, takes action and then improves without direction from the top.


  • Stimulate happiness

– they exude positive energy even in stressful times and share it around, making for a happier office.



Southey Gauteng awarded NOSA 5 Star Grading


In recognition

of the safety systems employed, the administration, implementation and maintenance thereof as well as the records achieved as a result thereof, Southey Gauteng was awarded a NOSA 5 Star rating.


This is a fantastic achievement

when it is considered that the audit that was conducted included our sites and their activities.



The NOSA auditor who undertook this gruelling week-long audit

left no stone unturned in his efforts to confirm that the division was deserving of this accolade.


Whilst there were a couple of findings,

none of them were of the extent that would prevent the award of the rating. The entire workforce, who have positively contributed to this achievement, need to be congratulated and thanked for their continued efforts to achieve a safe working environment for all.


The Safety Department,

under the Direction of Ben Garrad, management of Malcolm Mountford and his site-based Safety Officers and their Safety Representative, need special mention.


It is strongly believed

that the more proactive approach, separation of duties and independence of the Department, as well as dedicated staff have been significant drivers in this process.


A proud Safety Manager, Malcolm Mountford with the Safety Officers from various sites and their NOSA 5 Star Certificates


Our clients benefit from our achievements

in that their personnel and their other contractors’ personnel are safeguarded in the process and are therefore able to undertake their work in the knowledge that they are operating in a safe environment.


Eventually, having been the recipient of 4 Stars for many years,

the barrier has been broached. This level of recognition will not be easy to maintain however it is a challenge that we all will be required to defend.


It is a challenge that Southey personnel can achieve and better 

and thus ensure that we maintain our safety standards and continue to be recognised in these efforts.




Quality Management System education :


The dreaded NCR/CAR…

One of the principals of the ISO9000 system is ensuring that the same mistake is not made twice. The important thing to do, therefore, is to identify the mistake.


There can be one of two causes

namely “human error” and “system/procedure error”. Both of these are, therefore, preventable. In order to ensure that the mistake is not repeated, the ISO 9001 system requires the following actions to be taken :

  • Identify the error


  • Raise an NCR/CAR (Non Conformance Report/Corrective Action Request)


  • Forward this to the Quality Manager.


  • The Quality Manager, on receipt of the NCR/CAR will investigate the error or events leading up to the error being made and then analyse the root cause of the problem. He may require employees, suppliers, experts or other involved parties to assist in identifying the solution to the problem and once he has done this, he will do one of a number of things. These could include one or more of the following :
  1. Assess the capacity of the supplier (who may have supplied inferior products/materials)
  2. Revise the work instruction/procedure that lead to the error being made
  3. Introduce additional hold points to ensure that quality standards are in place prior to proceeding with the next activity
  4. Recommend additional training for personnel and employees.


The NCR/CAR is not a personal attack on any individual

however, it is a means of fault-correction and the means to the elimination of a problem.


Too often, mistakes are “hidden” and not reported

with the consequence that these mistakes are repeated and the cycle of error and correction continues, thereby making the product/service more expensive, more time taken to deliver and may not meet with the client’s requirements.





We will be subject to a re-accreditation audit late in July 2013

during which time the ISO9000 auditors will be reviewing our Quality Management systems, the utilisation thereof, the management and maintenance thereof as well as it effectiveness.


As this is a re- certification audit, it will be exceptionally comprehensive

and once complete, the recommendations of the local authority will be sent to their governing body for adjudication and if agreeable, issue of the certificate.

We wish all concerned with this process the best of luck!




News from the “Training Room”……


It is truly believed that Southey Contracting has moved into a new era with regard to training.

merSETA have reviewed, assessed and most importantly approved our training plans for Supervision and have agreed to partner with us to embark on a very adventurous training program that will benefit our employees greatly.


This first program, “Further Education and Training Certificate : Management (57712)”

which will be run over a period of approximately 20 weeks, will involve personnel from many of our sites and the co-ordination of this will be a massive task.


What is exciting is that as this course is NQF Level 4 rated,

the training program can be extended to continue so that our personnel who have been successful, can eventually continue and be awarded national diploma and onward and upward to the award of a degree. The commitment from merSETA, Southey and those who are enrolled will be great however the rewards will be equally great and stand all in good stead as we move into the future.


The course will comprise of :

  • Apply leadership concepts in a work environment
  • Solve problems, make decisions and implement solutions
  • Employ a systematic approach to achieving objectives
  • Evaluate contribution made by own area of responsibility to the overall organisation strategy
  • Manage expenditure against budgets


Those who have been selected are:

  • Stephen Dlamini
  • Andries Ntsangase
  • Sibusiso Malaza
  • Spigela Makonjane
  • Sifiso Khumalo
  • Catherine Pule


We wish these students all the best of luck

and hope that they are successful in their endeavours and make good use the opportunity wisely.



We highlight some of the individuals who make up the staff of the Gauteng Contracting Division who may not be known to you


Phenhlane Mashabela


Phenhlane Mashabela


When did you join Southey :                       January 2012

What is your current job :                            Sheetmetal Developer

What is your favourite food :                      Pap & Beef

Who is your favourite sport star:               Bryan Habbana

Where would you like to go on holiday:   Durban

Your family consists of :                              Wife and 2 Children Sayabonga (7 years old) Margarate (6 years old)

Who would you like to meet most?          President Jacob Zuma

Favourite TV Program?                               WWE wrestling


Abram Makuwa


Abram Makuwa


When did you join Southey                         23 September 1981

What is your current job?                            Developer

What is your favourite food?                       Pap And Chicken

Who is your favourite sport star?               Itumeleng Khune

Where would you like to go on holiday?   Durban

Wife and Children?                                       Wife- Winnie Makuwa and

Children-Charles (25 years old) Karabo (22 years old)

Molefe (19 years old) Mmathabo (15 years old) Keabetswe (5 years old)

Who would you like to meet most?            President Jacob Zuma

Favourite TV Program?                                 Soccer



We say goodbye to some very long serving staff members who are retiring.


At the end of May 2013 we said a very sad farewell to 6 staff members who have served Southey’s exceptionally well.

Most of these people joined R.J.Southey in the Orange Free State branch (as it was known then), which was based in Welkom and have been in the employ of Southey’s since then. They have moved, endured, toiled and remained exceptionally loyal to Southey and therefore we pay a very special tribute to these retiring members of staff.


We wish each one of them a very long, happy and healthy retirement

and sincerely hope that they take the time now to enjoy their time with their children, grandchildren (and perhaps even great grandchildren) and get the well-deserved time to do the things that they never have had whilst they faithfully served us.


The retirees are:

  • Mahlabathini ‘Samson’ Ngomane – 40 years, 5 months
  • Richard Josias Mabuza – 34 years, 5 months
  • Koagile Michael Sethiba – 34 years
  • Lerutla Michael Chego – 33 years, 9 months


Five of the retirees say farewell at the workshop in Trichardt with Hennie Viljoen with whom most of them have worked for many years


The longest serving retiree, Mahlabathini “Samson” Ngomane receives his service award


All in all, Southey have lost 205 years and 4 months of hard earned experience

which is going to be exceptionally difficult to replace as many of these employees learnt their trades the “hard way”.


Despite our loss, we salute these dedicated individuals

and sincerely hope that their example can be repeated and followed by many of the younger generations of employees that we have.

As a matter of interest, the average period of employment of a Southey Gauteng employee is, after the retirement of the “famous six”, still a remarkable 7 years.

The Directors, management and staff would like to express their thanks and gratitude to these staff members for their loyal contributions and wish them many years of health and happiness.


A Personal Triumph

Ben Garrad rides the length of Britain for Charity


In June of this year our Technical Director, Ben Garrad, achieved a life-long dream

of cycling the length of Britain from John o’Groats (top of Scotland) in the North, to Lands End (tip of England) in the South. This gruelling challenge took 9 days to complete the 1,600km and involved 12,800m of climbing up hills, often in very typical rainy and cold British weather.


His total elapsed time of 66 hours meant he came 7th out of 465 cyclists

a truly remarkable achievement! Not only was this a personal goal and something that Ben is passionate about but the true winners are the disabled athletes who will benefit from the over R2 million that was raised in the process.


“Look Ma…No Hands” as Ben passed the finish line in Land’s End in England





There comes a time when a woman just has to trust her husband… For example…

A wife comes home late at night, and quietly opens the door to her bedroom.

From under the blanket she sees four legs instead of two.

She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the blanket as hard as she can.

Leaving the covered bodies groaning, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink.

As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine.


“Hi Darling”, he says, “Your parents have come to visit us, so l let them stay in our bedroom.

Did you say “hello”?