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Inland Branch Chairman's Breakfast 2014

Blue Valley Golf EstateBlue Valley Golf Estate More than 140 members and their guests attended this year's annual Chairman's Breakfast and Awards function, held at the Blue Valley Golf Estate in Midrand.

This popular event has become the highlight of the Inland Branch calendar and provides an opportunity for the Branch Chair to review the year's activities, announce annual awards for excellence in concrete, and network with local members.

Proceedings were opened with a welcome from the Branch Vice-Chairman, Donovan Leach, from PPC, and master of ceremonies for the function. Recently-elected Chairman of the Inland Branch, Roelof Jacobs from Lafarge, began his presentation with a quotation by Mahatma Gandhi – "Live like there is no tomorrow, and learn as if you were to live for ever". "That is the mission of the Concrete Society, to provide that learning experience, to assist members in learning more about concrete", said Roelof.

He said that all the activities that the Inland Branch had held this past year had contributed to that mission, and went on to outline the various seminars, site visits and student activities that had been organised throughout the year:

• Essentials for Successful Concreting (Bloemfontein)
• Recycling of Concrete
• Materials for Modern Concrete (ConSem)
• Concrete Flooring (FloorSem)

Site Visits
• TFM, Olifantsfontein
• Heidelberg Weighbridge Facility, N3
• Turkish Mosque, Midrand

Student activities
• Egg protection Device Competition
• Concrete Boat Race Day

Roelof thanked members of the Inland Branch committee for their support and hard work over the year. He also thanked the Head Office staff: John Sheath - CEO, Natasja Pols - Administrator and Marike van Wyk - Membership & Events Coordinator, for their tireless work in supporting the Branch.

Special mention was made of AfriSam, who were not only the main sponsors of the breakfast function but who had also generously sponsored Academic Institution membership of the Concrete Society for 2014, which had included local universities - WITS, University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg.

Appreciation of the ongoing support of the Society by the many Company Members of the organisation was also acknowledged.

Roelof outlined the 4 nominations that had been received by the committee for the Inland Branch's Concrete Achiever of the Year Award for 2014, which was something of a record and needed careful adjudication. The nominees, in alphabetical order, were:

ETTIE ALLEN – for her work in developing and growing Pronto Dry MortarsRoelof Jacobs, Branch Chairman, presents Concrete Achiever Award certificate to winner Rajen NaidooRoelof Jacobs, Branch Chairman, presents Concrete Achiever Award certificate to winner Rajen Naidoo
RAJEN NAIDOO – for his innovative approach to concrete mix design and finding solutions to technical issues in the readymix industry
NEELS PIENAAR – innovative work relating to refurbishment of Sag Mill Bases, Zangezour Copper Mine, Southern Armenia
JOHAN VAN WYK – for growing the Southern African Readymix Association (SARMA) through his marketing and promotion of readymix concrete

 The Chairman announced the winner of the Concrete Achiever of the Year Award for 2014 as Rajen Naidoo, and described the many notable technical advancements in concrete that had been achieved, or contributed to by Rajen. These included tri-blends, self-compacting concrete, lightweight trench-fill, retarded mortar systems, shotcrete lining for robotic application, underwater concrete, piling concrete and more.

Guests were treated to a very lively, and at times, controversial presentation by Dr. Roelof Botha, Economist and Commentator on topical Macroeconomic issues. Dr. Botha is well known for his ability to blend the serious matters of economics and politics with the lighter side of life, and he certainly did not disappoint on this occasion.

He led the audience through 15 reasons to feel good about prospects for 2015, and by the end of his talk, which was mixed with a good dose of humour, everyone present was feeling much more upbeat about the future of the country and the construction industry.

Inland Branch Chairmain's Breakfast - Photo Gallery
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