The highlight of the structural steel industry calendar, the 36th Annual Steel Awards hosted by SAISC (South African Institute of Steel Construction) was held on 13 September 2017. Garnering 56 entries from over 300 tems for projects demonstrating excellence in steel construction, this year's awards delivered on every front. Safintra South Africa sponsored the Factory and Warehouse category, while the overall winner for 2017 was announced to be the BMW H-EMS Roof Lift, submitted by Teichmann Structures – the main contractors for the project. In addition to being named overall winner, this project also won the Safal Steel Innovation Category.


Factory and Warehouse category winner



As part of its ongoing growth and customer services orientation strategy, Safintra Cape Town has announced two strategic management team, and one operational change that continue to strengthen the team and provide the basis for growth.
Michael Wakeford has taken on the role of Branch Manager, and will bring his experience in all aspects of the metal roofing industry as served in the Port Elizabeth branch over the past eight years.  


Majorie Vosser has taken the new role of Sales Manager. In this role, Majorie will continue to build on improvements in Safintra CApe Town's sales processes. 


Michael and Majorie are joined by a new appointee Vimi Pillay, who as Production Supervisor will keep a keen eye on quality and process.







In large-span metal roofing applications, concealed fix roof systems are the only choice.

In these applications, with the size of investment concerned, engineering performance of the entire roof “system” is critical.

In Concealed fix systems, sheets are fixed to the purlin with a clip system, and are not pierced with any fasteners. The clips serve two purposes – they circumvent the need for holes in the sheet (which prevents the possibility of leakage through the perforation) and they allow the roof to expand and contract in a sliding movement over the clips.

Because the sheets can slide over the clips, they can be rolled in long lengths which can thermally expand without restriction. If the sheets were positively fastened through the sheet into the purlin, the fasteners would take the brunt of the force of expansion, and would tear larger holes in the sheet, or shear off. Consider that coated steel expands at a nominal 1mm per 1m, and it is apparent that a sheet of a mere 15 m will move by 15mm in heat. It is common best practice to not install a pierced fix sheet in lengths of more than 15m for this reason. Over 15m, a pierced fix sheet should be end lapped to allow for thermal cycling.

A concealed fix system allows sheets to be rolled in continuous lengths up to 120m or more. The lack of end laps further helps reduce the risk of leaks.

The first distinguishing characteristic of a concealed fix roof is the profile, which is both aesthetic and functional. Of equal concern is the design of the clip, as this is the “anchor” securing the sheet to the sub structure and holding it down in high winds. The overall “system” design defines the manner in which the clip locks into the sheet profile. Bear in mind that the system must also be able to withstand the foot traffic and loads imposed by the installation of HVAC units, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems, or other utilities.

As a professional, you should demand full technical details of the system you intend to specify – and request technical support throughout the installation itself.

Safintra is proud to offer this service free of charge to all its customers from 7 branches countrywide.

Saflok™ 410 with the 410mm effective profile and the Saflok 700 profile are now both dedicated in the Cape region.


Call our branch on: +27 11 981 3130 or visit our website on


Wednesday, 15 March 2017 07:34

SAISC Steel Awards 2017 - Details and entry

The Steelwork needs to have been completed in 2016 – and the rest of the structure needs to be complete (or very close to) by the time of judging visits (likely to happen in May/ early June). I’ve attached a copy of the full booklet explaining all the entry details and logistics.

The most important judging criteria is “Does the project illustrate what can be achieved with steel?”

Other factors to be considered:
• The importance of steel as a structural component in the project
• Benefits achieved by using steel construction
• Aesthetic appeal
• Environmental / sustainability consideration
• Innovation in design, fabrication or construction
• Technical prowess required for realising the project
• Engineering expertise
• Exceptional quality of workmanship
• Tubular content
• Cladding: workmanship, innovation, special solutions, size, speed, architectural finish...
• Export project
• Satisfaction of client's brief, particularly cost and/or time efficiency (speed of construction)
• Special details: bolted or welded connections, or any other unique features
• Value to society / community development


1.The steelwork should essentially have been completed in 2016. Completion of the total project could be later. Should you need clarity in this regard, please contact Denise Sherman well before the entry deadline to confirm if the project qualifies for consideration this year.(Recommendation: If in doubt and to save time, send an email with core details about the project – what/where/construction status)

2.Only structures in which Southern African steelwork contractors played a significant role will be considered.

3.By submission of an entry, the nominator assumes responsibility for the accuracy of all information and in particular the project team details. The nominator also provides theSAISC with the assurance that permission for the submission has been obtained from the owner/developer/client of the project.

4.By submitting the contact details of the project team, the nominator also gives SAISC the right to send email to all project teams about the awards, as well as potential advertising opportunities next to the editorial content for the entered project in the Steel Construction Journal.

5.All written and illustrative material forming part of project entries will become the property of the SAISC to use to our discretion.

6.The SAISC reserves the right to use the entry information and publicise the nominations and awards as we see fit.7.The SAISC may visit short-listed structures for adjudication, publicity or filming purposes. The nominator and members of the project team undertake to assist in arranging such visitsand obtain permission for any visits/filming/publicity, as well as to furnish the SAISC with additional information about the project on request.

8.At the Steel Awards dinner certificates will be presented to each company that was a member of the project team for an awarded structure. (For this reason nominators must ensure that all team members are correctly accounted for on the entry form.)

9. A plaque for mounting will be presented to the developer/owner of the overall winning structure.


Image result for word icon Project entry form                   


For any further details, contact Denise Sherman from SAISC on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:07

Branch project showcase - Jeep Polokwane

Recently completed project showcase


Jeep Polokwane

Size: 1,200 Sqm
Roof Profile: Saflok 700
Cladding Profile: Widedek
Thickness: 0.55mm
Material: Zincal
Licensed Installer: Msquare Projects

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 13:01

Safintra Polokwane raises roofing stakes!

Safintra Polokwane, who moved premises in record time in 2016 - and was up and running to full production in just a few days, has raised the stakes in the metal roofing game in the Limpopo province.


The warehouse takes up a 3,500 sqm space, and positions the branch well to serve the entire province. 


Our profiles include the ever popular Saflok, Widedek, Corrugated, IBR and Versatile - a unique metal sheet with the aesthetic of tiles. Other services provided include cut to length, the flashing department - with a bender and guillotine.


The branch can be found on the corner of Quartz and Kobalt Streets, Superbia - just of the Nelson Mandela road. 





2014 - The dilapidated old Tramways building outside the Port Elizabeth Harbour was transformed into a stunning development incorporating an eco-friendly rooftop garden, restaurant, environmentally conscious tenants and unique local artwork.Plans and artists' impressions for the revamp of the 116-year-old building were released by the Mandela Bay Development Agency. The development was divided into two phases, but the main first phase was renovation of the building.

The restored building houses the new MBDA offices and an "environmentally conscious" anchor tenant. Two large halls that were once used to house the off-duty coaches have been restored to their original magnificence and are being utilised for local conferences, exhibitions and workshops. Provision has been made for a restaurant and a catering school and MBDA architect Dorelle Sapere said art would be one of the key aspects.

She said the footprint and shell of the double-storey building had been retained, with brick and timber windows in place of steel to honour what it once was, a working bus shed, but modern materials have been used where appropriate. Upstairs there is a grassed rooftop terrace with green vegetation walls. 

The approach to the upgrade of the building was to redevelop it taking into account the building's heritage status as well as proximity to the Baakens Valley. The exterior of the building, particularly on the Baakens Street and Lower Valley Road side, was restored to its original design.

Sapere said phase two of the development was to include a pedestrian bridge and cycle paths, linking the Tramways building to Bridge Street as well as to the northern bank of the Baakens River.

One of the MBDA's primary objectives is to bring people to the urban and historical heart of the city. This is achieved through promoting the historical significance of an area, creating art, culture and leisure focal points and by improving the infrastructure.

Pierre Voges chief executive officer' said the redevelopment of the building was much more than just the development of the building itself."It will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of the Baakens Valley from its present industrial use to a non-industrial use, such as residential, office, tourism and leisure and entertainment''

"It is this area of development in Nelson Mandela Bay that is not well-developed and most of the potential economic growth mostly lies in this sector."He said the allocation of land for a marina commercial development in the port by Transnet linked well with the MBDA overall approach.

"Development of the marina, the Tramways development and success story around the Bridge Street Brewery will provide a catalyst for non-industrial development that will significantly contribute to the city's employment, Gross Domestic Product , rates and tourism base."

Sunday, 31 January 2016 10:52

How Much Does a Roof Weigh?

One important item is the weight of the roofing system. Today’s available roofing materials include a wide range of weights. For comparison, let’s look at the weight of one “square” of various products. A “square” covers 100 square feet of roof area.

  • ALUMINUM: 40 – 70 pounds
  • STEEL: 80 – 125 pounds
  • COPPER: 100 – 125 pounds
  • COMPOSITE / POLYMER PANELS: 150 – 275 pounds
  • FIBERGLASS / ASPHALT SHINGLES: 275 – 425 pounds
  • CONCRETE TILE: 400 – 700 pounds
  • SLATE: 900 – 1300 pounds
  • CLAY TILE: 1100 – 2000 pounds

Why Does Roof Weight Matter?

The weight of a roofing material, when carefully considered, can be a significant portion of your roofing decision.
Weight impacts key areas of overall roof performance

AGING STRUCTURES. As a structure ages, it weakens. Structural lumber may crack and foundations may move. A low weight roof system can prolong the structure’s life and integrity. A case in point is the First United Methodist Church in Sidney, Ohio. This impressive, looming structure had a clay tile roof that was about 80 years old when, at great expense, the decision was made to remove the tiles, clean them, put new underlayment on the roof, and re-install the tiles. Just a couple of years after this work was done, a major beam snapped above the sanctuary. It was unable to handle the weight of the roof.

SEISMIC ACTIVITY. In areas prone to seismic activity, heavy roofing can cause structures to slide off their foundations or even collapse. Lower weight products can be a good choice as much earthquake damage is sustained by structures with heavy roofs.

HIGH WINDS. Regardless of its weight, properly secured roofing materials can meet even the most strict wind uplift requirements. In the case of catastrophic storms, very heavy weight roofing materials pose a huge risk if they become airborne.

FIRE RISK. Many types of roofing materials are designed to resist combustion from exterior fires. However, most home fires start inside the structure. Firefighters are heavily trained in the risks of entering homes with heavy roof systems once the fire reaches the attic. Heavier roofs create a greater risk of collapse that could trap firefighters inside the structure. This means that firefighters have to contain the fire from the outside rather than enter the building and try to stop the fire.

RAW MATERIAL USE. Roofing materials come, in one way or another, from natural resources. The heavier the roofing material is, the more pounds of our natural resources are being consumed in order to create it.

TRANSPORTATION COST. Heavier weight roofing materials require additional fuel for transportation. With a low weight roofing material, as many as 300 squares or even more may fit on a semi-truck but weight limitations can hold that to 20 – 30 squares for very heavy roofing materials.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY. Heavy roofing materials typically have great thermal mass. While this thermal mass can offer some nominal R Value, it also holds heat. This means that summer heat absorbed by the sun can be held by the roof and continue to keep your attic hot even after the sun goes down.

The use of aluminium-zinc coated steel as a practical cladding material is gaining popularity along the coast of Africa.

Bounded by three oceans and the Mediterranean Sea, Africa has a vast coastline of 26 000km. Its deep rivers and natural ports have been historically important trading hubs and remain as vibrant nodes of urban settlement and business.

The populations of this vast coastline are blessed with abundant natural materials for building, but increasingly, as new infrastructure development booms, the use of metal as a practical, durable cladding material is taking off.

The Safal Group is the sole licensee of aluminium zinc coating technology in Africa and sells its coated steel sheeting along 12 000km of this coastline, down the eastern seaboard from Djibouti to South Africa in the extreme south, and up westward to Luanda in Angola.

All coated steels are not the same

Steel plays a huge role in development, but it does have an inherent weakness – when used unprotected and exposed to the environment, it rusts and corrodes. To extend the service life of steel, it is generally protected with a corrosion-inhibiting coating.
The two most commonly used coatings to protect steel are:

  • Aluminium zinc coating (AZ) – aluminium and zinc.
  • Galvanised coating (GI) – zinc.

The addition of aluminium to zinc in the coating alloy extends the service life of a steel roof by up to four times that of galvanised steel.
Comparison between AZ and GI coatings.

Source: BIEC International Inc., licensors for aluminium-zinc coating technology used by Safal Steel and other Safal Group coating mills in Africa

Made for Africa’s coastline

Aluminium zinc coating technology, developed in the 1960s in North America, enabled coated steel to deliver a service life of decades, even in aggressive coastal conditions. This development revolutionised the metal cladding industry, and is today the most widely used coating technology worldwide.

In Africa this coated steel is branded Zincal and its factory colour-coated derivative is called Colorplus, produced in Africa at three coating mills owned by the Safal Group.

The thicker the coating, the longer is the resistance to corrosion and the longer the life of the protected steel substrate, and a coating of 54 microns on Zincal Ultima gives it corrosion-proof performance credentials which are suitable for coastal areas where only aluminium sheeting was previously specified.

Taking a challenge head-on

In Safintra’s book of achievements, there is nothing better than a challenging project. This includes challenging locations, weather and most of all, the challenge of trying out a new product.

One such a challenge was the recent application of Safintra products at a newly-installed solar array on the Wild Coast.

Saflok 700 roof sheeting was rolled in aluminium 0,8mm material, transported to the location, installed and then over-fitted with Safintra S-5 roof clamps, onto which the solar panels were secured. Forming part of the approved range of Safintra Roofing System components, Safintra’s S-5 clamps do not void the warranties on the roofing material. This proved to be a critical factor in the financial feasibility of the project. To consider replacing part of the roofing system in this location, even 15 years down the road, was not an option. Safintra’s S-5 clamps are warranted for 25 years and have pull-out loads which are unbeaten worldwide.

The Saflok roofing profile has proven its performance as a sealed roofing system many times and aluminium was the ideal material to use in a location within 2km of the Wild Coast’s shoreline.

Another significant challenge was the timing on the project. Within two weeks, the roof sheeting was produced in the Durban plant of Safintra and loaded on a flatbed truck with clips, fasteners and other hardware. The clamps were put through final loading tests in Denver, Colorado.

A Safintra technical expert, as well as an S-5 technical expert from the USA, was present to ensure the correct installation of the sheeting and the clips above it, and the perfect alignment on solar panels on top of the lot.

The countdown:
Day 3: Tuesday
The S-5 clamps were put through final loading tests in Denver, Colorado, and test videos were sent to the client on the Wild Coast by satellite cellphone.

Day 2: Wednesday
Dustin Haddock left Denver, with the still-warm clamps in his luggage, for 20 hours of travelling.

Day 1: Thursday
Dustin was met by Marnitz Benecke of Safintra in Johannesburg for a late flight to Durban.

D-day: Friday
An early start from Virginia airstrip in a small plane, on site by 10am, finished by 3pm and back on the plane to Durban that evening.


The project was an immense success, and despite the long travelling hours, Safintra congratulated the team – in the Unites States and South Africa – on a job well done.