IMD is aware of the current delay with the distribution of print publications by the South African Post Office.

In order to ensure our customers receive their publications IMD is able to distribute all our publications digitally OR to your street address through an alternative supplier in all major areas.

Please contact the distribution department at to continue receiving your publications digitally or to your street address.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

Talk to our distribution department: +27 11 579 4940

Richard Bicker Caarten, the new managing director of Interact Media Defined.
Richard Bicker Caarten, the new managing director of Interact Media Defined.

Richard Bicker Caarten has joined the well-established publishing and events company Interact Media Defined (IMD) as managing director (MD), effective as of 1 October 2017. This forms part of the company’s strategy to take the business to the next level.

About IMD
IMD was established in March 1995 as Pipe Trade Publishing and has been growing its presence and reach quite aggressively since then, positioning it as one of South Africa’s leading multimedia trade and technical magazine publishers.

Today, the company boasts 14 publication titles in its stable, complete with complementary multimedia platforms, to ensure its core goals of disseminating information and educating its industries are reached. The company also specialises in events organising and exhibitions, and owns the popular Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE) brand, which has a fast-growing African footprint as travelling exhibitions company.

Growing the business
Despite its ongoing successes, the company decided to expand its leadership team to further its growth prospects and strategic agility. As such, the directors started looking for a suitable candidate to not only take up the vital role of MD, but also to buy into the business and invest as a shareholder.

“It was important for us that the new managing director would have ‘skin in the game’ and acquire a stake in the business,” says Sean Macnamara, who has been the managing director of IMD for the past nine years. Macnamara has since taken up the role of operations director with the added responsibility for finance and projects, to focus his energy where his strengths lie. “We felt that the new MD position needed to be more strategic, as we believe that our product offering and the industries we serve could benefit from this,” says Macnamara.

After an in-depth process interviewing various potential candidates, Richard Bicker Caarten was offered the position.

According to Macnamara, “Richard has extensive experience in managing an organisation and fulfilled the key requirements of IMD for having the ability to build relationships, grow our offering, and strategically position IMD to remain a leading publisher and exhibitions organiser.”

About the new MD
Richard Bicker Caarten hails from a financial background initially, having qualified as a chartered accountant with EY back in the day. He started off his career at a telecommunications and electronics group listed on the JSE, doing mergers and acquisition work for them. He seized opportunities as they arose within the company, moving from the financial side of things to a general management role relatively quickly.

Bicker Caarten boasts an extensive and colourful career in the telecommunications industry, venturing into management consulting six years ago. Here he was involved in several different industries, helping large corporate players to improve the efficiencies of their operations.

Yet, he had been searching for an opportunity to buy into a business, investing in diverse options over the past year or so. As such, when he heard about IMD’s search for a new managing director through his network, he got in touch with the company’s directors to get the ball rolling. It was a good fit for both parties, and the rest is history.

“I’m looking forward to being involved in a more entrepreneurial business where I can be more hands-on and see the business grow,” explains Bicker Caarten. “The IMD opportunity has been a great one from the point of view that it’s a well-run existing business with a lot of room to grow and develop. I look forward to contributing ideas and being part of this process.”

A good fit
Although Bicker Caarten does not have a publishing background, he possesses good strategic ability, which carried more weight with the directors in terms of identifying opportunities and executing against these in an effective manner.

“We weren’t looking for media skills necessarily, but rather broad-based business skills,” Macnamara explains. “We have always placed very high regard on relationships and attribute a great deal of our company’s success to this. That is why it was important that the person coming in would share our values and could help grow the company, particularly from a relationship point of view.”

“What I saw in IMD, was a well-run business that has a good culture, a great team, stability, and a proven track record, and that is ready to go on a growth journey. From that perspective, I felt that I could make an impact,” says Bicker Caarten.

The future
Together, the ‘new’ team of directors is developing the blueprint for the future with their eye on taking the business to the next level.

“I think with the combination of organic and acquisitive growth, we are going to see a real transformation in the IMD business over the next five to seven years,” says Bicker Caarten. “I look forward to getting to know the people, the industries, and the communities — whether it be our advertisers or our readers.”

“IMD is very excited and fortunate to have a new MD who meets all our key requirements,” says Macnamara. “This appointment will ultimately benefit our valued customers through an improved service offering and better value add, ensuring that we take a sustainable IMD into the future.”

You can contact Sean Macnamara with any queries on +27 (0) 11 579 4940 or at 

Interact Media Defined (IMD) has purchased Trademax Publications’ three titles, effective as of 1 August 2016. This means that Timber iQ, SA Roofing and SA Affordable Housing will now form part of the IMD media offering.

The Trademax management team has been strategising ways to adapt to the current challenging market conditions while accommodating evolving client needs in today’s fast-paced marketing arena. “The acquisition of the titles by IMD offers an ideal way forward for the publications to grow while capitalising on their established market position and reach,” explains Billy Perrin, founder and outgoing publisher of Trademax Publications.

Trademax’s operations will be integrated within IMD and the existing office, along with the sales and operational staff complement in Cape Town, will be retained. This will ensure uninterrupted service and ‘business as usual’ for all existing Trademax clients. In fact, they will soon be able to avail themselves to a broader service offering that includes more advertising choices to fit every promotional budget and promotional strategy. “This is a unique opportunity for our clients to sit back and enjoy a broader service offering without any sacrifice or compromise on quality or delivery,” says Perrin. “The wide scope of additional options that IMD brings to the table will positively benefit every one of our clients, and thereby the industries served.”

For IMD, this new venture provides the perfect opportunity to branch out its existing media offering by growing its reach within the building sector. “The three new titles suitably complement our present stable of products and is further testament to the synergies between the two companies,” says Sean Macnamara, managing director of IMD. “This acquisition will also expand IMD’s national footprint, giving us a significant presence in Cape Town for all our titles.”

While Billy and Celéste Perrin will be pursuing other interests, the professional and knowledgeable publication managers behind the titles (Jacqui Marsh for SA Roofing, Kylin Perrin for SA Affordable Housing, and Angeline Martin for Timber iQ), will remain unchanged. IMD’s Ilana Koegelenberg (RACA Journal editor) will step in as the new editor on the titles, ensuring that the publications go from strength to strength.

“Over the past few months, I’ve become more familiar, and impressed, with the capabilities of IMD. I am very pleased that such a top-class publisher will be taking these respected and established publications to a new level in the B2B marketplace,” says Perrin. The Trademax staff, too, will benefit from being part of a bigger team backed by management philosophies that are not dissimilar to those of Trademax. “I’m looking forward to, in due course, seeing the results of all the exciting initiatives being put into place at this time.”

IMD proudly takes a face-to-face approach to business and would like to meet with all key players in the Trademax sphere to build this relationship. Anyone who would like to arrange a meeting, is invited to get in touch as soon as possible.

For more information or to arrange a meeting, contact: Sean Macnamara (managing director) on 0027 (0)82 929 1948 or

To contribute to the editorial calendars of any of the titles, contact Ilana Koegelenberg (editor) on 0027 (0)71 216 814 or

Interact Media Defined (IMD) has acquired the business of Brooke Pattrick, effective as of 1 October 2015, strengthening both brands in the B2B environment they operate in.

Brooke Pattrick Publications will be incorporated into IMD with the intention of maximising efficiencies and capitalising on the synergies between the companies to offer enhanced infrastructure and support for all our customers.

The consolidation will allow the new business to thrive in these difficult times, with the benefits of its combined forces far outweighing either business’ individual reach. Brooke Pattrick and IMD are positive about the merger.

“This exciting new deal will allow us to pool our resources and work together to add value for both companies’ clients,” said Sean Macnamara, managing director of IMD. “The various service and product offerings will complement and enhance each other, adding value for readers and advertisers alike.”

The main benefit of this transaction is a bigger balance sheet for both companies.

“If a company is financially strong, it has more room to experiment and innovate, offering customers more,” said Neil Pattrick, managing director of Brooke Pattrick. “This is a win-win situation as we can now offer the readers more information and the advertisers a bigger reach.”

Although the businesses are joining forces, the intention is for both IMD and Brooke Pattrick’s brands, and the majority of the staff supporting these brands, to continue as is for the foreseeable future. Both will continue to offer their multiple platforms for disseminating useful information to the relevant industries.

“This forms part of the complete strategy for a paid-for media company that has the potential to offer more than just supplier-based magazines,” said Pattrick. “The industry is progressing towards data-driven journalism and the production of reports and research material. The company that gets this right has the potential to own Africa’s B2B market. And IMD has the potential to do just that. They’ve got the private equity backing, the skillset and the experience; they already have many of the pieces of the puzzle.”

The Brooke Pattrick operation will be relocating from its current offices in Woodmead to IMD’s premises in Bedfordview. The merger should be finalised by the end of October.

For more information, contact Sean Macnamara on +27 (0)82 929 1948 or

Some eight months after a formal complaint was lodged on 11 December 2014 by a concerned group of specialist magazine publishers with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) against the South African Post Office (SAPO), the matter is dragging on and on, without an end in sight. 

The complainants are asking ICASA to review SAPO’s alleged failure to meet its license conditions over an extended period, taking into account the significant financial and other damage to the magazine publishing industry caused thereby, and to sanction SAPO accordingly.

After a long process of apparent stone-walling by SAPO, as detailed in an earlier media release on 1 July 2015, the matter was finally heard by the ICASA Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) on 2 July 2015.

At the hearing, the SAPO advocate and legal team appeared demoralised, disorientated and directionless, and appeared not to have been properly briefed by SAPO. They failed to deal with the merits of the complaints levelled against SAPO, and instead raised various procedural and technical objections.

Despite the fact that SAPOs alleged non-performances were in progress at the date of submission of the complaint (11 December 2014), and indeed are said to be ongoing to this day, the SAPO legal team argued that the non-performances referred to by the complainants had prescribed.

The SAPO legal team further argued that strike actions by the SAPO workforce had made due performance of its license conditions impossible. This was rejected by the legal team of the complainants, who presented case law which showed that the argument of impossibility (or force majeure) does not and cannot apply when the cause of the claimed impossibility is self-inflicted.

In this regard, the legal team of the complainants pointed out the ongoing management problems at SAPO as indicated by: the removal of the entire previous board of directors; the appointment by President Zuma of an investigation into alleged corruption at SAPO; the severe financial problems of SAPO; the placing of SAPO under administration by the National Treasury; reports of ongoing problems in paying salaries timeously to SAPO staff and workers; reports on the refusal by SAA to carry SAPO mail due to non-payment; and ongoing reports of late payments and non-payment of suppliers and rent on leased premises by SAPO.

The legal team of the complainants also presented a research report, dated February 2015, by Prof. David Dickinson, Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, entitled: “Fighting their own battles: The Mabarete and the End of Labour Broking in the South African Post Office”, on the background and causes of the strike actions.

This research study clearly shows that SAPO’s labour problems and strikes resulted directly from management neglect over an extended period, of what is referred to as the “dirty secret” of large-scale use of temporary labour on a permanent basis (through labour brokers) in breach of labour relations legislation, which resulted in grossly unfair and discriminatory labour practices by SAPO. The CCC indicated that the research study may not admissible evidence at the hearing, but confirmed that it would have regard to all the facts and other evidence presented by the complainants.

The complainants say that the delays, tone and contents of SAPO’s arguments are in keeping with the utter disregard that SAPO has shown for the mechanism by which SAPO is meant to be held to account by its regulator, ICASA. 

The complainants further say this is not an approach that should ever be taken by a state-owned entity such as SAPO. At the hearing by the CCC, the legal representatives of the complainants referred to the relevant case law in this regard.

On closure of the hearing on 2 July 2015, the CCC advised that it would make a final determination on the complaint on 16 or 17 July 2015. The ICASA Act requires the CCC to make a finding within 90 days from the date of conclusion of a hearing.

However, on 13 July 2015, a notice was issued by the CCC advising that SAPO would be given yet a further opportunity to respond to the responding affidavit of the complainants, but that the parameters of SAPO’s response would be restricted, and that the parameters for the restricted response would be provided to SAPO by 20 July 2015.

However, no such parameters were issued by the date committed to by the CCC. Instead a second notice was issued by the CCC on 20 July 2015 indicating that the parameters for SAPO’s further response would be provided “in due course” (with no date given).

Then on 4 August 2015 a further notice was issued by the CCC providing the parameters for SAPO’s further responding affidavit, and stating that SAPO’s affidavit must be submitted to the CCC by 3 September 2013.

The CCC indicated that SAPO’s response need not deal with alleged non-deliveries before the strike of 2014, nor the amounts of the damages suffered by the complainants. SAPO is however required to provide a detailed explanation as to why it did not make use of alternative, if need be commercial, facilities to ensure delivery of post during the 2014 strike.

The CCC advised that, following SAPO’s response under these parameters, the complainants would have the opportunity to respond to SAPO’s responding affidavit by 16 September 2015. The date of a further hearing by the CCC has since been set down for 5 November 2015, after which a final finding by the CCC is expected in respect of the complaint (with no date or timeframe given).

The complainants are aggrieved that ICASA’s complaints process, which is supposed to deal with such complaints expeditiously and efficiently, is dragging on and on due to the recalcitrance of SAPO and the apparent leniency and indulgences being granted by ICASA to its licensee, SAPO, in respect of this unacceptable behaviour.

Details of the complainants and the complaint

The complainants are collectively represented by Bouwer Kobeli Morabe Attorneys, and include: Brooke Pattrick (Pty) Ltd, Creamer Media (Pty) Ltd, Crown Publications (Pty) Ltd, EE Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Interact Media Defined (Pty) Ltd, Now Media (Pty) Ltd, Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd and TE Trade Events (Pty) Ltd.

In terms of the relevant legislation, ICASA is tasked with the monitoring of SAPO to ensure the conditions of its licence are met, and to hear and deal with complaints against the licensee where alleged breaches of license conditions occur.

The complainants are asking ICASA to consider and review its numerous complaints against SAPO and the financial and other damage to the magazine publishing industry caused by SAPO's extended failure to meet its license conditions, and to sanction SAPO accordingly.

This could include: punitive financial sanctions against SAPO; entertaining alternative license applications to that of SAPO; considering additional licence applications to supplement the activities of SAPO; or even, as a last resort, the removal of SAPO's (currently exclusive) licence.

The complainants are also considering a possible class action for damages sustained by them resulting from the failure of SAPO to meet its license conditions and statutory obligations. However, before such class action, the publishers will follow all other avenues of due process, which includes the formal complaint to ICASA detailed above.

Background information and references

[1]    Magazine publishers to challenge SA Post Office monopoly, media release, 11 Nov 2014.

[2]    Tender inquiry document issued today for alternative magazine delivery services to that provided by SA Post Office, media release, 20 Nov 2014.

[3]    Formal complaint against SA Post Office lodged today with ICASA, media release, 11 Dec 2014.

[4]    Replying affidavit by the complainants to SAPO’s answering affidavit dated 20 May 2015, affidavit, case number 77/2015.

[5]    Regulator ICASA to finally hear complaints against the SA Post Office, media release, 1 July 2015.

[6]    Fighting their own battles: The Mabarete and the End of Labour Broking in the South African Post Office, a research report by Prof. David Dickinson, Society Work & Development Institute, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand.

For further information, please contact: 

Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

Spokesman for the Concerned Group of Specialist Magazine Publishers.

Tel: 011 543-7000; Twitter: @ChrisYelland; Email:

Two well-known construction equipment exhibitions have planted their roots in African soil, writes The Civil Engineering Contractor editor David Poggiolini.

“Africa has become the home of two very successful construction equipment shows, namely bauma and Conexpo-Conagg. Both brands promise to fill a gap that exists in the sub-Saharan African construction sector. bauma Conexpo Africa, which takes place from 15-18 September at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, looks set to build on the inaugural show’s success by attracting more industry role players and generating positive spin-offs for the region, and the industry.

Read more at Strengthening Africa’s supply chain.

A monthly print, digital and app resource, as well as fortnightly email bulletin published 25 times a year, The Civil Engineering Contractor is a trusted filter, identifying the “right” new information, surfacing stories of significance, and making relevant connections to existing knowledge based on the needs of you, the reader.

If you’re serious about doing business in the construction and engineering sector, be sure to read the latest issue of Civil Engineering Contractor. Subscribe now!

Africa oil and gas review 2015

Africa’s share of global oil production has dropped marginally since last year, moving from 10,1% to 9,6% of the world’s total. Untapped proven oil reserves on the continent are estimated to be around 8% of the global total, which is nearly the same as the previous year, and these reserves are projected to increase as appraisal of new discoveries ensues. New discoveries have been fewer as exploration activity globally has slowed due to the reduced oil price environment.

From a proven oil reserve totalling 129,2-billion barrels, Africa produced 8,2-million barrels of crude oil per day (bbl/d) in 2014. Over 76% of this production came from Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and Angola.

The fragile political situation in North Africa continues to have an impact on production levels, which saw another year-on-year decline in oil production in the region of 22%. Libya alone, in the throes of civil war, saw production decline by almost 50% Despite continued insurgency in South Sudan, production has increased by just over 60% compared to 2013. At 159 000 bbl/d, this is still a far cry from pre-2013 production levels of 240 000 bbl/d. This is largely due to the damage that has been sustained by the local infrastructure, and analysts expect a full rebound only by 2020.

As of the end of 2014, Africa has proven natural gas reserves of just fewer than 500-trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 90% of the continent’s annual natural gas production still coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt. This is a slight drop in reserves compared to 2013, and production also decreased slightly over the period. Consequently, the continent still has nearly 70 years of natural gas production available given current production rates.

The gas reserves indicated in this publication are as of the end of 2014 and do not include the recently upgraded reserves for Mozambique, which are estimated by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) to be 100 Tcf on their own. By the end of 2015, we are likely to see a significant amount added to the overall proven gas reserves total for the region. Nigeria has plans to quintuple natural gas production by 2020, so the gas economy in Africa could be well-poised for an uptick in activity.

Growth and development

Overall, industry activity on the continent has slowed given the reduced oil price. Exploration activity has been the hardest hit, though Kenya has seen marginal onshore success over the past year. The focus still seems to be on East Africa and developing its significant gas projects, while some players are turning to South Africa as hopes for favourable legislation are renewed.

Despite a slack off in activity, Africa continues to grow as governments and players alike plan their next moves. It is clear through our interactions that many companies are taking a different perspective on the challenges they face. They are being looked at as realities that can and must be dealt with if they wish to enter African markets. Strategies are therefore being implemented to handle the new African reality. This lull in activity is giving the industry a moment to make plans for the execution of large scale projects while also formulating a strategy that will make them more competitive for the future in the new African market. While the industry is in a fragile state, PwC envisions that the players who survive the downturn in prices the best will emerge as agile machines with well thought-out plans to execute in this dynamic and exciting market.

In this time of reduced exploration spend, many companies have decided to focus their effort on seismic surveys and seismic interpretation. To do so, some have had to negotiate extensions to existing licences, but governments seem to be willing to do so in most cases given current circumstances. Another focus area that seems to be gaining momentum is the development of infrastructure. Studies are underway in various parts of the continent to determine environmental impact and economic viability for everything from pipeline construction to port development and even building new roads.

There are many prerequisites which must be met in order to achieve the growth that we hope to see across Africa. While dealing with corruption is a reality, progress seems to be happening. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) becoming EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) compliant in 2014 is one example of such advancement. People skills and skills retention is another focus area that countries and companies alike are working to improve as we gear up for growth in Africa.

There are still exciting opportunities within the African oil and gas industry including:

  • New exploration blocks on offer through competitive bidding rounds – driven by governments’ desires to encourage exploration and production (E&P) activity.
  • Independent power producers (IPPs) in areas with a shortage of power supply.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant engineering and construction for both export and import.
  • Port development, potential industrial development zones and management thereof.
  • Pipeline engineering and construction (helping to monetise discoveries).
  • Potential activity in unconventional gas plays, especially in South Africa where enabling legislation seems to be making progress.
  • An uptake of local skills and knowledge transfer.
  • Gas-fired electricity generation.
  • Other gas monetisation projects for local use (methanol, fertilisers, urea).
  • Stability of supply and security of supply with a reduction in exports.
  • Foreign direct investment inflows.
  • Focus on local content and supplier development.
  • Infrastructure development megaprojects.

Figure 1: Oil and gas in Africa

The challenges

While no job is without its challenges, oil and gas companies operating in Africa are taking varied approaches to address the unique set of obstacles they encounter. In conversations with industry players, it has become evident that for many, “challenges” have moved into a category that would be better-named as “realities”. The one challenge that came through as a potential show stopper, however, is uncertain legislation.

While poor physical infrastructure, local content and skills shortages still feature in the top five hurdles for developing an African oil and gas business, companies feel that they can develop an approach to deal with these issues. Roads and pipelines can be constructed. Local content can be managed. People can be trained and developed. Clear and attractive legislation and regulation, however, can only be influenced. Without it, companies are willing to simply walk away in favour of working in other regions of the world that do offer this fundamental prerequisite. Opportunity costs must always be considered. Oil and gas is a long-term business after all. Almost every aspect of the business comes with uncertainty. Legislation cannot be one of them.

With activity reduced, this is a good time for companies to address challenges related to doing business in Africa. Strategic planning is necessary for continued, profitable presence on the continent. The players that emerge when the oil price rebounds are going to be agile engines which are ready to take on the market.

Getting costs under control is the first step to take. Once costs are under control, the strongest players will be looking at acquisition opportunities if their balance sheets can accommodate them. While mergers and acquisitions activity has not been as high as we expected, activity could still ramp up.

In addition, we expect that new licence and farm-in activity will likely increase. This would give the strongest players access to new acreage, which they could then begin to evaluate seismically while waiting for the oil price to improve before commencing with exploration drilling.

Natural gas continues to be high on the African agenda for both producers and consumers. In Angola, LNG came online, but production was forced to stop due to feedstock not meeting the engineering requirement. Production is expected to be back online at full capacity by early 2016.

For Mozambique, legislation has made progress for large-scale LNG projects. Both Anadarko and Eni are positive that they will be able to reach final investment decision soon, which will enable them to meet their target for first gas in 2020.

Tanzania also continues on the LNG path with hopes of achieving first production shortly after Mozambique. Continued electricity shortages around the continent have led policymakers to gas as a viable power feedstock. Many of these programmes have progressed, and various studies have been commissioned or completed, especially in South Africa.

Oil and gas skills shortages continue to pose a challenge in Africa, but this is one area that companies feel they have a good grasp of at this stage. Many of them are no longer investing heavily in skills development as they have already established programmes and are now simply operating them.

Retention of skilled resources will soon become the main theme dominating the operating environment in many countries. Donor funding continues to flow into the continent, while skills and knowledge transfer continue to flavour initiatives from entities such as the World Bank. In addition to donor funding, governments are establishing training programmes, and many of the private players are also working to educate in the sector. GE has an oil and gas university based in Florence, Italy and has recently started work in Africa. The company recently conducted a number of training sessions in Maputo, for example.

No list of oil and gas challenges would be complete without mention of the commodity price given the current environment. Over 70% of our respondents believe that the oil price will have a significant impact on their businesses over the next three years. This is especially the case for companies that focus their activities on exploration, including the oilfield services companies. While we see that the sudden price drop has left many companies in a fragile state, we believe that with the right activity and strategic planning, these players will be poised and agile for consistent performance throughout the market’s cycle.


This article is the executive summary of PwC's report "Africa oil & gas review, 2015", and is published here with permission. The full report may be downloaded here

The use of circulating fluidised bed combustion technology for power generation does not only suggest cleaner coal generation, it also opens up opportunities for coal mining, writes Nicola Theunissen in the August issue of African Energy Journal.

The Department of Energy estimates that the coal-mining industry produces about 60-million tonnes of discard coal per annum (mtpa) with an estimated accumulated total of 1-billion tonnes. Not all of this discard is waste, there always being some organic matter to extract. Technology has developed to the point where today, one can do just that. What might have been considered waste 10 years ago, is now a critical component of the value chain.

Read more at Cleaning up the black sheep.

An alternate monthly print, digital and app resource, as well as fortnightly email bulletin published 25 times a year, the African Energy Journal is a trusted filter, identifying the “right” new information, surfacing stories of significance, and making relevant connections to existing knowledge based on the needs of you, the reader.

If you’re serious about doing business in the power and energy sector, be sure to subscribe now!

Craig Burnie, Managing Director for Vermeer Equipment Suppliers, who so tragically died in a recent car accident, was a man on a mission. His ambition, entrepreneurship and dedication impressed; an enlightened, positive, motivated and hardworking man.

Craig Burnie, Managing Director for Vermeer Equipment Suppliers

Craig’s professional attitude permeated Vermeer’s DNA, where a sense of never being satisfied with the status quo shone through.

René Albert, Global Product Manager, Trenchless Pipeline, Vermeer Corporation has lauded Craig’s work with Vermeer in South Africa, stating that “the South African organisation, under Craig Burnie, is an example, a template, for what we look for in the rest of the African continent, as he covers not only South Africa, but all the way up to the Sahara, supported by very skilled workers.”

Craig’s vision and ambition saw Vermeer Equipment Suppliers ride the(local) fibre boom, becoming a major player in both long haul (backbone) work and fibre to the home (FTHH), as well as in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector (solar, wind and biofuel projects) in southern Africa.
“I’ll always remember Craig Burnie for the invaluable role he played in easing me into Plant Equipment & Hire and The Civil Engineering Contractor. I was always welcome to give him a call and use him as a sounding board. Likewise, he returned the favour by always sharing information on the ground. He was well-known for giving us contentious leads that were ‘worth investigating’. And they usually turned out be very accurate.

Craig was probably one of the most passionate members of the industry I have had the pleasure to meet while at Brooke Pattrick. This, inevitably, led to him being regarded as the doyen of ‘trenchless technologies’ in South Africa. I merely had to drop his name at international events to be given free roam at Vermeer’s exhibition stand. They all knew Craig. He was the drive behind Vermeer’s 80% dominance of the southern African HDD market.

As Craig would often espouse, “When everything is properly understood and properly considered, what seems initially like a more expensive option (trenchless) is actually extremely cost-effective. It shouldn’t even be compared to open trenching from a price perspective.”

The industry has lost a champion, a man who was never afraid to doing things differently.”

David Poggiolini – Editor The Civil Engineering Contractor
“I remember one of my first assignments when I started at Brooke Pattrick was to interview Craig on Vermeer’s new HDD launch. I recall his knowledge, experience and desire to drive the trenchless solutions industry in South Africa and beyond.

He was a true proponent of no-dig solutions who dedicated much of his professional career to the development and implementation of these technologies in an environment that is notorious for its detrimental cut-and-fill ways.

He strived to provide knowledge and practical technologies for no-dig pipe installations and repair of underground infrastructure systems.

Over the years, he fought tooth and nail to educate the industry on the benefits of these technologies. They say death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but his has left a true legacy that will forever change the face of the no-dig industry in Africa.”

Munesu Shoko – Editor Plant Equipment & Hire
Brooke Pattrick sends its heartfelt condolences to Craig’s family and work colleagues.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday 1 August at 10h00.
Fourways Memorial Park
1 Memorial Lane (off Campbell/Inchanga)
South Africa, 2055
Office: 011 465 1715
Cell: 081 426 7531

If considering flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to the organisation below.

Green Dogs Conservation
First National Bank
Branch Code:250655
Account number: 62450100145
Cheque Account
Reference: Burnie Memorial

Contact person:
Rox Brummer
Website: Green Dogs Conservation


Vermeer Equipment Suppliers

In 2004, Craig officially started business as Vermeer Equipment Suppliers (Pty) Ltd, after Vermeer Corporation awarded it dealership rights for South Africa and the Sub Saharan Africa region.

Craig’s intention was to establish Vermeer’s position as a market leader within the environmental sector, while continuing to promote the 'track' and 'trenchless' range of underground equipment. There was little knowledge, training or support available for the installation of product using trenchless techniques at the time, and as Vermeer began to target this sector aggressively, rapid growth ensued.

By 2015 had the company had moved into its own, purpose built, premises.

Face to face with Craig Burnie: Treading lightly Plant Equipment & Hire June 2015

Two well-known construction equipment exhibitions have planted their roots in African soil, writes Civil Engineering Contractor Editor David Poggiolini.

Africa has become the home of two very successful international construction equipment shows, namely bauma and Conexpo-Conagg. Both brands promise to fill a gap that exists in the sub-Saharan African sector. Until the debut of bauma Africa in late 2013, there was no dedicated “yellow” or “white” metal exhibition on the continent with any real substance.

Hosted in Johannesburg for the first time as bauma Conexpo Africa, one wonders how long the focus will remain on South Africa, which is struggling to shift into a higher construction gear, compared to other countries to the north. Nevertheless, South Africa is considered “easier” territory for newcomers to the continent, and an entry point into the SADAC region.

Read more at Strengthening Africa’s supply chain.

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