The judging for the 17th Best Projects Awards was done on 3 October. Best Projects is the only award that recognises excellence across the entire construction industry. They are independently judged – by submission only. This year the competition attracted 53 entries – a few more than last year. The winners will be announced at the awards function in Johannesburg on 31 October.
The judges – Trueman Goba, Rob Newberry and Nico Maas – who have, over the many decades they have been in the industry, seen the construction industry peak and dip. In what is a difficult time for the construction industry, they commented how encouraging it was to see the quality and diversity of construction projects in the country. Some categories needed robust discussion as the score between the Winner and Highly Commended was often slight. In the end, the choice of winners was unanimous.
“I enjoy being part of such an important event. This year’s entries really gave me hope for the future South Africa,” said Nico Maas, who is a past President of the MBSA. Rob Newberry, who has been a Best Projects judge since its beginning in 2002 and who is a past President of the CIOB, refers to Best Projects as the ‘gold standard’ in the industry. Trueman Goba, Hatch Africa’s Chairman, who has also been a Best Projects judge from the start, was highly impressed by the standard of the submissions.
The awards ensure that entrants receive wider recognition – not just from their own professional organisations. The continued good number of entries is proof that the construction industry regards this initiative as having value. At the height of the construction boom, Best Projects had 72 entries. For the last five years, the awards consistently attract between 50 and 60 entries. This is proof that excellence continues, despite challenges.