Quality assurance - a gateway to business success

By Musa Carter
December 2012 - January 2013
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The Namibian construction scene is at its peak with various construction projects from private and government entities in place that has created stiff competition in the industry, but OJ Construction Namibia has managed to shrug off competition and maintain its top notch standards.

Formed in 2006 by brothers Ockie Jacobus and Andre Oosthuizen, OJ Construction has managed to post an increased turnover from N$12 million annually to over N$100 million annually in its six years of operation.

With more than 34 years combined experience, the two brothers have and continue to have a fair share in the construction industry and have avoided the gradual disintegration of the company that is associated with struggling firms. The duo handles various sized projects in the residential, commercial and the industrial sectors.

“We are considered a main building contractor; we plan and coordinate the work, as well as the project management and construction. We create SMEs as well within the ranks who will be able to fend for themselves,” states Ockie. And this is in line with their mission statement, ‘Planning, managing and developing’.

OJ Construction is one of the few construction companies in Namibia that have managed to clinically complete construction projects for the various clientele with quality buildings as their signature. While they are based in the capital, Windhoek, they have projects around Namibia. According to the duo, OJ construction also prides itself as a master of project progress tracking and analysis. They also have effective documentation of variation orders to prevent hidden delays and expenses.

In strengthening their market position, OJ construction has a vision of creating the capacity where individuals are able to apply management skills to guide construction projects and not only that but see them through their completion as well as improve entrepreneurial and management skills of SMEs.

“We take our own employees, e.g brick layers and give them an opportunity to work with us as sub-contractors and allow them to register a business of their own and then they hire their own workers. We pay him as a labour based contractor and also give him his OJ salary as well,” explains Ockie.

OJ construction has up to 150 staff members employed and the figure doubles up to 300 depending on the project as it will include sub-contractors.

To this end some of the major projects under their belt have include but are not limited to the Central Veterany Clinic which was approximately N$16million and later on the phase two project and The Hamlet on Avis pegged at a tune of N20 million (2010). Pathcare Laboratories this year was pegged at an approximated N$32 million (2012) and it has shown growth and progression in the industry. These not being the only projects but they have worked on residential as well as corporate structures.

“People want quality and we deliver, as indicated by our track records as we have been able to deliver hence our invitations to different construction projects,” states Ockie. They have also been able to deliver as result of the 21st century equipment that they use. Even though they use highly mechanised equipment, they have not sidelined the conventional labour intensive workers as this decreases the unemployment rate.

As much as there has been stiff competition from foreign firms, OJ Construction’s blue print is differently designed from construction projects targeted by the foreign firms as they target on a different market. Andre feels even with foreign firms attaining some of the tenders, to a certain extent they are needed as they contribute their expertise. “Foreign firms should be forced to team up with local firms so as to transfer skill to the locals and there will be less influx of foreign companies on projects in Namibia, ” says Andre.

With vast construction in Namibia, OJ Construction has committed themselves to providing a safe and healthy environment for workers. “As an employer, we undertake to provide a safe working environment and appropriate tools. We also acknowledge safety takes precedence over program and cost. The injuries incurred are a financial loss to both the individual and the project” states Ockie .

All in all, OJ Construction has proved to be a great force in the construction industry as it has delivered quality to the projects executed. “We will be in the same market and will be expecting to maintain the N$100million turnover per annum and will do it effectively,” concludes Andre. PF