Every year, the Steel Awards, hosted by the Southern African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC), provide an opportunity for stakeholders across the industry and steel value chain – including designers, architects, engineers, processors, merchants and fabricators – to present their work and be honoured for their outstanding achievements. 

 Nominations for the 2023 SAISC Awards have featured in everything from local community newspapers to the Guinness World Records and have taken shape everywhere from Cape Town to West Africa. Here are the 2023 winners: 

 Steel Awards 2023 overall winner 

 The Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market is not only the Steel Awards 2023 overall winner, but also garnered several other awards as winner of the factory and warehouse category, the tubular category and recipient of the Best Project Mpumalanga Award. See more: https://bit.ly/Article_SteelAward1   

Steel Awards 2023 category winners  

Mining and industrial  

Azmet Reactors: This bold pan-African mining project entailed fabrication and transport to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of six reactor tanks, with detailed design of complex geometry featuring the finite element method (FEM) modelling and an integrated support frame and platform. 

Factory and warehouse category / metal cladding 

Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market (see above). 

Pick n Pay Distribution Centre East Port: One of the standout features of this exceptional project is the use of extremely long roofing sheets, ranging from 68 metres to a staggering 280 metres. These unprecedented roof sheeting lengths required innovative solutions for handling and installation – ultimately earning the project a place in the Guinness World Records 

Structural steel played a pivotal role in the Pick n Pay Distribution Centre East Port project. Extremely long roofing sheets, ranging from 68 metres to a staggering 280 metres were used, earning the project a place in the Guinness World Records.

Tubular category  

Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market (see above). 

Light steel frame building 

Our Lady of Peace Cathedral, Chad: The design addressed wind-load considerations through the implementation of a specialised shell structure design employing custom-made brackets to securely anchor the lightweight steel to the concrete structure. See more: https://bit.ly/Article_SteelAward2. 

A Pan-African project, the Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in N’Djamena, Chad, required on-site fabrication, with no nearby ports and limited road infrastructure.

 Architecturally exposed steelwork 

NMU Ocean Sciences Campus Extensions: This project’s innovative use of steel succeeds in showcasing the university as a world-class tertiary education institution of choice.  

 Innovation and sustainability 

Pick n Pay Distribution Centre East Port (see above). 

Best export project 

Azmet Reactors (see above). 

Best project regional awards 

Gauteng: Pick n Pay Distribution Centre East Port (see above). 

Western Cape: Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika: This innovative use of space expresses and celebrates the building’s unusual geometry, overcoming the challenges of a highly congested site and construction during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Eastern Cape: NMU Ocean Sciences Campus Extensions (see above). 

Mpumalanga: Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market (see above). 

KwaZulu-Natal: Pepkor Warehouse, Hammarsdale: This retailer warehouse was completed against a background of severe socio-political unrest and extreme weather. The cost-effective design and interactive project coordination and implementation are key highlights of this project. 

Diverse judging panel and generous sponsors 

 The SAISC expressed gratitude to the Steel Awards judges, who have given their own time to contribute to the industry that they love. This year, the judging panel was more diverse than ever when it came to age, gender and professional specialisation. 

 “With the greater emphasis on Pan-African projects, we look forward to growing and diversifying the judging panel even further. This includes featuring judges from other African countries, which will provide insight into the challenges faced by project teams in countries such as the DRC, Chad and Namibia,” says the SAISC’s chief executive officer (CEO), Amanuel Gebremeskel.  

 The SAISC also thanked all stakeholders and sponsors who worked to make the awards a success. These include the main sponsor, Unica Iron and Steel, Macsteel, Bolt and Engineering Distributors Group, BSi Steel, Stewarts & Lloyds, NJR Steel, The Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers and Isilo Steel. 

 “The 2023 Steel Awards provide significant insight into our sector, and show just how notable and impressive the projects are. The awards form an essential platform for showcasing and celebrating what the South African steel sector can do, not only locally but across the continent. For this reason, we are encouraging all our members to continue focusing on innovation and quality, setting their sights beyond South Africa and throughout Africa,” Gebremeskel concludes.  

Local steel sector proves its ‘metal’ as major Pan-African player at the SAISC Steel Awards 2023. 


Full thanks and acknowledgement go to https://www.saisc.co.za for the information in this editorial.

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