Statement by CEO

Statement by CEO

WBHO is one of the leading building and civil engineering contractors in southern Africa and this year marks our 40th anniversary. Through our subsidiary Probuild Constructions we are also a first tier contractor in Australia operating in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

The global financial crisis which commenced in October 2008 severely affected most regions and business sectors, however due to the lag of the construction cycle on the general economy contractors have only recently begun to be affected. Adherence to the principles of sustainable development become even more important in times such as these and will enable the group to operate more efficiently and ultimately to the benefit of all our stakeholders.

The quality and efficiency of our service to our clients ensures both the viability of the group and the creation of high quality structures for the benefit of society at large. We, at WBHO, aim to achieve this with as little impact on the environment as possible and hence considerable attention is given to the introduction of better building practices.

Due to the temporary and diverse nature of our contracts, setting targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions is particularly difficult. Nevertheless, as can be seen in the Environmental report progress is being made in this regard both in South Africa and Australia.

The control of effluents and spillages both within our workshops and on site are being addressed by the group, particularly on contracts executed by the Roads and Earthworks division where bitumen, oil and fuel waste and spillage can create long-term damage to the environment. Directives and policies are in place to ensure that site camps and workshop sites are left in the same condition as near as is practically possible to that which existed before our arrival.

The long-term contracts on which we have been engaged for the 2010 World Cup have been ideal training grounds to elevate the skills of our work-force. This year alone the group spent approximately R12,9 million on direct training.

The safety of our employees remains a prime concern throughout the group and is discussed in greater detail later in this report. Suffice is it to state that our LTIFR was 2,1, this compares to the target set for the year of 2,0. We hope to improve on this figure in 2011 and have set a target of 1,5.

The construction industry is a harsh environment where employees often work long hours on far-distant sites. It is therefore important that the group takes steps to create a proper work/life balance for its employees. Considerable strides have been made in achieving this, particularly in Australia where Probuild has been commended by the federal government for its efforts.

WBHO recognises that it has an obligation that extends beyond its stakeholders to society at large and has channelled its efforts into improving education and health generally and in particular, the welfare of those communities in proximity to our construction sites.

We believe that maintaining sound relationships with our clients and that dealing fairly and honestly with our employees, subcontractors and suppliers is crucial to our long-term success.