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This division incorporates Basil Read’s civil engineering and building operations. Proven technical and financial engineering skills have reinforced our position among the leaders in the industry.

Major works for private and public sector clients cover a broad spectrum of civil engineering and building projects, including earthworks, bridges, infrastructure, retail and office complexes, residential housing, apartment blocks, harbor and marine works, industrial plants, educational facilities, hospitals, sports facilities, correctional facilities, roads, highways, airports, plant acquisition, disposal and maintenance, specialised associated services and related industrial activities.

This division also adds value through innovative packaging: build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts, design and construct and alternative solutions tailored to meet client requirements

Civils and plant

The Civils division serves a multiple and diverse client base in both the government and private sectors with the best in civil engineering and construction.

The development and implementation of specialised technical and engineering expertise has once again reinforced Basil Read’s reputation as a front-runner in civil contracts in Southern Africa.

Key Contracts

Basil Read Civils operates on a project basis, mainly in South Africa and neighbouring countries. Projects further afield are pursued for selected clients and where we have the required capacity and expertise.

  •  Durban Prasa (Transnet’s passenger rail agency) – fixed-price design-and-build project is behind schedule due to delays in design approvals, particularly finalisation of the track design. Work on the CTC building was scheduled to begin in January 2016, but we are awaiting access to the site
  • At Medupi, industrial action on Eskom-specific issues spilled over to contractors, resulting in a three-month strike. We are still negotiating on claims after the bulk of contracted work was completed in the prior year, and therefore adopting a cautious approach to taking on additional work at Medupi, given Eskom’s budgetary constraints
  • At Kusile power station, Basil Read and its joint-venture partners have almost completed the main civils works, and settlement differences are pending with Eskom. The completion work contract runs over the next three years
  • The Olifants River water resources development project for TCTA was scheduled for completion in June 2015 after significant delays. Community disruptions targeted at mines in the area and service delivery protests delayed operations, with associated costs increasing on repeated start-up procedures. Additional resources are on site to complete the 40 km pipeline (with all associated mechanical and structural works), pump station and housing. The accumulated loss on this project is around R458 million, including delay damages and agreed claims, and it remains one of our biggest distressed projects
  • The Venetia project was completed at a loss of R38 million. Basil Read management has discussed challenges on this contract with the employer, but a final resolution is still outstanding.


Basil Read is reshaping the construction sector in South Africa, packaging its expertise, innovation and quality in one integrated construction solution.

Today the division is able to offer clients expertise across an almost unlimited scope of construction projects. With a selection of prestigious contracts within its growing portfolio, and underscored by a solid performance record, it has cemented its stature within the building sector.

Key Contracts

  • Port Shepston magistrate court
  • Kusile project, a JV between Basil Read and Stefanutti Stocks
  • Nokuthula school project, a JV between Basil Read and Umso Construction
  • Design and construction of Julius Sebolai school
  • Kazerne – a transport facility in Johannesburg that will accommodate all long-distance and cross-border taxis and buses travelling between the city and other parts of Southern Africa
  • US Embassy