With over four decades in the business to draw on, WK Construction, a construction and engineering specialist company headquartered from Johannesburg, has become one of the largest companies of its kind in South Africa.

WK Construction’s story begins in 1960, when the company was established as WJM Construction prior to a management buyout in 1993 which prompted the name change to the company we know today. These past five years have proven to be WK’s growth spurt era, as the company has continually become greatly involved with the construction of South Africa’s railways, roads and pipelines.

“WK Construction is uniquely positioned to provide innovative and cost effective infrastructure development throughout the SADC region by drawing on its experienced and stable management,” the company says, proving that the wealth of experience behind it is paying off.

Today the company aims to be the go-to first choice in South and Southern Africa’s construction industry—a goal WK Construction plans to achieve through “a solid commitment to safe, timeous, high quality, innovative and cost effective construction.”

WK Construction at work

Today WK Construction’s main activities centre on:

– Buried steel pipelines in the water, oil and gas industries
– The renewal and upgrade of existing water and wastewater systems
– Trenchless technology construction
– Township roads and services
– General road and earthworks and concrete structures
– Crushing of road material, concrete aggregates and materials

The company’s pipeline work, which ranges from 100 mm up to 3000 mm in materials such as steel, concrete, glass fibre, reinforced polyester, fibre cement, PVC, HDPE and ductile iron, enjoys an enviable track record of project success. The company currently has multiple township development contracts, built concrete structures, amassed extensive experience in road and earthworks and much more besides. One project which truly showcases WK Construction’s breadth and expertise is the Western Aqueduct Project.

WK Construction: The Western Aqueduct project

The Western Aqueduct project, the largest pipeline project to be commissioned by eThekwini Water and Sanitation to date, is a R152 bulk water supply project which commenced in November 2008 and is scheduled to run until November 2010.

“In recent years the unprecedented urban development in the western suburbs of the greater Durban area has led to a pronounced increase in demand for potable water in these regions,” WK Construction says.

“The Western Aqueduct pipeline was introduced to help eThekwini municipality to meet the ever growing demand for water.”

This vital pipeline project consists of 1600mm steel pipeline for 11 kilometres, 1400mm steel pipeline for 8.3 kilometres, 300 metres of Pipe Jacking 7 and 70 000m³ of imported bedding / 145 000m³of excavation.

WK Construction: The Transnet New Multi Products pipeline

The Western Aqueduct project is not the only large scale piece within WK Construction’s portfolio. Another key example of the work the company carries out is the New Multi Products pipeline (NMPP), Transmet’s largest single project. This total joint venture project, valued at R3.5 billion, involves capacity expansion of the Durban to Johannesburg Pipeline (DJP) which transports refined petroleum products (petrol, diesel and jet fuel). The product is transported from two Durban refineries and additionally imports refined petroleum products from the storage facilities at Island View, Port of Durban. The NMPP is due for project completion in May this year and began in April 2008.

The WK Construction way

There are two resounding factors which play a part in each and every piece of the WK Construction portfolio: Management expertise and company vision.
“People form the cornerstone of WK Construction’s successes, and the ongoing development of the potential of individuals within the company remains fundamental to the company’s continued sustainability,” the company says.

“The company has made it a policy to recruit, develop and motivate only the best and brightest individuals; individuals who demonstrate professional competence, innovation, courage and integrity.”

After bringing such people into the fold, WK Construction methodically and supportively builds up every piece of work it undertakes with the greatest teams available. The company implements Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), and states its commitment to workplace equality.

“In WK South Africa (Pty) Ltd (WKSA), the company has established an empowered entity which can compete with any established contractor in all the construction disciplines listed on the website,” the company says.

“WK Construction regularly participates in joint ventures with or sub-contracts to WKSA where valued is added to a projects.”

The company vision is therefore underpinned by a very strong staff base. As WK Construction continues to work to become South Africa’s go-to civil engineering and construction company, it has the experience, outlook, people and structure to achieve exactly that.