Are South African drywall and plastering craftsmanship skills world-class?


by Kerry Henning

The commitment of skilled professionals in the South African drywall and plastering industry is reflected by their investment in training, transmission of traditional skills, development of project management skills, and field specialisation such as acoustics & fire protection. Successful adoption of innovative and increasingly high performance systems and technologies, contributes to driving the standards in our industry.

Competing on a world stage is always the acid test and if successful, just goes to show that South Africa is on par with its global contemporaries, when it comes to judging the skills level, workmanship and the ability to provide solutions for high quality, safe, comfortable, modular and sustainable interiors across a wide variety of applications.

Contractor Abbeycon took top honours at the 9th Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy held in Berlin on 6th June 2014, as winners of the commercial section of the global awards for their skilled workmanship in drywall and plastering, demonstrated in the recently completed Cradlestone Mall. They competed against the world’s best, which included: Ghelamco Arena, Belgium; Ryerson University Sports Centre, Maple Leaf Gardens, Canada; Centro Comercial, El Faro Del Gaudiana, Spain; The Helicopter Club (Solnechny), Russia; Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Poland, and Nokia Siemens Networks, India; to name but a few. All the projects entered can be viewed here.

The high quality of workmanship and the level of technical performance achieved by Abbeycon (Pty) Ltd (a Gauteng based commercial ceiling and partition installer) was recognised as the best in the world, after it was named winner of the local arm of the National Trophy hosted in South Africa. This clearly highlights the major benefits high performance drywall systems offer when installed by skilled professionals and show the enormous future potential of light-weight construction solutions.

Abbeycon’s achievement is testimony to the very high standard of craftsmanship in the application and installation of high performance plasterboard systems and plasters in South Africa.

How do we keep this up? Are these skills applied to all buildings in South Africa?