East Cape Master Builders Association The East Cape Master Builders and Allied Industries Association celebrates over 100 years of service to members and the building industry. The MBA is a registered employers association which represents the interests of 700 employer members throughout the entire Southern and Eastern Cape, including the East London/Border area. Membership is comprised of small & large, emerging & established contractor & specialist contractor members in all sectors of the building industry as well as associate members supplying materials, goods, plant and equipment or professional services. MBSA Relaunches Small Builders Manual To meet the need for an understanding of the principles of running a small building company, the Small Builders Manual, first produced by Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) in 1996, was re-launched at the MBSA Congress 2014 in Port Elizabeth in September. The manual consists of 31 modules divided into four sections: Running a small business; Finding and obtaining work; Running an efficient building project; and General information on managing staff, safety and industrial relations matters. Administration, financial management and contractual obligations form the subdivisions of the first section, because the major reason for the failure of small firms is a lack of understanding of the principles of bookkeeping and cash flow management. In the section on finding and obtaining work, the major topics are those of estimating and tendering. Builders are expected to compete for projects with other contractors where the lowest price is usually the one that wins. An error one way can mean a builder will not get the work, whereas an error in the other direction might result in a contract that leads to a financial disaster. Planning, progressing and handling work on site are covered in the third section. Here, builders are coached to draw up an outline of the work that will progress on site, a simple management tool that can save the builder money and ease relations with the client. Although the user-friendly manual can be used for self-study, the MBA will in the foreseeable future offer training workshops where builders can work through the material under guidance. The workshops will focus on items every builder must know, those they should know, and those that are nice to know!