Strategic overview

Basil Read is active in building, civil engineering, roads construction, mixed-use integrated housing developments, opencast mining and related services. For over 60 years, the company has played its part in building the foundations of South Africa for all its citizens.

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Organisational overview

Backed by over six decades of construction expertise, Basil Read has become synonymous with quality, service excellence and professional integrity – playing its part in building the foundations of South Africa for all its citizens. The consolidated structure below is aligned to the critical strategic review...

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Geographical footprint

Our entrenched presence in South Africa supports our ability to replicate this business model in similar markets that meet our stringent criteria.

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Business model

Basil Read's business is to build the infrastructure on which our economy and society depend. Our impact, however, goes far beyond infrastructure. Throughout this report, we elaborate on the achievements, challenges and disappointments of our social and environmental performance for the review period in creating value for all our stakeholders.

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Operating model

Our simplified operating model of a company with divisions ensures that accountability is assigned at the appropriate level with fewer reporting layers and reduced complexity.

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Divisional review

In 2015, this division incorporated Basil Read’s civil engineering, roads, building operations, pipelines and property developments. Proven technical and financial engineering skills have reinforced our position among the leaders in this industry.

Despite an improved core operating performance, results were affected by losses on historically poor-performing contracts. Improved processes and oversight at operational management level meant that corrective measures were timeously implemented to limit these losses.

Performance improved year on year despite the impact of late contract awards, community disruptions at the Olifants River water resources development project and a three-month strike at Medupi power station.

Amalgamating the activities of our buildings and developments into a single operating unit has improved the performance of this division, with good results from our integrated housing developments.

The pipeline division struggled during the reporting period to secure new contracts and was challenged by community disruptions and access to site.

Widely considered our current flagship project, the St Helena contract proves we have the internal operational capacity and capabilities to successfully execute a design-build-operate project of this magnitude, on time and within budget...

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Developing infrastructure

By utilising skills from every facet of our business, we are constructing a world-class airport on one of the most remote islands in the world


By collaborating with various governmental bodies and local partners, we are building affordable homes in integrated housing developments to improve the lives of Africa’s people


By combining our buildings, civils and pipelines disciplines into the construction division, we are well placed to construct the infrastructure that is much needed for economic growth across the continent


By building on our reputation as arguably South Africa’s leading roads contractor, we are constructing the roads that transport essential goods while connecting our communities


By implementing high safety standards, we are able to partner with our clients and provide contract mining and related services across a variety of metals and minerals

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Case study

St Helena airport project

Challenging St Helena project earns Basil Read official stamp of approval

The task of building and delivering a new airport on the island of St Helena, a British territory 2 000km west of Angola, has been uniquely and officially acknowledged by a series of new postage stamps. One of these stamps features the NP Glory 4 vessel with the Basil Read brand clearly visible on the side of the vessel while at anchor off the island – the first time a South African company has featured on a British postal stamp.

Basil Read has drilled,
blasted and filled
8 million cubic metres of rock, and filling to a maximum height of 100 metres to provide a flat airstrip in a former valley in the island’s rugged interior