11 August 2023

Free State Piling, a division of Gauteng Piling, has secured a contract for the provision of foundation piling for extensions to the Dihlabeng Regional Hospital in Bethlehem in the eastern Free State.

Free State Piling – established in 1997 and now under the leadership of Gauteng Piling founder, building industry veteran, Nico Maas –  was appointed for the project by Ruwacon Construction, the main contractor.

Free State Piling, as Gauteng Piling subsidiary, has handled several high-profile contracts in the Free State province including the Mediclinic Hoogland hospital in Bethlehem and the SAPS premises in Welkom.

Keoatlaretse Tema, contracts manager for Free State Piling, who is in charge of the Dihlabeng Regional Hospital piling project, says the company was contracted to provide 550 auger piles in three phases for the hospital extensions: the first has already been handled, the second is scheduled for completion in August 2023, and the final phase will be tackled in June next year.

“The piles being installed for the second phase range in size from 300mm to 900mm, depending on the loads designed to carry. Steel reinforcement cages of between 200mm and 750mm are being installed in the piled foundations to support the weight load and prevent structural collapse.

“Our piling project will provide foundations for three new blocks planned for the Dihlabeng Regional Hospital extensions. The first two-storey block is 1 200 square metres in extent, the second also over 1 200 square metres with four floors and a basement, and the final structure has two sections covering 1 097 and 1 137 square metres, respectively. This block will also have four floors plus and a basement,” Tema states.

Gauteng Pilling is using its trusted Williams Digger LDH drilling rig to excavate the auger piling foundations. Auger cast piles are foundations drilled to the final depth in a continuous process using a flight auger. “Versatile Williams rigs are the benchmarks for auger piling worldwide and can efficiently handle piles of up to 1000mm,” Tema explains. “The main challenge for the rig on this project has been soft rock encounter at a relatively shallow depth, which has to a certain extent slowed down progress, but we have successfully dealt with the problems”

The Gauteng Piling Group – a Level 2 BBBEE contributor – has a wealth of experience in its 27 years of operations and has several impressive high-profile projects to testify to its expertise including, for example, the provision of the foundation for Africa’s largest single-phase retail centre, Mall of Africa in Midrand; the expansion of the Fourways Mall and Cresta Shopping Centre; as well as additional and challenging extensions to the Market Theatre complex, all in Johannesburg.

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