The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA’s) crucial role in solving the country’s housing crisis is often overlooked by government and civil society.

There is a tendency to assume that building houses and communities is a “numbers only” exercise about the number of keys handed over without regard for the safety, sturdiness, liveability, and longevity of the structures.

Apart from the scale and finish of the roof, there is no rational reason for there to be a difference between the quality of the timber trusses over the heads of people living in upmarket suburbs, “low cost” community houses or owner-built homes in rural villages.

Quality and compliance

There is legislation governing South Africa’s building and construction sector that specifies standards for designing, constructing and erecting timber roof trusses. It also delegates overseeing the compliance and quality assurance of the structures to various bodies, including municipalities and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).

New trajectory

The ITC-SA is a registered non-profit company and designated professional body that bolsters the government’s drive to build dignified homes for its citizens. The Board of Directors has launched the organisation on a new trajectory this year, spearheaded by Erik Söderlund as its General Manager in January 2021.

Erik is based at the head office in Johannesburg, supported by Administrator Boitumelo Shoro. His job is to ensure that all businesses and individuals involved in the timber roof truss industry join the Institute. It includes overseeing the Institute’s members’ professional development and assisting them in their quest to comply with the law.

Regional coordination

Erik is also the Regional Coordinator for Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, the Northern Province and the Northern Cape. The Board recently appointed three Regional Coordinators to assist him:

  • Eastern Cape and Southern Cape: Ian Keevey
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Nicky Naidu
  • Western Cape: Neil de Villiers

The responsibilities of the Coordinators include:

  • Conducting an annual audit inspection of every fabricator and erector member
  • Liaising with Branch Committee members and arranging and reporting on their meetings and events
  • Promoting the Institute to local authorities, professional specifiers, educational institutions, financial institutions and other built-environment stakeholders
  • Liaising with organisations like the NHBRC, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the SA Local Government Authorities (SALGA)
  • Public relations and consumer protection