Construction & Engineering

Construction & Engineering

In recent years, the case for investing in infrastructure projects has gained momentum and the face of construction and engineering in South Africa and the rest of Africa has changed exponentially.

Projects have become bigger and increasingly complex, from a technical and regulatory perspective.

To help navigate these challenges, role players require specialist lawyers with detailed legal knowledge combined with commercial awareness and depth of experience.

The Construction & Engineering Practice at Werksmans Attorneys comprises a multi-disciplinary team with a proven understanding of issues pertaining to the construction and engineering sectors covering several practice areas.

This enables us to grasp the needs and concerns of all stakeholders in the engineering and construction value chain, ranging from employers, contractors and sub-contractors to professional teams and specialist consultants.

With an impressive track record, the Werksmans team has the required business acumen, technical know-how and combined industry experience to grasp opportunities and resolve regulatory obstacles for clients as they arise.

Werksmans appreciates the time and cost implications of finalising a project within the applicable time frame and budget and it is our role to help our clients facilitate these key success factors. Whether it be in South Africa or elsewhere in Africa and regardless of the size of the project undertaken.

Through LEX Africa, the first and largest legal network on the continent, Werksmans’ clients also have access to African lawyers with expertise advising on a vast array of multi-jurisdictional construction and engineering projects.


Our areas of expertise

  • Dispute resolution, litigation and mediation
  • Environmental and Water Law legislation
  • Project finance
  • Energy and infrastructure
  • Procurement strategy advice
  • PPP projects
  • REIPPP projects
  • Tender documentation and bid evaluation
  • The development of compliance and governance frameworks
  • Risk management to avoid disputes and delays
  • Competition law as it pertains to the construction and engineering sectors


Our team can also advise on the selection, preparation, interpretation and application of the following standard contracts:

  • FIDIC (Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils)
  • NEC (New Engineering Contract)
  • JBCC (Joint Building Contracts Committee)

Werksmans can also assist with

  • The standard form GCC (General Condition of Contract)
  • The standard form SAACE (South African Association of Consulting Engineers) engineers’ contracts
  • The standard form SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) architects’ contracts
  • The standard form SAIA principle agents’ contracts
  • The standard form ASAQS (Association of South African Quantity Surveyors) contracts
  • The standard form PROCSA (Client/Consultant Professional Services Agreement)


Our team’s collective experience

  • Representing a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise (one of the largest engineering construction companies in the world), involved in a South African joint venture in relation to construction contract disputes pertaining to a bulk water transfer scheme.
  • Managed the procurement of standby generators for all the stadia used for hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament.
  • EPC and O&M negotiations for various wind and solar energy generation projects under the current Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) led by the South African government’s Department of Energy.
  • Advised large smelters utilising waste gas and waste heat as fuel sources on various cogeneration projects.
  • Advised a leading South African gold mining firm on various energy projects, based on FIDIC forms as well as bespoke contracts for their power plants in Ghana.
  • Advised an integrated construction house on various issues arising from the terms of a JBCC contract for the delivery of a low cost housing project in the Eastern Cape.
  • Advised one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies on all aspects of the construction of a ferrochrome smelter.
  • Prepared a number of commercial terms and conditions relating to the construction of the Gautrain project on behalf of a concession company.
  • Advised a foreign-owned process engineering firm on various issues pertaining to a waste water treatment plant
  • Ran several JBCC arbitrations on behalf of a listed healthcare company in relation to various construction and expansion projects
  • Advised the joint employers of a nationwide fibre-optic cable project on all issues pertaining to FIDIC requirements
  • Advised a multi-national engineering company on all their NEC contracts with a local parastatal
  • Advised an international mining company on FIDIC-based EPC contracts relating to various platinum plant and infrastructure projects
  • Advised a large listed European entity on EPC contracts for the establishment of a wind farm
  • Advised an international mining company on FIDIC-based engineering and related contracts for a mine in Burkina Faso
  • Advised a subsidiary of a prominent New York Stock Exchange-listed company on contracts relating to a local parastatal’s Standard Offer Programme.
  • Advised a New York Stock Exchange-listed company on EPC and O&M contracts for two solar energy plants
  • Advised a large multinational company on EPC and O&M contracts for a gas-fuelled power station in Mozambique
  • Advised a JSE-listed company on FIDIC-based EPC contracts for a coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga
  • Advised a JSE-listed company on FIDIC-based contracts for the construction and design of its coal processing plants
  • Advised a multitude of smaller construction, design and engineering entities relating to their contractual obligations ranging from once-off agreements to JBCC and FIDIC contracts

Contact Director Jason Smit, Head of our Construction & Engineering law practice area.

Download our Construction & Engineering practice area overview