Scaffolding and Formwork
Products & Services
Since 1985

Archive for June, 2016

Meet Jerry West, Co-Founder of CFC

 

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Jerry started his career as an auditor and attended UCT in the evenings to work towards his CA qualification. This is his CFC story.

The early days

Once my university studies were complete, I found a position as group accountant in Johannesburg before leaving to come back to Cape Town as group accountant for another large organization. This is where I met Colin Poole, who at the time was the general manager of a scaffolding company in the group.

Putting a dream into action

Whilst working for that organisation, Colin and I decided to pursue a dream and go into business. Once we made up our minds, we didn’t waste time. Within three months of our decision, we registered a company, found premises, bought a few commercial vehicles, some scaffolding, and had all our admin and governmental papers sorted – we were officially in business!

What are some of your core business values?

Both Colin and I have always valued customer service, safety and financial discipline, which has been at the core of our business for over 30 years. No business the size of ours can succeed without trust and as partners we’ve come to rely on each other to build a company that meets the highest standards and reflects a culture of reliability and excellence. This absolute trust between the two of us, I believe, has been a major contributor to the success of CFC.

Why has CFC been successful over the years?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why our company is one of the leading scaffolding companies in Cape Town. In all the years building the business, it never occurred to either of us that we would not succeed, in fact, the thought of failure never crossed our minds. Our hearts have always been in it, the rest followed suit.

CFC looks back at the scaffolding industry

 

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Did you know that our industry spans back over 400 years BC? In this month’s news we take a closer look at the early rise of scaffolding.

From the magnificent Sistine Chapel, the Gaza Pyramids, the Empire State Building to the Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux, scaffolds have been in existence whenever there were built or decorated structures.

These structures were usually constructed from whatever natural material was available in the area. For example, in Asia, they used bamboo held together by ropes to build scaffolds and it worked quite effectively because it’s flexible and durable.

With the advancement of industry and the ever-increasing demand for high-rise buildings, metal soon replaced rope to create sturdier and safer structures. Today, metal remains standard in modern scaffolding and can be credited to two brothers; Daniel Palmer Jones and David Henry Jones.

Daniel is considered “the grandfather of scaffolding”, well-known for the many patents he introduced for various scaffolding components still in use today. His brother, David, patented the “Scaffixer,’ a coupling device, which is stronger than rope and revolutionized the scaffolding industry. Then in 1919, he devised the ‘Universal Coupler’, which soon became the industry standard coupling and remains today.

Together the brothers founded three companies; the Patent Rapid Scaffold Tie Company Ltd, Tubular Scaffolding Company and Scaffolding Great Britain Ltd (SGB). They gained further fame in 1913 with the commission for the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace, a contract that set the benchmark in the industry. Colin Poole, co-founder of CFC, spent many of his first years in the industry working for Scaffolding Great Britain.

As structural methods continued to advance, one key element remained a cause of concern – safety. With scaffolds being erected by individual firms, there was no regulation of safety standards and practices.

Today, after many developments, there are strict standards and regulations globally for the scaffolding industry. These include the specification of performance requirements and the methods of structure and design.

At CFC we believe that scaffolding needs to provide a safe place to work from and we work incredibly hard to ensure strict safety measures are always met for each individual project and its unique environment. We take great pride in being part of an industry that has given rise to the creation of some of the world’s most symbolic pieces of architecture and design.