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We're used to hearing about innovative management styles emanating from the premier league of industrial countries, but as Alan Swaby learns, smaller countries also throw up new ideas, and South Africa's Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering is a good example Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering ( Pty) Ltd the construction sector suffered 15 years of stagnation and contraction. H& I's independence and cost focus helped it survive this taxing economic environment, and yet the company never stopped investing in the development of its people during these years." These days the government has upped its spending on infrastructure to 20 per cent of GDP, resulting in a 35 per cent compound year- on- year growth for H& I, taking turnover past the R1 billion per annum level. " Perhaps it's time for us to catch our breath and consolidate," says Chemaly. " Soon, transport networks and stadia for the 2010 world soccer tournament will be completed, whereafter the industry is eagerly awaiting government's direction in terms of its stated push on infrastructure spend." July 09 www. bus- ex. com 71 A climateof support H aw & Inglis Civil Engineering [ H& I] is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and from the outset it's clear that it is different. Rather than a downtown glass palace for its headquarters, H& I operates from a disused quarry that has been turned into a farm, cultivating its own boutique range of olives and wines under the brand name Hillcrest. This year the business celebrates its 25th anniversary. It's been through countless cycles in the economy, and in the early years it actually thrived when times were tough. " Prior to South Africa's 1994 democracy, government spending was heavily focused on the military in defence of apartheid," explains commercial director Francis Chemaly. " Infrastructure upkeep was ignored during South Africa's isolation, and