about us

ECS Associates (Pty) Ltd follows on from Engineering Contract Strategies CC, founded in 1993 by Andrew Baird. He is one of NEC’s authors and panel member for over 20 years, who is acknowledged as the leading expert on NEC based procurement in southern Africa. The combined experience of the ECS Associates team exceeds 100 years achieved in the engineering and construction industry in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

We have been awarded NEC Commercial Partner status by ICE-UK for delivery in Southern Africa of NEC’s accredited training programmes.


The core of the business represents the belief that collaborative relationships between main contracting parties within the value chain, employees and other stakeholders, provide a necessary formula for both improved performance and transformation.

In addition to specialised services in training, development and application of contracts based on the NEC, FIDIC, JBCC and GCC standard forms, ECS Associates offer a range of services in support of general management and leadership, planning, risk management, supply chain management, claims avoidance, claims management, performance management, advisory services, management development and leadership coaching and training.

“Our mission is to facilitate the highest standard of skills and services necessary to successfully implement projects in the South African environment through collaborative relationships on all levels and application of best practices in contract administration and project management while beneficially transforming the engineering and construction industry.”


NEC is being used extensively in South Africa since the first edition was launched in 1993. The Standard for Uniformity (SFU) Regulations issued under the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Act of 2000, mandate the use of only four contracting systems by State Owned Entities. NEC is one of these systems.  Many private sector organisations have followed suite.

NEC is the ideal system for use with the Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management (IPDM) standard being rolled out countrywide by National Treasury since 2016. NEC usage, now universal throughout UK, has spread to other parts of the world notably public works projects in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

We can provide

  • Hard copies of all 43 NEC4 documents and associated handbooks in the form of a complete set in two slip cases, or individually.  Please select through SHOP: NEC Documents, and generate your order. We will provide a Tax Invoice and once payment has been received in our Bank Account the documents may be collected from our office between 09:30 and 13:00 or delivered if that option was chosen in your order.
  • Hard copies of all 39 NEC3 documents and associated handbooks in the form of a complete set in two slip cases, or individually. Please select through SHOP: NEC Documents, and generate your order. We will provide a Tax Invoice and once payment has been received in our Bank Account the documents may be collected from our office between 09:30 and 13:00 or delivered if that option was chosen in your order.
The NEC4 series of documents dated June 2017 are an evolutionary development of the NEC3 series with enhanced guide books.  Each main contract now has four Guide Books made up as follows:
  • Volume 1: Establishing a procurement and contract strategy [Common to all contracts]
  • Volume 2: Preparing an xxxxxx contract [Each contract has its own handbook]
  • Volume 3:  Selecting a Supplier [Common to all contracts]
  • Volume 4:  Managing as xxxxxx contract [Each contract has its own handbook]

The range of contracts has been extended to include

  • NEC4 Professional Service Subcontract (PSS),
  • NEC4 Term Service Subcontract (TSS),
  • NEC4 Dispute Resolution Service Contract (DRSC)
    (to replace the NEC3 Adjudicator’s Contract),
  • NEC4 Design Build and Operate Contract (DBOC) and
  • NEC4 Alliance Contract.

Further secondary Options have been added where appropriate to cater for

  • Information modelling
  • Whole Life Cost
  • Early Contractor Involvement
  • Extended the Service Period (in TSC)
  • Accounting periods and
  • Supplier warranties.

professional expertise

Andrew Baird

Founder & Chairman


Andrew qualified as a civil engineer and has been a member of the London based NEC drafting Panel since its inception in 1993. He is acknowledged in all of the NEC documents for his part in their drafting and has been presenting seminars and training workshops on the NEC system since 1995 in many countries.

He has hands on major project application experience of the NEC system in all sectors of the construction industry and has developed templates for contract development and contract administration of all NEC3 documents.

Andrew has worked as a project engineer and project manager for major contractors, consultants and clients in UK, USA and South Africa including on many of Eskom’s power stations. 

He was Eskom’s Corporate Contract Management Consultant for 9 years before starting ECS in 1997. He was a founding ExCo member of ICE-SA, a joint Division of ICE and SAICE, has published papers in several international journals including the International Construction Law Review and been guest speaker at conferences in many parts of the world.

Mile Sofijanic



Completed his studies in Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Moved to Southern Africa in 1992 and South Africa in 1994. Registered as a Professional Engineer in South Africa since 1998.

An astute executive manager and professional engineer with close to 30 years in a range of managerial positions in the Engineering and Construction Industry in Europe, Africa and the US with Kentz, Halliburton/ KBR and Murray & Roberts, including 2 years of industrial and manufacturing exposure with Volkswagen and SKF in Europe.

Mile has a well-rounded experience in all phases of business development and FEED to EPC(M) project implementation, from small to multi-billion US dollars projects, across a number of markets (Oil & Gas, Power, Mining, Infrastructure and Industrial). While working for Halliburton/ KBR, Mile attended the Executive Leadership Development Program at Mays Businesses School, Texas A&M University.

He also served for a couple years as a member of the Construction Industry Advisory Board at Wits University. Throughout his career, Mile has successfully carried out executive and hands on responsibilities for engineering, project management, construction, business growth, performance and profit, while maintaining high standards for safety, quality and client satisfaction.

During his career, Mile successfully administered NEC and FIDIC contracts in Southern Africa. He is an Associate Member of ICE-UK and an ExCo member of ICE-SA, a joint Division of ICE and SAICE, where he is replacing Andrew Baird.

Joseph Keogh



A chartered quantity surveyor, arbitrator, adjudicator and commercial mediator with over 25 years’ experience in engineering construction projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Canada and Australia as Operations Director of Kentz Corporation PLC. Joseph was responsible for both commercial and operations management of all African  construction projects, portfolio + R3bn, inclusive of all Oil & Gas, Power, Mining & Infrastructure projects.

Key Clients served included, Sasol, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, GE Power, Vale, Shell, Exxon Mobil, Eskom, Transnet, Anglo American. More recently recruited as expert consultant to Eskom for the new build capital power program to provide improved real time management oversight, assurance and project controls on all Group Capital projects including new coal megaprojects, hydro schemes, overhead line infrastructure and gas power delivery projects.

Joseph is highly experienced in contract strategy, project management, preparing/evaluating/defending and resolution of claims both from customer and contractor perspective. He has a thorough understanding of NEC, FIDIC and client standard forms of contract. Extensive leadership capability in engineering and construction sector with focus on mentoring, training and upskilling.



Industrial Eng., MBA, PMP, Accredited NEC3 Professional

Mahdi is an Industrial Engineer studied in Middle East, with a Master of Business Administration from University of Cumbria (UK) and has worked in many projects in Middle East and Southern Africa in different industries of Oil and Gas, Power and Energy, Pipelines, Petrochemical and Infrastructure. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Control specialist, Risk Analyst and Forensic Planning expert with an extensive experience of actively serving construction projects for more than 15 years. 

He started as Planning Engineer in Oil and Gas, and petrochemical projects in south of Iran and moved to management level in planning function after a few years, followed by many projects in Buildings, Roads, Civil and Structural projects. 

He served Sasol Technology in South Africa as a Senior Project Control and Lead Planning Engineer for 7 years and became recognized as Professional Risk specialist and PertMaster expert, and held number of training and workshops for planning department of Sasol technology company. 

He also worked as Consultant Engineer for Power Plant projects in Eskom for 15 months and Then joined a critical project in Sasol again as a Forensic Planning Expert. 

He founded a Project Management Training company in 2016, named Gapsfree, and has developed quite a number of Online and In-Class courses in Project Management, Project Control and Scheduling. 


Elvis Pillay

Associate Quality & Compliance

Elvis has held various senior roles in Quality Assurance and Control in a successful career spanning over 20 years. The majority of his tenure has been spent supporting large and mega projects in the fast track Oil & Gas, Mining and Power sectors with tier-1 engineering contractors. His key strengths include quality management, project evaluation, process improvement, project life cycle methodologies, supplier management, quality management systems, processes, standards and business management systems. Elvis was instrumental in securing benchmark ISO, Lloyds and other accreditations for leading engineering organisations and contractors.

In addition, Elvis is an acknowledged for his expertise on project welding quality documentation, processes & procedures and handover processes. He has led welding control initiatives on mega projects in both the mining and Oil & Gas sectors over many years, often contributing to low weld failure rates of less than 2%. Key clients served include Sasol, Fluor, KBR, Wood Group, CG Energy, Sappi, Eskom, Vale, Sapref, Engen and PetroSA.

John Chamberlain

Senior Associate – Power

John has worked in the power industry as a practicing professional and chief engineer for over forty years. He is an expert in the design and construction of pressure systems including large circulating utility drum boilers, once through (Benson) boilers, package boilers, heat recovery steam generators, steam and feed piping systems and associated structures, tube and shell heat exchangers and an assortment of other pressure vessels. John also has extensive experience in the analysis of process flow with respect to thermal utility power plant, CCPP (Combined Cycle Power Plant) and CHP (Combined Heat and Power), heat balances and combustion design, heat transfer, transient and steady state compressible, non-compressible and two phase flow in pipes and ducts. John has also prepared specifications for FGD for utility boilers. During his time in Indonesia as a project manager for Sumitomo on Tanjung Jati (Indonesia) 2x700MWe Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant, John prepared a techno economic model to evaluate the levelised cost for coal and limestone for evaluation of coal and limestone supply tenders. John has also experience in the design and construction of balance of plant (low pressure services) for power plant projects. John has acquired expertise in the preparation of specifications, evaluation of tenders (engineering, economic and contractual), contract negotiations and mega-project management.

John has held senior technical and management roles for major power utility companies in the UK, Ireland, Vietnam, Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, Indonesia and Bahrain. He is chartered engineer and registered professional engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers UK.

Paul Vester

BSc (Hons) QS, PrQS, MAQS, IACCM, Green Star AP (New Buildings)

Paul is a registered professional Quantity Surveyor with over 22 years post graduate experience as a quantity surveyor, commercial manager and contracts manager in both engineering and building projects.

Paul has delivered successful projects and programmes in the energy, industrial, transport, leisure, healthcare and commercial building sectors in both Southern Africa and the Middle East.

He has experience in commercial management on such programmes as the Medupi and Kusile power stations for WSP and Black & Veatch, programme and contract management on the Abu Dhabi transport program for Fluor as well as delivering pre- and post-contract cost management services on the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for AECOM. Paul has also delivered both pre- and post-contract cost and commercial management services on multiple hotels and casinos as a director of Pentad Quantity Surveyors in South Africa.

Paul’s expertise and core skills are undertaking feasibilities and estimates, cost planning and procurement management; carrying out tender adjudications and ensuring contract compliance; managing contracts (FIDIC, NEC, JBCC) including change management, claims mitigation, drafting and management, risk management and mitigation, applying relevant SHEQ and environmental procedures and client liaison and communication at all levels.

Paul holds memberships with The South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession, the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors, and the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management and is a registered accredited professional with the Green Building Council of South Africa.



P. A. Baird

Founder & Chairman



M. Sofijanic




Joseph Keogh







Gordon Howes

PMP HND Elec. Eng Bsc MBA(UP)


Mahdi Goodarzi

Industrial Eng., MBA, PMP, Accredited NEC3 Professional


Elvis Pillay

Quality & Compliance


John Chamberlain

Power specialist


Paul Vester

Capital Projects Commercial Specialist

Why BBBEE is important for business?

The legislation Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) has an impact on all business.

The objective of BBBEE is to correct disparities that were placed on the population in the past through apartheid. When the new Constitution was adopted, a provision was made that government tenders must take black-owned entities into consideration.

The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act was then written and broadcasted. This led to the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment in 2003.  Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment was formed and implemented in 2007. Companies are awarded points for each of the 5 elements to establish a total score out of 109. Based on the score, you obtain a certain level. Level 1 is very compliant while level 8 is noncompliant.

You have to be BBBEE compliant to be able to do business in South Africa. One of the 5 elements of the BBBEE scorecard is preferential procurement and supplier development. This is the element that carries the most weight (nearly 40%). If you procure from other entities that are BBBEE compliant your BBBEE score increases. One can see the effect from suppliers to government down to their suppliers.

The goal is to try and achieve at least a level 4 as this gives you 100% contribution towards preferential procurement.