Pieter Rautenbach was born in Johannesburg and matriculated at the Potchefstroom Gimnasium. He thereafter underwent apprenticeship training as a heavy current Electrician on a Goldmine on the Far West Rand. He also passed a Trade Test as an Electrical Wireman. He became a youthful Electrical Inspector of Works in the former Transvaal Works Department before becoming a junior Safety and Health Consultant with the National Occupational Safety Association.
During 1964 he was responsible for co-ordinating the Association's second ‘Tidiness for Safety' week. Both the local winners also became the first winners in the National competition.
During 1971 he embarked on a career change when he was appointed Director of the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa. He held this position for a number of years before being headhunted as the new Director of the Durban Association at the end of 1975.
He was to witness great changes in the building industry in the Province and South Africa. One of his first missions was to ensure that the Association became multi-racial. At it's Annual General Meeting held during February 1976 it was resolved to open the membership to all those who qualified. This was a first among the various Master Builders Associations in South Africa.
An important early milestone was the introduction of Contract Price Adjustment in the form of the Haylett Formula which expedited payment claims.
During the late seventies a fragmented situation among employers in the building industry in the sub-region existed. There were separate Master Builders Associations in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and the Lower South Coast. In addition, BIFSA had Special Members in Northern Natal, Kwa Zulu and Zululand. There was obviously a need for rationalisation. This process commenced in the early eighties under the leadership of Andrew Stewart and Roger Pickles who both were Presidents in Pietermaritzburg before becoming Presidents of the amalgamated Natal Association. For many years the Association as the Natal Master Builders Association operated as a registered employers organisation in the Province of Natal and as a recognised employers organisation in the self-governing Kwa Zulu Natal. The Kwa Zulu Natal Master Builders Allied Industries association as it is currently known came about after the Government of National Unity was formed during 1994.
During the Presidency of Roger Pickles it was resolved to change the Association from a coercive ‘closed shop' type to service delivery organisation. This meant repealing the monopolistic Tendering By-Laws and the check-off facilities for Trade Unions in the Industrial Councils as well as the ‘closed shop' provisions. Again this was a first in the building industry in South Africa and introduced a paradigm shift. The Association was threatened with an expulsion from Membership of the National Federation of which it was a founder member in the media.