Paul Olivier, managing director of JG Afrika, says the acquisition of the 100% black-owned consultancy comes at a time when the management of South Africa’s scarce water resources and the upgrading of related infrastructure have been placed on top of the agenda.
This intense focus on water infrastructure is mirrored by the recent appointment of JG Afrika as the geohydrologist professional for a large water and sanitation project for schools in rural areas that is being driven by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works.
This contract, awarded to JG Afrika by the firm by Ramgoolam (formerly B. Ramgoolam and Associates), complements the company’s already extensive portfolio of successful water-related initiatives. Just as importantly, it is also the first such project to benefit from the incorporation of Regan Rose’s more than 20 years of management and technical capability in the field under the JG Afrika banner.
The founder of Geowater IQ will lead JG Afrika’s existing team of six geohydrological specialists deployed on the water and sanitation upgrade, while managing the entire project, including co-ordinating the activities of the drilling, sustainable-yield testing and borehole equipping sub-contractors.
The highly regarded geohydrologist has nurtured a long working relationship with JG Afrika’s team in the Zulu Kingdom over the years, including as Assistant Director of Geohydrology in the Department of Water & Sanitation’s (DWS) Durban office from 2002 to 2005.
Rose says that he has always valued JG Afrika’s leading expertise in the engineering sector, one of the many drivers behind the acquisition.
“I am extremely pleased to have merged Geowater IQ with such a reputable firm of engineers,” he says, adding that it has also been gratifying to immediately start working on this important, but challenging project that forms part of the ongoing second phase of the Department of Education’s Water Supply and Sanitation Programme.
As Rose notes, there is ample opportunity to deploy these specialist solutions, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, where site assessments undertaken in the Midlands Region in late 2016 confirmed that 88 schools require new groundwater resources. A further 30 require a review and refurbishment of their existing infrastructure where possible or new groundwater resources will need to be found to supply their needs.