Duane Petersen has been promoted to the position of Director at JG Afrika, a leading firm of consulting engineers and environmental scientists.
Petersen joined JG Afrika in 2003. He was appointed an Associate in 2014 and offered a position as an Executive Associate in 2016, while also sharing management duties of the Cape Town offices’ Municipal Division.
Over the years, Petersen has worked with all of the company’s departments and with most of JG Afrika’s senior managers, whose traits he has emulated throughout his career.
Some of the highlights of Petersen’s career includes his recent participation in overseeing the construction of the Prince George Drive Solid Waste Drop-off Facility in Parkwood, as well as the Gordon’s Bay and Wynberg Chipping Facilities. These projects will make a significant positive contribution to the community.
He led the development of a management plan for the Stellenbosch Rivers on behalf of the Stellenbosch Local Municipality. Completed in 2011, the document is still being referenced by the client.
Moreover, Petersen assisted with the planning of major upgrades to the stormwater system in Mitchells Plain. The project entailed extensive infield work and intense modelling to provide a 10-year horizon that also considered climate change.
In 2020, he directed the team that completed the detailed design of a R400-million project that involved implementing an innovative means of taming a river in a natural way to unlock a large parcel of land for a development, while also providing ecological aesthetics for the residents.
In his new capacity, Petersen will help steer JG Afrika onto its next growth path. This entails expanding into new international markets, while assisting in developing the agility the company needs to retain its standing as a leading provider of innovative solutions to complex challenges. He will also be responsible for the Western and Eastern Cape regions.
“While I remain cautiously optimistic about the state of the South African market considering government’s focus on large infrastructure development to kick-start the post-COVID-19 economy, we are also exploring other growth areas. Many of these opportunities are emerging in other countries and could potentially harness our 23 different disciplines and fields of expertise,” Petersen says.
This strategy also entails continuing to attract and retain the best young scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians; enabling them to gain experience working in the field; and helping them to efficiently attain professional registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA). JG Afrika’s Peers Working Towards Attaining Professional Registration has been very successful in supporting and guiding candidates seeking professional registration and, in doing so, developing a broad base of expertise that is needed to ensure business sustainability. These capabilities reside across JG Afrika’s national and cross-border footprint and Petersen says that there will be even greater collaboration between the different disciplines and fields moving forward.
At the same time, Petersen is helping to ensure that the company’s management style adjusts to a new generation of staff. This is by integrating new administration methods with existing practices that have helped to efficiently manage staff thus far. By continuing its focus on developing healthy, productive and efficient team members who also have access to and the ability to work with the latest cutting-edge design technology, JG Afrika is further “future-proofing” its business.
Certainly, JG Afrika will also continue to focus on transformation by creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. This focus has always started at grassroots level and the fruits of these efforts are already visible. As Petersen notes, “Real and sustainable transformation takes time and effort. It cannot be rushed just for the sake of it. Our approach is definitely yielding the desired results, with management of the company better reflecting the demographics of the country, including in terms of race and gender. JG Afrika is a vastly different environment than it was when I joined the firm, and it will continue to transform as we move forward.”
JG Afrika’s Board of Directors welcomes Petersen and looks forward to the contribution that he will make towards JG Afrika living its core values of ‘Experience’, ‘Quality’ and ‘Integrity’.