Issue: April 2017
The first principle of problem solving is to look to history as someone, somewhere, has, in all probability, solved your problem already. While this is true, one still needs to implement the solution. Herein lies the crux of the matter. Without the right people, possessing the necessary skills and experience, no solution, no matter how brilliant, will work. This is particularly true of water supply infrastructure. Fortunately, in South Africa, we don’t have to look very far to find these people. We have a home-grown, problem-solving, solution implementing civil engineering company right here in eThekwini.
Celebrating 96 years of service, Knight Piésold Consulting is a proudly South African company. Established in 1921 with a single office in Johannesburg, the firm today has offices in 14 countries. Its “deliver now, build for the future” approach, driven by a policy of skills retention, black economic empowerment and investing in young engineering graduate development, has produced a carefully balanced set of engineering skills and expertise. Knight Piésold operates “centres of excellence” in each town or city in which it operates, with KwaZulu-Natal being a centre of excellence for water supply infrastructure. With innovation and first principles in mind, state-of-the-art information communications technology and a well-defined internal project management and quality-control system, Knight Piésold Consulting’s various centres are able to work seamlessly and effectively, on a national and international basis.
The KwaZulu-Natal centre operates under the leadership of Amal Doorgapershad, regional manager for the province. Amal is a professional civil engineer with over 22 years of experience in the field of bulk water supply. Doorgapershad points out that Knight Piésold has undertaken projects in the eThekwini municipal area since the early 1990s, well before the consolidation of the previous council areas into the single eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. He states that eThekwini is a key client for Knight Piésold and the firm will continue to provide the highest standard of professional services to the municipality and its residents.
While each project is different, local knowledge and global expertise enable the development of effective solutions to meet environmental, social and economic challenges. According to Doorgapershad, past eThekwini Municipality projects completed by Knight Piésold, have improved the living conditions of thousands of Durban residents. When the Western and Northern aqueducts are completed, these projects will benefit many more thousands of people, particularly those most in need of a reliable, basic water supply.
With eThekwini’s population of 3.45 million people – growing at a rate of about 1% annually – the ever-increasing demand for water and electricity requires ongoing infrastructure development. To accommodate an estimated additional 8 500 families settling in eThekwini each year, significant infrastructure projects are needed. Knight Piésold has played a leading role in the following key projects that will have a positive impact on the lives of Durban’s residents for decades to come.
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