12 Aug 2016

Royal HaskoningDHV was victorious at the recent South African Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE) KwaZulu Natal Regional Awards in Pietermaritzburg having won Awards for Technical Excellence; Branch Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering; and the Company Champion Allan Rowe trophy. These prestigious awards were held at the Golden Horse Casino’s Conference Centre in Pietermaritzburg to honour individuals, project excellence and community-orientated initiatives. The annual awards function offers companies, individuals and departments a unique opportunity to showcase their deserving projects and work in the Civil Engineering industry. These awards add to the success of the organization that also won the award for Excellence in Civil Engineering for the Ashley Drive Break Pressure Tank in the SAICE KwaZulu Natal Regional Awards in Durban held in June this year.

In the category for Technical Excellence, Royal HaskoningDHV won the award for the Hlambanyathi Development Project for the Department of Transport. The project was undertaken in a joint venture between Royal HaskoningDHV and an emerging consultant – Mzansi Africa. There are few projects where the safety and prosperity of the rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal have been as comprehensively improved with an associated transfer of a variety of skills to local residents as with this impressive project. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport (DoT) has a vision and mission ‘to strive to provide the public with mobility through an affordable transportation system that is safe, integrated, regulated and accessible, to meet the development needs of our province’. With the Hlambanyathi Development Project the Department achieved this goal.

Mervyn Bosworth-Smith, Principal Engineer at Royal HaskoningDHV says, “This entire project started about 9 years ago with the bridge contract taking about 18 months to complete. It gives one satisfaction that you have done something that makes people’s lives easier, being able to enhance society and improve people’s living conditions.”

For the residents of the isolated Makhosaneni area, access to schools, markets, the Ndundulu clinic and the district hospital was provided by a treacherous low level crossing of the Hlambanyathi River. The isolation of the area had led to a deepening of rural poverty and many young people were abandoning family homesteads for better opportunities closer to urban areas.  The Department of Transport has successfully resolved this situation by the construction of a high level bridge and a shorter, safer access road. At the same time a training programme for unskilled workers was initiated and a variety of associated transportation projects were undertaken on a plant hire basis to provide additional work in the area. The project was complicated by the presence of a local dam immediately below the bridge site which provides for local water supply. Serious consideration had to be given to the protection of this facility during construction.

Royal HaskoningDHV’s Hlambanyathi Development Project will now go on to be entered into the annual national awards which will be hosted by SAICE and SAFCEC (South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors) on 13 October 2016 in Johannesburg.

The Branch Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering is awarded to the company which portrays overall service excellence and this year, Royal HaskoningDHV was the overall winner. The Allan Rowe trophy is a floating trophy awarded to the soccer tournament winning team in Pietermaritzburg each year, “It is the 6th year running, and we have won three times and missed out in the past two years. We are glad to have the trophy back where it rightfully belongs”, said soccer coach Walker Dlamini.

Video: Hlambanyathi Development Project