To ensure effective infrastructure delivery serious consideration must be given to simplify the process to appoint professional teams which oversee projects.
This is the view of Alex van Niekerk, project manager Toll and Transport, at SANRAL. He was awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Award from the South African Institution for Civil Engineering (SAICE) – Transportation Division.
The SAICE Transportation Division is a professional home for transportation engineers, technicians and technologists. Its objective is to advance the study, knowledge and application of transportation engineering.
Handing over the award at a function in Midrand, SAICE Transportation Engineering Division chairperson Jarenda Reddy, said: “Alex has invested in himself to be a specialist in his field, gaining him international recognition allowing him to contribute to the betterment of transport within an African and global context. This in combination with his focus and resolve in delivering a contentious, first of its kind programme, in the opinion of the committee, earns Alex the 2019 Chairman’s Award.”
Van Niekerk said a major challenge faced by government departments and agencies is the effective procurement of service providers. All infrastructure development projects, as a minimum, require a professional team of engineers to determine the scope for design, standards for construction and effective project delivery.
When this is resolved, meaningful service delivery and effective implementation of large infrastructure projects that are essential for economic growth and job creation, can happen, said Van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk said that “anyone entering the debate about road infrastructure funding (must) do so with the best long term interest of the public at heart, to not only criticise but also provide workable solutions”.
He has learned that road funding mechanisms – toll or a fuel levy – “stir emotions and are politicised all over the world”.
“Regardless of challenges such as these, the engineering profession remains one that stirs the intellect and hearts – I am grateful for the many opportunities SANRAL has afforded me throughout my career,” concluded Van Niekerk.