Big enough to matter, small enough to care | Infrastructure news

With a positive outlook on the local and national government infrastructure market, BVi Consulting Engineers is excellently positioned to help the public sector meet its ambitious infrastructure targets.

AS EVIDENCED by the recent pronouncements from Pravin Gordhan, Nomvula Mokonyane and Lindiwe Sisulu, the South African government understands the crucial role the private sector must play in getting the country on track, and BVi Consulting Engineers is ready and able apply its skills and services to the management, operation and maintenance of municipal infrastructure. JJ Grobler, CEO of the BVi Group, talks to IMIESA about the company’s innovative approach to infrastructure delivery, with its focus on community inclusion and upliftment.

IM What makes BVi unique in the African market? JJG We firmly believe that what sets us apart from our competitors is the fact that the BVi Group is big enough to make a difference and small enough to care.

Bvi Group’s growth since its inception in 1967 has been a remarkable one. Bvi was established as a multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm offering ‘traditional’ consulting services in the fields of civil, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering. Today, the Level 2 BEE company has a 47% black ownership status and counts on its 300+ strong team of professionals to deliver engineering excellence to private and public sector clients.

The journey from 1967 to present has taken BVi from a small two-office start-up business to a nationwide organisation with fifteen local and four international offices. In 2008, the group added to its portfolio by providing EPCM services to its clients and thereby adding the mining industry to its client base. Expansion across South African borders into the SADC region became a strategic focus in 2009 and, since then, BVi has successfully completed numerous projects on neighbouring African soil. BVi Group has offices in Angola, the DRC, Mozambique and Namibia.

What does BVi prioritise when working on local government projects?
Working on a multidisciplinary engineering projects base, BVi has focused on the basic need for infrastructure development such as housing, water, sanitation and electricity to local communities. BVi embraces innovative thinking, taking a labour-intensive approach on many of its projects. This approach not only creates employment, but also involves the community from inception right through to the final handover of the project. Innovative thinking has lead BVi to facilitate smarter processes, management and programmes together with its clients.

What water projects has BVi been involved in over the past years?
BVi has been involved in a few large-scale water projects over the past years. One of these projects is the Namakwa Regional Water Supply Scheme: In January 2010, the then Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs requested Sedibeng Water to conduct an assessment of the Namakwa Regional Water Supply Scheme’s infrastructure. Since 2009, interruptions of the water supply to the Springbok area have been rife, with continuous pipe failures, leading to towns being without water for periods of up to four days. BVi was appointed by Sedibeng Water and the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs in October 2010 to conduct a study to provide a single technical solution for solving the infrastructure problem, as well as increasing and sustaining the water supply of the Namakwa Scheme.

As implementing agent, Sedibeng Water tasked BVi with the following:
• determining the current and future water demand for all towns and villages in the region
• liaising with all stakeholders in the region to determine and analyse future developments and associated water demands
• conducting an assessment of the current infrastructure condition
• conducting a GAP analysis to determine current and future needs
• investigating and evaluating all water supply options
• selecting a single, technically feasible solution and developing a project scope for construction
• calculating estimated capital requirements, as well as the operating and maintenance costs
• compiling a Water Master Plan for the Namakwaland region.

What is BVi’s outlook for the coming years?
With the ever-changing environment we operate in and taking into consideration the latest trends in the industry, we as BVi have made some significant changes to our operational and management model. I strongly believe that this will now put us in an even better position to procure work and execute our projects to an even higher standard, thus securing our future growth targets. We’ve set us some very exciting short- to medium-term goals, which will be renewed and updated frequently.

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