JG Afrika, a proudly South African consulting engineering firm, is celebrating 100 years of engineering and environmental excellence.This significant milestone bears testament to the skills, experience, dedication, and passion of a strong team of people who are committed to JG Afrika’s core values of ‘Experience’, ‘Quality’ and ‘Integrity’. The company was first founded in Johannesburg in 1922 and was formally known as Jeffares & Green and has since grown into a leading multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy operating locally and internationally. The company’s proud legacy was started by John L.S. Jeffares when he established JLS Jeffares Consulting Practice in Johannesburg. Jeffares was shortly awarded an OBE to pioneer a railway route from Victoria Falls to Walvis Bay. Five years later he was joined by Harold (Hal) H. Green and together they undertook work throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including the hydrological study and access roads for Kariba Dam. In 1947, they formed a partnership, and the name Jeffares & Green was used for the first time. Throughout the years the firm continued to progress and evolve and in 2016 Jeffares & Green rebranded to JG Afrika to better reflect its African roots and commitment to uplifting the continent. The firm has continued to build on the reputation for quality engineering services that was established many years ago.
“I am exceptionally proud of this accomplishment as it demonstrates the sustainability of our business. There are only a few South African companies and now only two local engineering firms to have reached this milestone. Over the years, we have survived a world war, many far-reaching changes in government and its ideologies, and, more recently, a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the global economy. We have always been quick to adapt to change and emerge stronger than before.”
– Paul Olivier, Managing Director of JG Afrika.
“It helps to create jobs in areas where there is high unemployment, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of infrastructure because communities’ members have been adequately trained in monitoring and maintenance. Extensive public participation and stakeholder engagement processes also ensure project buy-in and unite different factions so that we can all work together efficiently towards achieving a common goal,” Olivier continues.Driven by innovation Innovation has remained at the heart of the firm for all these years. This is evidenced by, among others, the many awards that JG Afrika has received for its projects from leading professional bodies, such as the South African Institution of Civil Engineering and Consulting Engineers South Africa. However, innovation will play a considerably larger role for the company as it harnesses new technologies and enters other markets that provide more opportunities for growth. This is in line with the company’s drive to expand its footprint in Africa and other continents, increasing its client base and, in so doing, ensuring business sustainability for many more years to come. Olivier is convinced that he has the best team to help him drive this heightened focus on innovation. An environment has been created that encourages people to be innovative and find unique solutions to challenges. The company has preserved its strong family values and culture over the years. For most employees, JG Afrika is a “home away from home” and they have remained loyal to the firm for many years. This culture and working environment also attract the best young talent to the company to ensure continuity. Long-term client relationships Certainly, this milestone would also not have been possible without the ongoing support that the company continues to receive from its clients. Many have nurtured a longstanding professional relationship with JG Afrika. They value the firm’s ability to keep pace with their changing requirements and demands of industry, especially over the past 10 to 15 years. This has been a period of significant change in the engineering and environmental sciences market. It is a trend that is expected to carry on unabated. Olivier is confident that the firm will continue to adapt to this disruption and respond to the immense opportunities that it brings. “JG Afrika is only 100 years young, so there is still a lot of potential to learn and grow to ensure that we remain the best at what we do. We are looking forward to many more years of providing leading technical services, as well as innovative and sustainable solutions to our growing client base,” Olivier concludes.