JG Afrika wins big at the 2020 SAICE National Awards

JG Afrika again excelled at this year’s prestigious South African Institution of Civil Engineering’s (SAICE) National Awards.

We proudly took home two commendation wins and two overall wins at the awards ceremony that was hosted at Monte Casino on 12 November 2020.

Naadira Ballim won the Graduate Engineer of the Year award and Byron Mawer was a joint winner of the Young Engineer of the Year Award.

Both our Nkungumathe Irrigation Scheme and Coastal Park: Material’s Recovery Facility (MRF) projects were Highly Commended by the panel of judges in the Community-Based Project Awards and Technical Excellence Awards categories, respectively.

Moreover, Tarryn van Vuuren was nominated in the Young Technologist of the Year Award and Zanele Mashinini in the Young Engineer of the Year Award.

Naadira Ballim | JG Afrika
Naadira Ballim accepting her award for Graduate Engineer of the Year.

Ballim won the Graduate Engineer of the Year Award for, among other traits, her remarkable development and the maturity that she continues to display. This is evidenced by her ability to undertake complex and innovative designs, as well as her role in managing, mentoring and motivating other members of project teams to complete deliverables and meet deadlines.

Respected by her managers, colleagues and JG Afrika’s clients, she has a thorough understanding of technical and social project dynamics within the context of a design team and client interactions.

Mawer impressed the judges with the skills and ethics that he has shown over the past more than four years with JG Afrika.

Byron Maw
Byron Mawer accepting his joint award for Young Engineer of the Year.

He has embraced existing complex systems of decision-making in the built environment and demonstrated the ability to address complex situations with logical, practical and appropriate solutions and outcomes.

Over the years, Byron has developed into a leader of various projects for the company and, in this capacity, has managed multi-disciplinary teams. His contribution towards the success of more than 30 JG Afrika projects over the years has been significant. These include critical projects on the “Mayor’s Dashboard” for implementation and some with a construction value of more than R150-million.

Trevor Baier accepting the award on behalf of JG Afrika and the project team for their Community-Based Highly Commended win for Nkungumathe Irrigation Scheme.

JG Afrika undertook the feasibility, design and construction monitoring of the development of the Nkungumathe Irrigation Scheme in the Nkandla Local Municipality on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The 18ha greenfields development will be used by members of Nkungumathe community to grow vegetables for food security and to generate income by selling excess produce.

The panel of judges was impressed with the way in which JG Afrika overcame many key challenges encountered during its development.

This included the need to accommodate water demand flexibility during irrigation considering varied requirements across 11 plots that will be managed by 11 local co-operatives.

There was also a large elevation difference of up to 100m between the water source and land parcels identified for development. Conventionally, this would result in extremely high energy costs for the small-scale farmers.

Moreover, the design had to be simple and consistent to ensure the sustained use and management of the infrastructure by the emerging farmers. In addition to ensuring acceptance of the system by the local co-operative members, they received hands-on training in its operation and maintenance.

Undertaken on behalf of the City of Cape Town, Coastal Park MRF is the first to be located on an existing operational landfill site.

Byron Mawer accepting the award on behalf of the JG Afrika and project team for Technical Excellence Highly Commended award for Coastal Park: Material’s Recovery Facility.

The facility was constructed on 65 000m2 of land that was underlain by a 5m- to 6m-thick municipal solid waste deposit and covered by a 450 000m3 builder’s rubble deposit.

Dynamic compaction was used to support heavy vehicle traffic, ancillary structures and services.

Considering the variability of the waste, it was also necessary to include 500mm engineered fill caps over the compacted material with the earthworks design.

The large rubble stockpile was beneficiated into a product that could be used in the layer and bulk earthworks, as well as for the capping of the existing landfill embankments.

This approach provided significant savings in transporting the material to a different site and in the procurement of material from traditional commercial sources for use in the earthworks.

An innovative gas vent system was also designed to ensure that landfill gas does not build up and pose a risk to the Coastal Park Integrated Waste Management Facility and its operations.

These latest awards from a leading industry association again showcase JG Afrika’s leadership in the South African engineering industry.