Jul 20, 2012
Construction|Engineering|Luanda|Reading|Springs|Africa|Consulting|Education|Favourite Music|Fulcrum Bank|GE|PROJECT|Vela VKE|Africa|South Africa|Transportation|Environmental|Anton Rupert|Bill Bryson|Desmond Tutu|Infrastructure|Johann Buhr|Thomas Marshall
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Position: COO of the Africa division of SMEC and CEO of Vela VKE
Main Activity of the Company: Infrastructure consulting engineering
Date and Place of Birth: August 11, 1955, Springs, South Africa
Education: BEng (civil engineering), MEng (transportation and geotechnical engineering), DEng (engineering management)
First Job: Site engineer, SA Piled Foundations, Grinaker Construction
Career History Prior to Current Position: After short stints in construction with Grinaker and with another consultant, I joined VKE in 1982, where I served in various management roles until the VKE group joined the SMEC group in 2012
Size of First Pay Packet: R750 a month in 1979
First Job with Present Group: Railway design engineer in the VKE group in 1982
Value of Assets under Your Control: Our really valuable assets are our experienced, innovative staff members
Number of People under Your Leadership: 1 300 in SMEC’s Africa division
Management Style: Collaborative
Professional Best Achievement: The Baía de Luanda urban regeneration and environmental rehabilitation project
Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My wife
Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Dr Johann Buhr, an earlier executive chairperson of the VKE group
Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Dr Desmond Tutu
Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: The late Dr Anton Rupert
Philosophy of Life: Live and let live
Biggest Ever Opportunity: My current job
Biggest Ever Disappointment: When Fulcrum Bank (of which I was a founder) lost its intended focus of being an infrastructure bank
Hope for the Future: A vibrant, prosperous and ‘normalised’ South African society
Favourite Reading: Bill Bryson
Favourite TV Programme: The Simpsons and the History Channel
Favourite Food/Drink: Italian food/South African red wine
Favourite Music: Folk rock
Favourite Sport: Mountain biking (as participant) and rugby (as spectator)
Favourite Website: Google Earth
Hobbies: Reading, music and sea kayaking
Car: Land Rover Discovery and Audi
Pets: Two cats
Miscellaneous Dislikes: People who are late or do not show up for appointments
Favourite Other South African Company: SABMiller
Favourite Foreign Company: GE
Married: To Gesie (née Theron) since 1979
Children: John; Gesie; Marie
Clubs: I am not a club person – Virgin Active and Johannesburg Mountain Bike Club are my kind of club
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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