South African engineering excellence was showcased during the 2019 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards hosted by Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) in Midrand on Wednesday evening.

Awards were handed out in the following categories: Lifetime Industry Achievement Award; Young Engineer of the Year; Engineering Excellence for projects with a value of less than R50-million; projects between R50-million and R250-million and for projects with a value of over R250-million; Roads and Bridges Projects; Best International Project; Visionary Client of the Year; Small Company of the Year; Mentor of the Year; Business Excellence; Mentoring Company of the Year; Publisher of the Year; Job Shadow Initiative; and Branch of the Year.

Speaking at the event CEO Chris Campbell said the awards demonstrated the ongoing role of engineers in delivering the infrastructure that is so pivotal to the development of the South African economy and for achieving the goals set out in the National Development Plan.

Aon South Africa CEO Terence Williams added that engineers bore an “enormous responsibility” to deliver projects professionally and safely, while also ensuring the engineering, environmental, commercial, political and social risks were managed.

He reported that Aon South Africa was receiving an increasing number of enquiries from consulting engineering firms that “feel uncomfortable” about instructions being received from clients that could impact not only on the quality of their work, but also on their professional reputation.

Campbell said that despite these risks and the difficult economic climate, CESA member firms deserved to be recognised for their resilience in continuing to deliver projects in support of their clients and the country’s economic development.


The CESA Lifetime Industry Achievement Award went to Graham Burrows, a specialist in water and sewer pump design and analysis, for his significant contribution to the upliftment of many lives, especially in rural communities.

Airports Company South Africa sponsored the Young Engineer of the Year Award to Jeshika Ramchund with Dr Tony Igboamalu receiving a commendation. As part of the award, Ramchund will attend the International Federation of Consulting Engineers Infrastructure Conference, which will take place in Mexico City, Mexico, in September.

The category for Engineering Excellence with a value greater than R250-million was won by Aecom for Growthpoint New Lakeside Office, in Centurion, with Aurecon also receiving a commendation for its role in the building of Discovery Place, in Sandton, for Discovery in joint venture with Growthpoint Properties and Zenprop Property Holdings.

The category for Engineering Excellence with a value between R50-million and R250-million was won by Aurecon for Docklands Apartments, in Cape Town, for FWJK Developments. Commendations were awarded to Hatch for Rosslyn Brewery Co-Generation Plant, in Pretoria, for AB-INBEV, as well as JG Afrika for Construction of a new mechanised stercus facility in Matroosfontein, for the City of Cape Town.

The category for Engineering Excellence with a value less than R50-million, was won by Aurecon for the Leliefontein Pump-as-Turbine Station for Drakenstein municipality, in the Western Cape. The commendation went to Royal HaskoningDHV-SFC Engineers-Ndizani Civil Works joint venture for the Sani Pass Phase 2A Structures on the southern Drakensberg for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport.

In the category of Best International Project, Knight Piésold Consulting won for the Azambi hydropower project in the DRC for Kibali gold mine, a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation. The commendation went to SMEC for Construction of Main Road 118 for the Namibian Roads Authority.

Owing to the large number of roads and bridges project entries this year a special category was created. The winner in this category was SMEC for the Mount Edgecombe Interchange on the N2, Section 26 for the South African National Roads Agency. Royal HaskoningDHV was awarded a commendation for Cornubia Boulevard Bridge over the N2 for eThekwini municipality.

Knight Piésold Consulting won the Mentoring Company of the Year with BVi Consulting Engineers winning the Business Excellence category and ADA Consulting Engineers recognized as Small Company of the Year.

Kim Timm, of Aecom, was named Mentor of the Year, while Black Mountain Mining, a subsidiary of Vedanta Zinc International, was awarded Visionary Client of the Year.

Mariswe was announced as the winner of the CESA Job Shadow Initiative with Knight Piésold as the first runner up and both Lekwa Consulting Engineers and Royal HaskoningDHV as second runners up. CESA’s Western Cape branch was named winner of the Branch of the Year Award.  

In recognition of the role that the media plays in the industry, Creamer Media received recognition for Publishing Excellence: Trade Publications and Independent Media, publisher of Business Report, received recognition for Publishing Excellence: Daily Newspapers.