Looking back, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years already! Wow, time really has flown! To God, all the Glory!

Daveng Consulting Engineers has just come of age in South Africa. Having been the co-founder and owner since 2017, it is a proud moment for me to look back and reflect on Daveng’s incredible journey.  

I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, staff and clients who have travelled this remarkable journey with me for the last 18 years, but most of all, I’d like to thank God for being our guide and our inspiration.

Reflecting back, I remember a period during my studies when I had to save up my pocket money to be able to afford a cheese Copenhagen and a guava juice for lunch on Fridays. I knew then what was at stake. Today, I sometimes still indulge in that special Friday treat.

Ever since high school I wanted to be a Civil Engineering Professional, and I am proud to be a Civil Engineering Technologist today. Like any career-driven person who comes from a humble background, my first goal was to improve the quality of life for my family and my community. I became an Engineering Professional because I knew then, and still know now, that I can make a difference in people’s lives.

Eighteen years ago, two Professional Technologists identified a gap in the market and founded Daveng Consulting Engineers. Their dream was to make a difference as Civil Engineering Technologists in a predominantly Engineer’s world. It was and still is an ideal that transcends race, gender, religion and politics. It is an ideal that remains engrained in our vision – to provide sustainable growth and development in the context of emerging challenges in South Africa. 

That being said, choosing a career in professional engineering is not the smartest move if your sole motivation is to make a lot of money very quickly. However, it is one of the most fulfilling careers if your aim is to enable and nurture your environment, test your technical skills, seek solutions for the benefit of those around you and be the voice of the voiceless.

Today, many of the issues that are faced by Engineering Professionals are not technical in nature, but are rather issues such as poverty, unemployment and other social ills. 

I clearly remember the experience of landing our very first project. The client was the City of Cape Town. We printed our first tender document on a four-in-one, top of the range, multi-function printer. This machine could print, copy, fax and scan. We thought it was very impressive, even though it could only print 20 pages at a time before heating up. We would then have to wait for it to cool down before carrying on printing. 

Sometime later – 18 years, in fact – I’m proud to say that Daveng has delivered on 227 contracts worth over R3 billion. We have also managed to achieve 980 000 person days. 

Daveng is passionate about labour intensive construction and the Expanded Public Works Programme, having been involved with community projects since the programme’s inception. And we remain as passionate as ever about addressing the needs of local communities through collaborating with clients and applying sound engineering methods.

Our greatest asset is the staff who work at Daveng. They are the reason we strive to be better, to seek more challenging projects, to expand, invest, create and sustain a culture that says you are more than enough. A culture in Daveng that is embraced by our exceptionally happy employees. 

Our five-person management team has a collective experience of 64 years working at Daveng. I truly am blessed to be surrounded by these people.

There’s something I should perhaps address. The question of being a coloured or black Engineering Professional and a 100% black-owned company in a predominantly so-called “white” industry. Those days are long gone. If you still see things in black and white, then that is on you and you alone. 

Yes, it was difficult for me when I was trying to break into this industry 25 years ago, but I’m not going to dwell on the past. Change needs to come from within yourself. Within your company and your community. Within our beloved industry. Change your attitude towards all people and you will experience the difference. Work hard, be committed, be persistent, stay in your lane and you will reap the fruits of your own labour.

Daveng’s success is due to our staff, our families, our clients and our communities that are at the heart of our businesses. Daveng collaborates with nature, the environment and people. Where there is work that requires sound decisions, ethical behaviour, diligence, trust, reliability and integrity, that is where you will find Daveng. 

I want to thank all our strategic partners; Consulting Engineers, National, Provincial, District and Local Governments, and our private clients for the impeccable relationships formed. Once again, thank you.

The Civil Engineering Consultancy industry has changed considerably for Professional Technologists since 2004. We have seen the change right the way from National and Provincial Government through to Local and District Municipalities. 

We have done some very good work, and there remains much more to do. Daveng has been involved with the upgrading of concrete roads on the Cape Flats since the company was founded. We have also been engaged in routine road maintenance for the Provincial and National Government since 2006. And various civil infrastructure and roads projects have been completed for a number of local municipalities. 

Finally, you can call me an Engineering Professional – but I’m proud to be a Civil Engineering Technologist in South Africa and a member of Daveng’s winning team.

We are enough.