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Aerial view of container port Mbombela Stadium Johannesburg skyline at night Department for Environmental Affairs HQ

South Africa

In South Africa, we've been working with government and nongovernment organizations to create long-lasting solutions across a range of sectors: from transport, education, and health, to buildings, power, and communications.

In 2013, Mott MacDonald acquired the Johannesburg-based engineering specialist PD Naidoo & Associates and established Mott MacDonald PDNA. By combining our complementary skills, experience, and capabilities, we offer a single-source, end-to-end service capable of delivering the complex next-generation projects that will improve Africa’s social and economic success.


Mott MacDonald's expansion in South Africa was spring-boarded through our role in program-managing the upgrade of facilities for Transnet, a state-owned transport organization. We examined the feasibility of a 217-mile (350-kilometer) rail route linking lines in the Ermelo/Lothair area via the Swaziland railway network to the ports of Maputo in Mozambique and Richards Bay in South Africa.

Today, we are working on a range of major projects including the Eastern Cape Infrastructure Joint Venture, providing Transnet with engineering, procurement, and construction management services covering infrastructure upgrade projects at Port Elizabeth, Port of Ngqura, and East London.

We provided advisory services for the new Gautrain in Johannesburg, and soft-ground tunneling advice for the completed Durban Harbour Crossing Project, which included comprises a new tunnel 1,800 feet (515 meters) long. The project has won awards for technical excellence and construction techniques.


Mott MacDonald PDNA served as sustainable building consultant providing comprehensive engineering services for the new head office of the South African government’s Department for Environmental Affairs. The project won the Project and Organisation Award at the Green Building Council of South Africa Green Star Leadership Awards.

Leading up to the 2010 World Cup, we worked as the structural engineer on the occer City stadium. We also designed the lightweight roof structure for Mbombela Stadium and acted as the subconsulting structural engineer on Moses Mabhida Stadium. Soccer City won the Fulton Awards for Best Building Project and Concrete in Architecture, while Mbombela won the Tubular Structures trophy at the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction Steel Awards.

Public-private partnerships

Our infrastructure finance advisory team is supporting the country’s growing interest in private finance and public-private partnerships (P3s). Our portfolio includes P3 advisory services for four new prisons for the Department of Correctional Services and new offices for the City of Tshwane Municipality and the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform.


Renewable energy is a fast-growing sector. We are project manager and technical advisor for South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme, designed to attract private-sector investment in 3 gigawatts of wind, solar, and hydropower projects. Our extensive renewables portfolio includes our role as owner’s engineer for the 67-megawatt Hopefield Wind Farm in Western Cape province.

Rising power consumption requires the modernization and expansion of transmission and distribution infrastructure. For City Power in Johannesburg, we upgraded 50 miles (80 kilometers) of high-voltage power lines to carry twice the power, without interrupting the power supply to customers.


Bringing simple, affordable communications to some of the world’s poorest people is the challenge facing our team. We supported an innovative startup operation called SMILE from its early stages: building the business plan, securing funding, procuring the network, helping to secure licenses, and providing program management.
We are lenders’ and operator’s technical advisor in the delivery of a $78 million (1 billion rand) city-wide broadband network, identifying key risks and mitigation strategies. 559 miles (900 kilometers) of fiber-optic cable are being laid to provide connectivity across the Johannesburg metropolitan area, covering the city center, the Sandton financial district, and areas not served by existing networks. The municipality will also migrate its own telecommunications traffic onto the network. By building the network using local labor instead of sophisticated machinery, hundreds of local jobs have been created at zero net cost to the project.


Improving education infrastructure is a huge challenge for South Africa. The Khanyisa Programme has supported the Limpopo Province Department of Education’s work in implementing its strategic plan for improving curriculum planning, teaching, and academic performance in primary schools across the province. Our specialist education team was instrumental in its success. We also managed the Imbewu Programme to enhance the performance of 600 disadvantaged schools in the Eastern Cape.


We have achieved good results on the landmark Strengthening South Africa’s Revitalised Response to AIDS and Health program, reducing HIV transmission from infected mothers to children from 12% to 3.5% in three years. We are also leading research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of different communication strategies in raising awareness of HIV and how to protect against infection. Findings will shape future prevention initiatives. We are also working with South Africa’s Department of Health to implement free healthcare.

In collaboration with the National Department of Social Development, we are providing the technical lead for a project that aims to care for and protect children made vulnerable through AIDS or other reasons by providing psychosocial support for individual caregivers and promoting organizational environments to foster their well-being.

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