In 2013 Mott MacDonald acquired the Johannesburg-based engineering specialist PD Naidoo & Associates and established Mott MacDonald PDNA, combining our complementary skills, experience and capabilities into a single-source, end-to-end service capable of delivering the complex next-generation projects that will improve Africa’s social and economic success.
Our expansion in South Africa was spring-boarded through our role in programme managing the upgrade of facilities for Transnet, a state-owned transport organisation. We examined the feasibility of a 350km 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're working on a range of major projects including the Eastern Cape Infrastructure Joint Venture, providing Transnet with engineering, procurement and construction management services covering port infrastructure upgrade projects at Port Elizabeth, Port of Ngqura and East London.
We provided soft-ground tunnelling advice for the completed Durban Harbour Crossing Project, which comprises a 515m new tunnel. The project has won awards for technical excellence and construction techniques. And we provided advisory services for the Gautrain in Johannesburg.
We served as sustainable building consultant providing comprehensive engineering services for the new head office of the South African government’s Department for Environmental Affairs, which won the Project and Organisation Award at the Green Building Council of South Africa Green Star Leadership Awards.
Ahead of the 2010 World Cup we worked as the structural engineer on Soccer City stadium. We also designed the lightweight roof structure for Mbombela Stadium and acted as sub consulting structural engineer on Moses Mabhida Stadium. Soccer City won Fulton Awards – 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 (PPPs) – our portfolio includes PPP advisory services for four new prisons for the Department of Correctional Services and new office accommodation for the City of Tshwane Municipality and for the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform.
Rising power consumption is requiring modernisation and expansion of transmission and distribution infrastructure. We also completed the upgrade of 80km of high voltage power lines in Johannesburg for City Power to carry twice the power, achieved without switching off power supply, to prevent disruption to customers.
A huge challenge South Africa faces is improving its education infrastructure. 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 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 programme, 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're providing the technical lead for a project which aims to care for and protect children made vulnerable through AIDS or other reasons by providing psychosocial support for individual caregivers and promoting caring organisational environments to foster their wellbeing.