Sintec Consulting Engineers in Knysna is one of six offices with other branches in Alberton, Pretoria, East London, Ugie and Vereeniging. This multi-disciplinary broad based black economic empowerment company is 70% owned by historically disadvantaged individuals and places innovative service delivery at the forefront of business.
Sintec Director Stanley van den Heever recalls the early years when the company Infratec Consulting first merged with their black partner Sikhulile Engineers to form Sintec Consulting Engineers. "The merger gave rise to the branch office in Knysna some seven years ago and since then we have focused our attention on building the right calibre of staff," he says.
Part of the company's economic empowerment programme includes the training and capacity building of the people in communities where services are rendered. The R130 million Sebokeng Water Treatment Works project, funded by Provincial Government, is a project that required large scale community involvement and is to date one of the largest initiatives of its kind. "The upgrade of Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Works was deemed essential to cope with the increasing volume of sewage effluent from Emfuleni and Johannesburg South and will ensure that areas around Sebokeng will have proper and adequate sanitation," explains Stanley.
Besides having a strong commitment to water and wastewater engineering projects, the company is also involved in private development projects like the multi-million rand Fernwood security village. "The scenic Fernwood estate is adjacent to the famous Pezula golf estate and has recently won five international awards including best golf development, best South African development and best luxury development."
"The program allows you to make numerous changes and these changes are then updated in a matter of seconds," says Stanley, adding that the Fernwood development
consists of 72 individual stands positioned on the highest point of the heads overlooking the Knysna lagoon and retails at a cost of up to R3,8 million per stand."
"We were the design engineers on the project and found the environmental restrictions, due to the ecologically sensitive nature of the area, particularly challenging. Fortunately our engineers are standardized on Civil Designer and AllyCAD, so we could design around these zones quite easily."
Another initiative that Stanley is involved in, is the Knysna City Council's multiple infrastructure Knysna 2002 project. This project includes some 2500 stands of low cost housing and provides for new and upgrading of existing infrastructure such as water, electricity, sewage, roads and storm-water drainage. "The multiple infrastructure Knysna 2002 project initially started with a private group of developers but this all changed when the Department of Provincial Housing appointed the City Council as primary developer. Since we were already appointed from the start, the Council continued making use of our services," explains Stanley.
"We have many fields of expertise which includes municipal services in general and specializing in water, wastewater, environmental and structural engineering, but it is the rural engineering projects that are the most rewarding. Here we target rural areas particularly in the Eastern Cape and assist them with basic services like water. There is such a need in these rural communities and we work alongside residents to make a lasting difference. Engineering works at its best when you are able to give back in this way." With so much going on at the offices of Sintec, the next five years is only likely to increase in developments - stretching further than even the eye can see.