SANRAL Project Manager takes over the reins as President of the South African Road Federation (SARF)
KwaZulu-Natal, 16 November 2023 – The new President of the South African Road Federation (SARF), Mirriam Mosia, says continuous professional development of South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) engineers is key to ensuring unparalleled excellence in the delivery of complex engineering projects. Mosia was today inaugurated as the new President of SARF at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Durban.
SARF, currently in its 73rd year of operation, is an industry body committed to the development of effective and efficient road systems in South Africa and strives for economic growth in the sector through education and training.
The Federation facilitates ongoing dialogue between South Africa’s road industry sectors and contributes to the development of South Africa’s knowledge economy through knowledge sharing, skills transfer and innovation.
“This is a big moment for me. The culmination of not only years of studying and working on major construction projects, but also a journey I have walked in pursuit of excellence in our profession, through mentoring, peer evaluation and benchmarking against global best practice. I want to use my position as President of SARF to elevate the voice of SARF beyond geographic borders. On a personal level, the mentoring of young engineers that join SARF is very close to my heart,” said Mosia, shortly after taking the reins from the outgoing President, Vusi Tshabangu.
SANRAL is a member of SARF and regularly uses this platform to workshop new policies or technical specifications with the industry.
“My presence at SARF is a constant reminder to other members (consulting engineering and construction companies, concessionaires, and road authorities at all levels) that SANRAL is actively involved in the industry and is committed to meaningful engagement with industry stakeholders. More importantly, as infrastructure development is set to drive economic recovery in our country, I will be actively spearheading the roll-out of a training programme that SANRAL developed with SARF, for skills development in the Routine Road Maintenance (RRM) space. This is the easiest area of accessing the sector and every effort must be made to upskill emerging contractors coming into this arena.”
Mosia explained that she has been involved with SARF for the past eight years. “I started being involved with the SARF Executive Committee in 2018, when I was nominated and voted in as Honorary Treasurer.
“Every two years thereafter, I got nominated and voted up the ranks, until I became Deputy President for the 2021–2022 cycle where I had the opportunity to weigh in on important policies and overall operations,” she said.
She recalls how a Grade 11 school trip was the defining moment when she knew exactly where her career would go. “When we travelled through the Huguenot Tunnel and surrounding mountain passes in the Western Cape, I just knew that I wanted to be an engineer that constructs such beautiful tunnels, bridges and roadways. My application to the university had Civil Engineering only – no second or third options. Roads found me,” said Mosia.
SANRAL’s recognition for its contribution to SARF’s work was further amplified when Southern Region Project Manager, Marlize Nel-Verwey, received the 2023 President’s Award for her work done on Community Development projects.
Outgoing President Vusi Tshabangu lauded Marlize’s passion for helping the less fortunate through her work, research topics and presentations over the years.
“She may not have built the road, but helped develop a vehicle that significantly improved the lives of emerging contractors in the Eastern Cape and across South Africa,” said Tshabangu.
Gracefully accepting the award, Nel-Verwey said: “I am just a representative of a huge team within SANRAL working very hard to promote labour intensive projects and the use of SMMEs in delivering our projects to the benefit of all road users. I am a servant. My role is to serve my company, serve the community and the people of
South Africa. My approach? Block out the noise and focus on the impact of your work on humanity”.
While November is known as Men’s Month, it is ironic that these two phenomenal women are flying the flag for engineering excellence, particularly also as SANRAL celebrates 25 years of delivering iconic road infrastructure in South Africa.
“We could not be more proud of Ms Mosia for this achievement as she now leads SARF, while still delivering excellence on the multiple projects that she is responsible for in our Northern Region,” said Vusi Mona, SANRAL’s General Manager for Communications and Marketing.