You may very well be reading this in the dark as South Africa battles an energy crisis arising from poorly maintained infrastructure and negligence. The ensuing limited electricity capacity has left us struggling to consistently power the nation. This is compounded by the added strain of water shortages, the deterioration of buildings and roads and the other daily challenges South Africans face. Together these represent a significant hindrance to our country’s economic growth and bring attention to the state of the engineering industry in South Africa.
If we aim to emerge from these challenges stronger than before, we need to facilitate a shift in how the engineering industry interacts with those who build our infrastructure. It starts with our people – as little happens without skilled professionals who deliver great service.
Where Are All the Engineers?
This is a common refrain within the industry as companies struggle to find the crucial expertise and engineering skills needed to successfully complete projects. The situation is aggravated by the general skills shortage in South Africa which means highly skilled engineers are quickly scooped up by large organisations. This trend leaves a gap in the market – and it is from this backdrop that Kurumeng and its vision were born.
Kurumeng is an engineering practice that provides highly sought-after engineering skills in an accessible format that delivers on a project-by-project basis. Our mission is to operate at a local level, with international standards. We embody Mahatma Gandhi’s ideal of ‘being the change you wish to see in the world’ and offer value-added engineering solutions and consulting services that are aligned with global best practices.
This approach bridges the skills gap damaging South African infrastructure in a flexible and scalable way, as opposed to hiring full-time engineers. By leveraging our skills to help more companies, we maximize the impact we have on the economy at large.
The Kurumeng Solution
As Majora Carter said, ‘If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems’. When Kurumeng started, we identified key areas of the engineering process where we could add value, and where clients were being underserved. We then used this information to focus on delivering the necessary elements at a level of quality and service that rivals the best in the world.
Here are some of the services that we offer:
- Condition Assessment: We offer free high-level walk-through condition assessments designed to evaluate the health of a project and identify opportunities for improvement. This is a popular first step to getting infrastructure projects back on track from a maintenance perspective.
- Engineering Design: Using our professional capabilities, we work with clients to plan, design, and implement all types of projects. Our methodology allows efficient and robust preparations, built on tried and tested design principles.
- Green Solutions: The world has a multitude of sustainability challenges to consider and therefore Kurumeng works with clients to source energy-efficient and environmentally friendly components to incorporate in engineering projects. A green outlook is crucial and Kurumeng will always urge our clients to think in this way.
- Applied Research: Our team has a remarkably strong research background and we’re consistently looking for innovative new solutions from the cutting-edge of the industry. This continual process of learning and improvement is what keeps us ahead in the industry and allows us to offer world-class solutions to our clients.
- Engineering Maintenance: Kurumeng offers an engineering maintenance service that works in line with legislation, as maintenance is crucial to preserving a high level of operational effectiveness in projects. Many of South Africa’s infrastructure problems have arisen from a lack of maintenance and this is now a key focus for projects nationwide.
- Infrastructure Delivery: We also assist with project management, wrangling together stakeholders of all kinds to deliver complex projects on time, on budget, and to the desired specifications. This is a highly underrated skill and one that only comes to light when things go wrong. Kurumeng has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of complex projects, and we use that experience when managing infrastructure delivery.
These services are the foundational pillars of what Kurumeng offers. We’re the sort of firm that digs in and gets their hands dirty and our work speaks for itself. Abu Bakr once said that ‘knowledge without action is meaningless’ and that’s the mantra we hold to as we deliver solutions to our clients.
Kurumeng has come a long way in the past few years, and we will never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible. We’re inspired by John A. Shedd’s words: ‘A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.’ Everyone at Kurumeng is determined to change the narrative around South African engineering and we hope that we can lead the way for those who follow us.
Where To From Here?
South Africa has immense potential countered with unique challenges, and it needs enterprising engineers to experiment with new models of work that can meet these challenges. Not only that, but we need to catalyse a shift in the engineering industry that focuses on ethical, cost-effective, and high-quality service delivery that will stand the test of time.
This is the standard we hold ourselves to at Kurumeng and we hope that we see many more proudly South African firms take up the mantle and join us on this mission to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.