THIS year marks a historic milestone for Knight Piésold, a consulting engineering firm whose roots go back 100 years in South Africa. The company was founded in Johannesburg in 1921 and has grown from small beginnings into a global consulting firm operating in 15 countries worldwide with a staff of 850 people.
Regional Manager: KP Africa, Vishal Haripersad said, “We are so proud of this landmark achievement, which showcases the ability of local talent to meet global needs and create a reliable and sustainable business.”
With the company’s roots firmly anchored in South Africa, and with a history dating back to include clients such as South African Railways and Harbours, the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company, the Anglo-American Corporation, and the Electric Supply Commission; the firm now caters to clients across the world in the mining, power, water resources, infrastructure, and oil and gas industries.
“We would not be where we are today without a strong strategic focus on sustainable development, innovation, and technical excellence,” said Haripersad. “Thinking about the past 100 years in South Africa – it’s incredible that this business has navigated through decades of change and transformation. Our team, and all the individuals who have been part of this journey since 1921, can be proud as this celebration is an achievement that belongs to everyone.”
Knight Piésold began operations on 1 April 1921, when founder Dr F.E. Kanthack started a private practice as a consulting engineer. A pioneering water engineer, he explored rivers in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) during the 1920s to assess their hydroelectric potential for lead-zinc and copper mines. He created the company, F.E. Kanthack and Partners.
Over the last 100 years, the company has expanded geographically beyond Southern Africa, and branched out to other industries and service areas. Its mining and infrastructure expertise has been applied to hundreds of surface and underground mining projects in every major mining district in the world and has pioneered and advanced the development of alternative tailings management technologies.
The company has also identified and developed renewable energy projects since it started working on its first hydropower project in 1925 and continues to assess the hydroelectric potential of rivers around the world, together with solar, wind, and hybrid clean energy solutions.
“In the coming years, we look forward to building on our strong track record. We are excited by the new challenges and opportunities before us – not just in South Africa but on the African continent as a whole,” says Haripersad.
“Africa’s growing population and rapid urbanisation requires innovative solutions, but these need not come only from abroad. We have the talent and drive locally to create uniquely African solutions which cater to our specific requirements.”
The company’s goal is to create thriving energy, infrastructure, and natural resources industries throughout the continent. It believes these sectors are set to create ever more economic opportunities and aid the development of the region in the coming years.
“While we are backed be a global workforce, we are immensely proud of the Africa-centric talent we hold within Knight Piésold. We have remained true to our roots and have ensured than our offices throughout Africa are staffed by local professionals who understand the intricacies of those operating environments. Backed by this strong workforce, we look forward to growing our business further over the next 100 years as we collaborate with stakeholders to solve today’s challenges.”