has a rich history of 60 years. The firm is an agile African infrastructure
solutions provider, geared for excellence in an ever-changing landscape. With
an entrenched ability to collaborate and provide the highest standard of
quality delivery, GIBB adds unique value, not only to projects, but also to the
communities it serves.
South African part of this consultancy was established by co-founders David
Hill and Leo Kaplan in 1956. The consultancy was a pioneer even back then,
becoming the first multi-disciplinary structural and electrical engineering
consultancy in Cape Town. In 1963, civil engineer Quentin Scott joined the
consultancy and its name changed to Hill
Kaplan Scott & Partners. Within three years the consultancy was registered
under the name Hill Kaplan Scott (HKS).
In 1969 the consultancy changed from a
partnership to a firm. This was also the
year that the Johannesburg office opened in Commissioner Street, and the
first of many
projects associated with OR Tambo International Airport (then
Jan Smuts Airport) was undertaken.
was the time that HKS made its mark of excellence in expanding their
multi-disciplinary profile into the field of designing marinas with the Marina da Gama in Cape Town, South Africa’first residential marina. Further diversity included work in water resources
and environmental engineering with the completion of the Swartkops River Basin
Kaplan Scott & Partners became Hill Kaplan Scott Incorporated on 1 March
1979. By 1981, the hallmark year of the firm’s 25th anniversary, the firm had ten
branches, 227 staff and 8300 successfully completed projects.
1980 female members of the staff were brought onto the HKS Pension Scheme for
the first time.
firm’s momentum in projects remained steady and, amongst others, Mossgas, BMW
Midrand, The Workshop in Durban and Francistown Hospital in Botswana were added
to their already impressive records.
marked the beginning of a new era as the international perception of South
Africa became more positive. HKS increased the momentum of initiating its own
projects, with community involvement and environmental awareness rapidly
gaining importance. In addition, marketing of services and business development
became focus areas for the future growth of the profession. Landmark projects
in this period included the South African Police Headquarters in Grahamstown,
the Kayelitsha Town 3 Village 5 Project, the former Ciskei Urban Management
programme, the upgrade of the Newlands Cricket Ground and one of the firm’s
most prestigious clients, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.
change was on the cards, for South Africa and for HKS. In 1994 the country
experienced what was arguably the most significant event in its relatively
short history - a new democracy. This brought major changes, economically,
socially and politically.
1994, HKS merged with international company LAWGIBB Group, based in Atlanta in
the United States, to form HKS LAWGIBB. This move capitalised on the strengths
of both firms and allowed the firm to further expand its African footprint.
firm changed its name to GIBB Africa in 1995 and by that time was recognised as
the largest consulting engineering firm in Africa. As a commitment to meeting
international standards, the firm implemented the international ISO9001 quality
assurance system in 1997 and was certified in 1999, making GIBB Africa one of
the first South African firms to embrace world-class quality.
Africa added to its expanding portfolio,
with projects such as the Newlands Cricket Stadium, the V&A Waterfront and
V&A Clock Tower. GIBB Africa was the preferred consultant for the V&A
developers due to revolutionary engineering intelligence, forward-thinking
empowerment initiatives and a proven track record.
these and other impressive landmark
projects under its belt, GIBB Africa won 16 prestigious awards between
1994 and 1999. The new millennium
commenced with ground-breaking projects,
such as South Africa’s Gautrain, the improvement of Cape Town’s inner city
transport system, feasibility studies for the Cape Gate Shopping Centre and the
Silvermine River Flood Control Scheme in the Western Cape, earning the company
a SAICE Engineering Technical Excellence Award. This award winning excellence
has made GIBB the preferred consultants on super-projects across various
2000 GIBB Africa underwent another transformation by merging with Cape
Town-based Arcus Engineering, resulting in a further name change to ARCUS GIBB.
known businessman and dignitary, Mr Tokyo Sexwale was appointed chairman of
Arcus GIBB and in 2005 GIBB appointed
its first female director. These appointments preceding the firm’s alignment in
2006 with the South African government’s broad-based black economic empowerment
legislation, which seeks to redress the imbalances of the past by fairly and
justly equalising the ownership, management and control of South Africa’s
financial and economic resources.
December 2005 a new CEO, Richard Vries, was appointed as the firm embarked on a
restructuring process to continue to meet its transformation objectives.
was a year of celebration as Arcus GIBB reached its 50th anniversary. Under the
leadership of Richard Vries and Nick Ras a second shareholder buy-out took
place and the firm announced its new broad-based ownership structure in August
2006, which endorsed the Construction Sector Charter. The firm became 100%
employee owned and 67% black employee owned as a result of the establishment of
two employee trusts in line with the Government’s Broad Based Black Economic
Empowerment Act of 2003.
1332 MW Braamhoek Pumped Storage Scheme (now Ingula) saw Arcus GIBB part of a
joint venture in a R25 billion project. This vast project, located close to Van
Reenen, comprised an upper reservoir in the Free State and a lower reservoir in
the leadership of Richard Vries as Group CEO in 2007, Arcus GIBB embraced the
objectives and targets as set out in the seven pillars of the Construction Charter,
thereby committing to meeting the transformation agenda required for the
economic success of South Africa and its people.
client research survey in 2007 showed that
a new brand identity was required for Arcus GIBB. Thus in September 2008
the new Arcus GIBB brand was launched. A further survey in 2011 revealed that
most clients referred to the firm as GIBB. In October 2012 a new GIBB logo was
born, and the old slogan, “We change lives”, was changed to “People Expertise
Excellence", in accordance with the direction upon which the firm was embarking.
June 2010 APS PLANAFRICA joined GIBB’s new Urban and Rural Planning division.
Former APS Director Nico Kriek, whose team was already familiar with GIBB, took
the reins with GIBB’s latest discipline. The APS team had previously worked
together on projects such as Port Harcourt, Gautrain, Rhodesfield Station,
Wemmer Pan Precinct Plan, the Kei Rail Project, the Gauteng PRT’s and others.
The amalgamation between GIBB and APS was seamless and their combined experience also enabled the division
to gain comprehensive insight into the developmental requirements of government
and the private sector.
January 2012 GIBB was awarded Level 2 BBBEE status; this rating equated to 125%
BEE preference points and positioned GIBB as one of the very few consulting
engineering firms with that level of rating. This attainment made a strong
statement about GIBB being a leading player in the empowerment of the
2013 GIBB secured a 70% acquisition into leading architectural firm SVA
International; this move was in keeping with firm’s strategic intent to
diversify its service offerings. As a result of this partnership GIBB needed to
have a brand that adequately reflected their core business, so in 2014 the underlying message of “Engineering and
Science” was changed to “Engineering and Architecture”.
in 2013 the appointment of a new Chairman was announced – Dr Don Mkhwanazi.
Regarded as the father of Black Economic Empowerment, his appointment marked a
critical element of GIBB’s expansion strategy. As a founding member of the
Black Management Forum, Dr Mkhwanazi brought with him a wealth of knowledge and
experience to guide GIBB in its drive to become a world-class player in the
provision of engineering services on the continent.
2014, GIBB provided transport services to the winning No. 1 Silo development in
Cape Town. As a leading consulting engineering firm, GIBB was instrumental in
managing the transport services in the construction of the No.1 Silo office
building at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. This development was
acknowledged as the overall winner at the 2014 South African Property Owners
Association awards held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. GIBB also won the corporate office
development category and the overall green award, scooping up a total of three
top awards. The building was awarded a 6 star Green Star SA rating for design
by the Green Building Council of South Africa and is South Africa’s latest
green office building. This is only the second building to be awarded a 6 star
rating in South Africa and the first building to achieve this rating in the
August 2015 GIBB acquired respected Environmental Services outfit, Strategic
Environmental Focus (SEF), resulting in South Africa’s strongest environmental
offering in the engineering fraternity. The acquisition doubled the size of
GIBB’s environmental team and positioned the broader group to deliver
world-class environmental solutions using professional environmentalists,
auditors, green design experts and specialists with sufficient capacity to
develop a customised, comprehensive and complete range of solutions for clients.
For GIBB, SEF’s established African footprint fits well into the firm’s
expansion into Africa - SEF has completed around 7,000 projects all over South
Africa; in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, DRC, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Lesotho,
Mozambique and Swaziland.
dams and hydropower capabilities have been exhibited in the R25 billion Ingula
Pumped Storage Scheme with the design of a new 1332 MW pumped storage scheme,
monitoring of access roads, dams, tunnels, caverns, mechanical and electrical
works and construction supervision of all aspects of the project. GIBB was also
responsible for the Ingula Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental
Management Programme. Other projects are
De Hoop Dam for the Department of Water Affairs in Limpopo, Metolong Dam
in Lesotho and Thule Dam in Botswana which required project management, civil
engineering, foundation engineering, dam engineering, tender documentation,
procurement, cost estimation and construction supervision.
in underground works include the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link Tunnel in Gauteng
with 15 km of underground works linking OR Tambo International Airport to
Johannesburg, Sandton and Tshwane.
keeping with the firm’s African expansion strategy, GIBB became an integral
part of the R20 billion Port Harcourt Development in Nigeria; this project
required development and implementation of the framework plan to integrate a
new city into the existing city to house 4 million people. Responsibilities
included the masterplan to provide engineering services into the existing city
(transport, roads, water, storm water, waste water, social infrastructure,
energy and environmental), detail design of 20,000 units, town planning and
engineering services. The Port Harcourt Monorail Project, a mass transit
system, was also part of the project.
Power and Energy division is part of the South African Renewable Energy
programme, valued at around R2 billion with responsibility for site assessment,
preliminary design, preparation of tender documentation and bid preparation.
The firm is also part of joint venture providing multi-disciplinary project
management, engineering and design services to the Medupi and Kusile thermal
generation stations which contain 4800 MW each.
is preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental
Management Plan (EMP) for the proposed 300 MW Caledon Wind Farm in the Western
Cape, as well as the EIA and EMP for a proposed conventional nuclear power
station and associated infrastructure for Nuclear 1, Western Cape for Eskom.
The Rural Electrification Schemes for Eskom in the Eastern Cape involving
design, installation and commissioning of MV/LV and service connections to
rural households is another project in GIBB’s portfolio.
the area of Integrated Infrastructure services, GIBB was appointed lead
consulting engineers for the Cosmo City Project in Johannesburg. This
appointment entails the development of 11,000 houses in a mixed land use
integrated township, targeting low and middle income families and is the first
fully integrated housing development in South Africa, providing housing for the
full economic spectrum group within the same human settlement.
involvement in Aviation and Airports services has been substantial for many
years. Current projects include Gulu and Kasese Airports Developments in
Uganda, with master planning, geometric
design, pavement engineering, airfield navigation systems, drainage and
stormwater engineering, air traffic forecasting and land use planning. Further
projects are the rehabilitation of runways and taxiways of the East London
Airport, the OR Tambo International Airport Midfield Development (Package 1) as
well as the Airport Perimeter Security Infrastructure Project and Sikhuphe
International Airport construction for the Government of Swaziland.
Railway Engineering services division was involved in the design and
construction of a new commuter rail station at Moses Mabhida Commuter Station
in Durban for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) as well as the
Gautrain High Speed Rail in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni. Further
afield, GIBB is part of the Minas da Revuboe Mine Project, a Greenfield project
identified as a strategic opportunity to build a world class coal mine producing
coking coal and thermal coal for the global market in Mozambique.
Roads and Highways services division are involved in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project
(N3 section 12) and rehabilitation of N11 section 6 and 7 construction, both
for SANRAL, the Bus Rapid Transit system
in Gauteng and the Mantsonyane Lesobeng Road Project for the Government of
provides Traffic and Transportation services in
projects such as the Traffic Impact Study in Cosmo City, Johannesburg
and the Durban Inland Intermodal Terminal and Logistics Hub for eThekwini
Municipality and Transnet. Other projects include the Bus Rapid Transit Link
between Soweto and Soccer City Stadium and the Central Business District in
Johannesburg and the link for the Rea Vaya BRT system comprising the upgrade of
35 km of road infrastructure to cater for dedicated heavy duty bus lanes and
associated infrastructure such as bus stations. GIBB is also involved in the
Cape Town Inner City Transport Plan for the central area of the inner city to
inform and guide decisions related to the development of the area, both
currently and in the future. GIBB is undertaking the rehabilitation of roads
for Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (Package 1) as well as the North East
Development Corridor Master Planning of Transportation in Kraaifontein, Cape
has also excelled in Integrated Infrastructure services with projects for the Helderberg Coastal Sewer Project in
the City of Cape Town as well as the Klapperkop Bulk Water Supply Project for
the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, which involves design and construction
monitoring. In the Eden Island Project
in the Seychelles GIBB is designing civil infrastructure and canal edges for
the island development and the N2 Gateway project in Cape Town is yet another
of GIBB’s current undertakings.
magnificent Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town was designed and constructed in
time for the 2010 World Cup, and GIBB was responsible for the electrical
engineering and the award-winning stadium’s lighting design.
was part of the Transaction Advisory team to PRASA in their Rolling Stock and Depot Procurement, a
national project for the procurement of modern EMU maintenance depots and
associated infrastructure valued at R123 billion.
60 years of engineering excellence, GIBB is a
frontrunner in the South African engineering landscape. GIBB is determined
to become a world-class consulting engineering and architectural firm. GIBB’s
outlook of sustainable management focuses on the identification of current and
future issues and risks, in key areas such as resource efficiency, rigorous
observance of financial indicators as well as monitoring client perception to
build solid relationships.
is becoming increasingly important in business, both internationally and
locally. The International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) promotes
and implements the strategic goals to address sustainable development issues,
especially from an engineering perspective. The federation provides guidelines
and regulations to enable best practice engineering practices which contribute
to global sustainable development.
an engineering and architecture service provider, GIBB addresses global
sustainable development challenges
through strategic planning and a holistic approach.
need for measured and defined sustainability inputs is clear in local tenders
and international best practice guidelines governing work in Africa and beyond.
The GIBB Sustainability team was established to ensure that sustainability, on
a project basis, is addressed through defined
parameters, relevant indicators and practical guidelines.
GIBB, giving assistance is a privilege, not an obligation. Corporate Social
Investment (CSI) translates into sustainable transformation, enabling those in
need to contribute to themselves, their families, their communities and
ultimately, their country. GIBB is fully committed to strengthening the
national business landscape, and the well-being and development of people and
communities. Various industry awards for GIBB’s innovative and effective
initiatives are evidence of the firm’s commitment.
directs its efforts predominantly towards education and community development.
Projects include GIBB Job Shadow Day, Winter Warmer Campaign, St Mary’s Home of
Hope, Salem Baby Care Centre East London, Childhood Cancer Foundation, Refilwe
Community Project, and Makaphutu Children’s Village.
linkages between the National Development Plan (NDP) and GIBB’s support of
government in addressing South Africa’s key sustainable development challenges
are: creating jobs and livelihoods; expanding infrastructure; transitioning to
a low carbon-economy; transforming urban and rural spaces; improving education
and training; providing quality health care; fighting corruption and increasing
1 February 2016 GIBB’s Head Office relocated from Sunninghill, Johannesburg, to
a larger and more contemporary building in Woodmead, Johannesburg. Staff had outgrown the existing building as
the firm further diversified its service offerings and grew in numbers.
– an exceptional South African multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firm
with a proud history of 60 years in the industry.