Asset management: The solution to South Africa’s utilities challenge

Royal HaskoningDHV is to explore how asset management could drive change in the South African utilities sector at the South African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) Physical Asset Management conference this month.

Royal HaskoningDHV has established a strong track record with its ‘managing agent’ model for major industrial clients in other sectors. It is now looking to demonstrate how the approach could benefit the utilities market.

Solid asset management is essential

Anton Booyzen, Director of the Energy Infrastructure Advisory Group, Royal HaskoningDHV explained: “The ongoing service delivery challenge for utilities in South Africa is due in no small part to poor asset management. With demand outstripping supply, utilities tend to operate their assets to the maximum capacity to deliver services, and in the process neglect essential maintenance.  This in turn causes more breakdowns and in the case of the electricity network, leads to load-shedding. Our ‘managing agent’ model has been highly successful for our clients in the chemical sector and could be equally valuable for utilities.

“The approach would see a provider like Royal HaskoningDHV take over responsibility for certain core functions associated with the utility infrastructure. Taking a strategic approach to maintenance can improve reliability, extend the life of existing assets and defer capital investment for as long as possible.” Anton’s career experience in both utilities and local government have played a key role in the application of the managing agent model for the utilities sector.

Mayor opportunities for service delivery

Royal HaskoningDHV believes that there are major potential gains for service delivery. Potential applications also include the water and mining sectors. Anton continued: “We are greatly looking forward to talking to delegates at the SAAMA event about their challenges and how our model could potentially help. The theme of the conference is Managing Life Cycle Costs of Assets, which is exactly where we feel a managing agent approach can add major value.”

In addition to his role at Royal HaskoningDHV, Anton Booyzen is also Chairman of SAAMA and will formally open and close conference proceedings. The event takes place in Cape Town on 12-14 May.

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