The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, and showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens across eight provinces.
Since 2013, the Department of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has invested R521 million to implement diverse infrastructure projects across SANBI, including a national gardens expansion and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) over the course of nine years. All grants managed under the programmes were for development of infrastructure necessary for SANBI to deliver on its mandate, which includes biodiversity-linked research, information, education, conservation, display, and tourism.
Zutari was appointed to advise SANBI on the procurement and appointment of professionals and contractors on the programme. Over the course of the programme, Zutari facilitated more than 172 appointments towards implementing the infrastructure projects and capital maintenance projects at all the gardens. One of the project clusters included the design and build of education centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Karoo Desert, and Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens for use by learners and teachers in matters related to biodiversity.
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and the KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium received new administration buildings, which are not only used for administrative and research purposes, but also to conserve representative collections of indigenous plant specimens and associated biodiversity data. In a picturesque part of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, a bridge was demolished and a new one was designed and rebuilt for ease of access by persons with disabilities.
A wetland rehabilitation project at the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden became a flagship project with birdlife and insect life that had not been seen for several years returning to the wetland.
A wetland rehabilitation project at the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden became a flagship project with birdlife and insect life that had not been seen for several years returning to the wetland. Zutari also designed and implemented a river maintenance and management plan at the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden based on a long-term flood model, thereby safeguarding both the neighbouring community and the garden by diverting and managing riverine flows to dissipate harmful volumes of water before it can cause infrastructural damage to the garden.
Zutari has become the client’s trusted advisor for infrastructure planning, design and development, implementation, and management. The managers on each site, as well as the programme managers, collaborated closely with the client on each appointment, from feasibility and inception to completion and close-out.
The project is widely considered a success, with the client recommending Zutari due to our professionalism and expertise in programme management for large infrastructure projects.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.