During the month of February 2019, the Knysna Municipality welcomed two (2) newly appointed managers, namely; Jacques Lawrence – Manager: Electrical and Mechanical Services and Petrus van Niekerk – Manager: Economic Development
The Acting Municipal Manager, Ms Phumla Makoma, congratulated the managers and said “We are confident that we have appointed suitably qualified and capable candidates for these positions, who will deliver on what is expected of them. I also believe that they bring with them new ideas in order to improve the lives of the people of Knysna”.
Profiles of managers:
Manager: Electro Technical Engineering
Mr Lawrence hails from Shelly Beach in KZN, where he was the Head of Plant Engineering at Eskom. He has been in the Electrical Engineering sector for 14 years now.
Amongst others he wants to create a conducive environment for his staff in order for them to give their best. “I enjoy team work and believe in people furthering themselves in terms of training, improving their skills and personal development. This results in high staff morale and they will be productive and enjoy their jobs”.
Lawrence obtained his National Diploma – Electrical Engineering in 2007 at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Bachelor of Technology (B Tech) – Electrical Engineering at the Durban University of Technology. In 2017 he completed his Government Certificate of Competency.
Mrs Lawrence is currently based in Kwa Zulu Natal. “Knysna is such a beautiful town and great for raising children. I would love for my wife and two boys, aged 12 and 10 years to relocate to Knysna once I have settled.”
Manager: Economic Development
Mr Van Niekerk is not new to Knysna Municipality. He was previously employed as a Project Officer in the Economic Development Department. Prior to working at Knysna Municipality he served as an Advisor: Economic Development and Planning at South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA) Western Cape for over three years. This position afforded him the opportunity to work across all 30 municipalities in the Province delivering support and technical advisory service in planning and economic development.
The new manager’s first priority is trade and investment. “I want to increase focus on trade and investment promotion through business retention and expansion. Also, support of Greater Knysna tourism industry and creating inclusive developments.
“I want to be an approachable manager to my staff. I have worked with this team prior to being appointed as manager and still want to have good working relations”, said van Niekerk when asked about his management style. “I believe on building on the strength of the team’, said van Niekerk.
Mr Van Niekerk holds an Masters of Commerce (Mcomm) in Public and Development Management, Bachelor of Commerce (Bcomm) Honours in Management Science. He has also completed all 24 requirements for the Minimum Municipal Competency standards for senior management in local government.
Concluding remarks by the Acting Municipal Manager, “I am more than confident that the new managers will assist this municipality to address the backlogs and public outcries we had on their respective functional areas”.