Home > 2014 Courses > HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY AND CONTEMPORARY STUDIES > Five engineers in southern Africa


Anthony Murray, Chairman of the History and Heritage Panel of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering works are an important element in the growth of a country. In southern Africa, as elsewhere, roads, mountain passes and railways open up the country and facilitate economic opportunities; bridges enable rivers and gorges to be crossed safely and conveniently; dams, pipelines and treatment works provide a safe flow of water for human consumption, industry and irrigation; and other engineering works contribute to the health, safety and economic welfare of the region. This course will explore the lives and works of five engineers whose expertise, imagination and perseverance left us with a legacy of infrastructure still enjoyed today. The figures include Charles Michell, romantic hero and workaholic who, as Civil Engineer to the Colony, fought for better infrastructure and oversaw the construction of the highway to the eastern Cape. Others are George Pauling, a rumbustious contractor whose railways opened lines of communication across southern Africa, Joseph Newey, innovative bridge builder whose structures still grace many rivers in the Eastern Cape, and Thomas Stewart, doughty Scot and builder of dams whose reservoirs on Table Mountain and elsewhere provided water to thirsty cities. Finally, Ninham Shand, South Africa’s ‘Engineer of the Century’, whose innovative works brought economic growth and the convenience of modern infrastructure to regions, communities and individuals, will be discussed.

1.    Paving the way: Charles Michell
2.    Railroader supreme: George Pauling
3.    Bridging the Eastern Cape: Joseph Newey (Dennis Walters, civil engineer)
4.    Water for Africa: Thomas Stewart
5.    Practical visionary: Ninham Shand

Recommended reading
See page 60 in this brochure.


Course code: 1045

Date & time: 27–31 January 7.30 pm


Full: R375,00

Staff: R186,00

Reduced: R94,00