Ballenden & Robb Consulting Engineers
History
The original ‘Practice’ was founded in 1921 by A.E Val Davies MIEE. Val Davies obtained his grounding as an electrical engineer with the Cape Town municipal electricity undertaking. His clients were mainly municipalities and local authorities. The type of work performed covered the design and project management of projects involving the establishment and extension of municipal power stations and distribution networks.

When Val Davies retired in 1945, the practice was purchased by one of his assistants, J. S. Clinton FIEE FIMechE MconsE, a former City Electrical Engineer of Salisbury. The business expanded into the municipal electrical generation and distribution fields in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

J. S. Clinton retired in 1963 and the practice was purchased by two senior employees, namely L. B. Ballenden and D. A. Robb, hence the present name Ballenden & Robb was adopted.

Service Expertise and Achievements

Ballenden & Robb has continued to operate in the electrical reticulation and distribution fields, including diversifying into project management and mechanical services.

Ballenden & Robb have strived over the years to keep abreast with the constant changes in the industry without sacrificing our original corporate culture of service excellence. We can therefore claim the following achievements:

  • Unbroken service records to a number of Val Davies’ original clients spanning a period of over 80 years.
  • Demonstrated a unique ability in terms of pioneering the development of small community based electrical contractors in the Eastern Cape.
  • ESI Excellence Awards - Consulting Engineers:

    2001 - Bronze
    2002 - Gold
    2003 - Silver
    2004 - Silver
    2008 - Gold

Ballenden & Robb have the necessary resources and experience to meet the challenges of the future and any re-development programmes with confidence. We pride ourselves on our dedicated staff contingent and are backed-up by sophisticated design and management computer systems. As we are committed to staff advancement and affirmative action, we have recently restructured the practice into a propriety limited company to enable us to bring in new equity partners.

Ballenden & Robb’s total staff compliment has grown to approximately sixty employees and we feature active branches in Port Elizabeth, East London, Pretoria, Queenstown and Umtata.


Group Structure
Although Ballenden & Robb has operated well within the constraints of its’ previous structures, the empowering of previously disadvantaged individuals has become a reality to cater for continuous growth and diversification.
Accordingly, the original company has been successfully restructured as follows:

Ballenden & Robb (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd – contains a 68% PDI Shareholding

Ballenden & Robb (International) (Pty) Ltd
Group Restructuring Motivation
The following were the main issues that prompted the restructuring of our firm:

Employee Participation

In the tradition of the consulting engineering fraternity, ownership in the firm has rested in the hands of the elite few. With the recent relaxation of the rules governing the structure and ownership of consulting firms, we were able to convert to a private company and broaden shareholding in our firm.

Advancement of Our Staff from Previously Disadvantaged Groups

Although we have been heavily involved with small contractor development and advancement and were at the forefront in the development of community-based contractors, we have also been grappling with black empowerment and affirmative action within our firm. The obvious problem faced by the industry is the lack of suitably trained and experienced technical staff from the disadvantaged groups. Over time we have managed to procure the services of suitable staff which we believed had the potential to meet the challenge of becoming consulting engineers in their own right, regardless of gender or race

We believe that we now have the staff contingent who have, through in-house training and experience, reached that point.

International Participation

Because of our strategic position in Africa, our experience in both first and third world environments and the relatively low cost of our professional services, we believe that we are excellently poised to offer our services in other parts of the world – particularly within Africa and other third world areas.

DIRECTORS: D. T. Liebenberg, K. Ntsono
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