AllyCAD Showcase

'Making a Difference'

Mark Moonsamy,
Mark Moonsamy & Associates,

It all started one Sunday afternoon with an advertisement in the Sunday Tribune. The advertisement read: City of Durban seeks deserving students who would like to apply for work and study bursaries in the field of civil engineering. When Mark Moonsamy made application, he never imagined in his wildest dreams that he would be one of the lucky six to be chosen out of 500 applicants.

Mark Moonsamy is the owner of Mark Moonsamy & Associates, a small but thriving company that started six years ago. 'I worked for Ethekwini Municipality for ten invaluable years before branching off on my own. My student days at the municipality also served as the ideal platform to learn the ropes. Here I took every opportunity that presented itself in order to gain more technical and managerial experience.'

'The first two years of the business seemed a constant struggle. I operated from a tiny flat in Durban and worked on very small projects while struggling to build my clientele. But you soon realise that when you are persistent, you eventually get a break and we managed to land some exciting initiatives with the Department of Transport,' explains Mark, remembering the early years.

The acquisition of AllyCAD and Civil Designer software was one of the company's first investments. Their decision to standardise on the software also seemed like a natural progression. 'Most of our projects involve township design and rural developments and it would be impossible to deliver a professional service without these programs. We therefore train all our staff and even the students who come for their in-service training on how to use this application. I have been using Civil Designer since the days of Stardust and I enjoy AllyCAD's quick response time and user friendly interface,' says Mark.

The various road upgrading projects in Kwa Mashu, Durban, was one of the first medium sized roads appointments that Mark managed to land in 2001. 'We were very fortunate to have been chosen for this venture. The R2 million initiative was a joint venture with Ninham Shand Engineers in Durban. We were also under tremendous pressure to prove our level of competence in order to be considered for bigger projects. Our efforts were however rewarded in January 2002 when the Department of Transport KZN appointed us on larger-scale assignments.'
  'These assignments include the P240 project in Ongoye valued at R122 million and the P399 road project valued at R70 million. The P240 joint venture with BCP Engineers has a total length of 30km while the P399 road project, a joint venture with Stewart Scott, is 12km in length. Another interesting initiative from the Department of Transport-KZN is the 'Vukuzakhe Programme" for emerging contractors. This programme allows a contract to be divided into smaller sections so that more contractors can obtain work. This means that you have to work with many different emerging contractors and provide them with constant supervision and support. It is an absolute thrill to see men and women being empowered in the construction industry," explains Moonsamy.

'We are also involved in the Expanded Public Works Programme, a government based initiative that addresses unemployment through the creation of work opportunities. The exciting and challenging nature of this assignment lies in the fact that the road needs to be designed to provide for labour intensive construction activities. And believe me, this is quite a task!' says Mark, adding that the R5 million Salem access road project is currently underway.

The business philosophy of Mark Moonsamy is a humble one. 'We believe in delivering excellent and sustainable services while at the same time giving back to the communities around which projects are based. It is after all in these communities that the government is investing in infrastructure. I take pride in the knowledge that at one stage in my life I could not afford to pay for my tertiary education fees and today I can offer employment to ten people and invest in the in-service training of five students. I also take an active interest in the promotion of Maths and Science among grade nine learners and offer them a brief introduction to the world of Civil Engineering. God has blessed me with so much and now it's my turn to give back and make a difference,' says Mark, clearly inspired by his intense commitment to provide the kind of opportunities that were once offered to him.

image Mark Moonsamy is passionate about life and making the most of every opportunity. He won a student bursary at the City of Durban and was offered the opportunity to receive hands on training in a field that he now thrives in professionally. After completing his academic qualification in 1992 at the M L Sultan Technikon, Mark worked for the Roads Department in 1993 and then left in 1999 to start up his own company. Today, Mark is the owner of Mark Moonsamy & Associates and has a staff compliment of ten employees and still growing! He is currently registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa as a Professional Engineering Technologist

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