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Cape Town Engineer Honored by the Concrete Society

A the recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa, Honorary Life Membership of the Society was bestowed on Mr Peter Flower, Director: Water and Sanitation for the City of Cape Town 

Flower, a registered Professional Engineer and Fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering and the Water Institute of Southern Africa, has been actively involved in the Concrete Society for the last 35 years. His long association with the Society was driven by his passion for excellence in the use of concrete and the important role that it plays in the effective provision of water services. He signed up as a member of the Western Cape Branch in 1979, joined the branch committee after 2 years and later served as secretary for 3 years before being elected to the position of vice-chairman and then chairman in 1989, 1990 and later again in 1997. His mentor in the Society was one of the founding members, Chris Thompson, an Honorary Life Member, from whom he learnt an enormous amount of the history, tradition and effective running of the Society.

At the national level, Flower served on the CSSA Council (now the Board of Directors) for a total period of some 20 years in positions of Treasurer, Vice-President, President, Past-President and Elected Member. He was Treasurer for 2 years in 1995/6, and in the following year was elected to the office of Vice-president and then President in 1998. This was a particularly difficult period, when the role of the president changed from that of "a figure-head" to an "executive" one. Peter played a key role in ensuring the sustainability of the Society during this troubled period, when the director resigned and the administrator and other permanent staff had to be retrenched, leaving the day-to-day management up to the executive committee with assistance from an outsourced administrator.

A few years later he was again elected as Vice-President, followed by a two-year term in 2002/3 as President. Over the years he has chaired and served on many society committees, including Finance, Membership, Education Committees as well as Organising Committees for Fulton Awards, National Symposia and Conferences. He re-establishing and edited the CSSA Administrative Manual containing the Articles of Association, the Constitution and the Rules of the CSSA as well as the revised Business Plan. This document has since been amended to meet the revised legislative requirements and is now referred to as the CSSA Terms of Reference.

He made a study of the history of the Fulton Awards over the years and wrote an article on the subject and developed a schedule with the details of all the awards that have been made since the inception of this prestigious concept of "Recognition of Excellence" in the construction industry established to honour Sandy Fulton. This is now regularly updated and incorporated in the special Fulton Edition of Concrete Beton every 2 years.

Commencing in 1979, Flower has had a fulfilling career with the City of Cape Town, involved with, and responsible for, much of the development of the bulk water supply infrastructure for the region over the years. For many years, he managed the City's Bulk Water Branch of the Water Department, which is responsible for catchments, management of dams, treatment of the raw water and bulk storage and conveyance of treated water to the City and its neighbouring municipalities.

Before moving into the City's senior management he was responsible for the planning, design and construction supervision of many concrete construction projects involving very large reservoirs, pump stations, pipelines and water treatment plants, most notable of which was the R550 million (1991 pricing) Faure Scheme with its 500 Megalitre per day treatment plant, 640 Megalitre reservoir with precast pre-stressed concrete roof beams and slabs and 35 km of 2.4 and 1.8 m diameter cement mortar lined and concrete sheathed steel pipelines, which he project managed.

Flower has presented several technical papers on construction and water-related subjects both locally and overseas, and has had a number of them published.

In July 2013, he was appointed to the position of Director: Water and Sanitation for the City of Cape Town, responsible for the R5,6 billion per year business of providing a sustainable water and sanitation service to the formal and informal sectors of the Cape Town Metropolitan Council with infrastructure assets of some R57 billion.

President of the Concrete Society and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Tseli Maliehe praised Peter Flower for the loyal support and leadership that he had exhibited to the Society over many years, and stated that he knew of no more a worthy recipient of Honorary Life Membership.

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