Dealing with the pandemic

After the shock impact of Covid-19 on everyone’s lives and businesses early in 2020, we were all hoping that 2021 would be kinder to us. As it turned out, 2021 seemed to be even more stressful than 2020, as our lives and industry still struggled to get back to normal. The prospect of having to deal with these extraordinary conditions for a very long time to come, also became a stark reality.

We found the way to best handle this at Project Assignments was to take things one week at a time, maintain connections with everyone who is important to us and continue to look for new opportunities. This was to ensure a good project pipeline and to keep up that variety of projects that everyone who works (or who has worked!) here, finds stimulating. Both ends of the food chain and many places in between!

Clients and Staff

We have to send out a huge thank-you to all our Clients who have seen us through thick and thin this past year – (alphabetically) BBI Enzymes, City of Cape Town, GC Rieber, GlaxoSmithKline, JG Afrika, Kelpak, Lactalis, Maxal, Tiger, UNIDO, Water & Wastewater Engineering and WEC – we are extremely grateful that you have entrusted us with your business and allowed us to help you achieve many of your project goals. For those Clients whose names we have not mentioned, please accept our apologies; in most cases, these are recent engagements and we are obviously sensitive about protecting ourselves against competition!

As per our Mission Statement, our multidisciplinary engineering team is the core of our business, and without them we would not function. So, also our sincere appreciation to Andrew, Clayton, Colleen, Fatima, Gary, Japie, Lisa, Nico, Nur, Phindi, Sadley, Sam, Shanen, Theresa, Wesley and Wynand – you have all stuck with it and gone beyond what has been required, you are all stars!

Outlook, work-life balance and new work

The outlook for 2022, what does it hold? We are happy to say that we are starting to see an increased level of project activity and enquiries, both in the private and the public sector. We are fortunate enough to have projects in all our main business segments at present – water, pharmaceuticals and food, as well as some exciting initiatives in the renewables/circular economy arena. During 2022 we hope to ramp up activity in all of these sectors, as well as some others, on the back of a high level of proposal submissions. During 2021, Project Assignments has initiated 100 proposals for new projects, illustrating the opportunities which are out there.

On a human level, the past two years has also taught us the importance of work-life balance and ironically, the pandemic has forced this on us. At Project Assignments, our hybrid model of working from home/the office/the beach (!) seems to work well for our employees and we believe that everyone appreciates this. At the same time, the importance of ensuring there is always opportunity for being together, to collaborate and exchange design ideas, is well-recognised and practised.

During 2022, at Project Assignments we plan to continue to build strong relationships with all of our Clients, Suppliers and other working partners. Above all, we plan to “stick to our knitting”, which is to focus on process-related projects, taking these from conception and feasibility, all the way through detailed design, procurement, construction and commissioning, to final handover. We have been doing this for 28 years and hope to carry on into the foreseeable future!

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