WSP in Africa has appointed Vishaal Lutchman as a Divisional Director within the company’s Development, Transportation and Infrastructure business unit. 

With over eighteen years as a professional engineer, Vishaal brings a wealth of working knowledge in the ports and maritime sector, having previously been with Transnet overseeing the parastatal’s capital projects and port infrastructure development across South Africa. In addition, Vishaal has extensive market experience in a number of critical areas for this appointment, including; project management, short and long term strategy development, project implementation, capacity planning, viability and business case development, best practice project governance and risk management.

“We are delighted to have Vishaal join the senior leadership of our business,” says Darrin Green, Chief Operating Officer, Development, Transportation and Infrastructure for WSP Africa. “Vishaal will be a key role player in the management, design and implementation of all our freight logistics projects. I believe his depth of knowledge and years of experience will add great value to our team and toward growing this part of our business in line with our business objectives.”

Currently over 90% of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted by sea and through over a hundred port facilities on the continent. However, the freight and logistics infrastructure that is needed to transport cargo between the port facilities and an inland destination are generally very poor. Lutchman says: “Freight and logistics infrastructure in Africa may be characterised by a number of inefficiencies, maintenance issues, long delays and consequent high costs. Added to this, while there is significant investment in various sectors for a number of frontier economies on the continent, unfortunately no country in Africa seems to be earmarking sufficient funding for the establishment of this much needed support infrastructure.”

Strikingly, more often the main challenge to Africa achieving its mass or cross-border transport infrastructure aspirations is not the hard infrastructure itself, but rather long-term vision and co-ordinated planning between private sector players and Governments alike. “Having worked at a parastatal and in the consulting environment before, I have seen and experienced both sides’ challenges and opportunities around delivering infrastructure projects in Africa. However, as a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy with over 45 years’ experience in the design, contract administration and construction supervision of civil engineering projects in Africa and a global footprint, WSP are able to offer their clients a multi-faceted approach towards achieving the most optimal outcome for every investment. This is no easy feat on major infrastructure projects, and further demonstrates the company’s passion and integrity. It is certainly an exciting time in Africa - to be involved in developing the infrastructure that will transform the continent for generations to come and, I’m delighted to join such a dynamic company that is driven by a culture of innovation and professionalism,” concludes Lutchman.