Degrees: B Eng, B Proc, BSc Eng Hons
Professional memberships: MSAICE; MWISA; MSAIMunE; A Arb; PMISA
Leon Wentzel once raised a lion. On his business premises. He still owns it: when the lion became too large to keep around, and the people in the Sunnyside, Pretoria, neighbourhood of CIVILCONSULT started hearing strange, inexplicable roaring, he moved the lion to a private game reserve, where it is now kept safe from poachers and "canned lion" hunters.
This little snippet – by no means apocryphal – from Leon Wentzel's full and varied life illustrates a few things, as much about him as about CIVILCONSULT, the business he started in 1999 and still manages successfully. First, expect the unusual. Second, expect things being seen through to the end... and beyond. Third, expect a "can do" attitude: things get done, and get done well. Fourth, and overarching all these aspects: expect care, intense and personal, for everything and everyone within his life and work spheres. The lion's share of care is directed outwards, to others. Business is business, as always, but here it is done with friendliness, personality, insight and flair.
This extends to the relationships with CIVILCONSULT's 25 employees too. As one client remarked: nobody would ever want to leave this company! Trips with both educational and recreational value, subsidized visits to the theatre, participation in the annual Jacaranda relay race, successful touch rugby team, an employee gymnasium being developed on site, and employee share holding incentives – with all these additional motivational dynamics, it is little wonder that CIVILCONSULT employees live the ideals of "work hard, play hard".
This is reflected too in CIVILCONSULT's firm commitment to the country and the continent. When Leon Wentzel talks about emigration, it is only to point out that that is no route for him to take. He and his colleagues are here for the long haul, developing a region that abounds in opportunity for growth and development. The latter extends as much to executing large engineering projects as it does to supporting a developing cycling team and to facilitating low cost housing projects, thus serving the needs of the people of the region. The latter has been done so well by CIVILCONSULT, that it is now regularly consulted by engineering, government and financial institutions for advice on projects and policies for a better future. This is the kind of positive feedback in which Leon Wentzel revels: it energizes him. All he needs more of Leon Wentzel insists, are good engineering graduates and people skilled in such technical backgrounds.
Naturally, there are other challenges around: the country and the continent are changing apace, as are technologies, infrastructure, legal and social requirements, and environmental sensitivities. Within such a dynamic context, there are only a few answers that work well: adaptability, creativity and tenacity – all the while never letting go of that one fundamental trait that ensures success: quality of work. This has worked so well for CIVILCONSULT, Leon Wentzel indicates, that the company has never had to advertise or tender for work. Clients are referred to CIVILCONSULT by word of mouth: there's no keeping the good guys down when their name is kept high by satisfied clients.
This is the kind of attitude and track record that hold much hope for a country and a region on a path of economic growth. Towards the end of the previous century, Asia had its economic tigers. Here, in the opening years of this millennium, we see the kind of signs that may yet see this economic region rise as the African economic lion.
© 2008 - 2009. CIVILCONSULT Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd.