History of SARWA
In 1996 Jose Clara (Eskom Environmental Advisor) researched the internet on Rights of Way and found the IRWA (International Rights of Way Association) web page. He referred the details of IRWA to Ernest Grunewald (Eskom Land & Rights Manager). Ernest made arrangements for Bobby Richardson (Eskom Land and Rights Advisor) to attend the June 1996 IRWA Educational Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.
During September 1997, a group of 40 right of way practitioners from various utilities got together for two days at Mabalingwe in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, to discuss the need to form an association, which some day could affiliate to the IRWA. The urgent need for such an association was agreed upon amongst the delegates. During a meeting held at Rand Water in November 1997, a Steering Committee was formed to facilitate the formation of the SARWA. On 21 April 1998, during a meeting held at the Eskom Conference Center, the South African Right of Way Association was founded and a draft constitution submitted to the delegates for approval.
During June 1998, five of the SARWA Executive Committee members attended the IRWA education seminar in Minneapolis, MN, in the United States to discuss affiliation with the IRWA. The IRWA finally offered SARWA international affiliate status on 29 February 2000. Two of our Executive Committee Members, Carl Visser and Bobby Richardson, eventually signed the agreement in June 2000 at the Educational Seminar held in Orlando, Florida.
The 10th anniversary of SARWA was celebrated at Gallagher Estate during the 10th Educational Seminar on 6 & 7 March 2008. Past Chairpersons / Presidents: 1998 Bobby Richardson (SARWA’s 1st Chairperson), 1999 Bobby Richardson, 2000 Ernest Grunewald, 2001 Ernest Grunewald, 2002 Ampie Potgieter, 2003 Ampie Potgieter, 2004 Carl Visser, 2005 Nico Fenwick, 2006 Nico Fenwick, 2007 Viresh Singh, 2008 Viresh Singh, 2009 Piet-Nel de Vos, 2010 Sanjeev Hirachund (SARWA’s 1st President. SARWA leader changed to President from Chairperson), 2011 Ernest Grunewald, 2012 Paul Cronje