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