Rossouw proud co founder and director of a Quantity Surveyor Practice

The number of female quantity surveyors in Namibia is growing in both private and public practice. A great example of this is Margaretha ‘Grietjie’ Rossouw, a registered professional quantity surveyor and director at Rossouw Röver an Associates Quantity Surveyor Inc. Rossouw (MR)) sat down with Confidente Newspaper (CN) to speak about her role as a quantity surveyor.

(CN): Can you briefly introduce yourself to us and share with us what your job entails as a Quantity Surveyor?
(MR): I was born in Windhoek, but grew up in Luderitz. I studied a 4 year B.Sc (QS) degree at the University of the Free State in South Africa. During my studies I was working for Taljaard Meyer & Storm Inc. Quantity Surveyors as an intern in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Between 1998 and 2004, I opened up a Construction company and a company that made coffins before I joined a ceiling and partitioning company. Hard lessons were learned in those years and I was exposed to the practical side of construction.
I was employed at Rubiquant Quantity Surveyors in 2006 where I worked as a Quantity Surveyor for nine years and registered as a professional Quantity Surveyor in South Africa and continue to be a Pr(QS) . In 2015 the opportunity arose to move back to Namibia and I started working as a senior Quantity Surveyor at AIJ Project Cost Consultants in Windhoek. Rossouw Röver and Associates Quantity Surveyors Inc were co founded in 2020, with my partner, Derek Röver.
My career entails cost management, cost advice, contractual advice, viabilities and feasibilities, economic analysis, business administration, contract administration and management and cost engineering.

(CN): What are some of the challenges you have faced bearing in mind a slowing construction sector over the past few years?
(MR): I think the biggest challenge was leaving my comfort zone by starting my own path in the midst of a slowing construction sector and to make matters worse in the outbreak of coronavirus. Thankfully I have people that believe in me and with their courage I made the move.
I prefer to see the silver lining and not the storm. With so many changes in the construction industry and in our country, the best is to open your mindset, look and listen. When you operate in the silver lining part, you see a lot of opportunities. Then it only rests on your determination and your ability to adjust.

(CN) Do you think the sector is going to find its feet again?
(MR): Yes, it will definitely find its feet again and change for the good. It is in our nature as people to resist change, but the earlier we adapt to change and the earlier we assist and work together with the government, the earlier the construction industry will thrive.

(CN): What are the pros and cons of pursuing a career in Quantity Surveying?
(MR): Quantity surveying is one of the best courses you may follow. Yes you mainly learn about the dynamics of the construction industry, but you are taught how to multitask, how to think out of the box, how to look at things objectively and how to make plans. It teaches you business administration, accounting, law, economics, etc. It is a very good base to prepare you for your path in the world.
Quantity surveying in Namibia is mainly not the first point of contact and therefore you rely on other consultants.

(CN): What do you think needs to be done to create more opportunities for those who want to venture in Quantity Surveying?
(MR): A Quantity Surveyor is an all-rounder. The industry needs to become more aware of what a Quantity Surveyor can do and where a Quantity Surveyor may be involved. We may work in banks, insurance, retail, for a contractor, professional quantity surveying office, government, parastatals and so much more.

(CN): In your view what is the quality of Quantity Surveyors produced in Namibia compared to those in other parts of the world?
(MR): It is difficult to comment, as the first group of graduates from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) is only entering the market now. I think in five years’ time we will be able to see the quality of Quantity Surveyors produced by NUST. The Quantity Surveyors in Namibia are learning to diversify, which in my eyes is giving them an advantage.

(CN): What inspires you to keep working in the Quantity Surveying space?
(MR): I love challenges. As a woman in construction I have learnt to concentrate on my own space, to create my own happiness and to do what I was meant for. Construction is my passion, Quantity Surveying is my passion and to be an entrepreneur is my passion.

(CN): Advice to women in construction?
(MR): Concentrate on what you want to achieve. Get to know yourself and always be faithful to yourself. When you fall, get straight up and keep moving forward. Do not be sensitive towards resistance. Make your mark and do not stand back for anyone.
Get to know the difference between business and personal. Ride the waves and enjoy what you are achieving. Believe in yourself and keep your feet on the ground. Have respect for all.