Coming from a disadvantaged background did not deter new President of ASAQS, Stephan Ramabodu, from building a successful career.

Dr Stephan Ramabodu has been elected as president of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS). His first practical experience in the QS profession was as QS student at B&L Bloemfontein while studying for a BSc Quantity Surveying degree at the University of the Free State (UFS).

After graduation, he became a junior lecturer at the university and did private work for contractors and QS firms to gain further experience. In 2006, he joined the construction consultancy, Davis Langdon, as a Director and in 2008, left to start his own business, Ramabodu & Associates. He was also reappointed as lecturer at UFS where he completed a Master’s degree in 2005.

Thereafter, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer at UFS, and also elected as Senior Vice- President of ASAQS, Fees Chairman of ASAQS, and Editorial Board Chairperson of Acta Structilia, a national journal for research articles in the physical and development sciences, published by the UFS Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management.

He is now Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Construction Economics and has established a new personal company, QS-Online.

The new ASAQS President came from a particularly disadvantaged background and had to do gardening work to pay for his high school studies. Spurred on by the promise of a bursary upon matriculating, the young Stephan managed just that and enrolled at UFS for a generic BSc degree which he changed to BSc QS studies after an uncle who worked on a building site – and gave his young nephew money for transport and food – had introduced him to the QS profession.

Stephan’s aspirations as leader of ASAQS include transformation, and gender equality; marketing the profession; research; and “providing the ultimate service to ASAQS members”.

“Stephan is the first black South African quantity surveyor to be awarded a doctorate in his field,” concludes Bert van den Heever, immediate past President of ASAQS. “This is a tremendous achievement when you consider there are very few doctorates in the QS profession worldwide.”