Umvoto’s Guide for applications for Interns, Learnerships and Experienced Staff

August 8, 2017

Application Guide   INTERNSHIPS There are 3 kinds of internships offered at Umvoto. Local Graduates: These interns embark on short term contracts that can be extended.  When permanent staff positions become available, these are usually filled by experienced interns. Applications are taken over two month windows twice a year. International Graduates: Umvoto is a renowned location for international graduates to work for different periods on a voluntary basis.  The experience they gain is acknowledged by different intern agencies and academic institutes and they bring an enthusiasm and multiculturalism to the team of interns.… Read the rest

Kgomotso Mokoena Icing the muffins.

Nelson Mandela’s International Day 2017

July 31, 2017

The 18th of July is the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. This day was proclaimed Nelson Mandela Day worldwide in honour of the 67 years Nelson Mandela fought for social justice and peace in South Africa. Umvoto team spent 67 minutes and more of their time baking muffins to donate to the needy and to those who serve our community day in and day out.… Read the rest

The Mentor Within book written by Rosemary Shapiro-Liu.

Book Launch – The Mentor Within by Rosemary Shapiro-Liu

February 13, 2017

On the 17 January 2017, the double-storey Umvoto Africa building on the Muizenberg beachfront was transformed into an outstanding party venue for the book launch in South Africa of The Mentor Within, written by Rosemary Shapiro-Liu. Friends, family, Umvoto staff and book lovers poured through Umvoto’s iron gates to join the party, where a live accordionist, catered food, wine and drinks and vibrant atmosphere were up on the evening’s menu.… Read the rest

Umvoto team hiking up Kasteelspoort trail (left to right: Camille Olianti, Paul Lee, Mlamli Vundla, Msizi Cindi, Magen Munnik, Dylan Blake, Lunka Nolakana and Eddie Wise)

End-of-year Christmas Hike and Picnic

January 19, 2017

To celebrate the end of 2016, staff at Umvoto got together and went hiking at Table Mountain National Park. One group walked the short route, from Constantia Nek out to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, where both groups met after the hikes for a Christmas picnic party. The other group trekked from Camps Bay up Kasteelspoort hiking trail, past Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir and down to the botanical gardens.… Read the rest

Pre-11 CFB Trip delegate photo at Knysna Heads

Field Trip Excursion for the 35th International Geological Congress

October 26, 2016

A week prior to the 35th International Geological Congress (IGC), two field excursions through the Cape Fold Belt were organised and lead by Umvoto staff Dylan Blake (who assisted IGC Pre-11 field trip head guide Chris Jackson) and by Umvoto staff Chris and Michael Hartnady. These tours were designed to bring attention to the somewhat enigmatic history of the unique Cape Fold Belt, while taking in spectacular scenery and navigating historical mountain passes.… Read the rest

Fives Football champions captained by Umvoto staff member Dylan Blake!

October 25, 2016

On the night of Tuesday 27th September 2016, Umvoto’s Associate and Principal Geologist Dylan Blake and the Umvoto Africa fives football team won the 2016 Grand Central Tuesday Division 1 Season 3 league. Dylan, who captained the team that evening, received the trophy for the team, a medal and bragging rights for a few weeks!… Read the rest

Donation to the Grace Foundation – B-BBEE

October 13, 2016

Umvoto Africa is dedicated in playing a role in transforming South Africa, where opportunities for all, can be realised.  Our support for the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment [B-BBEE] will be focussed in rural villages in areas where we work. As part of this initiative, Umvoto donated a large format printer to the Grace Foundation.… Read the rest

Michael Hartnady – On *sabbatical* to study for his PhD in Australia

Umvoto trainee Geologist Michael Hartnady is off to Australia to study for his PhD at Curtin University. This university is the largest and most culturally diverse university in Australia with the third largest international student population in the country. The focus of Michael’s PhD will be on the crustal evolution of the Albany-Fraser Orogen in southwest Australia.… Read the rest

Michael and Paul – At the top of Ethiopia’s highest summit, Ras Dashen

In May 2016, Umvoto staff Michael Hartnady and Paul Lee summited the highest mountain in Ethiopia. Michael and Paul trekked for about 5 days before reaching Ras Dashen summit, situated in northern Ethiopia at no less than 4 550 m. This mountain in the horn of Africa is the tenth highest mountain on the continent.    Paul and Michael took the opportunity to climb Ras Dashen Mountain between working on a potash mining project in the Danakil fans.… Read the rest

Photograph of Umvoto Africa’s team ready deliver the food and drinks to The Haven Shelter in Kalk Bay.

Nelson Mandela International Day – 2016

August 3, 2016

On Monday the 18th of July 2016, the team working at Umvoto got together and donated 67 minutes and more of their time on Nelson Mandela International Day. This celebration is more than the recognition of Mandela's birthday, it is a global movement to honour Mandela's life work and act to change the world for the better.… Read the rest

Photograph of Camille and her supervisor Chris Harris celebrating after the graduation ceremony

Masters graduation of our senior intern – Camille Olianti

August 1, 2016

We are pleased to announce that one of our interns, Camille Olianti, recently graduated with a Masters degree in Geochemistry that she obtained from the University of Cape Town. Camille joined Umvoto Africa a few months ago. We are glad to count her as a member of the team and proud of her achievement.… Read the rest

Umvoto – Winner of the National Science and Technology Forum Award

July 1, 2016

Congratulations to each member of the team working at Umvoto Africa! Last night, Umvoto Africa won the prestigious National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) award in the “Research Leading to Innovation for Small, Medium and Micro-Sized Enterprises” category. This award reflects an outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.… Read the rest

Umvoto nominated for 2015-2016 NSTF Award

June 29, 2016

June 2016 We are proud to announce that Umvoto Africa has been nominated for a National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Award. Umvoto was selected with four other finalists in the “Research Leading to Innovation for Small, Medium and Micro-Sized Enterprises” category for its outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.… Read the rest

Mock-up image of satellite Sentinel-2a platform in space

Umvoto – Finalist at the 2015/2016 Open IX Challenge

June 13, 2016

May 2016 We are pleased to announce that Umvoto Africa, represented by Michael Hartnady and Alex Kuhudzai in the first round and Chris Hartnady and Eddie Wise in the second and final round, was amongst 12 finalists who presented at the closing event of the Open IX challenge. This challenge, with the theme of ‘Novel Application of Earth Observation’, was owned by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and organised by the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria.… Read the rest

David (hands in the air) and his brother (thumb up) crossing the finish line of the Comrades in Durban.

David McGibbon – trainee geologist at Umvoto – and the Comrades Marathon

June 6, 2016

After spending one month in Ethiopia working for Umvoto on the Danakil Potash project, David McGibbon – Umvoto’s trainee geologist and hydrogeologist – swiftly made his way back to South Africa for the 89 km Comrades Marathon. This ultra-marathon is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg and is considered as one of the greatest worldwide.… Read the rest

Umvoto and the Riverine Rabbit and Black Jackal Thinking Path

May 31, 2016

Umvoto’s expertise in GPS and mapping technology is donated for the second time to an exciting project – laying out a grid for the Site_Specific Collective team making a Riverine Rabbit and Black Jackal ‘geoglyph’ in the Karoo. The motivation for this land installation art is to attract global awareness via Google Earth to the precarious semi-arid biome of the Karoo.… Read the rest
Corstorphine and Draper Memorial Medal celebrations

Corstorphine and Draper Memorial Medal celebrations

Corstorphine and Draper Memorial Medal celebrations

August 3, 2015

Dr Steve Richardson (right) will receive the Draper Memorial Medal of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA); the highest award of the GSSA. It is awarded annually to recognise “an exceptional member of the Geological Profession who in the spirit of Dr David Draper has excelled in the advancement of South African Earth Science” .… Read the rest

Making a difference on Mandela Day

July 13, 2015

Staff at Muizenberg earth sciences consultancy Umvoto Africa have been juggling their usual responsibilities at drilling sites and client offices with production of a different sort – making cosy beanies for Mandela Day. These will be presented to 55 children, aged 2-14, on Mandela Day (Saturday 18 July) at the Siyazama Special Care Centre in Gugulethu.… Read the rest

Umvoto at Water Resource Management course

May 18, 2015

Umvoto’s Principal Hydrogeologist, Dr Kornelius Riemann, is attending a four-day course (18-21 May) on Water Resource Management, structured in collaboration with the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation and various consultants. The course will expose participants to the need for developing both surface and groundwater resources.  It is using the newly-developed WR2012, as well as the Water Resource Yield Model, as a basis to demonstrate the available techniques, specifically the use of stochastic data.… Read the rest


April 1, 2015

Umvoto Africa has announced the appointment of two prominent water sector specialists as Associates from 1 April. … Read the rest

Umvoto’s scientists have notched up many years of diverse experience

August 14, 2014

Umvoto’s scientists have notched up many years of diverse experience – from mineral exploration in scorching hot deserts to undertaking weather research in freezing cold conditions.  At a recent office brown bag lecture, Umvoto’s environmental scientist Paul Lee shared his stunning photographs and hair-raising experiences as an expedition leader and senior meteorological officer at the South African base in Antarctica.… Read the rest

10,000 times larger than the average mine tremor

10,000 times larger than the average mine tremor

August 6, 2014

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Dylan Blake with the poster and rock samples

Science Week George

Colin Ralston, a retired geologist, who is a trustee of the George Botanical Garden, approached Umvoto Africa for any input into the national Science week held in George from 2 August 2014 – 9 August 2014. Colin wanted Umvoto Africa to do a short presentation on the Oudtshoorn Groundwater Project because it is locally relevant and he wanted some geological emphasis because the theme of 2014’s Science Week is crystallography. … Read the rest

The drilling team enjoying some snacks in their break

Umvoto Celebrates Nelson Mandela Day in Zebra

July 22, 2014

On this Mandela Day, Umvoto dedicated its 67 minutes in the Zebra community. Umvoto staff (David McGibbon) along with an intern from Stellenbosch University (Jonathan Abelheim) spent valuable time with the hard-working drill operators, a local farmer (Maretha) as well as local school children to find out how their holidays were and what schools they attend.… Read the rest

GSSA Haughton Award 2013

July 3, 2014

Mike Hartnady was awarded the HAUGHTON AWARD of the Geological Society of South Africa 2013 recently for an Honours thesis of exceptional merit produced at a South African university. Mike’s thesis was titled “Geometry and Strain Localization form an Ancient Accretionary Prism in the Damara Belt, Namibia”. The award will be presented at the General Meeting of the GSSA on Thursday, 10 July 2014.… Read the rest

Umvoto signage

July 2, 2014

Light fantastic: Early morning or late evening visitors to Umvoto will have no trouble locating us, thanks to our new illuminated building signage. Switch-on was, appropriately, around the winter solstice and the enthusiastic feedback has brightened up our days. … Read the rest

Grooming the next generation

December 13, 2013

Umvoto has run an intern programme since 2002, providing practical work experience and academic and professional training to students and staff. To date, 92 individuals have been trained in the programme. This year 10 interns were exposed to diverse projects. They included Greg Dor, 23, who holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental and Geographic Science; Michael Hay-Hartnady, 22, with a BSc (Hons) in Geology; Giovanni Amansure, 21, BSc Geochemistry (Hons); Mitchell Jardine, 24, with Geology (Hons) and Eddie Wise, 22, studying for a BSc (Forestry).… Read the rest

Umvoto Africa exhibits at Entreprenuer Expo

October 31, 2013

The fourth annual Entrepreneur Expo took place  at the Muizenberg Civic Centre (26-27 October), and Umvoto Africa signed up for a stand to show its support for the area and local business.   Here trainee GIS Practitioner Vakanai Shoko and Financial Manager Iona Zietsman take their turn to man the stand.… Read the rest

Caption: Umvoto MD Rowena Hay with Dr Marco Giardino and Elana Ochse

Umvoto Africa technical director presents Turin University seminar

August 29, 2013

Staff and post-graduate students at the University of Turin, Italy attended a seminar on South Africa’s natural resources and their geo-ethical use. The speaker was Dr Chris Hartnady, Umvoto Africa’s technical director. The event was organised by Umvoto in collaboration with Dr Marco Giardino, lecturer  in Applied Geomorphology in the Department of Earth Sciences (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra) and Elana Ochse, Associate Professor in the Department of Culture, Politics and Society at the University of Turin.… Read the rest

Umvoto MD Rowena Hay with fellow judges Prof. Murat Balamir and Franklin McDonald

Umvoto MD Rowena Hay judges Sasakawa Award

Umvoto MD Rowena Hay was recently one of four international judges of the annual United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The $50 000 biannual award recognizes excellence in innovation, outreach and collaboration to improve the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. The 2013 theme was “Acting As One,” which brought home the message that disaster risk reduction is everybody’s business.… Read the rest

Umvoto takes part in 67 minutes for Mandela

July 19, 2013

Umvoto Africa (Pty) Ltd geologists took part in the 67 minutes for Mandela in Outdshoorn. The  geologists Keolebogile Halenyane, Kattie Baker, Wilbert and Chris Hartnady spend their 67 minutes at a school at a farm in Zebra where they bought biscuits and juice for the school children. … Read the rest

A new addition to the Family

August 29, 2012

An addition to the Umvoto family, introducing Anesu Taylor Kuhudzai. Alex and Tawanda Kuhudzai welcomed a son, little Anesu Taylor to the family on the 12th of April. Anesu is their first child and a long awaited blessing and possible future scientist.… Read the rest

Dr. Chris Hartnady presents at Shale Gas Conference 2012 (26 – 27)

March 26, 2012

Following about two weeks activity of workshop participation and a presentation to the National Planning Committee Umvoto’s Dr. Chris Hartnady continues his work out of office today with a presentation at the Shale Southern Africa conference in Cape Town (March 26th 2012). Dr. Hartnady’s presentation focuses on awareness of environmental impacts and geophysical risks associated with shale gas production.… Read the rest

DWA and Umvoto Africa support skills development

November 21, 2011

Cape Town groundwater specialists Umvoto Africa and the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) are collaborating on capacity building and training of two DWA staff – the first appointee, Henry  Lawrence Maluleke, has joined and completed the Muizenberg  three month consultancy. Maluleke, a production scientist dealing with groundwater reserve determination under the Chief Directorate: Resource Directed Measures,is gaining experience on a contract to determine the groundwater reserve in the Umzimvubu to Keiskamma Water Management Area.… Read the rest

Umvoto Attends Ground Water Conference in Pretoria

October 5, 2011

Held in Pretoria at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Umvoto Africa attended the annual Groundwater Division conference where several papers were presented by Umvoto team members: Kornelius Riemann, Andiswa Mlisa, Helen Seyler and Dylan Blake. The conference ran from the 17th of September until the 21st and was opened with greetings from UNESCO-Water Division’s Salvatore D’Angelo; National Chairmand for GWD, Dr Shafick Adams; Minister of Water Affairs, Mrs Molewa and the President of the International Association of Hydrogeology, Dr Willi Struckmeier.… Read the rest

Capacity Building Committee meets in Brazil

August 1, 2011

Umvoto director Andiswa Mlisa joined dozens of high-ranking representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas for the thirteenth meeting of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Capacity Building Committee (CBC) from 28 February to 1 March in São Paulo Brazil, followed by a joint CBC/ ADC meeting on 2 March 2011.… Read the rest

Fracking in the Karoo – a debate

July 29, 2011

Umvoto technical director Dr Chris Hartnady was a key speaker at a well-attended Johannesburg Press Club debate on the subject of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in the Karoo, in May of this year. Fracking is a process used for shale gas exploration and production of shale gas. The subject had been well covered in the media as a potential game change in the energy sector, with heated arguments both for and against.… Read the rest

New West Cape groundwater chair

April 29, 2011

UMVOTO’s principal hydrogeologist, Dr. Kornelius Riemann, is the new chairperson of the Western Cape Groundwater Division of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA). As someone who focuses on integrated water resource development and management Dr Riemann’s role at GSSA will include communication about groundwater both within and beyond the groundwater community, and support of professional development for groundwater practitioners.… Read the rest