Jack van der Merwe

CEO, Gautrain Management Agency



Van der Merwe obtained his B.Sc. Eng. and B.Sc. Eng. (Hons) in civil engineering from the University of Pretoria. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Senior Executive Development programme.

He has worked in the public transport sector for more than 46 years. In 1994, he was appointed as the team leader of the strategic management team tasked with developing, structuring and establishing the new Department of Public Transport and Roads in Gauteng. He headed this department from 1995 to 2004.

During this period, Van der Merwe was also appointed as project leader for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project. He ensured that Gautrain became a project of national significance. Although the Gautrain Project was initiated long before the FIFA 2010 World Cup was awarded to South Africa, it soon became evident that it would be to the advantage of the country as a whole if the rail service between the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton could be completed in time for the soccer. This was achieved on the 8th July 2010, three days before kick-off.

He was a member of the Civil Engineer Advisory Council, a board member of the former South African Rail Commuter Corporation and until recently, a board member of the South African Roads Board.

In 1998, the Transportation Engineering Division of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering awarded him the Chairman's Award for Meritorious Service to the Transportation Profession. He is a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers.

In 2010, Van der Merwe was awarded the University of Pretoria’s Laureate Award for exceptional achievements and promoting the interests of the University of Pretoria by the Tuks Alumni Board.

In 2011, he was appointed by the MEC for Roads and Transport to head up a special team of experts tasked with developing an 25 year Integrated transport Master Plan for the Gauteng Province. He was also elected Africa President for the African Association of Public Transport, an African association of urban and regional passenger transport operators, authorities, consultants and suppliers. Van der Merwe was also Vice-President of the International Association of Public Transport, the world-wide association of urban and regional passenger transport operators, authorities, consultants and suppliers.

In 2012, he was appointed as the project leader for the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis project, which is part of Strategic Infrastructure Project 2 of the National Development Plan.

In February 2014 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the South Africa Institution of Civil Engineers.

He is currently the CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency tasked with overseeing the building and operation of the Gautrain, overseeing the implementation of the Concession Agreement with the Bombela Concession Company.

He has delivered countless papers on the development and execution of PPP contracts in South Africa and abroad. He has been asked by the World Bank to present the method, advantages and implementation of PPP’s in Russia and the Philippines. Van der Merwe is recognised as an international expert in public transport and project management.