Dr. Gavin Kode
Gavin is the Deputy Director-General: Provincial Public Works, Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Infrastructure. Following initial business and law undergraduate studies and being admitted as an attorney, Gavin specialised in tax law and gained significant experience in asset-based structured financing, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, project finance and private equity in the investment banking arena. In 2013 he moved from Old Mutual Property to work by choice as a public sector property professional. Gavin made this choice largely because he sees vast opportunities in public sector property portfolios for creating growth and jobs and enabling a resilient, sustainable, high-quality and inclusive working environment. In 2014 he was admitted as an advocate and appointed Deputy Director-General: Provincial Public Works.
He continues to drive private sector property asset management principles and practices in Public Works, with a specific focus on sustainability. Gavin has been the key driver behind the annual publication of the WCG Property Efficiency Report (PER), and has been an influential force for manipulating the levers at the WCG’s disposal that have a net positive effect on the space, cost and environmental parameters that are reported in the PER. This report is a clear demonstration of the WCG’s commitment to managing and improving the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of its property holdings. The eleventh annual PER was published in December 2022, and it continues to be the only report of its kind to be produced by an administrative arm of the state in South Africa.
The Branch: Provincial Public Works develops and maintains appropriate infrastructure and related services and its purpose is to provide balanced WCG building infrastructure that promotes integration, accessibility, sustainability, equity, environmental sensitivity, economic growth and social empowerment. The WCG’s diverse property portfolio, comprising approximately 1 956 properties with a construction area of 7.2 million square metres and a capital replacement value of R80.1 billion, covers a wide range of assets and includes offices, schools and health facilities. The Branch has two 5 Star Green Star Design-rated new office buildings (one of which also achieved the “As Built” rating as well as the Socio-Economic Category certification) and in 2022 achieved the first Existing Building Performance (EBP) Four-star Green Star certification for a public sector building in South Africa. This achievement for the 9 Dorp Street head office building was an extraordinary achievement in that it was done by an eight-member team of Public Works officials. This task team of asset managers, architects and engineers first participated in the GBCSA Accredited Professional training in 2021 and then proceeded to build the portfolio of evidence for the submissions and eventually achieved the certification.
Gavin personally participated for many years in the development of the Public Works Green Building Policy that was launched at the GBCSA Convention in 2018. In its capacity as custodian and manager of the WCG’s immovable asset portfolio, Provincial Public Works actively promotes the use of renewable energy in public buildings and the property portfolio now boasts an installed rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity producing 3 888 MWh per annum on 17 buildings, saving an estimated R3.6 m per year. A remote metering project that commenced in 2014 with a pilot of one building and 60 meters has been expanded under Gavin’s direction to 49 buildings with a total of 792 remote time-of-use consumption measuring of electricity (627), water (123), PV (34), and pressure (8).
Gavin was recently awarded a PhD in Environmental and Water Sciences from the University of the Western Cape. He also holds a Masters degree in tax law and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, has been a GBCSA Accredited Professional for New Buildings since 2014 and for Net Zero since 2022, and has been a member of the GBCSA Public Sector board sub-committee since April 2017. He joined the GBCSA main board in July 2020.