Schalk van der Merwe

Schalk van der Merwe, GM of the industrial water tube division at John Thomson

Schalk van der Merwe, GM of the industrial water tube division at John Thomson

27th October 2023

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Full Name: Schalk van der Merwe

Position and Company Name: GM of the industrial water tube division at John Thompson

Main Activity of the Company: John Thompson is involved in the design, manufacture, building and maintenance of industrial and utility boiler plant, as well as the design, manufacture and supply of flue-gas cleanup and air-quality management equipment and systems

Date and Place of Birth: May 16, 1984, Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal

Schools and Tertiary Education: Matric, Grey College, Bloemfontein, 2002; BEng (Mechatronics), Stellenbosch University, 2006; MSc (Engineering), Stellenbosch University, 2009

First Job: Research and development engineer at John Thompson

Size of First Pay Packet: R15 000 a month

Career Path to Date: I started working for John Thompson straight from university. I started off as a research and development engineer in the industrial water tube division in 2013 and was appointed engineering manager in 2017 and GM for the industrial water tube business unit in late 2022

Number of People under Your Leadership: The number varies from time to time but currently stands at 56 employees

Management Style: I like to lead by example, demonstrating integrity, professionalism and a strong work ethic. I tend to set high standards and to show dedication to our organisation’s mission, and I am always willing to roll up my sleeves when needed

Personal Best Achievement: Raising three children; every day is an achievement

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My wife

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: My father

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Former Zimbabwean cricketer and current cricket commentator Pommie Mbangwa

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Elon Musk

Philosophy of Life: Life is short – live it

Biggest Ever Opportunity: My current position as GM

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Not completing my PhD studies

Hope For the Future: Positive growth for South Africa

Favourite Reading: Thriller novels by Deon Meyer

Favourite TV Programme: American television sitcom Arrested Development

Favourite Food/Drink: Steak and brandy

Favourite Music: The music of Fleetwood Mac, the British-American rock band formed in London in 1967, and Spoegwolf, the Afrikaans rock band from Paarl, in the Western Cape

Favourite Sport: Chess

Hobbies: I have a well-equipped garage for woodwork and steel fabrication, and am currently very much into making knives

Car: A Land Cruiser 80 series 1996 model

Pets: Two beagles

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Dishonesty

Married: To Huibre

Clubs: Does the Spur count?

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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