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Billy Posthumus, 65, has worked for the City for one year short of half a century. He’s being commended by his colleagues for dedicating 49 years of his life to serving the people of Johannesburg. Now a new chapter awaits him: retirement.


When asked about his experience as a building inspector, Posthumus replies: “Every moment was great. I’ve never had a bad moment.” He says he enjoyed working in the building control directorate in Region C and he’d do it again given the chance.

Posthumus knows Roodepoort like the palm of his hand. He was born in Florida, where he stayed and worked most of his life. He left Florida Park High School at 16 years for an apprenticeship with the City. He was appointed on a fixed-term contract until 16 January 1973.

 

Posthumus was conscripted into the military between 1974 and 1975 and later worked to acquire a national certificate in building construction, plumbing, carpentry, and building management. This, along with what he had learned during his apprenticeship with the City earlier, ignited a passion in him to pursue a career in urban management.


In 1976, Posthumus completed a voluntary trade test offered by the employer, passing with distinction. He began working as a building and drainage inspector in 1978 and was appointed senior building and drainage inspector in 1981.

Ten years later, Posthumus became a senior inspector for Region C, and by 2003, he was appointed chief building inspector charged with assessing new builds and enforcing by-laws to ensure contractors don’t flout approved building plans.


“I’ve been committed to being the best building inspector I can be,” he says.


Some of his career highlights include overseeing the construction of Clearwater Mall, the second phase of West Gate Mall and Unisa’s satellite campus in Florida. He’s enjoyed mentoring and training younger staff members.


“It doesn’t feel like I’ve worked for the City for 49 years. It almost feels like it’s only been 10 years because I have enjoyed each workday.”


He credits his wife, Frieda, for inspiring him to toil through the years. The two met in 1979 and married the following year. They have two children and two grandchildren. “She’s the reason for my success,” he says.


Though Posthumus will miss interactions with colleagues and the public, he’s excited about retirement.


“I've done my share; I should now take it easy,” he says, his bearded face beaming. His last day in the office is Tuesday, 30 November 2021.


 

Written by Brümilda Swartbooi

26 November 2021