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Executive Manager: Roads & Transport Planning Services

John Godfrey Daniels
Executive Manager: Roads and Transport Planning Services

John Godfrey Daniels was appointed at Garden Route District Municipality as Executive Manager for Roads on 1 November 2018.  Soon after he started he immediately looked into methods on how he could reinvent the wheel of the Roads Department.

He was born in 1972 on a farm called “Faure”, which was owned by his family. His entire family eventually relocated to Blackheath Cape Town when he turned two.

Daniels commenced his primary education at Faure Primary School and concluded it at Blackheath Primary, after which he moved to Kleinvlei Senior Secondary School where he matriculated.  Prior to his tertiary education he wanted to become a lawyer or a charted accountant, but due to financial challenges, he instead applied to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to pursue studies in Engineering.  After he completed his National Diploma, he started working at a construction firm for 11 years. This job required of him to travel a lot throughout the Western Cape.  He was subsequently appointed to a position at the Cape Aghulhas Municipality. Here he managed Roads Services Department for 14 years.  While employed at Cape Aghulhas, he applied for the position of Executive Manager for Roads at Garden Route District Municipality and was subsequently appointed in this position on 1 November 2018.

Through the years, he equipped himself academically and obtained his BTech Degree in Civil Engineering. His thesis required him to write a paper for the Institute of Municipal Engineers South Africa on labour based surfacing named “The creation of jobs”.   In 2015 he completed his Honours Degree in Public Administration through the Stellenbosch University and his thesis was about “insourcing vs outsourcing of construction projects”. He is currently busy with his Post-Graduate Diploma in Project Management and now plans to either do his Masters in Public Administration or a Post Graduate Diploma in Labour Law.  “We cannot stop ourselves from learning and by developing ourselves, further studies are needed. We must stay focused, disciplined and have the sheer will to grow – knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave,” he emphasised.

Talking fondly about his three children – a 23-year old son who is studying Law at the University of the Western Cape, an 18-year old daughter and his youngest is 11 years old.

“In terms of what I do in my free time, I am a keen cyclist and register for four to five races per year. I’ve done the Argus in 3 hours and 15 minutes and also partake in the Knysna race on a regular basis.” John also often jogs, loves cooking and dining.

Daniels shared his philosophy about ‘management’ and said, “You do not reinvent the wheel; you can make changes here and there, in order for it to run smoothly.  There will be rocks in the road now and then, but we would need to find a way to either see them as stumbling blocks or stepping stones.  When we solve challenges it will help us is to move forward at a far greater pace. If you always move slowly then it means something is wrong.”

In sharing his belief regarding the cooperation of staff, he responded:  “I do not like “silo-situs” and I do not want people in my department to work in silos.  I also do not like the phenomenon of officials working against one another.  If it does exist, then I will need to find a solution in order for all of us to work in harmony as a unit. Last but not least, he attributes all his accomplishments to our Heavenly Father that is in control of his life and the person that he is.