Zimpande Research Collaborative

In 2019 Scientific Aquatic Services underwent restructuring as part of an internal transaction to provide an opportunity for a staff ownership scheme and with an aim to create meaningful Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment. Zimpande Research Collaborative Pty (Ltd) (ZRC) was initiated under the SAS Environmental Group of Companies in order to split the key discipline categories previously provided under Scientific Aquatic Services.

Our team of registered Professional Natural Scientists have extensive academic knowledge and practical experience in conjunction with access to the wealth of knowledge held within the SAS Environmental Group of Companies, allowing our staff to ensure the highest quality of documentation and to utilise best practice procedures in order to ensure that products are concise, yet informative and that they are written in such a way that will allow for easy interpretation by readers and that the needs of stakeholders requiring the information are met

Environmental and agricultural related soil consulting services:

• Soil, Land Use and Land Capability assessments
• Soil mapping
• Agricultural potential assessments
• Soil contamination assessments
• Soil resource management
• Hydropedological assessments
• Hydrological assessments

Soil, Land Use, and Land Capability Assessments:

ZRC has conducted numerous soil and land assessments involving soil classification surveys for Agricultural Land Capability assessments to the requirements of the relevant authorities. This icludes:
• Mining developments across the Southern Africa for various commodities including Coal, Gold, Platinum, and Diamonds
• Commercial and residential developments.
• Linear developments such as roads, infrastructure development and infrastructure relocation.
• Industrial developments and facilities.

Soil Contamination Assessments:

ZRC also offers Biannual Soil Quality Monitoring, Soil Contamination and Waste Classification assessments for remediation purposes, and/or as part of the due diligence process to identify potential environmental liabilities prior to divestment or land ownership transfers. The ZRC team has extensive experience in hydrocarbon (petroleum and diesel) contaminated soil & groundwater investigations within the Oil & Gas sector, including multiple petroleum filling stations across South Africa.

Wetland Hydropedological Assessment:

ZRC have considerable experience in wetland hydropedological assessments for impact mitigation and offsets alternatives, with a record of over 30 projects.


Braveman Mzila

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Braveman obtained an Honours Degree in Science (BSc Hons) in the field of Environmental Hydrology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2013 and 2012 respectively. His undergraduate studies took place in the Faculty of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, majoring in Soil Science and Environmental Hydrology.

All degrees were obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Braveman specialises in the fields of Hydropedology, Soil, Land use and Land Capability Assessments, and Freshwater Assessments within the mining and industrial sector around South Africa. Braveman has done work in the nine (9) provinces of South Africa and has also been involved in African projects in countries such as Sierra Leonne.

Lourens Tshabalala

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Lourens currently holds a B Sc. Agric. (Hons) degree majoring in Soil Science and Agronomy obtained in 2020 from the University of the Free State (UFS). This degree was instrumental in introducing him to a strong background in agricultural science and natural resource management.

Prior to joining ZRC, Lourens was involved in conducting soil surveys and fertility management, land use suitability and farm planning, crop production, and fertilizer recommendation programs for farmers. Since joining ZRC, he has professionally stretched his horizons, knowledge and technical skill set by expanding his expertise into the mining, residential and environmental sectors.

Lourens specialises in the fields of agriculture, hydropedology, soil and land contamination, as well as soil, land use and land capability assessments. He has completed multiple projects in six out of nine provinces of South Africa.

Lourens is a registered Soil Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and a recognised member of the Soil Science Society of South Africa (SSSSA).

Tshiamo Setsipane

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SACNASP REG.NO: 114882/15

Tshiamo currently holds a Masters Degree in Soil Science specialising in Hydropedology and its application  to the environment. His undergraduate (B.Sc: Soil Science and Agrometeorology) and honours (B.Sc Hons: Soil Science) degrees were obtained in 2013 and 2014 respectively; both these degrees introduced him to a very strong background in agricultural science. All the degrees were obtained from the University of the Free State.

Prior to joining ZRC, Tshiamo was involved in soil assessments for ploughing certificates and water use licences for farmers. Since joining ZRC he has grown professionally by expanding his expertise into the mining, residential and environmental sectors.

Tshiamo specialises in the fields of Agriculture, Hydropedology and Soil, Land use and Land Capability Assessments.

Tshiamo is a registered member of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions  (SACNASP).

Stephen van Staden

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SACNASP REG.NO: 400134/05

Stephen van Staden completed an undergraduate degree in Zoology, Geography and Environmental Management. He then undertook an honours course in Aquatic health. In 2002 he began a Master’s degree in environmental management, including his mini dissertation in the field of aquatic resource management. Stephen began building a career at a firm specialising in town planning developments, after which he moved to a larger firm in late 2002 where he managed the monitoring division and acted as a specialist consultant on water resource management issues and other environmental processes and applications.

In 2003, Stephen started consulting independently specialising in water resource management. In addition to aquatic ecological assessments, clients enquired about terrestrial ecological assessments and biodiversity assessments, which developed into a very significant part of the business. Stephen started working in the wetland consulting arena and has become recognised as a national expert in this regard combining science (ecology and hydrology), engineering principles and an in-depth understanding of the legislative framework to provide turnkey advisory services.

Stephen has launched soil and land capability assessment and visual impact assessment services with other specifically qualified specialists. Stephen is registered by the SA RHP as an accredited aquatic biomonitoring specialist and is also registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with SACNASP in the field of ecology. Stephen is also a member of the Gauteng Wetland Forum, the South African Soil Surveyors Organisation (SASSO) and IAIA.