In 1972 Jules was seconded from within the SA Railways and Harbour group to the Test Laboratories to assist with the construction of the extensions to the recently completed Durban-Johannesburg fuel pipeline. The Test Labs were responsible for the corrosion protection of the pipelines, a recently prioritised requirement in the light of the disastrous stray current interference corrosion that had been experienced during the construction of the Durban-Johannesburg fuel pipeline.
Jules was responsible for overseeing the corrosion protection aspects of the Alrode – Waltloo, NATREF – O R Tambo and Standerton – Klerksdorp pipelines on behalf of the Test Labs. During this period the pipeline industry was faced with the implications of the commissioning of the first earth electrode of the Cahora – Basa powerline at Apollo (literally an electrifying experience).
In 1981 Jules was appointed technical buyer, but continued his direct involvement with Cathodic Protection in a relief role to Garth Mason, who was responsible for cathodic protection activities within S A Pipelines, later Petronet and now Transnet Pipelines.
In 1989, Jules was transferred to Durban, where he assumed responsibility for cathodic protection of the Natal region of Transnet Pipelines.
In the late 1990’s, Jules was elected Natal Regional Chairman of the South African Electrolytic Corrosion Committee, a post he holds to this day.
In 2003 Jules was appointed Cathodic Protection Manager for Transnet Pipelines, carrying responsibility for the safe operation of some 3000km of hazardous pipelines affected by amongst the most intense stray current problems experienced worldwide.
It is a credit to the cathodic protection division of Transnet Pipelines that the number of incidents recorded on this network over its 44year history can literally be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Transnet Pipelines cathodic protection division, under Jules’ leadership, is currently embarking on an extensive modernization and upgrade programme to keep pace with changing technology, changing stray current patterns and ever scarcer technical resources.
It is fitting that Jules be presented with the Corrosion Institute Silver Medal for 37 years of service to the cathodic protection industry in South Africa.