Dr Anthony Turton has a high media profile, most notably regarding the issue of acid mine drainage (AMD) and increasingly in the area of water stewardship. He is the Director of TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd that works into the mining space.
He holds a Professorship in the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State.
As a trustee of the Water Stewardship Council of Southern Africa, he encourages behavioural change through positive inducement.
Dr Turton’s achievements & accolades:
In 2009, he earned the Habitat Council Award for his ‘principled stance in defence of the public to be informed of the truth … and the courage that he displayed in publishing the state of our water resources, thereby refusing to compromise his scientific integrity’
In 2010, he earned the Nick Steele Memorial Award, given to him by SAM Miller in recognition of his work on AMD as a strategic national problem
In 2012, he was given the Green Globe Award in 2012 in recognition for his work in sustainability.
Anthony Turton, a 12th generation African and direct descendent of a member of Jan van Riebeek’s original party, served in various capacities in the security forces of South Africa. His core skills are intelligence support to decision-makers operating under conditions of high risk with incomplete information often from contested sources.
Initially deployed as a crew commander in an armoured unit, he later became the unit specialist in mine warfare and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). He was recruited into a deep cover offensive counter espionage (CE) unit (O61/01) in the National Intelligence Service (NIS). This gave him direct exposure to offensive CE operations run on foreign hostile soil. After the Pretoria car bomb detonated, a Special Operations (SO) unit was created within the Chief Directorate Covert Operations (CDCO) of the NIS designated K43.
The mission given to K43 was the capture of the MK Chief of Staff, code named Billy, with the sole intention of bringing him home to stand trial for terrorism.
This unit was based on the successful Mossad operations to counter the Munich Olympics Massacre and to capture Adolf Eichmann.
Within K43 a combination of CE and SO skills were merged into a potent team of professionals operating under deep cover in foreign hostile environments.
This became the crucible from which a range of SO’s were launched, mostly from another covert unit designated K32, all with strategic impact.
These included, but are not limited to: the intelligence support to the negotiations that allowed the SADF to withdraw from Angola; the implementation of UN Resolution 435; the establishment of the first covert contact with Nelson Mandela and the subsequent protection of the CODESA process;
the monitoring of Russian willingness and capacity to intervene in South Africa as the USSR collapsed in 1989; and the deep penetration small team SO into Mozambique designed to stop the flow of weapons to the armed faction of the IFP that threated to derail CODESA.
Anthony became a founding member of the South African Secret Service (SASS), where he served as Deputy Divisional Head C13 (Techno-Economic Intelligence) and as Staff Officer (C11) to the Chief Director Covert Operations and Counter Intelligence (C1).
He obtained his Doctorate at the University of Pretoria and is recognized across a range of international security services for his insight into water as a national security risk.
Today he specializes in strategic level risk mitigation for investors exposed to the financial insecurity of failing infrastructure, most notably water resources and water services. He is a professional speaker with a range of commercial interests in consulting and technology companies.
Dr Anthony Turton
As a Keynote Speaker I am often commissioned by professional bodies to set a specific theme for one of their national or international symposia or conferences.
I usually do this with a written paper (available in the My Scientific Papers section of thie website) that enters the official proceedings, supported by a PowerPoint presentation in which I emphasise specific points made in the paper.
In this case I was invited by SANCIAHS, the professional association of hydrologists in South Africa, to present the Des Midgeley Memorial Lecture, where I used the opportunity to explain that our fledgling democratic South Africa will need a new form of professional hydrology based on a challenging set of realities such as a Constitution with a Bill of Rights and a national water resource that is stretched to its absolute limit:
When Dr Anthony Turton work as a Technical Specialist with a foreign audience, I have learned that flexibility is the key. I have also learned that a sense of humour is culture-bound, so I tend not to use humour to illustrate a point with such audiences.
Under these circumstances I use a very simple PowerPoint format, often based extensively on images and/or maps, but hardly any text.
This allows me to judge my audience at the time of the presentation and adapt accordingly, using the images to illustrate the point I wish to make.
Flexibility gives me a wider latitude than a pre-worded PowerPoint presentation.
This example comes from a presentation commissioned by the Swedish Foreign Ministry given to the Mekong River Commission in Chiang Rai Thailand.
Sometimes I am commissioned to present new ideas to workshops, conferences or seminars, with the intention to shift the debate in a specific direction.
This is the PowerPoint presentation on Benefit-Sharing as an issue of scale that was made on invitation from the African Development Bank at the African Water Week held in Tunisia in 2008.
It is the issue of scale that provides the solution to complex problems manifesting at the level of the water-stressed river basin
Sometimes I am commissioned to present new ideas to workshops, conferences or seminars, with the intention to shift the debate in a specific direction. This is the PowerPoint presentation on Benefit-Sharing as an issue of scale that was made on invitation from the African Development Bank at the African Water Week held in Tunisia in 2008. It is the issue of scale that provides the solution to complex problems manifesting at the level of the water-stressed river basin
Given my past involvement with the security forces during our transition to democracy I have been retained as a Specialist Instuctor by the South African National Defence College. In this capacity my role is to train senior officers on a promotion course from Colonel to Brigadier General. This level of training is designed to shift the thinking of the candidate from that of tactical command and control to strategic command and control. I have had the priviledge of training more than 100 senior officers from a number of Armies, Navies and Air Forces geographically as widely dispersed as South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Indian sub-Continent. Central to this training is the consideration that military formations have the capacity to engage in Environmental Peacebuilding as a foundation for post-conflict reconstruction. This PowerPoint presentation is an example of such training, and is sourced from the Executive National Security Program offered by the SANDF in 2009:
Dr Anthony Turton is available for professional engagements as a speaker or facilitator where sustainability and appropriate corporate responses are required.
One of my speciality skills is working in areas of high conflict with a view to laying the foundation on which peace can be built - seeking convergence of ideas in an environment where opinions naturally diverge. I usually do this as a Facilitator