TOSAS (Pty) Ltd is entrenched as one of South Africa's leading manufacturers and suppliers of superior quality conventional and modified bituminous binders, anionic, cationic and inverted bitumen emulsions, as well as cutback bitumens.
The 80s and 90s represented a particularly challenging time for SAICE, when the socio-political circumstances demanded a proactive role from the professions, to try to use their experience to influence events in a positive way. Cliff McMillan (SAICE Honorary Fellow and President 1988) was in the fortunate position of being active in SAICE and related professional societies during all that period. This long-distance interview with Cliff, who now lives and works in New York, again revealed how interesting, and at times trying, those times really were, and gives a flavour of the prevailing circumstances.
On behalf of its members SAICE continually liaises, networks and affiliates with groupings across a broad engineering and related playing field. However, the many bodies that the Institution interacts with, and the diversity of the associated acronyms, can become quite confusing at times. On the following pages we present most of these bodies in context for the sake of clarity and reference and to facilitate the development of an informed membership.
The engineering profession approached government in the 1960s to request legislation to regulate the profession. The result was that the South African Council for Professional Engineers (SACPE) was established in 1969.
Although this structure served the profession very well, it became clear that the changing world and the changing political dispensation in South Africa would necessitate substantial modifications. In 1992 SAICE approached SACPE to suggest a way forward in the new democratic dispensation that would be coming about in 1994. The main thrust was to ensure that South African engineering education and professional status would be recognised in the world of the nineties.
Networking with discipline-specific bodies is like ventilating a room - fresh ideas, shared concerns, and mutual appreciation all make for more comfortable and informed living within our professional space. In this article we will concentrate on a number of discipline-specific bodies that SAICE liaises with, including some of the discipline-specific voluntary associations that were listed on page 9.
SAICE's networking on an international level took off during the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineering) convention in 1994 in Atlanta when a SAICE delegation was invited to attend the annual ASCE International Round Table. During that visit SAICE's President at the time, Brian Bruce, and Executive Director Dawie Botha not only had the opportunity to network with engineering institutions from across the world, but for the first time ever they met African colleagues, particularly those from Ghana and Zimbabwe. They returned inspired and eager to start an African Round Table, similar to the ASCE model. From this idea sprung the Africa Engineers Forum as it is known today. During subsequent years ASCE and SAICE have liaised on various matters and have developed a strong and fruitful relationship that benefits both institutions. Other relationships with other international engineering bodies followed, to the extent that SAICE is today not only contributing meaningfully to the world engineering scene, but receiving visitors from overseas on a regular basis, all to the benefit of SAICE's 9 000 members. In addition those first steps into the global engineering village created the platform for a strong African voice and led to SAICE being utilised by a number of organisations and initiatives to roll out internationally funded programmes on behalf of AEF, as well as to the benefit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Intersite Property Management Services, together with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) who owns and operates all passenger rail stations in South Africa, have over the last couple of years embarked on a country-wide programme to construct new and upgrade commuter rail stations in South Africa as part of a larger process towards improving the commuter rail service in the country. The impending FIFA 2010 World Cup event has led to a revision of priorities and provided further impetus towards improving the levels of service to public transport users both for everyday users, as well as visitors to the country.
A journey by rail through a vast and desolate landscape sounded like an interesting read to armchair traveller Lorraine Fourie. Dervla Murphy's book Through Siberia by accident not only proved a splendid second-hand travel experience, it also highlighted the existence of a railway line described by the author as "an awesome witness to Russian engineering ingenuity". Post-doctoral fellows Alexander Tarasov and Maxim Kovtun from the Technological University of Belgorod in Russia, who were doing practical research within the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria, delved into a few Russian websites and provided more recent information on the project.
The SAICE Student Chapter at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) was relaunched by former HOD Debbie Hogan-Illenberger on 13 March this year. The four members of the committee, Juliet Odei-Addo, Talitha Ralarala, Menzi Mthimkulu and Fezile Mboko Makaula were guided through the first few months of setting the Chapter back on its feet by Lubabalo Bambeni, a former Student Chapter committee member. Chairperson Juliet Odei-Addo sent us the following update on happenings within the Chapter.
This was one of two CRB seminars held on consecutive days in Cape Town and Durban. Both James and Ferraris lectured during the seminars which attracted a combined total of over 300 delegates. As with other CMA seminars, these were registered with SAICE (South African Institution of Civil Engineering) and participants were able to qualify for CPD points.
The inaugural South African Road Federation President's Award was recently awarded to Dr Graham Ross for his exceptional efforts and contributions over a period spanning more than 60 years. Graham has not only made a leading contribution to road transport in South Africa during a most impressive career, but has also served the SARF with distinction.
During the long weekend in August this year Spencer Erling, chairman of the SAICE Joint Structural Division, together with family and friends, spent some time in the Kruger National Park doing a trail from the Olifants base camp.