This article of Peter's is very close to my heart. At one stage I was proposing that we should approach ECSA and government to declare the offer to discount the statutory fees as equivalent to offering a bribe. Likewise, a person soliciting a discount should also be regarded as soliciting a bribe.
Doctors and nurses pledge to "heal the sick", teachers "educate the next generation", police "protect the citizens", soldiers "defend the country", engineers "improve the quality of life". The services of these professionals have a major impact on the health and security of the public. The public has little option but to trust that their actions will be competent, ethical, executed with integrity and carried out to acceptable standards.
Over many years Vic Beretta contributed hugely towards the SAICE team that conducts the reviews for professional registration of engineers, and it was a sad day for the Institution when Vic recently announced his retirement from this task. Marie Ashpole from SAICE National Office chatted to Vic over a cup of coffee.
On behalf of its members SAICE continually liaises, networks and affiliates with groupings across a broad engineering and related playing field. There are many reasons why SAICE interacts with these related bodies. As the voice of the civil engineering profession in South Africa, the Institution has a responsibility not only to represent the interests of every one of its approximately 9 000 members, but also to promote the value that civil engineering adds to the economy and the smooth running of the country, and thereby to the daily lives of communities and individual citizens.
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 (SAC PE) was established in 1969.
The Engineering profession in South Africa has been self-regulated on a statutory basis for more than 40 years. In the 1960s the profession was united in its approach to the government to seek legislative approval for the registration and regulation of engineering professionals.
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 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 12.
SAICE recently established a new International Panel which has already met twice to (a) start developing a strategic framework that will in future guide the SAICE units involved in international activities, and (b) start constituting its terms of reference, using the SAICE Constitution as departing point. At the first meeting in 2011 this process will be taken further.
While the scope of the activities of the consulting engineer, the contractor and the project manager have been well documented, the functions of the engineer who acts as a technical client are less well known. In government and local authority work particularly, this gap in knowledge has led to misunderstandings and lack of appreciation of the profession by decision-makers. This article discusses the various duties and skills required to carry out the role successfully.
Standardisation is an increasingly important discipline in the modern world, and is fast becoming part of the knowledge that young professionals in many technical fields have to master. To help promote standardisation as a topic in tertiary academic institutions, the SABS Essay Competition for undergraduate and postgraduate (part- and full-time) students was launched in 2008. The 2010 theme was "Standards for accessible design". The winner, Leandra Webb, received R15 000 in prize money, plus a further R5 000 for her academic institution. Leandra's winning essay on how South Africa prepared to make the 2010 World Cup accessible and how standards can help aid this process in the future, has importance across all disciplines of engineering, but particularly for civil engineering. Her essay is published here with permission of the SABS and the School of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand
The small town of Kenhardt located in the heart of the Bushmanland, and approximately 100 km south of Upington, Northern Cape, has since its founding in 1863 been dependent on ground water for its water supply. Water in Kenhardt has always been problematic and it was initially supplied by barrels which were filled from shallow wells dug in the nearby Hartbees River. Eventually, the Border Scouts, who manned the outpost, dug open a fountain near the Driekop River which still exists today and is known as "die Syfer". A small impoundment known as the "Middeldam" was constructed 800 m downstream of this "fountain" and water was pumped into the impoundment with a diesel-powered pump. The water was then conveyed to the town square by means of a 3 inch gravity main where it was made available at a communal standpipe. This whole scheme was undertaken by a certain Colonel van der Westhuizen and cost the grand sum of £1 000.
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