Our regular feature, "From the CEO's desk", stands over until next month. In support of the main feature of this edition, "The world according to SAICE" (pages 8 - 39), we are repeating the popular Credo of the African Engineer, which was introduced to SAICE members by our 2011 president, Seetella Makhetha.
The University of Johannesburg's Civil Engineering Technology Heavy Structures Laboratory is arguably the best equipped structural laboratory at a Civil Engineering Technology Department at any university of technology in South Africa. It is housed in the old Apollo Cinema theatre on the corner of Beit and Height Streets in Doornfontein near the Ellis Park rugby stadium.
The November 2011 edition of our magazine was the third attempt at presenting the formidable network of engineering bodies that SAICE liaises with on behalf of its members. Again the response from our readers was so encouraging that we decided to continue publishing an updated version every year. For this year we have updated the information where necessary, and where possible, and retained the list of all the tertiary institutions in South Africa where civil engineering can be studied (this list seems to be very popular with our readers).
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 subsequent years.
The history of SAICE's international involvement is worth repeating briefly.
The Institution's networking on an international level took off in 1994 during the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) convention in Atlanta when a SAICE delegation was invited to attend the annual ASCE International Round Table. During that visit SAICE's President and Executive Director at the time, Brian Bruce and Dawie Botha respectively, not only had the opportunity to network with engineering institutions from across the world, but for the first time ever they met African colleagues. They returned inspired and eager to start an African Round Table, similar to the ASCE model. From this idea sprung the Africa Engineers Forum (AEF) as it was known until recently. 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 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 the AEF, also to the benefit of the South African Development Community (SADC).
The correct implementation, application and construction of pedestrian ramps in South Africa have created much confusion and controversy over the past six to seven years; not to mention the correct inclusion of tactile ground surface indicators (TGSIs), or 'blister paving' as some call it.
Increasing mining activities and an expanding population in eastern Botswana mean a growing demand for water. This need has been anticipated by the Botswana government, and its long-term strategy is now facing its second phase with the development of the North-South Carrier water transfer scheme by the country's Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR). Leading infrastructure development firm Bigen Africa has been appointed as the MMEWR representative.
On 3 November the Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) held the first Awards for Excellence presentation based on its new awards category format in Johannesburg. The black-tie event included the CMA's 40th anniversary celebrations and was staged at the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg.
Ammann, a leading international supplier of plant and machinery, has its focus firmly on road building, and is able to adapt its products and services to suit different local markets and customer requirements.
BKS has joined AECOM with effect from 1 November 2012. Conclusion of the merger is pursuant to having received merger approval from the Competition Commission on 9 October 2012, and to fulfilling all other requirements of deal closure with AECOM Technology Corporation. AECOM is a leading provider of technical and management engineering and consulting services for public and private clients in more than 130 countries around the world.
Skills transfer and bridging the gap between engineering veterans and young upcoming engineers is one of the greatest challenges in the engineering industry in South Africa today. We young civil engineers experience this very often in the working world, particularly in Johannesburg where so many SAICE members reside.
The finals of the very successful annual BKS-SAICE International Bridge Building Competition, organised by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, were held recently at the St Albans College in Pretoria. BKS has once again provided the major sponsorship for the event - for the fourth year running!