R/€ = 15.36Change: -0.06
R/$ = 14.46Change: 0.02
Au 1069.05 $/ozChange: 5.35
Pt 845.50 $/ozChange: 14.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jul 06, 2012

Cronin calls on ECSA to support enlargement of engineering pool

Engineering|Africa|Ecsa|Education|Environment|India|Africa|Brazil|China|South Africa|Service|Charles Nupen|Chris Campbell|Infrastructure|Jeremy Cronin|Oswald Franks|Thulas Nxesi
© Reuse this

South Africa’s newly appointed Public Works Deputy Minister, Jeremy Cronin, has appealed to the incoming Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) council, appointed this week, to work with government to develop the ‘pipeline’ of engineers by helping to deal with legacy and institutional constraints to the education and registration of engineering professionals.

In a frank address to ECSA members, Cronin described South Africa’s current ratio of one engineer for every 3 166 citizen as representing a real challenge, particularly in the context where infrastructure development had been identified by government as the main “countercyclical” economic growth measure.

By contrast, China has an engineer for every 130 of its more than one-billion people, while the ratio in India and Brazil was one to 157 and one to 227 respectively.

This “huge problem” was attributed partly to the educational shortcomings arising out of apartheid and the prevailing education backlogs, particularly in ensuring that the basic maths and science foundations were in place.

But the transition from graduation to the registration of engineering professionals remained an area of concern for government, which was fuelled, Cronin asserted, by the stop/start nature of workflow, some gatekeeping and, possibly, even by pockets of “unconscious racism” among those mentoring the new crop of graduates.

“There are anecdotal stories of white engineering graduates being rotated through the various requirements for registration, while a young black colleague . . . sits for years [without making similar progress],” Cronin warned.

It was also “not good enough” that only 25% of professionals in the built environment professions were black. “It’s not only not representative, but it also means that we are not tapping into a huge human resource in our country.”

He urged engineering professionals not to “fly false flags” of “talking about standards” that is really a “gatekeeping exercise” in a bid to keep the pool small and the rewards high for the profession. Nevertheless, ECSA had a duty to uphold professional standards, which were absolutely “vital” to ensure quality delivery.


The Department of Public Works (DPW) felt that it was necessary to “reinvigorate, perhaps in a very different form” the Built Environment Professions Bill, which was strongly opposed by ECSA and a number of the other built environment statutory councils and was eventually withdrawn in late 2008.

“We need to coordinate and different professions in the built environment need to work together, while acknowledging the differences,” Cronin indicated.

The DPW, which met with the Council for the Built Environment earlier in the month, was ready to bring a mediator, in the form of Charles Nupen, to mediate between the council and the various built environment bodies that have hitherto opposed the creation of a super council.

The idea was to “surface” the tensions and find a way to deal with them in the interests of the professions, which were concerned with standards and quality, and government, and which had a role to play in regulating the professions.

“We can run into silly tensions, oppositions and antagonisms and fail together. Or, with our challenges, work together and succeed,” Cronin averred.

He indicated that any programme of legislative reform would be run in parallel with a turnaround strategy that was currently under way to “clean up the mess” within a department that was always in the news for the “wrong reasons”.

Cronin said internal disciplinary action was being pursued along with criminal investigations and prosecutions, with the DPW having lodged eight criminal charges against officials with the South African Police Service.

ECSA president Chris Campbell acknowledged the call for greater cooperation between the built environment professions, and welcomed the DPW’s recognition of the differences between the professions.

But Campbell stressed that there could be no generic mechanism to make them more equal, as such a process carried a number of risks.

ECSA also welcomed the fact that Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi had appointed its new 50-member council, who were selected to provide a broad representation of all engineering disciplines and categories.

“We are pleased with the Minister’s appointments as this is in line with a decision ECSA took in 2010 that in order to be relevant to all our stakeholders – our role required us to perform beyond our mandate,” CE Oswald Franks said.

Franks added that the new council would work with government to ensure the engineering profession helped to address broader socioeconomic and developmental needs.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Infrastructure News
Snowy Khoza
Updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago Infrastructure development company Bigen Africa Group CEO Dr Snowy Khoza took top honours at this year’s National Business Awards and was named National Business Leader of the Year. Bigen Africa was also presented with the Infrastructure Development Company of the...
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown
Updated 4 hours ago Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reported on Tuesday that far-reaching interMinisterial committee (IMC) discussions were advancing on how best to reform South Africa’s State-owned companies (SoCs), many of which were currently underperforming. There are around...
Updated 6 hours ago Zambia expects to clinch $1-billion in Chinese investment and loans at this week's China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, a presidential spokesperson said on Tuesday. Presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda said Zambia was expected to conclude deals with China in...
Latest News
Updated 10 minutes ago The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) is not sitting by idly while National Treasury and the Department of Energy mull over the various options for the country’s controversial 9 600 MW nuclear build programme. While Energy Minister Tina...
Updated 16 minutes ago While a resurgence in manufacturing in Africa has been popularly touted as the silver bullet that will accelerate the continent’s economic growth prospects, The Economist management editor and columnist Adrian Wooldridge has suggested that Africa’s industrial...
Jahn Hohne
Updated 21 minutes ago The established Kimberley-based surface diamond mining company Ekapa is acquiring control of the Kimberley Mines from De Beers at a time when the price of diamonds in South African currency has hit the highest ever level. Already enjoying a very healthy margin margin...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96