http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.04Change: 0.08
R/$ = 12.05Change: 0.25
Au 1186.86 $/ozChange: 1.06
Pt 1142.00 $/ozChange: 1.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
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 Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Apr 20, 2012

Fake engineers making a mockery of ECSA’s mission statement

Back
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Cable|Design|Ecsa|Transformer|Africa|South Africa|Equipment|Power|Cable|Transformer|Voltaren
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Cable|Design|Ecsa|Transformer|Africa||Equipment|Power|Cable|Transformer|
construction|engineering|africa-company|cable|design|ecsa|transformer-company|africa|south-africa|equipment|power|cable-product|transformer|voltaren
© Reuse this



I have a stethoscope but that does not make me a doctor. I probably could create a good impression of being a doctor – tap here, look into the ears, go “Mmmmm” and scrawl out a prescription. Not too difficult. For gout, prescribe voltaren and puricos, painkillers for sprains and bandage up the sprain, teramycin for malaria and tick-bite fever . . . Where it would fall apart is when I have a patient in a sudden serious condition – massive bleeding, coma and the like. My incompetence would show and I would be caught out.

In the electrical engineering profession, it is very similar. There are many people out there who claim to be engineers. Heck, they even have test meters and sound-level meters and computers and stuff to prove it. The fact is, like the fake doctor, they can get away with it most of the time. The problem comes when there is a real electrical problem they do not know how to deal with. But here is the crucial difference between the fake doctor and the fake engineer – the fake engineer does not get caught out. When the motor burns out because the protection setting was wrong or the transformer fails because the Buchholz protection is not connected or the cable to the power factor correction melts because the ‘engineer’ did not allow for the correct cable size, he or she turns to the client and, in effect, says, well, stuff fails, what can you do?

The client does not know any better and, instead of booting the engineer off the site, pays an additional fee to fix the broken- down equipment and for the extra time the engineer will require to do this. I know this because I have seen it. I was once on a site where the so-called engineer (employed by a contractor) allowed the contractor to push a fish tape through the busbar compartment of a switchboard, which resulted in an explosion and loss of supply to the whole factory – fortunately, without loss of life.

I told the fake engineer to take his staff off the site and I was drafting a letter to the Department of Labour when I was called to a meeting – with the client and the fake engineer and the contractor. The fake engineer said I was overreacting. The client seemed to agree. I asked the fake engineer if he actually had the qualifica- tions he pretended to have because no qualified engineer could be so stupid as to allow what had happened.

Incredibly, the client said that he was convinced it was all an accident (he implied I was a bit too ‘old school’) and the whole lot went on with the contract. This really happened. Fortunately, neither I nor the client have spoken since, for which I am grateful.

There ought to be a body which stops this sort of thing from happening. The good news is that there is such a body. It is called the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). I have just paid my ECSA dues of about R1 200 a year and, by my count, I have been paying dues for 28 years.

The mission statement of ECSA says: “Our mission is to create the circum- stances in which society is confident that the engineering profession in South Africa is able to carry out the functions necessary for the socioeconomic growth in the country.”

And I can tell you that, for the last 28 years, ECSA has never been behind any legisla- tion which makes it illegal to call yourself an electrical engineer, a civil engineer, a mechanical engineer, and so on. Further ECSA has never been behind any legislation which makes it illegal for a person who is not an electrical engineer to design anything (some civil construction design is covered).

So the fake engineer can just lie about qualifications without breaking any law. Now I’ve been harping on this for about 20 years and nothing happens. But, until ECSA does something, the statement that its mission is to “create circumstances in which society is confident that the engineer- ing profession in South Africa is able to carry out the functions necessary” makes me wonder what those circumstances will be, actually.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
I have never believed that voltage surges or current surges existed. Electricity, as far as I know, does not move in waves, like the sea. At very high voltages, you do get voltage spikes and transients but these are normally smoothed out at lower voltages. Thus, till...
It is a simple fact that, with the exclusion of those naturally gifted, to learn to play music requires practice – and lots of it. It is also a fact that most people do not like to hear people practising music – hence, at school and universities, there are music...
One of my favourite folk bands is K, Ray and the Bird. One of its songs is Listen to the Criticism. The first part of the lyrics are “And it’s easy to criticise / And it’s easy to around and say: 'Hey man, why don’t you try? / (Hey man, why don’t you try? / But...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 7 minutes ago South Africa's rand extended losses against the dollar early on Monday after a statement by US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen on Friday signalled the bank was on course to raise interest rates later this year, stoking greenback buying. By 0645 GMT the rand...
Updated 39 minutes ago Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane
Updated 1 hour 7 minutes ago Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must provide the country and Parliament with a comprehensive report on the state of Eskom, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement he had written to Ramaphosa requesting that...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
RESOURCEFUL The raw material for the pilot plant would be supplied from the dissolving wood pulp plants at Sappi’s Saiccor and Ngodwana mills, in South Africa, and the Cloquet mill, in the US
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
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
 
 
Close
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