http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.15Change: -0.05
R/$ = 11.65Change: -0.10
Au 1283.66 $/ozChange: 10.51
Pt 1240.50 $/ozChange: 12.30
 
 
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  
 
 
Jun 15, 2012

Let’s address our professionals as Eng So and So

Back
Engineering|Africa|Design|Africa|Austria|Germany|South Africa|United Kingdom|Building|Illness|Mackenzie Hoy|Matron|Reverend|Sister|Soom|Van Der Westhuizen|Viljoen|West Africa
Engineering|Africa|Design|Africa||Building|||
engineering|africa-company|design|africa|austria|germany|south-africa|united-kingdom|building|illness|mackenzie-hoy|matron|reverend|sister|soom|van-der-westhuizen|viljoen-person|west-africa
© Reuse this



Many people have their profession or vocation identified by the use of a title: Doctor, Matron, Sister, Advocate, Reverend or Father.

Further, they identify themselves by the use of the title. You will phone up and the person will answer: “Yes, it’s Father John speaking” or “Dr Soom speaking”. The titles are important – if you are in a hospital, you really want to know if you are discussing your medication options with Sister Claudia or the floor sweeper. The same is true if you hope for somebody to diagnose an illness – you would rather be talking to Dr Soom than his alter ego Mr Standloperboytjies, who is in charge of the rodent control plan, which is why he is wearing a white coat.

One would think that there would be an attempt for some of the unrecognised professions to have title recognition. For example, in West Africa, I am routinely referred to as Engineer Mackenzie Hoy (well, also C’est stupide d’Afrique du Sud) and the same would happen in Germany or Austria. But not in South Africa or England.

It would, I think, be handy for members of the public to know that they are dealing with somebody who has some qualification and, thus, having titles for an engineer or a lawyer would be convenient, I think. Or would it? One must look to what happens in any of the large commercial hospitals. They make the nursing staff wear ‘scrubs’ or the garb that they would wear when working in an operating theatre. The staff wear these even when they are in the wards where the scrubs are unnecessary. Why? This is to conceal the fact that, of the 12 or so nursing staff in the ward, only two are actually qualified nurses. The rest are nursing aids, which is to say they have a very basic qualification, if at all.

Members of the public call all of them Sister and nobody corrects them. In the same way, if we were to now insist on addressing qualified engineers as Engineer, then the result would be that the public would quickly find out how many people they deal with are, in fact, not qualified. If I meet somebody who says he or she is a qualified engineer, I will routinely check this up with the univer- sity or institution and I am often quite amazed at the bald audacity that emerges when I find that the person is not qualified. These individuals say: “Oh, I have much more experience than an engineer” or “I feel that I am an engineer.” It is hard to get the lay public to appreciate that there is a difference between a qualified person and an unqualified one – the dangers are so obscure.

If I say to the public: “Would you rather the driver of the school bus have a licence or not?” the affir- mative response is swift. If I say: “Would you rather the bus be designed by an engineer or not?” the response is less sure. If I say: “Would you rather the electrics in your building be signed off by an engineer?” the response is rather vague.

Naturally, things could get out of hand and even become cumbersome. If we took the matter to a distant point, we could end up with silly titles. I would have to call Cecile Office Manager Van der Westhuizen and Rachel Design Engineer Viljoen. (I could get away with addressing the rest of the staff as FI, which would stand for Fellow Inmate.)

Getting back to the point, I think that having the title ‘Engineer’ should apply to qualified engineers in South Africa, as much as it does in over 40 other African countries. There was an attempt to apply the title ‘Ing’ to South African engineers but this fell away. Now it is very unlikely that any of the engineering bodies will address this matter. They address so few matters that one more will certainly not be on the agenda. So we have to do it ourselves. From now on, I am going to sign my business correspondence as Eng Mackenzie Hoy, PrEng. I encourage all you engineers out there to do the same.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
I am in a substation. In the substation is some 11 000 V switchgear, a 400 V switchboard and two transformers. The room has no windows and no ventilation. I am with two others – one is the person who is responsible for the electrical design of the substation and the...
The debate about climate change grows acrimonious. On the side of those who hold that climate change is a real possibility are politicians, students, ex-Table Mountain tourist guides, academics and others. On the side of those who hold that climate change is not a...
Look, I know this is off topic, but, for years, I have wondered and observed TV series with an engineering eye. These are my two favourite 'TV thoughts'. In Star Trek, none of the women wears slacks. All of them wear very short mini skirts that hide nothing. They...
More
 
 
Latest News
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has assured that loss-making national carrier South African Airlines (SAA) will not receive another bailout from government, noting that the most recent R6.4-billion government guarantee had only been provided in support of an intensive...
South Africa's cumulative trade deficit was R95.3-billion in 2014, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday. In 2013, it was R71.4-billion, Sars said in a statement.
Certain regulatory approvals remain outstanding in Telkom’s proposed R2.67-billion takeover of JSE-listed Business Connexion (BCX), the parties said in an update to shareholders on Friday. BCX noted in the statement that the Competition Authority of Botswana had...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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 network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
ASTRAPAK The group highlighted that executive strategic interventions and other group-wide business improvement imperatives were progressing favourably
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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