R/€ = 15.31Change: -0.22
R/$ = 13.46Change: -0.19
Au 1154.15 $/ozChange: -10.01
Pt 981.00 $/ozChange: -12.00
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 Contact Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Sep 04, 2012

No engineering shortage until infrastructure plan materialises

Construction|Engineering|Africa|Consulting|Consulting Engineers South Africa|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Germany|Japan|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Contracting|Consulting Engineers|Graham Pirie|Infrastructure|Piri|South Africa
Construction|Engineering|Africa|Consulting|PROJECT|Projects|Africa||Contracting|Consulting Engineers|Infrastructure||
© Reuse this

A shortage of engineers in South Africa would only come into play when government’s planned infrastructure investment plan materialised, Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) CEO Graham Pirie said on Tuesday, adding that an engineering skills scarcity was not yet apparent at the current volumes of work.

“There is not a shortage of engineers, the main reason for this is that 60% of our work comes from the public sector, which is not firing on all cylinders,” he told Engineering News Online.

But Pirie said that action would be needed to step up skills development to deliver on South Africa’s planned infrastructure investments of R3.2-trillion by 2020.

While South Africa was losing fewer engineers to other countries as developed economies slowed down, he stated that the country would have to deal with supply-side issues and policy instability to ensure it had enough qualified people to deliver the new build projects going forward.

In South Africa, there is currently one engineer for every 3 100 people, compared to one engineer for every 200 people in Germany and one for every 310 persons in the UK, the US and Japan.

“This must change,” Pirie noted.

The head of Cesa attributed the slow start of public sector projects in South Africa to long project lead times and the government’s shortage of technical capacity.

“The public sector is faced with severe capacity constraints…they do not have sufficient qualified people with experience to handle the infrastructure delivery process and this is particularly problematic at local authority level.”

Cesa’s latest biannual economic and capacity analysis, for January to June 2012 period, showed that the local construction industry was running below capacity and that only about 80% of the country’s consulting engineers were used on projects.

The survey found that confidence in the consulting engineering sector generally lagged business sentiment, which deteriorated again in the second quarter after improving in the first quarter of 2012. This was mainly owing to growing concerns over the global economy and the widespread downward revision of South Africa’s growth outlook.

Project postponements and delays also affected confidence in the contracting fraternity, with civil contractors’ confidence remaining well below levels experienced between 2005 and 2008.

Pirie stated that public–private partnerships were central to delivering on projects, as the private sector operated below capacity, while the public sector lacked sufficient capacity.

He commended the National Planning Commission and the National Development Plan 2030. “We are very good at planning in this place, but we are not good at delivery.”

Pirie also warned that the slow implementation of projects was warding off foreign companies.

“Our members are frustrated, their businesses are not doing so well in South Africa post 2010 and they are looking north of our border, saying it is easier to work in the rest of Africa,” Pirie indicated.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Latest News
Updated 2 hours 16 minutes ago The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Egypt have signed a loan agreement for $50-million from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) – a $2-billion special fund provided by China and managed by the bank to cofinance bank operations. This...
Updated 2 hours 47 minutes ago South Africa's National Treasury could "in the extreme" try and block the $106-billion takeover of SABMiller by the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, a senior treasury official said on Tuesday. "We subject those applications to subjective criteria – the...
Updated 4 hours ago Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi has denied reports that the ruling ANC has discussed a reversal of South Africa’s digital migration policy. The Business Day reported on Monday that the ANC, at its National General Council (NGC) meeting on the weekend,...
Recent Research Reports
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,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 4 hours ago Engen Driver Wellness, the mobile health awareness initiative, continues to make a tangible difference to the lives of the country’s bulk truck operators with increased driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores. Now in its fifth year,...
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
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