Professional registration, transformation lagging in architectural industry

10th October 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (Sacap) has approached the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to help it understand why many people who obtain academic qualifications in architecture do not become registered professionals.

Speaking on the occasion of World Architecture Day, on Monday, Sacap registrar Advocate Toto Fiduli told Engineering News Online that there were many people working in the architectural industry without the required Sacap professional registration.

“We see lots of students enrolling for architecture at various universities, but the throughput does not reflect registration in the profession.”

In addition to the research being done by the CSIR, Sacap has also approached municipalities, requesting that they not accept architectural designs from persons not registered with Sacap.

Further, Fiduli stated that the profession is in decline, owing to a lack of work in the construction industry.

He told Engineering News Online that the lack of work on account of fewer projects was being exacerbated by poor procurement practices.

“Tendering processes are not assisting the profession, leaving most architects struggling to find work.”

Sacap was engaging various government departments, such as the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and the National Treasury, to ensure the distribution of work is fair.

“If our procurement policies were fair, it would have assisted many architectural practices.”

Moreover, the architectural profession struggles to meet its transformation objectives, owing to the lack of qualified black and female employees at firms.

“Currently, the professional register does not reflect the demographics of South Africa.

“To this end, Sacap is embarking on a programme to create awareness about architecture in high schools and primary schools to feed into the professional pipeline of architects,” said Fiduli.

He added that architectural firms were trying their best to meet transformation targets, but that this was dependent on more black and female professionals being produced by universities.

“We need to stimulate interest in the profession.”

Fiduli stated that Sacap would undertake various campaigns next year, in partnership with the departments of Higher Education and Training, Basic Education and Small Business, to create more awareness and promote the profession.