The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is the main awards sponsor for industry organisation the South African Institution of Civil Engineering's (Saice's) 2021 industry excellence awards.
Saice has long been aligned with Sanral in supporting a strong civil engineering sector in South Africa, says Saice CEO Vishaal Lutchman.
A professional, ethical and knowledgeable civil engineering community is paramount in meeting South Africa’s socioeconomic development needs. Infrastructure development holds the key to stimulate the country's economy, but must be steered by excellence in engineering, he says.
Sanral and Saice have a common development agenda and, with the awards, showcase the value of industry collaboration. Promoting and acknowledging professional excellence in the sector through these awards serves to meet various objectives, he adds.
“By shining the light on our highly competent civil engineers, technicians and technologists, we hope to encourage leadership in the sector, foster entrepreneurship and create role models for young professionals. It is also important that our young people are encouraged to seek professional development opportunities and to seek mentors to assist them on their career paths,” explains Lutchman.
Further, Saice aims to support Sanral in projects going forward, fostering technical excellence and a partnership based on capacity building, knowledge creation and sharing.
The institution plays a crucial role in fostering a pipeline towards advancing a skilled civil engineering community in South Africa. The voluntary association makes it simple for members to seek mentorship, career opportunities and institutional knowledge, Lutchman states.
For example, the Saice Academy offers a multi-disciplinary range of books and discounted continuing professional development accredited courses aimed at growing and improving members’ professional development. It assists in developing knowledge and presenting engineers with best practice and new advances in the industry, thus maintaining a high standard of engineering practice.
“However, some things must be learned from peers and projects, rather than from books. For this reason, we launched Saice Connect last year,” Lutchman says.
Saice Connect is a platform which helps members network with others in the industry, and foster mentorship and a collaborative approach to problem solving. It also connects job seekers with employers to help engineers, technicians and technologists to grow their careers.
The Saice Awards will be held on October 22, and will recognise ten outstanding individuals in the sector.
“We hope that Saice, in partnership with Sanral, can motivate the industry to contribute to South Africa’s sustainable development agenda. When civil engineers execute with excellence, the whole country benefits,” concludes Lutchman.