ECSA eBulletin | September 2016
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Message from ECSA President
Welcome note to newly inaugurated ECSA Council members.
I wish to officially announce that on 27 September 2016, the Minister of the Department of Public works; the Honourable Thulas Nxesi; represented by Director-General Mziwonke Dlabantu inaugurated newly appointed ECSA Council members at a gathering held at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park. The event also served as a ceremonial meeting for some of the outgoing Council members whose inputs into the developmental mandate of ECSA were greatly applauded. As prescribed in the Engineering Professions Act (EPA) Number 46 of 2000, the Minister of Public Works (DPW) remains the custodian of the appointment process for Council members.
This is the fifth Council term whose four year tenure commences in 2016 and concludes in 2020. As a collective, they will drive ECSA’s mandate with a special focus on the following transformation initiatives:
1. Review of the Engineering Professions Act legislation;
2. Introduce efficiencies with governance structures;
3. Reposition ECSA as the voice of the engineering profession;
4. To enhance ECSA’s standing in the international engineering community;
5. Transform ECSA’s structures, systems, policies and procedures to provide a solid value proposition to all its stakeholders;
6. Internal organisational governance to achieve sustainable and coherent operations;
These priority areas will ensure the efficient delivery of regulation and advancement of the engineering profession for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Mr. Mziwonke Dlabantu conveyed a motion of confidence and support towards the new Council, posing a collective responsibility to all role players as “South Africa’s economic development was dependent on a robust engineering industry”.
I wish the fifth term Council the best of everything in their endeavours to achieve engineering excellence for the benefit of all South Africans.
To all our esteemed registered persons, kindly note that the ECSA Annual Report for the 2015/2016 financial year has been published and is available on the website.
Cyril Gamede, Pr Eng
DST hosts third UNESCO Africa Engineering Week Conference.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), members of academia and the engineering industry in its entirety gathered on 28 and 29 September 2016 to address engineering practitioners from South Africa and neighbouring countries at the opening of the third UNESCO Africa Engineering Week Conference, held at Father’s House Church in North End, Port Elizabeth.
The two day event was a collaboration between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
This year’s event was themed “Engineering Together” and was graced by the presence of UNESCO representatives from Paris, France and several engineers representing the Southern African Federation of Engineering Organisations (SAFEO).
Africa Engineering Week aims to educate the youth and the general public about the significance of engineering in their lives. The two day programme was divided into a conference and an exhibition. The conference covered panel discussions on issues such as: engineering education for the future; engineering trends; challenges; opportunities; women in engineering and many more. The exhibition area was filled with educational workshop activities from several engineering stakeholders such as the South African Women in Engineering (SAWomEng) and the uYilo electric vehicle. ECSA’s career guidance flagship programme Engenius was also exhibited, depicting fun engineering workshops for learners. Other institutions and industry partners that participated included the National Research Foundation (NRF), Continental, Bosch Projects, South African Institute for industrial Engineering (SAIIE), eNTSA, Armaments Corporation of SA, NMMU’s School of Engineering and Graduate Programme, Consulting Engineers of South Africa (CESA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Engineer Sipho Madonsela, ECSA CEO, said the mandate of the conference remains “broader than our boarders because skills development is at the forefront of the National Development Plan (NDP) as a solution to the various challenges that face the economy”. He continued to emphasize that “the importance of the engineering profession has a greater impact and the fact that South Africa is still a growing economy should be an advantage to drive a developmental mandate that is inclusive of other African states. The intention is to increase and diversify the number of young people and also balance the genders of persons who intend entering the profession. Skills shortage is a phenomenon of a developing country and this conference seeks to assert a solution by increasing the much needed technical skills”. “It is the young people from across all corners of the continent that will transcend expectations and elevate the profession to new heights by applying modern technologies and systems for the benefit of the entire African community” he concluded.
As UNESCO continues to play a significant role in supporting capacity building initiatives in Africa; the second segment of this conference will be hosted in Nigeria in November 2016.
The presentations delivered at the conference are available on request. Please contact Sandisa Maqubela (ECSA Spokesperson, Stakeholder Relations and Marketing Manager) 011 607 9500 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ECSA hosts successful public consultation roadshows.
As a regulatory body, the Engineering Council of South Africa works in line with best engineering practices in conformance with its founding legislation, its strategic plan, annual performance plan and governance instruments. This is specifically done for purposes of relevance, transformation, efficiency, effectiveness and integrity. In undertaking these measures, the Council continues to do this in pursuit of and in the spirit of collaboration and the consolidation of expertise from its stakeholder base. This strategy also assists the Council to be responsive to the feedback it receives on a regular basis in order to reposition itself and meet current and future engineering demands.
It is against this backdrop that ECSA recently took a decision to review its regulatory instruments as it embarked on a series of public consultation roadshows from the 04th of July to the 19th of August 2016. The roadshows were hosted in major cities across all nine South African provinces; focusing on the revision of the existing VA Recognition framework, the Commitment and Undertaking guidelines and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework.
The programme directors during the roadshows were Mr. Thabo Senooane (Manager: Strategy) and Mr. Edmund Nxumalo (Executive – Regulatory Functions). The key presenters were Mr. Sipho Madonsela (ECSA CEO); Adv. Rebaone Gaoraelwe, (former ECSA Executive of Statutory Functions) and Mr. John Cato (Executive for Policy Development and Standards). The first presentation was focused on the introduction of ECSA, the VA recognition framework and also provided feedback on the status of the Identification of Engineering Work (IDoEW) application process. Adv. Gaoraelwe Rebaone’s presentation was directed towards a collective understanding of the proposed changes in the VA framework relating to employer accords and CPD processes.
Some concerns were expressed around the practicalities of the proposed changes and collective clarity was provided for all. Each of the participating Voluntary Associations were also requested to submit detailed responses to ECSA for consideration purposes. As an example, the question that was most popular was around ECSA’s plan to ensure CPD courses were accessible and cost effective to all members around the country. A suggested solution has been to solicit online CPD courses that will be available to all.
The turn-out was generally good across all provinces, with Gauteng was Kwazulu-Natal recording the highest numbers of around 200 attendees. The consultations have proved to be a success with the number of delegates who have attended representing both registered and non-registered engineers. In total, 1245 registered and non-registered engineers across the country were reached.
Going forward, a statutory process of introducing the revised processes will be duly followed. All registered members will be kept abreast of the developments.
We thank all staff who worked effortlessly to ensure a successful consultation process. We also thank those engineering practitioners who made valuable inputs and made the process much more productive for the benefit of developing the engineering economy.
ECSA calls for Commitment and Undertakings with companies.
As previously mentioned, ECSA has concluded a number of national public consultation roadshows during the month of July and August in line with best regulation practices and in conformance with its founding legislation and strategic plans.
Added to the proposed review of the framework was the launch of the revised Commitment and Undertaking (C & U) guidelines in addition to the establishment of the accords with employer bodies. This role forms part of standards generation and seeks to exert a comprehensive understanding of professional development in order to effectively regulate the engineering profession.
So in the context of ECSA and employer bodies, what is a C & U? This is a programme that is designed to guide the development of engineering graduates and coaching them to become fully fledged competent professionals. The training programme is structured and managed by mentors who are registered with ECSA and focuses on mentorship, supervision and the development phase of candidates.
It is structured according to the following:
1. Planning work
2. Working in a team
3. Recording and reporting on training and experience
4. Reviewing and assessing training and experience
The programme also offers guidance to both the hosting company and the mentor so that the outcomes of the training are seamless and consistent.
On a broader perspective, ECSA has also introduced a series of accords to support the C&U process. In an effort to retain engineering professionals within the pipeline, the accords seek to lay the foundation of concrete stakeholder relations between ECSA and the VA’s, employer bodies, universities, institutions of higher learning and funding bodies.
This is therefore a call to invite all companies that wish to partake and contribute towards these initiatives of meaningful skills transfer to make contact with the office. The team is available if you wish to book a presentation for your company.
Further queries for clarity with regards to the C & U Guidelines will be attended to by the office of Mr. John Cato, Pr Eng (Executive: Policy Development and Standards Generation) on 011 607 9500
Engenius visits Malamulele, Limpopo.
Engenius participated at the third annual Rural Education Festival (Redfest) from 10 to 12 August 2016 at New Era College in Malamulele village, Limpopo.
The Engenius team engaged with grade 10, 11, and 12 learners who are doing maths and science to educate them about engineering. For the grade 8 and 9 learners, the presentation was to influence their subject choice towards maths and physical science, giving them a broader understanding of its impact in engineering science careers.
During the presentations, engineering work was further demonstrated through the utilities that they use on a daily basis. Learners were encouraged to obtain at least 65% in maths and science in their matric results.
465 learners were reached through our stand during the career festival. In total, the exhibition brought over 5000 thousand learners from the surrounding schools.
Despite the ongoing political unrest, it was history in the making for Engenius to reach the Malamulele community and ensure that learners were empowered with knowledge that would be developmental to their society.
Looking at 2017 and beyond, this therefore emphasises the need to continue outreach efforts for Engenius to fully respond to the shortage of engineering skills within the communities of South Africa.
Engenius participates in the National Science Week programme.
The Engenius team accepted an invitation from the Department of Science and Technology to participate at the National Science Week held at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre from the 08 – 12 August 2016.
National Science Week is celebrated nationwide and it aims to introduce our youth to science in an exciting way to encourage them to develop an interest in studying maths and science subjects. The Engenius team visited Sci-Bono in Newtown to spread the understanding of engineering. The objective of the Science Week was to raise awareness and increase public understanding of science, to highlight and excite learners and the general public about the importance of Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering and Technology in our daily lives, and to showcase career opportunities in Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering and Technology.
Members of the public and several township schools around Gauteng from Benoni, Kagiso, Tembisa and Soweto came in their numbers to get information which would change their lives for the better. The Engenius team reached more than 2500 learners through the five day exhibition.
It was also during the same week that Sandisa made a presentation to a group of 200 grade twelve learners at Edendale College in Cullinan, a programme that was co-ordinated by GreenpowerZA, themed “Mobilize the engineers of the future” . The career guidance session was designed in the form of a workshop and ignited more interest in engineering.
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Engineering Council of South Africa
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