On 16 April 2015 ECSA gathered with representatives from the recognized Voluntary Associations to host its first President’s Forum meeting this year. The purpose of the Forum is to facilitate dialogue amongst VA’s and increase the channels of communication between ECSA and the VA’s. It also exists to create a platform for sharing of information and keep abreast of industry demands and changes with the broader engineering fraternity. The meeting also had a representation from the Department of Public Works (DPW), a department that ECSA reports to through the Council for Built Environment (CBE).
DPW helped to drive debates around government transformation initiatives, policies and discourse around the relevance of the council in the community within which it exists. Chairing the meeting was Ms. Revona Botha, who is a council member and also the Chairperson of the VA Committee. Some of the issues for discussion revolved around the existing Forum and whether or not there was a need to establish a CEO’s Forum so as to keep the discussions more consistent at an operational level as some of the VA Presidents were not serving their institutions on a full-time basis.
On a governance perspective, it was deemed necessary to confer on the status of policy changes such as the development of the Built Environment Professions Bill and the Identification of Engineering Work (IDoEW). A bulk of the deliberations also went towards the recent New Registration System (NRS) roadshows that were hosted nationally during March and guidelines towards the membership fee structure thereof.
Mr Sipho Madonsela, new ECSA CEO who assumed his management role six months ago also addressed the Forum for the first time on the structure of the organization internally. He shared his plans to re-align the operational structure at management level to retain capacity and ensure maxim efficiency of the operations. The council also re-enforced the mandate of ECSA’s primary role for the regulation of the engineering profession so that it remains relevant to its members but also to its stakeholders that make this role achievable. The roll-out of NRS is one such example of ensuring that the infrastructure of ECSA is transformed for the betterment of its role.
It was also affirmed that the different projects within ECSA should be strengthened through the Strategic Services pillar of the council to address the challenge of national engineering skills shortage. The projects would also be aligned to existing initiatives within VA’s and government departments. ECSA thanks all participants of the Forum and looks forward to a much more constructive meeting in August.