||Welcome to the World ofCivil Engineering
A track record of almost 100 years supporting the civil engineering profession
The forerunner of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering was established in 1903 as a "learned society" to help develop technology, and to share knowledge for the development of the day. We salute illustrious pioneers - bold, innovative, and widely talented men such as John Brown, the first President, and many others as the begetters of dams, railways, highways, bridges and all that is excellent in Civil Engineering.
As an Institution we recognise the need to build on the past as well as to change with the times, to support our profession in its vital role in The African Renaissance.
President Thabo Mbeki has a vision of an African Renaissance which must have as one of its central aims the provision of a better life for the masses of its people." This is a challenge to all development professionals. South Africa has enormous development potential and a huge demand for sustainable infrastructure.
The current generation of South African civil engineers is no less dedicated to creating a heritage of efficient, user-friendly and durable infrastructure, including water supply, drainage, transport, structures and municipal services which are the basis of acceptable and improved quality of life and economic growth.
The challenge for SAICE is to take the leading role in supporting professionals to achieve South Africa's National Development Agenda.
- To be the catalyst for innovative approaches and good practice in the development process
- To develop networks which address all issues relating to Civil Engineering
- To provide a professional home for all involved in Civil Engineering
- To ensure that future generations will continue to build on and benefit from our expertise
- Promoting cutting edge technology among members
- Upholding quality and world class standards
- Encouraging members to extend their skills to compete in the global village
- Offering input to, and capacity building programmes for, decision-makers
- Ensuring the future of the profession through career guidance
- Identifying funding for the development of infrastructure
- Promoting an ethical approach and professional conduct
The Institution is a powerful voluntary body with approximately 8 000 individual members active in the profession and industry.
Membership includes engineers, technologists, technicians; consulting engineers, contractors, engineers in government, municipal and parastatal service, academics, students and suppliers. Provision is made for participants who have an interest in, or are associated with, the profession.
Previously, regulations in our country prevented the full participation of those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds in Civil Engineering. Recognising the social imperatives and strengths to be gained from diversity, SAICE has, for the past two decades, extended its career guidance campaigns to all groups and both genders.
To-day, the transformation is evident, not only in the student population, but in the industry and SAICE's organizational structures. The 'Transformation Action Forum' and 'Women in Civil Engineering' groups have been formed to ensure continued positive action in these fields.
Our Strategic Plan
SAICE recognizes the need to stay abreast of the times, and utilizes modern continuous strategic planning techniques to achieve its goals that the organization will remain relevant in all its activities at all times.
Our current goals are:
- To enhance the Technical Leadership of SAICE in the field of civil engineering
- To enhance and maintain a culture of life-long learning and professional competence of members through Continued Professional Development
- To strive for Growth and Participation by attracting potential members and mobilizing members to share and participate in our activities. We place a special emphasis on the inclusion of historically disadvantaged individuals including females
- To ensure Relevance and Recognition by conveying and displaying the contribution of the profession to the growth and development of South Africa.
- To achieve the Organizational Transformation of SAICE and to assume a leadership role in developing an effective networking mechanism within the built environment professions
Our Branches & divisions
Our twenty branches are distributed nation-wide and address the local needs of members, the profession and the region.
The nine Technical Divisions are active in the field of technology, develop and deliver courses, codes of practice, guidelines, specifications and standards.
To achieve the goals SAICE is involved in the following activities
- Assisting civil engineering practitioners to remain at the cutting edge of technology
- Continuing professional development (CPD): SAICE Units develop and offer lectures, workshops, seminars and more which help those in practice keep apace with the advancement of technology. The SAICE 'Events Page' on the web offers many opportunities for members to advance their knowledge.
- Meetings, site visits and social occasions: regular events at Branch and Division level are organised to promote front line contact between members, and with current practice. Publications: the SAICE magazine 'Civil Engineering' carries articles about key projects, problems, trends, technology. It also reports news about the activities of the Institution, the profession, government, industry, legal developments, court cases and new products. The Journal provides members with the opportunity to publish refereed technical papers and communicates detailed research and new approaches.
- Technical networking: congresses, debates and think tanks provide professionals with current technical data and trends to exchange and enhance their knowledge. Recent events addressing environmental, geotechnical, sustainable development and the delivery process, have influenced the way forward in each field.
- Bookshop: in 1997 SAICE added a range of technical text books available from the UK, US and European institutions to its own publications. Publications from local sources including the SABS and the CSIR extend the range to some 150 titles available from SAICE.
- Promoting and upholding world class qualifications and standards in south african civil engineering
- Curricula: SAICE plays an important role in the quality of Civil Engineering education through participation in regular statutory accreditation reviews of facilities and curricula at tertiary institutions.
- Reciprocity agreements: in order to allow our members to compete internationally, SAICE initiated and cooperates with ECSA to arrange reciprocity agreements with foreign sister Institutions and Registering Councils.
- Professional registration: for quality solutions, quality professionals are required. SAICE has initiated an enhanced and internationally recognized engineer-in-training program implemented by ECSA. SAICE members with the necessary expertise manage the process and act as Reviewers for ECSA.
- Ensuring that standards, codes & guidelines keep up with international best practice
- Research, development and codes of practice: SAICE Technical Divisions are key players in their fields and contribute substantially and in some cases exclusively to the research and experience required to edit, extend and develop civil engineering codes, specifications, contract documentation and design guidelines
- Procurement: SAICE has initiated a process to review and revise all existing conditions of contract in South Africa. The proposed model provides for a limited suite of documents which will offer streamlined and more cost effective tendering and will satisfy the clients needs while assisting with capacity building in the emerging sector.
- Offering input on matters relating to civil engineering
- Liaison with cabinet ministers, provincial and local government officials: the number of engineers in government service has reduced dramatically. SAICE is increasingly playing a facilitating role regarding input on strategic issues relating to Civil Engineering, and is involved in regular contacts and personal visits to the relevant ministries.
- Input regarding legislative processes: SAICE serves the public interest by offering unbiased technical and professional input on policy and legislative issues. Since 1994 SAICE has contributed to legislation including transformation, education, environment, water, waste management, labour, construction industry development and professional registration.
- Liaison with sister organizations: SAICE actively leads and pursues a networking policy which is aimed at integrating effort and developing common views with other technical and professional bodies. We strive to optimize resources, to enhance policy and to communicate trends.
- Promoting informed decision-making regarding funding of and investment in infrastructure
- Empowerment of decision-makers: the Civil Engineering Foundation, established by SAICE, has funded the development of a capacity building programme for local authority Councillors, faced with the responsibility of making major decisions relating to infrastructure development and its financing. The implications of delivery and maintenance of services are addressed in interactive workshops. Presentations to date have enhanced relations among community leaders, officials and Civil Engineering professionals.
- Identification of investment opportunities and available funding: SAICE has initiated a web page highlighting funding available from NGO's, banking institutions and the private sector for infrastructure development. The Find-a-fund programme serves to introduce developers to financiers and vice versa .
- Promoting an ethical and professional approach to the practice of civil engineering
- Code of ethics: SAICE members subscribe to a code of ethics which spells out the standards of integrity and responsibility of the individual member towards the public, colleagues, employers and society at large, and promotes the safety and health of the public and workers in all aspects of Civil Engineering.
- Professional registration: SAICE fully supports the need for compulsory, renewable registration, and compliance with the professional code of conduct as prescribed in the Engineering Act.
- Building the future profession by ensuring an adequate supply of high calibre candidates for civil engineering
- Career guidance: promotion of opportunities and careers in Civil Engineering is addressed by posters, brochures and nation-wide exhibiting at career guidance shows.
- Bridge building: the annual model bridge building competition for schools organized by the SAICE Branches gives students the opportunity to experiment with structures and gain an understanding of Civil Engineering.
- Bursaries: the SPEBS bursary scheme assists deserving students with funding for their studies in Civil Engineering. Since its inception in 1992, a total of 135 bursaries have been awarded to 87 students. This fund has positively supported the transformation initiative. Many beneficiaries have achieved excellent results, and one of the five women who have been assisted so far, was elected the best technikon student in SA in 1997.
Raising our public profile
Our networking, relationship building, and awareness programmes are enhanced by the following annual initiatives to maintain the profile of Civil Engineering in the public eye:
National awards: achievements in technical excellence, labour based efficiency and exports by South Africans are recognized in a high profile award programme, which also provides an ideal platform for media exposure.
Calendar: the annual SAICE calendar depicting Civil Engineering activities is distributed to approximately 2 000 decision makers in addition to the 8 000 copies mailed to members.
Press releases and policy statements: SAICE addresses national issues such as transformation, infrastructure development, failure of infrastructure, technical education and environmental protection by means of policy statements and press releases to ensure that the voice of Civil Engineering contributes to national debate and policy development.
Identifying and communicating opportunities to members
Rent-a-mentor: the need to increase capacity, particularly for project application evaluation in government departments, has lead SAICE to set up a register of professionals available for temporary employment on a project by project basis.
Export opportunities: SAICE has agreed to work with a number of other bodies to research and locate export opportunities for its members.
Mediation and arbitration: for the benefit of the industry, SAICE maintains a comprehensive panel of members in various fields of expertise to assist in resolving disputes.