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. Aligned with this, the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) holds an annual awards function in recognition of industry excellence, and is pleased to announce that this year, South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has partnered as the main awards sponsor.
Vishaal Lutchman, CEO of SAICE comments: “South Africa’s road network infrastructure is necessary for bolstering economic activity in terms of its provision, operations and maintenance. It is a prime example of what is possible when infrastructure is rolled out professionally.” South Africa’s national road network is widely acknowledged as being world-class. “We have long been aligned with SANRAL in our objective of supporting a strong civil engineering sector in South Africa, and are honoured to have them backing our annual awards process,” adds Lutchman.
Further, SAICE seeks to support SANRAL in projects going forward, fostering technical excellence and a partnership based on capacity building, knowledge creation and sharing. “We have a common development agenda and with the awards, showcase the value of industry collaboration,” says Lutchman.
Promoting and acknowledging professional excellence in the sector through these awards serves to meet various objectives. “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,” says Lutchman.
Fostering professional development
SAICE 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.
For example, the SAICE Academy offers a multi-disciplinary range of books and discounted CPD 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,” comments Lutchman. “For this reason, we launched SAICE Connect last year.” SAICE connect is a platform which helps members network with others in the industry, to 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 take place on 22 October and will recognise ten outstanding individuals in the sector. “We hope that we – 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.