SAICE national president joins Lim to reboot, rebuild
The Limpopo branch of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) welcomed SAICE president Prof Marianne Vanderschuren at their branch meeting at Pietersburg Club last Thursday.
The meeting afforded SAICE members an opportunity to meet with the institution’s leadership and to interact with fellow members. SAICE Limpopo vice-chair Johan Jansen van Vuuren provided some information regarding the Limpopo branch and was followed by SAICE past president Erroll Kerst, who gave an oversight of SAICE national. Kerst indicated that SAICE Limpopo currently has 378 members, , with 176 from Polokwane, , 38 from Tzaneen, nine from Lephalale and 152 spread over the province. Kishan Tulsi, Roads Agency Limpopo general manager of planning and design, also took to the podium to provide more information about Limpopo roads and the status thereof. Vanderschuren then delivered her presentation with the theme ‘Reboot and rebuild’ and said the South African Reserve Bank is expected to raise interest rates three more times this year and that low-income households are the most vulnerable to higher food prices.
“The primary and secondary sectors are highly exposed to fuel costs and there is a weaker outlook for the South African economy as global growth slows and load-shedding schedules increase,” Vanderschuren said and added that around 10% of the country’s wheat consumption is usually imported from Ukraine and Russia.
According to Vanderschuren, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) asserted in 2010 that the international benchmark of an average population per engineer showed that South Africa lags behind other developing countries. “SA’s ratio is 1:3166 engineers, while Brazil stands at 1:227 engineers and Malaysia at 1:543 engineers. Given the increase in urbanisation, the ratio of civil engineering staff per 100 000 population, has decreased from 6,2 persons to 5,9 persons, suggesting a shortfall of between 3 400 and 4 100 professionals in 2005 already,” she explained.
Vanderschuren painted a bleak picture when she mentioned that SAICE estimates that
South Africa is currently losing 20 civil engineering staff members per month due