A gift by Manglin Pillay

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Stephen Grellet (Quaker Minister) 1773-1855 In a…

Building bridges for the breaking

The finals of the very successful annual BKS-SAICE International Bridge Building Competition organised by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) were held at the St Albans College in Pretoria. BKS has once again provided the major sponsorship for the event – for the fourth year running! This exciting competition attracts the participation of approximately…

Branch visits

SAICE National Office, in close corporation with the SAICE Branches, organises presidential visits to all the Branches around the country, as well as to all the Technical Divisions. SAICE has 18 Branches and 9 Technical Divisions. These visits afford the SAICE President and CEO the opportunity to engage with members and with SAICE student chapters…

Graduation day

Everyone has a landmark day or event that defines a breakthrough moment or turning point in their professional or personal lives. Interestingly, I have never learned the distinction between professional time and personal time; as though the transition between the two was triggered by the flick of a switch – when living becomes a resolute…

You can but you may not – By Manglin Pillay

Despite being in my mid-thirties, I still dread visiting the dentist where, on a recent visit, I noticed that the other teeth and gum conscious citizens, together with the receptionist, liberally referred to the dentist as ‘doctor,’ sometimes in the presence of the dentist herself. Is a dentist a doctor – in the traditional sense?…

How many degrees in a half circle

Civil engineering in South Africa We are constantly confronted with the news that civil engineering is one of the priority scarce skills that South Africa needs to ensure the creation, maintenance and development of infrastructure that would lead to social and economic growth. Simultaneously, South Africa is losing qualified engineers to other countries and disciplines.…

Vuk’uzenzele Get up and do it yourself

I find recent calls for Benni McCarthy and Siyabonga ‘Bhele’ Nomvethe to be part of the national football team again, quite interesting. Their recent performance records at Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows have shown their spectacular abilities. McCarthy’s goal, a classic overhead kick, against Maritzburg United in the PSL recently tells you that he old…

SAICE Civil Talk

National Development Plan (NDP): “A plan is only as good as its delivery mechanism is viable” This gathering of minds happened at SAICE House in April. Piroshaw Camay chaired the meeting and introduced the panellists. They were Trueman Goba (National Planning Commissioner, Executive Chairman of Goba Consulting and President of SAICE in 2002), Malani Padayachee-Saman…

A Succession plan for SA civil engineering

INTRODUCTION On 11 November 2011 the National Planning Commission (NPC) unveiled the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. The core objective of the Plan is to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by creating opportunities. The Diagnostic Report that preceded the Plan, and that was published by the NPC in June 2011, identified nine challenges, namely:…