The Civilution Forum met on Wednesday 30 April 2014 at The Concrete Institute in Midrand. The purpose of the meeting was to deliberate and reflect on the grounds gained after the Civilution Congress. 

The Civilution movement’s objective is, to encourage engineering practitioners to act and think differently with a view to contributing positively and constructively to address engineering issues and the manner in which we undertake work.

The Civilution Forum is a body that aims to lead, drive and monitor the Civilution movement. The objective of the Forum is to bring together, in a common space, all the major role players of the engineering industry and to collaborate on workable alternatives to industry problems. In essence the Forum seeks to advance the aspirations of the engineering profession as espoused by the Civilution movement.

Present at the meeting, were Carien Botha (SAIIE), Annemie Cowley and Amos Mtephe (SAFCEC), Anton Booyzen (SAAMA), Joop van Wamelen (SASTT), John Gosling (SAIEE), Bryan Perrie (The Concrete Institute), Manglin Pillay and Steven Kaplan (SAICE).

Participants all agreed that, whilst the Congress had in reality displayed some shortcomings, it succeeded in drawing attention to the movement by putting it on the map. In light of this, suggestions were tabled to improve the hosting and execution of the Congress in the future.

Initially the Forum had focussed on seven challenges, but after the Civilution Congress, and noting the extent of the challenges, and the resources required to provide solutions, the Forum identified three vital challenges that require urgent attention:

  1. Technical capacity in the government sector;
  2. Technical leadership and learned society activity; and
  3. Raising public, industry and government awareness of the value that engineering adds to the economy.

Under item (1) the Forum agreed to look into providing a group of experienced professionals from each institution to serve as a council of trusted advisors to relevant local government bodies. The City Manager of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM), Mr Khaya Ngema has opened a door for this initiative, and the Forum plans to offer such a service to the EMM. This will also serve as a pilot that will eventually be rolled out to other centres around the country – a group of engineering wise heads for city leaders to utilise as a sounding board for infrastructure delivery.

More details on this initiative will be provided as  it unfolds. 

The next Forum meeting is scheduled for 7 August 2014.

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