If in general conversation we were asked to name prominent modern world leaders, we inevitably mention the names of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. I was reminded by Professor Mitch Gohnert, the Head of the Wits School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, that both these famous leaders were groomed on South African soil. This is a revelation of what South Africa is able to achieve.
For civil engineers, it is not business as usual. And the challenges are not confined to traditional design and construction. We are faced with blatant corruption, maladministration, suspicious leadership, and pressurising external influences and markets.
But this is an opportune climate for greatness and for champions to emerge.
We have entered into a struggle of a different kind – a new revolution where civil engineering is at the epicentre of the wave of change, to restore leadership and ethics and to provide unique solutions – a Civilution.
In this light, I wish to recognise and thank you as a SAICE volunteer for your contribution in building a nation. For little or no monetary benefit you still chose to immerse yourself in the cause.
Spurred by the Christmas season where we celebrate Heaven’s free gift, and because gratitude not expressed is of no use to anyone, I thank you and your family for the sacrifices you made during 2012. I also wish you a safe and festive holiday and a gracious 2013.