The SAICE Presidential delegation led by SAICE President Sundran Naicker and CEO Manglin Pillay visited the Drakensberg region on 18 August 2017. The delegation accompanied by members of the local branch committee went on a site visit of the Cornelius River Dam. The approximately R100 million project is scheduled to be complete in 2018 and will bring potable water to hundreds of local families in Warden and surrounding communities.

Members of the local committee also had the opportunity to interact first hand with the President at a luncheon event through a participatory workshop where local members were put into groups and tasked with identifying issues and challenges affecting their local industry and providing suggestions to the delegation on how SAICE should go about addressing them effectively. Groups brainstormed on each of the following key issues:

1) How can SAICE better serve its membership?

2) What are the challenges facing the region?

3) How can SAICE help fight corruption?

4) How should SAICE go about interacting with government and at what level?

5) What is the culture of civil engineering profession presently? What culture should the civil engineering profession be aspiring to have in the future?

The President took the time to respond to the issues raised and provide insight as to how he was leading SAICE as an institution to alleviate the concerns members were facing.

The delegation also commended the local branch members on the great work the local industry was doing in spite of the current challenges facing industry – and urged them to not give in to feelings of disillusion. “Everyone doesn’t always appreciate the work of civil engineers but that should not keep us doing our work, our communities and our nation depend on us”.

The President concluded the session with presenting senior member John Matchett (78) who has been a member of SAICE for 51 years with a certificate of appreciation for his longstanding membership and loyalty to the institution.

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