A SAICE delegation led by SAICE President, Chris Herold, CEO Manglin Pillay, Past President Peter Kleynhans and President Elect Sundran Naicker met with NHBRC Director and Fellow of SAICE Dr Jeffery Mahachi and a number of invited engineering professionals from various sectors, including government, over a breakfast meeting to discuss the challenges associated with the transformation of SAICE structures to represent equally, black, women and young professionals.

Hosted at the Montecasino Pivot Convention Centre, the breakfast allowed the parties to share their perspectives of the role SAICE could play to ensure transformation.

Dr Mahachi explained the important role SAICE had to play in ensuring that it fairly upheld and represented the interests of all of its members. Dr Mahachi said this was only possible however if there was a commitment to truly listen and engage to the voices of women, black and young engineers. True transformation was in the interest of everyone, since its successful outcome was the improvement of the lives of all South Africans. “South African engineering problems are those that require multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted solutions, these cannot be achieved if the face of South African engineering is and remains one-dimensional in outlook and approach and basically removed from the real needs on the ground.”

Attendees present shared how their understanding of true transformation in engineering should be more than box ticking and be extended to the genuine empowering of previously disadvantaged minorities to be fully competent contributors to the overall vision of engineering – to sustainably improve the quality of life for all.

The SAICE delegation positively welcomed the concerns tabled by the attendees. Manglin Pillay emphasised the strides made by SAICE to the transformation project through its spear-heading of initiatives directed at it, which amongst others is the establishment of the Young Members Panel, Civilution forum and movement which are all dedicated to addressing the key issues tabled at the breakfast. “I invite everyone here with a burning concern to take it up personally with the many avenues SAICE provides for formal engagement for engineering issues facing the country, SAICE’s doors are open, the formal avenues to pursue all these issue are already available, help us, help you.

SAICE is not myself and the office bearers, SAICE is the total sum of the efforts of its members and affiliated bodies”.  Sundran Naicker encouraged all present to be the champions of the causes they believe in, “We are in the midst of an engineering revolution and we are only as strong and will only go as far as our commitment and dedication to the causes we champion – join the movement and let us all make a difference”.

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