It is with great sadness that the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has learnt of the recent tragic collapse of advertising scaffolding and ensuing death and injuries, outside the Cape Town stadium before the Linkin Park concert.
The incident brings to the fore the importance of strict standards and regulations as far as construction and health and safety issues are concerned. The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is already investigating a complaint received the day after the tragedy and will act if there is a prima facie case.
As for the City of Cape Town, they have appointed structural engineering firm, Vela VKE and an aerodynamics expert, to conduct an investigation. Says Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, "They will report back to the City as soon as [it is] practical."
As a professional body SAICE promotes adherence to the professional standards and has a Code of Ethics for its more than 9 000 voluntary civil engineering practitioners. Furthermore, continuing professional development (CPD) is of extreme importance. By means of courses, lectures and other activities through which individuals can attain the necessary CPD points per five year-cycle, SAICE members are equipped to stay abreast of developments in their specific fields of expertise or knowledge.
In 2011, the then president of SAICE, Seetella Makhetha, for the first time recited:
Credo of the African Engineer
I am an engineer and in my profession I take deep pride.
To it I owe solemn obligations.
Since the origins of humanity on the continent of Africa,
human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius.
Engineers have made nature’s vast resources of material
and energy usable for humanity’s benefit.
Engineers have vitalised, and turned to practical use,
the principles of science and the means of technology.
Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience,
my efforts would be feeble.
As an engineer, I pledge to practise integrity and fair dealing,
tolerance and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards
and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill
carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making
the most sustainable use of Earth’s precious resources.
As an engineer I shall participate in none but honest enterprises.
When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given
without reservation, for the public good.
In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession