SAICE hosted its second instalment of the Civil Talk series on 25 July 2019, at the SAICE House, in Midrand. The event saw a panel of expert leaders and engineers share insight and wisdom into the current economic and commercial climate and whether industry had to endure more failure due to professionals cutting corners.

The panel of experts included; Webster Mfebe (South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, Chief Executive Officer), Edwin Kruger (SANRAL, Bridge Network Manager), Professor Jan Wium (Civil engineer and Professor at Stellenbosch University) and Malcolm Pautz (2015 SAICE President and Principal: Infrastructure and PPP Advisory at Genesis-Analytics).

Each panellist was given approximately 10 minutes to deliver their presentations, present any statistic  and key insights on the topic, whilst highlighting critical points that focused on the following: how professional practice keeps their Quality Control System in place when they are retrenching, how far does the professional take their factors of safety in design, the benefit in undertaking work at risk, hoping to be awarded a project when finance is available (or when the project becomes viable), the luxury of having highly experienced older (and more expensive) engineers being sacrificed to be able to keep the doors open and many other pertinent concerns. Thereafter, the floor was opened to the much anticipated question and answer session with audience members.

The session concluded on a positive note with Pautz reiterating that individually industry could not achieve as much as it could collectively. “As a civil engineering practitioner, I am striving to improve collaboration with all sectors in whatever part I may play”, noted Pautz.



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