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Issue 29 - April 2019
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What`s inside

01 Editors Note
02 Voluntary Associations engaged by Minister of Public Enterprises in the quest to find solutions to the country’s electricity power supply constraints
03 ECSA extends its digital footprint to allow registered persons to make payments through SagePay
04 VA's engaged on the VA and CPD Framework
05 ECSA goes mobile to improve its accessibility to stakeholders
06 Engenius Participates at the 23rd Scifest Africa in Grahamstown



Dear Reader


The 2018/19 financial year has come to an end and with it came a number of milestones that have been achieved by the Engineering Council of South Africa. These milestones continue to position ECSA as the pioneer in driving engineering excellence.

The previous editions of the E-Bulletin have highlighted some of these achievements and this edition seeks to highlight some of the stakeholder engagements that have taken place during this quarter as well as the strides ECSA has made in pursing to be abreast and afoot of the technological advancements in South Africa.

The first article in this edition seeks to update registered persons on the meeting held between a combined engineering discipline based representative group under the auspices of Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the Minister of Public Enterprise, Mr Pravin Gordhan.

The second article highlights the technological advancements ECSA has made with regards to now enabling registered persons to receive invoices and make payments online through SagePay.

This edition will further update registered persons on the second workshop that was held with Voluntary Associations that sought to update and inform the VA’s on the new gazetted VA and CPD Frameworks.

ECSA is also in the infant stages of ECSA Onsite Registration initiative; a programme which seeks to bring ECSA to organisations to facilitate a review of applications that have a concentration of practitioners that wish to make an application for professional registration.

Lastly this edition will capture the activities that took place as ECSA engaged hundreds of school learners through Engenius programme at South Africa’s National Science Festival hosted by the Grahamstown Foundation in Grahamstown. 

Enjoy the read.
Millicent Kabwe



Minister Pravin Gordhan addressing Voluntary Associations on the challenges at ESKOM



Voluntary Associations engaged by Minister of Public Enterprises in the quest to find solutions to the country’s electricity power supply constraints

A combined engineering discipline based representative group under the auspices of Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) met with the Minister of Public Enterprise, Mr Pravin Gordhan on Friday, 15 February 2019 to discuss their concerns and solutions over strained power supply challenges at Eskom.

This meeting comes as numerous calls have been made for the creation of a collaborative platform where business, government and Eskom can work together on practical solutions and charter a way forward in the effort to address short-term operational challenges facing the power utility which have left households without power and in turn impacting on the economy.
Furthermore, the meeting was called to discuss operational challenges, engineering, technical capacity and capability, restructuring and the financial viability faced by the utility.  

In the effort to find solutions, the Minister in consultation with ECSA tasked the CEO of the South Africa Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), Mr Sicelo Xulu to present him with their analysis of the challenges facing Eskom and to propose how the South African Engineering fraternity could get involved in, and assist, Eskom and the Minster to develop a coherent plan to achieve operational stability, effective, suitable maintenance and system resilience in the electricity network.

Following this engagement, the engineering community has been asked to propose a framework for working together with Eskom and the ministry to find solution in operational, logistical, systems, maintenance and capital project areas of the challenge faced by Eskom.

The meeting also reiterated the engineering fraternity’s commitment to be part of the ever-lasting solution in resolving the power generation constraints which forced the Utility to implement load shedding. The engineering bodies have been instrumental in the design, engineering and building the South African electricity supply and infrastructure over the years and have expressed their willingness to work with local and external experts to tackle and solve the extensive challenges faced.

Although Eskom could not guarantee that load shedding would be something of the past, once some of the interventions are implemented, the Utility has in a media briefing indicated that a winter plan has been developed and at most, the utility would implement Stage 1 load shedding, up until August. These interventions are part of reinforce action currently being taken to stabilise the power utility and secure electricity supply.





ECSA extends its digital footprint to allow Registered Persons to make payments through SagePay

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has extended its digital footprint and now allows Registered Persons to make payments through SagePay.

The transformation from manual to online seeks to streamline processes, make use of technologies to enhance ECSA`s interaction with Registered Persons, and deliver excellent customer experience.

On an annual basis Registered Persons will receive an invoice through email with a SagePay icon at the bottom. In order to make payment Registered Persons can click on the SagePay icon or scan the QR code. Registered Persons may not make use of any other link that is not on the invoice as a SagePay icon. If a Registered Person receives an SMS with the SagePay link, but has not received an invoice from ECSA, the Registered Person should contact the ECSA accounts department before making payment. 

This service is an extension of services offered by the ECSA portal which offers a range of services for registered and unregistered persons.  For Registered Persons the portal provides a range of Continued Professional Development Activities (CPD) and enables the them to upload CPD activities that have been attended. Furthermore, the portal allows Registered Persons to update their contact information as and when their details change. Registered Person can also access the invoices through the portal and as mentioned above and make payments through the portal. Unregistered Persons are also invited to go onto the portal and apply for registration as well as check on the progress of the registration.

Access to the portal can be achieved through following the steps below:
Step 1 -
Step 2 - scroll down to the bottom under external links and select ECSA online
Step 3 - it will then redirect you to the portal.

For registered users that do not have access to the portal will need to redeem an invitation that is sent to them from ECSA which will then grant them access to their profile on the system. If a stakeholder is a non-ECSA member, they will have to register on the portal as a new registration or call in for assistance.

ECSA will continuously improve its interaction with its stakeholders through tapping into platforms that seek to streamline processes and in turn reduce the pressures from the stakeholders.

Mashudu Tshifura



Voluntary Associations addressed at the VA and CPD Framework Workshop



VA's engaged on the VA and CPD Framework

“It gives me great pleasure to see all of us here with a common purpose, which is that of opening a dialog for the industry to start talking more to each other in order to build, strengthen and maintain relationships that will be beneficial to all of us now and in the future”.

This was the opening remark by Mr Sipho Madonsela, CEO of the Engineering Council of South Africa as he welcomed members from Voluntary Associations (VA`s) to the second workshop on the newly gazetted Voluntary Association and Continued Professional Development (CPD) Frameworks. 

The workshop which was held on Thursday, 21 February 2019, at Emperors Palace, Boksburg, comes amid the changes made on both the Voluntary Association and Continued Professional Development Frameworks which impact on ECSA`s stakeholders. 

The workshop which saw ECSA`s main stakeholders gathered in one room to deliberate on the frameworks, aimed at soliciting ideas and informing VA`s on how the new frameworks would be implemented going forward.

On the VA Framework, Mr Christopher Tsatsawane, Strategic Services Executive at ECSA explained that VA`s will now be recognised either under category A or B and not C as per the previous framework.

The minimum conditions of being recognised as a VA under Category A would require the VA to have at least 100 voting members who are in good standing with the Association with the majority being registered persons and in good standing with ECSA with regard to fees and CPD activities.

VA`s who wish to be recognised under Category B would need to have at least ten corporate members who are in good standing with the association. While these criteria are the minimum, they are not exhaustive and VA`s are encouraged to look at the new framework to ensure that they meet the entire criteria of both categories when they apply.  

Once a VA is recognised, its recognition is valid for a period of five years. Once the recognition has expired, the VA should renew its recognition added Mr Tsatsawane. 

Presenting the revised CPD rules and framework Mr Edmund Nxumalo, Executive of Research, Policy and Standards at ECSA, said the revised and approved rules and framework stipulates that ECSA will be the sole authority in accrediting, monitoring, and validating the CPD activities and providers.

Mr Nxumalo added that this will result in ECSA developing an accreditation policy framework that will be followed by universities and VA`s to verify CPD providers and validate activities. Furthermore, ECSA will also develop a policy for auditing and monitoring of VA`s and universities. 

Concluding the workshop, Mr Cyril Gamede President of ECSA who was humbled by the manner in which the workshop was conducted said, “one of the key themes that came out strongly today was we need to ensure that there is equity in participation without the loss of the quality and in so doing improving the sector in which we operate in”.

While this was the last consultation workshop with Voluntary Associations on the VA and CPD Frameworks, ECSA will continue forging efforts to ensure that its stakeholders are well informed on policy matters.

Mbalenhle Dlamini





ECSA goes mobile to improve its accessibility to stakeholders

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) in its effort to ensure it becomes more accessible to its stakeholders, has started the initiative called “ECSA Onsite Registration”.
The initiative came as a result of ECSA noting an increase in the number of refusals of applications for professional registrations. These refusals are as a result of a number of factors including the poor quality of the application.
The initiative seeks to facilitate a review of applications in organisations that have a concentration of practitioners that wish to make an application for professional registration. These practitioners should meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a ECSA accredited qualification or if the qualification is not ECSA accredited, it should have gone through the qualification evaluation process at ECSA;
  • Minimum of 3 years work experience post obtaining the ECSA recognised benchmark qualification for the category they would like to apply in which include:
  • Pr Engineer – BSc Eng;
  • Pr Technologist – B Tech; 
  • Pr Technician – National Diploma and;
  • Has gone through the relevant policy R03PE/PT/PN and is comfortable that they do meet the 11 ECSA competency standards they are going to be assessed against.

This initiative takes on a two pronged approach which involves the Road to Registration workshop as well as the two-day application screening. This will be conducted in the following manner:

  1. Present a one-day Road to Registration Workshop to applicants almost ready to submit (within 3 months), to detail the requirements and process of registration
  2. Follow up three months later with a two-day Application Screening Workshop, to go through individual applications ensuring the applications are completed satisfactorily. The three-month period is for applicants to complete/update their application based on the Road to Registration workshop.
  3. On completion of the Application Screening Workshop, ECSA will collect the applications that are ready for submission and take payment on site. In the event an organization has a large number of applications ready for submission a discounted application fee will be offered on those collected. The discount to be offered is as follows:
    • 10 - 40 applications 5% discount on application fee,
    • 41 – 80 applications 10% discount on application fee,
    • 81 – 120 applications 15% discount on application fee,
    • More than 120 applications 20% discount on application fee.

While the ECSA Onsite Registration initiative is still in its infant stage, it invites organisations who are interested to make contact with ECSA as we forge ahead in ensuring that stakeholders are informed and kept abreast of key developments on this particular initiative and others.

Mashudu Tshifura



Primary and High School Learners engaged at the Scifest Africa in Grahamstown



Engenius Participates at the 23rd Scifest Africa in Grahamstown

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) through its school programme – Engenius- participated in the 2019 South Africa National Science Festival (Scifest Africa) programme which saw thousands of learners and families from Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas come in numbers eager to learn.

Through its participation ECSA reached over a 1000 learners through engagements on the different engineering disciplines and careers.

Key to this engagement between the learners and ECSA were games and an informative question and answer session that sought to educate the learners on the fundamentals of what engineering seeks to achieve, how one becomes an engineer, the subjects a learner would need to take in high school to propel them a step closer to becoming an engineer as well as exposing the leaners on the different disciplines and changing the narrative of saying; only those from privileged backgrounds can become engineers.

The twenty third Scifest Africa kicked off in Grahamstown on 6 March 2019, with the six day programme ending on Tuesday, 12 March 2019.

Scifest Africa is a project managed by the National Art Festival on behalf of the Grahamstown Foundation supported by the Department of Science and Technology, and it celebrated its 23rd anniversary under the theme “Discover your element”. The theme celebrated the international year of the Periodic Table of Chemical elements and several anniversaries in the history of chemistry as proclaimed by the United Nations.

The six day programme aimed to highlight the importance of science and technology and the various sectors that impact on it, part of which being the engineering sector and boasted a full packed programme that entailed lectures, workshops as well as exhibitions.

The lecture sessions afforded the festival its trademark international flavour and proudly welcomed esteemed international and South African scientists and researchers to the celebration of science. 

The workshops entailed fun hands on activities that afforded attendees an opportunity to immerse themselves in the practice of science. This involved, the sci-fi film, the laser show, the sunset show as well as an activity that entailed digging for fossils.
The exhibitors from the science, technology and engineering sectors ensured that the learners were well informed and entertained in between the lectures as well as the workshops that took place.

With this programme running since 1996, identifying and designing unique interactive events and educational resources with scientific integrity to advance science, facilitating learning in an informal and none threatening way, it is of no question that the opening of Former Minister of Science and Technology Ms Naledi Pandor at the previous Science Forum where said “Science holds answers to Africa’s ills”, will certainly be explored.  

Mashudu Tshifura and Lesego Motsoahae


Thank you for reading...until next time:

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