SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: Changes at SAIMC

November 2023 SAIMC

Johan Maartens

First, I must say that this is the day after the Springboks played the semi-finals.Congratulations to all the people in the Springbok camp. What a show of unity, combined with humility and strength. What stood out for me was that the coaches did not tell them to play harder, they knew what they should do. The coaches brought them together as one team − the starting fifteen, the players on the bench and the non-players. This is what makes a team we can be very proud of. Rugby has once again brought South Africans together as one nation: no white apartheid, no black apartheid, just South Africans.

But let me get back to SAIMC.

Structure changes

During the SAIMC 2026 strategy session held in October 2023, we discussed the exciting changes and challenges ahead. Our organisation has significantly transformed its structure since our last strategy session, SAIMC 2023, which was held five years ago. This changing structure reflects our commitment to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving industry. Here are some highlights:

• Two universities joined SAIMC as Didactic Members, Tshwane University of Technology and Nelson Mandela University.

• ECSA requested SAIMC to assist with Mechatronics Engineering and Computer Engineering documentation.

• MESA joined us as an Advisory Council.

• Our membership nearly doubled during 2023, to over 1000 members.

Taking advantage of new technologies

The rapid advancements in automation, artificial intelligence and robotics have revolutionised our world. We must stay ahead of the curve and leverage these technologies to our advantage.

Training and partnerships

We must continue with our culture of continuous learning and adaptability, but in such a way that we do not lose our identity. We must invest in training programmes, workshops and partnerships that equip our members with the necessary skills to navigate this technology landscape. By embracing these new technologies, we can unlock unprecedented opportunities for growth and innovation.


Furthermore, we need to establish and maintain strong links with industry leaders, academia and government bodies to stay informed about the latest trends and regulations. This will enable us to shape policies and standards that promote the responsible and ethical use of automation technologies.

Redefining our purpose

The updated strategy meeting for SAIMC presented us with a unique opportunity to redefine our organisation’s purpose, embrace change, harness the power of new technologies, and review our motto.

A new motto to shape our future identity

One of the critical issues we needed to address was the need for a new motto. A motto serves as a guiding principle, encapsulating our values and aspirations. It should resonate with our members and stakeholders, inspiring them to embrace change and innovation, and it should shape our collective identity moving forward.

The results

Due to all these changes, combined with the new automation technologies we are facing, we have changed our motto from ‘Progress by Control’ to ‘Inspiring Automation’.

Our vision is to empower our members, individuals and companies.

Our mission is:

• Promote automation.

• Facilitate knowledge sharing.

• Ensure sustainable growth of the SAIMC.

• Provide accreditation.

• Influence policy development.

• Promote industry visibility.

Our focus areas for the next three years will be:

• Strengthening the organisational structure.

• Education and training.

• Stakeholder collaboration platforms.

• Creating a value proposition for our members.

• Public relations.

As we work on this roadmap, we are depending on each of our members to support and advise us as we enter an exciting future of continuous innovation and change.

Yours in automation

Johan Maartens.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: The SAIMC and Computer Engineering
In 2023, the SAIMC NPC and MESA Africa NPC joined forces, as their areas of activity had grown closer together. During this same time, ECSA recognised Computer Engineering as a separate discipline and asked the SAIMC to work on the initial Code of Practice for Computer Engineering.

SAIMC: Durban branch
SAIMC Durban branch held a very well supported technology evening that was sponsored by UIC Control & Automation in celebration of their 50 years of successful service to industry.

SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
At the SAIMC Johannesburg meeting held in June, DesSoft gave a presentation on the importance of having smart tools that facilitate information sharing between process, electrical and instrumentation departments.

Telemetry from the cave to the modern world
Retired instrument lead engineer, Stephen Theron remembers what it was like in the old days.

From the office of the CEO: To AI or not to AI – that is the question
South Africa boasts one of Africa’s largest economies, and has one of the world’s most diverse and profitable agricultural sectors. Meanwhile, the Daily Investor reports that our 30-year GDP growth is half that of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
At the May meeting of the SAIMC Johannesburg branch there were two presentations, one by Manqoba Gumede who has written a book on industrial instrumentation and process control, and the other by Johan Maartens, the CEO of SAIMC, on registering with ECSA.

SAIMC: Durban branch technology meeting
The May technology meeting of the Durban branch of the SAIMC was well attended, and it was great to see some new faces there.

SAIMC: Durban branch golf day
May is a beautiful time of the year in Durban, but 10 May, when the Durban golf day was held at the Kloof Country Club, surpassed even the most beautiful days of the past, with hot and sunny conditions.

From the office of the CEO: Be warned, you are doing engineering work if …
This is not a new law. The only thing that is new is that ‘engineering work’ is now defined. You need to study the definition for yourself.

SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
At the meeting of the Johannesburg branch of the SAIMC held on 10 April 2024, Sagadevan Kanniappen, sales application specialist for WIKA South Africa, delivered a presentation on the ASME Performance Test Code 19.3.