In my last letter, I discussed the lack of skills available to operate and maintain our infrastructure. This month, I present a more specific look at the critical skills required in manufacturing, which were not identified in the draft Critical Skills List.
First though, let me make it clear that by maintenance I do not simply mean fixing breakdowns and doing preventative maintenance. I am also talking about planning for the future. Planning additional dams to cope with population growth, more sewage treatment works, additional energy resources, etc.
With this strategic view of the future in mind, one of the most important skill sets overlooked in the draft list is that of the managing director (MD). South Africa is in the unfortunate position that it is totally reliant on international companies for the supply of sophisticated 4IR technologies. Furthermore, it seems that people assume anybody with a few years’ experience can fulfil the role of MD. We do not seem to understand that the MD must have a full overview of the technologies within his/her company – not just what is available today, but what is being developed for the future, the strategies to maintain a competitive edge, etc. To manage any company, especially an international one riding the wave of future technologies, a person does not only need a qualification and some experience, but also the vision and integrity to handle such a role.
In the current draft skills list, the focus seems to have been on positions that are currently vacant and advertised in one form or another. South Africa does not need more employees, we need entrepreneurs, people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates etc. Nothing in that list suggests that people with such ability have been classified as having ‘scarce skills’.
In future letters I will discuss the various professional categories and grades and the implementation of these. The era of the professional has arrived!
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO June 2021, SAIMC
It was interesting to see the comments around Cuban engineers being imported to do engineering work in South Africa. This brings me to the Identification of Engineering Work and Professional Registration ...
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A steam turbine is a device that extracts thermal energy from pressurised steam and uses it ...
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SAIMC Zambia held customer training sessions via Zoom with VEGA Controls of South Africa, presented by Chris Van den Heever. The sessions tackled were as follows: 1. Radar basics on Vegapuls 64: applications ...
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n integrated geared unit that combines the recently launched Nord IE5+ synchronous motor and a single-stage helical gear unit offers optimum system efficiency.
Read more...SAIMC: Durban branch May 2021, SAIMC
The branch held its April (virtual) technology evening on 7 April where SAIMC CEO, Johan Maartens, discussed the new skills trust fund initiative: how it works, how we will all benefit from it and how ...
Read more...SAIMC: Cape Town branch April 2021, SAIMC
We had an interesting presentation last month given by Allan Pead from Microsoft on the open source platform from Microsoft Azure Sphere – a secure IoT platform.
Allan is currently an Xamarin ...
Read more...SAIMC: Johannesburg branch April 2021, SAIMC
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One could ask the question, ...
Read more...SAIMC: Durban branch April 2021, SAIMC
Members and visitors were treated to a Zoom presentation that had the understated title: Introduction to ultrasonic flow measurement, by Marco Lopes of NIC KZN. Marco was ably backed up by Howard Lister, ...
Read more...SAIMC: Durban branch March 2021, SAIMC
The branch held its first virtual technology meeting of the year on 10 February, where John de Castro (a long-time friend of the Durban SAIMC) gave us some insight into his experiences working abroad. ...