SAIMC


‘Engineering Work’ is catching companies sleeping

November 2022 SAIMC


Johan Maartens

Engineering is a complex, ever-evolving world that demands change within organisations and the way in which they are run. A long-dormant clause in an Act of government is set to enforce new strictures on directors and managers imminently, with serious implications in the form of penalties and possibly even sanctions.

Why now, suddenly?

The Professional Engineering Act is catching many business owners and managers unprepared. Originally gazetted in 2000, one particular clause in the Act which defines ‘Engineering Work’ has been forced to wait in the wings. It eventually passed all hurdles and has now been thrust into the limelight. Unbeknown to many technical staff and their companies’ management teams, it is they who are expected – or rather, legally obligated – to perform at centre stage.

At the risk of being undiplomatic, my question to the management staff of businesses (including financial, technical, quality and legal departments) is: Are you aware of the impact of this law from 2000, and have you considered its impact on your business, or are you waiting and hoping that by ignoring it, it will all go away?

The reason I am putting this message out now is to alert the engineering industry at large to the urgency with which individuals and their companies must ensure they comply with the Act. Compliance with ‘Engineering Work’ standards, as (eventually) defined in the Act only last year, will come into effect at the start of 2025. Two and a half years might seem like a long time from now, but registration of technical staff (not just engineers) must be performed by the end of 2022 in some cases – read on for more granular detail of who, and by when.

What hoops do I have to jump through?

As from 1 January 2025, people doing ‘Engineering Work’ need to do so under the supervision of a registered person, or face a possible fine of up to twice the salary they earned while doing said work. Another complication is that many managers, despite understanding the engineering work their own organisation conducts inside-out, do not know what ‘Engineering Work’ is in the context of the Professional Engineering Act. Quality managers, in particular, are responsible for ensuring that their organisation is aware of all legal Acts that have an impact on their business.

The registration of applicable persons falls under the purview of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). Besides registering with ECSA, staff must also obtain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points to stay up to date with the knowledge and skills necessary to support their businesses. Obtaining CPD points means that technical staff must be given the opportunity to join a Voluntary Association, attend courses, seminars, exhibitions and similar events that have secured the necessary CPD status. Individuals are required to obtain 25 points in three categories over a five-year cycle to remain registered.

How do I go about registering?

As a non-profit statutory body, ECSA does not have unlimited resources – that goes not only for finances, but also time (particularly given the urgency of this matter) and qualified assessors, who must themselves be registered with the Council. What is more, the review process is intense and time-consuming in order to ensure fairness while also adhering strictly to the prescribed regulations.

As such, in my capacity as CEO of the Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control (SAIMC – an ECSA-affiliated association), I issue the following call to action for all individuals and businesses affected:

• Investigate this Act, together with the applicable Government Gazette. They are both available on the ECSA website as well as the SAIMC website.

• Allow your technical staff to join a Voluntary Association and assist with the duties of the association’s committees. Apart from serving the industry, it will also give them CPD points.

• Allow your staff to attend CPD-accredited events like training courses, exhibitions and the like. Apart from gaining knowledge and skills to strengthen your business, they will also obtain the CPD points they need to remain registered.

The registration of technical staff is already underway, and has been split up alphabetically in order to manage the process as effectively and efficiently as possible:

• Last names starting with A through K need to register in 2022.

• Last names starting with L through Q need to register in 2023.

• Last names starting with R through Z need to register in 2024.

• Anybody can register at any time – before or after the scheduled year – however, those who need to register in that specific year receive preference.

For supporting information and documentation, visit www.ecsa.co.za or www.saimc.co.za, and direct any queries to the contact details published on the websites.


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Reminiscences of a life in control
Michael Brown Control Engineering SAIMC
Reminiscences from Michael Brown on a long and rich journey in the world of automation together with SAIMC.

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: Cavemen to Chatbots
SAIMC
This month, we have a contribution to our Cavemen to Chatbots challenge. The idea is to reminisce on where our industry came from, and where it is headed.

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: Time for action
SAIMC SAIMC
SAIMC’s vision for 2026 identified several projects for the near future. Members often request a letter of support or recommendation for a new job. SAIMC has created a template that will enable it to provide you with a letter that will positively influence the reader.

Read more...
SAIMC: Durban branch – Annual dinner
SAIMC
The Durban branch of the SAIMC held their much loved and well supported annual year end dinner at the Mount Edgecombe Country Club in late November.

Read more...
SAIMC: Secunda branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The SAIMC Secunda branch recently hosted an ECSA workshop. It was facilitated by Johan Maartens, CEO of SAIMC. The purpose of the workshop was to guide candidates on the latest ECSA registration requirements for technicians, technologists and engineers.

Read more...
SAIMC gala dinner
SAIMC Supplier Advisory Council SAIMC
Under the skies of the most beautiful Johannesburg evening, the 2023 SAIMC gala dinner kicked off with champagne on the deck of the Fairway Hotel and Spa, and the stage was set for another glittering occasion.

Read more...
SAIMC: Durban branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The Durban branch October technology meeting was well attended, and the audience was keen to hear about navigating the digital value change and bridging the gap from sensors to the boardroom.

Read more...
SAIMC: Secunda branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The SAIMC Secunda branch held its monthly technology evening on 4 October at the Proconics office in Secunda. Bruce Bonte from Yokogawa presented on differential pressure and blocked impulse lines.

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: Changes at SAIMC
SAIMC SAIMC
During its 2026 strategy session, SAIMC discussed the exciting changes and challenges ahead, and plotted the way forward.

Read more...
Category 1 CPD points
SAIMC SAIMC News
SAIMC has decided to publish a quiz every month from information contained in I&C magazine. This quiz could earn you one CPD point in Category 1 if you pass with 80% or more.

Read more...