WITH the construction industry again the worst-performing sector in 2021, the time has come for consulting engineers to step up to the challenge of turning the tide for the better with a commitment to service.
That was the message from Olu Soluade, newly appointed President of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), speaking to the media in Sandton recently.
“We know what needs to be done to move our industry and our country forward – it is the way we do it which will define our success. I believe the time has come for us all to get involved in contributing to the economic recovery of our country,” said Soluade, who succeeds outgoing president Sugen Pillay and will serve for the 2022/23 period.
In selecting his presidential theme for the year, Soluade focused his message on “A Call to Service”, saying this required leading by example. “This means talking the talk and walking the walk – with integrity and excellence. Successfully working in service for this public need will greatly aid in achieving our goals and motivating our industry.”
He listed five core areas which will underpin CESA activities for the year ahead.
- Increase advocacy efforts in the area of sustainable transformation in respect of race, gender, and technology in our sector.
- Maintain the standards of professionalism and build on the levels of quality management whilst encouraging CESA members to integrate sustainability into the solutions offered to their clients.
- Improve on the business and advisory support to members and clients with an emphasis on best practice procurement.
- Continue efforts towards building and strengthening partnerships with government, private sector client bodies of our members as well as with other stakeholders.
- Ensure that good governance and integrity prevail within the industry and profession, particularly amongst CESA members as the apex body for the consulting engineering sector in the country.
He also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa, as he prepares for his State of the Nation address tomorrow, to focus government’s efforts to unlock the much publicised, close to R900-billion project pipeline.
“We believe the state can achieve this by leveraging as much of the technical and built environment capacity in the private sector as is needed to fill the gaps that exist in public sector as a matter of urgency.”
He added that the public sector is generally regarded as the most important client to the industry, and the role of the public sector remains critical to the engineering profession.