In the week of 4th March 2019, the SAICE Presidential delegation including Acting SAICE CEO, Steven Kaplan, SAICE 2019 President, Brian Downie, and SAICE Communications, Lorraine Mpofana made their way to Cape Town for a 2-day visit to the Western Cape. As part of their visit, the Presidential Delegation engaged with HOD’s, Staff and students of the three Western Cape tertiary institutions (CPUT, UCT and Stellenbosch) where constructive engagements were had with regards to the role SAICE can play in institutions and engaging with student engineers – a key part of SAICE’s aims for this year. The highlight of the SAICE Presidential Visit, the Presidential Address to the SAICE Western Cape Branch, was hosted at the Granger Bay Hotel School with just under a one hundred branch members in attendance. SAICE President Brian Downie, gave an informative and inspiring address regarding the changing role of engineers, calling on us all to adapt to the changing landscape as it pertains to development of technology, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and wide spread access to information via. applications and the internet. The President’s address also strongly featured a call to give back to local communities – challenging branch members to take on the challenge of finding a local school and introducing them to Khan Academy – an online tutoring and teaching application that is slowly being adopted by the South African Department of Basic Education.
SAICE Acting CEO, Steven Kaplan, also addressed the Branch on a wide range of issues currently being championed by SAICE on behalf of all members – including providing an update on the current Voluntary Association court action against ECSA, current issues with discounting by consultants, updates with regards to work on gender inclusivity, and the recent termination of the contract of the former CEO.
Both addresses by the SAICE President and SAICE Acting CEO, stimulated some thought-provoking debate and discussions which were had over a wonderful cocktail type food offering after the conclusion of the presentations.
Special thanks must go to the SAICE Presidential delegation, the select SAICE Western Cape Committee members for taking the time to join the Presidential delegation on their visits, as well Ms. Veronica Coetzee for her organisation and planning of the Branch Address. A big thank you must also go to all branch members who attended the presidential address.