The Society for Graduate and Professional  Engineers





Engineering Council of South Africa ( ECSA )

International Engineering Bodies Pull the Plug on ECSA


Engineering Council UK Pulls Plug on ECSA

International Engineering Alliance Pulls plug on ECSA

Engineers Ireland Pulls Plug on ECSA

ISPE no longer Recognises ECSA



Business Day Report in South Africa Monday 20th October 2008




ECSA's last resort - Sunday Times 12 October 2008


Attached please find a copy of the Built Environment Professions Bill ( B 53-2008 ) for your information.( Sunday Times 29-06-2008 )

We have been informed by a very reliable source, that their proposed Bill has already been approved and that the said notice is merely a formality to comply with the legal requirements before the Bill is passed into Legislation.

Effectively ECSA will be dissolved and be incorporated into the Built Environment at the end of August 2008.

We have also been informed that the Current Chairman of the Council for Built Environment ( CBE ) Mr. Sipho Madonsela will continue as the Chairman of the 'enhanced' body, incorporating the Engineers and Engineering Council.

Ironically Mr Sipho Madonsela was dismissed as President of the Engineering Council in September 2007 for "a number of incidents and unfortunate set of circumstances".( article on our site under Engineering Reports)

SPE predicted and documented all the events since 1998 which have led to the current demise of the Engineering Profession, and SPE chose not to seek recognition by ECSA because of our vision into the future.

Sadly all our predictions to date have always been correct. By way of example we attach our letter to ECSA dated 24-05-2005 which is one of many written to ECSA.

SPE also warned ECSA not to appoint Mr Sipho Madonsela as its President, but ECSA has always known better and chose to go their own way, which eventually led to his dismissal.

In view of all the ramifications to Engineers which will take place after September and affect the Engineering Profession, we have set up a Professional Engineering Placement office in the UK and the USA for the convenience of South African Engineers. We have also increases the Capacity of all our Web sites to 350GB each to handle all CV's and free advertising for members.

The International Society for Professional Engineers is offering all South African Engineers a special deal to buy or buy back their membership and this is in preparation for exciting new developments.

New Members can purchase a current membership at R457-00 per annum till 31st December 2008 and we will extend this to the end of 2009. ( 6 months saving Conditions apply ) This offer is valid until the 30th July 2008. After this date new application fees will apply.

Application forms available on our site.

For top positions send your CV's to us at p <> or visit our sites as shown below and obtain our address in the UK or USA.

We are here to stay.

In engineering Yours,

International Society for Professional Engineers

Subject: Notice of Built Environment Professions Bill ( B 53-2008) For Information


International Letters to ECSA
SPE Letter to ECSA

Subject: Notice of Built Environment Professions Bill ( B 53-2008) For Information






SPE Letter to ECSA


Picture by: Duane Daws

ECSA vice-president Bob Pullen

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia - Engineering News

Published: 11 Sep 07 - 12:37

The Engineering Council of South Africa (Ecsa) has removed its president, Sipho Madonsela, the body announced on Tuesday.

Ecsa vice-president Bob Pullen said in a statement that the council decided to rescind Madonsela’s appointment after an “unfortunate set of circumstances” that led to a loss of confidence in the former president.

“In the final analysis, the issues that arose were as a result of differences in style and approach. Anybody who knows Madonsela will know that he is a powerful and driven personality. It became apparent that he was not comfortable in the nonexecutive role of president. A number of incidents eventually led to a vote of no confidence in June. When nothing changed, council resolved on September 7 to withdraw his appointment as president,” Pullen said.

Madonsela would remain a councillor and the council would appoint a new president.

Spokesperson Brian Gibson told Engineering News Online that Madonsela had served as president for about two years of his four-year term at Ecsa.

In a statement, Pullen said that Madonsela was challenging the council’s action and had threatened legal action, claiming that he was the victim of an “anti-transformation campaign.”

Pullen denied the claims.

"The composition of the council demonstrates a sincere comittment to what is happening in the country as a whole in terms of mainstreaming people that were marginalised," commented Pullen.

He said that, although the process of transformation in the council and the engineering sector in general was ongoing, the council was largely transformed already with regard to employment.

Further, Gibson said that he was not aware of Madonsela having actually pursued legal action against the council or its members. 

CEO Professor Ravi Nayagar, commented that Ecsa had opened the profession to people who had achieved competency through self-development and experience.

“The leadership issue is unfortunate but we will not allow it to deter us from fulfilling our statutory mandate to continuously improve our procedures and levels of service and to positively address new challenges in contributing to the development of all who live in the country,” he said.

Ecsa is governed by the Engineering Professionals Act, and is responsible for promoting public safety, health and the interests of registered engineering professionals. This includes the setting and auditing of industry standards and codes and overseeing the continuing professional development of registered industry professionals.

Edited by: Liezel Hill





Skills Shortage and ESKOM :  The SPE Director in South Africa started advising the SA Central Government of a disaster in the Enginering Profession in 1998  -  Reports now Published by ISPE on instructions of International Board in London.

The Predicted Engineering Disaster has arrived

By Ing.P.Eur. Michael D. Hosking


 In 1998 we predicted that there would be a disaster in the Engineering and South Africa by 2007. After the meeting with the Eskom Executives in February 2000 our views were confirmed  and now unfortunately it is upon us.

We updated this information in 2000,2003 and 2005. ( See The State of the Engineering Profession  Written by Ing.P.Eur. M.D.Hosking in July 2003 ) 

Whilst we agree with many of the views holding ESKOM responsible for our present plight, we must not forget that SPE have on an ongoing basis, alerted high  ranking officials that unless the engineering issues were addressed, disaster would be imminent. 

We first approached Ms. Mary Metcalfe, the then MEC for Education and Dr Ben Ngabane in 1996.

We sent emails to the State Presidents office.( see email dated 31st October 2005 )

We circulated letters to Mr Tony Leon of the DA. and other Government officials

We sent Letters and emails  to the Presidents and Executive Officers of all the Engineering Institutes in SA.

We sent letters and had meetings with the Registrar of ECSA and sent copies of my findings to the President of ECSA at that time, who stated that he “could not concur with our findings”. 

Copies of the reports and presentations in 2005 to the late Dr James Hlongwane the Chairman of NSTF ( founded in 1995 and achieved nothing to date ) and to his successor Ms Jansie Niehaus (wife of Karl Niehaus) in September 2006.  She was appointed Head of the National Science and Technology Forum and has failed to address the problem in SA.  Her background being a Mathematics and English lecturer). 

Our meeting ended abruptly when she accused me of not understanding the Democracy and being racist.

Presentations were made to Mr Alan Morgan the CEO of ESKOM in 2000, who asked me to see  Mr. Thulani Gcabashe.  He palmed us off on one of his underlings  Mr. Gladmann Nika  as he did not believe there was a crisis in SA!

This meeting on the 7th March 2000 centered around the large number of ESCOM Engineers who had false Qualifications. He ordered me out of his office after I produced a membership application form by way of example of Employee of the National Electricity Regulator who had a reference from Mr. Thulani Gcabashe and had a false M.Sc and B.Com (Hon) degrees. His duties were advising the Goverement on Electrical Standards. He was not even an Electrician. His file was sent to ECSA who failed to Prosecute him. ( See Report on ESKOM dated 8th February 2000 ) 

From the above you will see that every person in a decision making role was made aware of the alarm bells but no one for 10 years has addressed the issue. 

To date we also have the situation where we have queried the number of Professional Engineers in SA with ECSA on an annual basis, proving to them that their figures were inflated and totally incorrect. (See Reports on Web Site) 

ECSA then informed Mzwandle Frasso of Daily Press that there were 26,300 Professional Engineers (see report in “ The Star “ on the 17th June 2005 listed below).  

In our email to the former CEO of ECSA (Engineering Council of SA), Mr Paul Roux, dated 4th July 2005, we queried why there was a sudden increase of 11,546 Professional Engineers and the reason for inflating the figures from 14,754 (already incorrect) to 26,300.  Our question still remains unanswered.  

Last year ECSA hired an attorney to write us a lawyer’s letter saying we were trying to discredit ECSA. We are not certain why they hired an attorney as they had published the false and incorrect information.

We dealt with this letter without the use of an Attorney because of the amateur and unprofessional way the letter had been written and their limited knowledge of the Profession. 

ECSA have still never corrected the inflated figures.  In an interview given by Mr Pienaar of ECSA to James Brent-Styan of Fin News24 on the 24th January 2008, two and a half years later, he dropped the number of engineers back to the levels of November 2005 of 14,900 (which were still over inflated) by thousands.                    .

In the same article written by James Brent-Styan,  Mr Dawie Botha, Executive Director of Civil Engineers is quoted as saying “ we are heading for a National disaster!”

Copies of all the engineering reports were sent to him over the years. 

One of the bigger issues still unanswered by ECSA, who are tasked with accrediting Universities to maintain their International standards to International requirements, is that they have condoned the upward marking of previously disadvantaged students so that marginal students can pass.

This is an extremely dangerous practice since 1994 and we believe that these students should re-sit their exams, supervised by International monitors. (See Report on web site)

To this date ECSA and their attorney have not responded. 

Nicky Oppenheimer the Chairman of DeBeers states in an interview with Marcia Klein of The Business Times:  “The Government must paint a clear picture of what went wrong 

and how to fix it.”  He is correct, but to date we have seen nothing.  

How do we sort out the situation?  - It can be fixed.  

The short term solution may be to conserve power which will affect our mines, industry and homes, but the long term issue MUST BE ADDRESSED NOW.  

We need to disband ECSA and set up a Chapter of the Engineering Council UK, with UK staffing in South Africa. This will put the Engineering Profession back on track and give it Credibility internationally. 

We need to put the CPD position on the back burner until we sort out the Engineering Profession.  

We need to abandon the Affirmative Action Bill, The Gender Bill, the Equity Bill and the Procurement Bill if we wish to see the expertise in the Engineering profession brought back into the system. 

The Minister and Eskom have stated that they will import the expertise – NO you cannot- because imported engineers will not comply with your own Bills, which are already keeping SA Engineers out of vital positions in parastatals. 

All students from the designated group who were at South African Universities from 1994, need to re-sit their exams under International Supervision, as their Qualifications are in Question and many are not Engineers.  

We need experienced and highly qualified electrical engineering personnel who have a vast knowledge and understanding of electricity and who can set up proper maintenance systems for the future and start building new power stations to prevent this crisis happening again and crippling our economy. 

We also need to address the Water and Sanatation infrastructure in South Africa and appoint Professional Engineers at all levels. 

We are expecting to get a number of abusive replies to this article about Democracy and being a racist, but before you send them, apply your minds to the effects that the electrical problem has on your employment, business, health and wages. It will still get worse.

It could go on for 10-15 years. 

Then think of the next disaster which is about to break – OUR WATER SUPPLY

and how contaminated water supplies would affect your families and children if we have an outbreak of cholera, typhoid etc and when you find your family members dying, your concerns about Democracy and racism should be one of your last concerns. 

So for once look to the Professional Engineers to sort out the South African Disaster if you wish to live much longer and see your families grow up.


                       SPE Letter to Ir Allan Morgan CEO ESKOM dated 4th February 2000    

    SPE Letter to Ir Allan Morgan CEO ESKOM dated 10th February 2000



    VISIT REPORT after visit to ESKOM dated 08-02-2000 to which we received no reply.

Subject ESCOM's Staff Qualifications


    SPE Letter to Engineering Council dated 24-05-2005 to which we received no reply.

Subject ECSA Registration and CPD's




Upward Marking of Previous Disadvantaged Students so that they can pass their University Grades

EMail to the ECSA Attorney after we received a Lawyers Letter dated 4th February 2007 accusing us of making defamatory statements. To date nobody has responded to us on this and many other letters.

-----Original Message-----
From: SPE []
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:32 AM
To: 'M.D.Hosking vs Bismarck Olivier'
Subject: Accreditation of Universities


Accreditation of Universities
One of ECSA's major duties, which you forgot to mention in your correspondence Para 1 , is the accreditation of Universities and Technikons. ( Did you leave this out for a purpose ? )
This is to confirm that the Educational Institutes comply with the Internationally required standards, so that ECSA's membership will be accepted by the International Community in terms of the various Accords that have been signed.
While ECSA appears to be carrying out this accreditation they have failed to stop various Universities adjusting marks upwards of marginal students who should not qualify!
We (and various students) have brought this to ECSA's attention for the last two years and they have failed to respond or take action.
Would you believe it to be defamatory to bring this to the attention of the International signatories of the Accord?
Do you believe that we, as citizens  believing in honesty and professionalism, have a duty to expose this or are we at risk of receiving a further letter from you, turning the tables and accusing us of making defamatory remarks? 
As a officer of the Court you have a duty to to expose this fraud to the authorities and the signatures of the accord.  
You are the lawyer, you tell us what to do.
Let's have your reply within 3 days!
Michael D. Hosking
Society for Professional Engineers
E.Mail   :




Upward Marking of Previous Disadvantaged Students so that they can pass their University Grades

EMail to the ECSA Attorney after we received a Lawyers Letter dated 4th February 2007 accusing us of making defamatory statements. To date nobody has responded to us on this and many other letters.

-----Original Message-----
From: SPE []
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:32 AM
To: 'M.D.Hosking vs Bismarck Olivier'
Subject: Accreditation of Universities


Accreditation of Universities
One of ECSA's major duties, which you forgot to mention in your correspondence Para 1 , is the accreditation of Universities and Technikons. ( Did you leave this out for a purpose ? )
This is to confirm that the Educational Institutes comply with the Internationally required standards, so that ECSA's membership will be accepted by the International Community in terms of the various Accords that have been signed.
While ECSA appears to be carrying out this accreditation they have failed to stop various Universities adjusting marks upwards of marginal students who should not qualify!
We (and various students) have brought this to ECSA's attention for the last two years and they have failed to respond or take action.
Would you believe it to be defamatory to bring this to the attention of the International signatories of the Accord?
Do you believe that we, as citizens  believing in honesty and professionalism, have a duty to expose this or are we at risk of receiving a further letter from you, turning the tables and accusing us of making defamatory remarks? 
As a officer of the Court you have a duty to to expose this fraud to the authorities and the signatures of the accord.  
You are the lawyer, you tell us what to do.
Let's have your reply within 3 days!
Michael D. Hosking
Society for Professional Engineers
E.Mail   :





 What Qualification is required to teach Mathematics and Physical Science at High School level? –  IT SEEMS  NONE ? 

The Executive Director of the International Society of Professional Engineers Michael Hosking is very disturbed by the latest information that has come to his attention. 

A 21year old learner from KZN, who obtained an E aggregate in Standard Grade Mathematics and a D aggregate in Standard Grade Physical Science, has been teaching these subjects to Grade 8, 10 and 12 learners in schools in KZN, with the full knowledge of the Education Department and two school Principals.

He does not have any training as a teacher or qualifications in teaching!!! 

According to written documents the Principal of the school has confirmed in his testimonial letter that he was an ‘extraordinary teacher’. 

A second letter from another school states that ‘the School and the learners liked him’ and confirmed his teaching post. 

Further documented evidence states that he was one of the Lecturers at the ‘Matric Intervention’ in 2004, hosted by the Department of Education. 

At the age of 19 he was the Mathematics tutor at the Winter School for Grade 11 learners. 

We are appalled by this discovery and it would seem that the Department of Education do not have the ability to obtain suitably qualified teachers to ensure that the education of previously disadvantaged learners is not inferior. 

On one hand I suppose that he at least has a School-leaving Certificate, albeit poor, as opposed to the recent top South African Defence Force appointment of Brigadier General Ernest Zwane as Director of Prosecution in the South African Defence Force.

He was found guilty in 2005, while employed by the Defence Force of 2 charges of fraud, having claimed to have qualifications from Fort Hare University amongst a number of other false claims.  The Defence Force still promoted him!!! 

The question is:  Is the Government serious about improving the standard of education and taking on challenges, when highly qualified personnel are prevented by legislation from participating in the economy and totally unqualified and inexperienced  persons are employed in positions well above their level of competence and understanding, because they have the correct ethnic background? 

See related story ‘Previous disadvantaged given additional points to scrape through their University exams’!









Do we recognize ECSA as a Registration Body or does ECSA recognize the  Professional Institutes or Societies? 

ECSA, in an attempt to survive has led the Legislators to promulgate an Act containing  Clauses of who will or will not be recognized by ECSA and the conditions of how the Professional Bodies will operate,

ECSA decision makers ( who are not Engineers ) failed to apply their minds to the South African System or the Engineering Profession. 

We believe that the New Act, which forces engineers to register and maintain various minimum hours of CPD, when applied in a system where other Acts or Bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, The Gender Bill, Professional Procurement Bill and the BEE legislation apply, will destroy the engineering profession.

South Africa does not have the correct model or structure for CPD or a Registration Body.  

If one looks at the British system, the Engineering Council of the UK is assisted by 36 Engineering Institutions, which have been licensed to put suitably qualified Members on the UK’s Register of  Chartered Engineers ( in SA Professional Engineers ) .  The Register has 260,000 Members with 189,000 Registered Chartered Engineers C Eng’s. 

CPD will work in the UK as they have the correct Engineering Model.

The SPE owns the sole Right to use Professional Engineers ( P.Eng ) in the United Kingdom.

At the same time, there is no restriction on the right of a suitably qualified graduate engineer to practice engineering in the UK. 

In terms of the rules it is desirable to Register but it is not mandatory.

How do you Register in the United Kingdom

In the UK you apply for Membership through one of 36 Engineering Institutions which are licensed to put suitably qualified members on the ECUK’s Register of Engineers. Your name is submitted to the Council by your Institute and placed on the Register of the Engineering Council of the UK for a fee of  £25 

( Twenty Five Pounds Sterling ) 

The ECSA fee and what you should be paying ECSA  

The Invoices containing the new ECSA fees, which you have just received are shocking. The fee is unacceptably high and bears no relationship to any form of value for money for your continued registration. The ECSA fees should be no more than

R 150-00 ( One hundred and fifty rand only )

Institute and Society Fees and what you should be paying. 

The maximum fee for membership of an Engineering Institute or Professional Body in South Africa should be no more than R 450-00 per year.

If you are paying more you are wasting your money. You are receiving very little value for your money from any Engineering Institute in South Africa. 

Any technical help, publications or benefits offered can be downloaded from the Internet free of charge. 

Size of The Engineering Council of UK vs Size of ECSA 

The UK Engineering Council, which administers approx 15 -30 times the Registration of ECSA, * has less than half the staff of ECSA. 

If you review my report of July 2003 and July 2005, you will see that the number of registered engineers is dropping rapidly because of emigration, age demographics and death and the number of engineers registering has dropped dramatically to an almost non -existent level because of students failing to complete their studies and qualify. 

If ECSA had applied their minds to the situation in South Africa in general and the engineering profession in particular when SPE alerted them to the problems ahead some years ago, the current disaster in the South African Engineering Profession could have been avoided.

*Depending on which Incorrect/ Correct ECSA figures you use. 

Should there be a Registration Body or Professional Engineering Institutes and Societies in South Africa? 

In Germany, VDI has 126,000 Registered members. 

In Australia, Engineers Australia has 79,000 members, of whom 27,000 are Chartered Engineers. Fifty percent of their members are under the age of 35 years.

In Ireland, Engineers Ireland has 21,000 members. 

In the United Kingdom, Engineering Council of  the UK has 260,000 Engineering Members of which 189,000 are  registered with them as  C Eng’s 

The Professional Bodies in the United Kingdom show their membership as follows.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology* has 150,000 members

The Institution of Civil Engineers has                       77,109 members ( 55,557 Working Members plus 10,153 Student Members )

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has              75,000 members

The Institution of Chemical Engineers has                 25,000 members

The Institution of Structural Engineers has                21,000 members 

This is the membership of only 5 of the 36 Engineering Institutes in the UK. 

*The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE ) and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers became Institution of Engineering and Technology on the 31st March 2006. 

Because of the insignificant number of Engineers in South Africa, * 15,000 or 11,623 or 8,851 or 3,541,  we believe we would be serving South Africa and the Engineering Profession by closing down the Engineering Council and Professional Bodies in South Africa and becoming Chapters of the UK Professional Bodies and using Engineering Council in the UK for Registration.

Our engineers would then be entitled to use a prestigious qualification of C.Eng., which is internationally accepted. 

We as an Engineering Profession would be contributing to Engineering Excellence as opposed to supporting and propping up the FAT CAT life styles centering around  the Engineering Council and certain Professional Bodies in South Africa. 

Someone should have had the courage, because of the small number of engineers in SA, to form one professional Learned Society of all Disciplines and use the Engineering Council of the UK as a Registration Body. 

We as the South African Society for Professional Engineers would launch the new body.      

* ( See separate reports on our web site July 2005 ) ( The 15,000 minus the deceased members ) or ( the 15,000 minus the retired members ) or ( the 15,000 minus the deceased members, retired members, the members who have left South Africa, which in 2002 left 8851 members of which 5310 were between the age of 55-60!)

This will leave 3541 Professional Engineers. 

Early Warnings on the state of the Engineering Profession in South Africa  

The South African Society for Professional Engineers ( SPE ) alerted the engineering profession in 1995 to the disaster facing us.  Our information has always been correct, except that we had to revise our figures of a downward trend in 1999, 2001 2003 and 2005. All reports are published on our web site 

Inflated Figures released by ECSA 

We have been critical of the misinformation published by ECSA over many years. 

We have challenged ECSA many times with proof of incorrect information.

We are highly critical of the over inflated figures given by ECSA to the Press on the 17 May 2005 of 26,300 Registered Professional Engineers. ( See newspaper clip of the 17th May 2005 The Star ) on web site

We challenged ECSA in our email of 4th July 2005, which can be viewed on our web site

To date ECSA has not acknowledged or replied to our email. 

Do I or Don’t I Continue my Registration? 

We estimate that your fees next year will be over R2000-00 and one does not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that as numbers drop the fees will rise. 

You have ask yourself the following questions: 

Do you get value for money from ECSA?

Has ECSA registration improved your salary?

Has ECSA registration helped find you employment? 

I recently met some French engineers who have been imported into SA by Murray and Roberts to work on the Gautrain project.

In view of what I have said above, they do not comply with the Affirmative Action Bill, Gender Bill etc.  They are not registered with ECSA, do not comply with BEE or any other Bill and yet they are employed at salaries most of you would love to earn!!!






----Original Message-----
From: SPE [] On Behalf Of Michael Hosking
Sent: 31 October 2005 11:27 AM
To: The State Presidents Office



Dear Sir


We are writing to you on behalf of the Engineering Profession in general, and the International Society for Professional Engineers, Union International des Ingenieurs Professionnels, and the Society for Black Engineers in particular, representing the engineering profession in South Africa and around the World.


Whilst we agree that the discriminatory measures of the past by the Nationalist Government have to be corrected, the ANC Government must not practice a system of discriminating against one of the race groups, thereby repeating the past and following a policy which you fought to eliminate.  


We wish to advise the South African Government to urgently remove the Affirmative Action Bill and various empowerment equity bills from the Technical disciplines in SA, and curtail the conditions set out in the Professional Procurement Bill.


The requirements of the Affirmative Action Bill and the various Empowerment Equity Bills, when applied to the Engineering Profession, are destroying the future growth of SA and are leading to the complete destruction of the infrastructure of this country.


Not only is it affecting the growth of manufacturing, but it is slowing down future investment in SA.


The Bills have already destroyed the structure of most of the local authorities in SA, in that 74 of the Local Councils do not employ any Qualified Technical Specialists.

In your own recent Government survey, only 8% of people in key jobs at local authority level of Government had the required skills to perform their jobs.


There are too many skilled professionals being denied job opportunities at various levels of government because they are outside of party political networks that have captured civil service jobs for patronage.


Strict professional competence criteria need to be applied when appointing technical staff.


The spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid, due to inexperienced and incorrect handling of water drainage and sewerage will continue without expert help.


The continued electricity outages in Johannesburg by City Power needs to be addressed by a team of professional engineers very urgently before the hub of SA is destroyed.  


The requirements of the Affirmative Action Bill are also preventing and limiting the employment of professional black engineers from surrounding SADEC countries because the same rules written into your Bill apply to engineers from neighboring states.

Very little skills transfer has taken place since 1994 and this has affected the development  of Graduates from Universities and Technikons in SA.


Thousands of previously disadvantaged learners from the Technikons are unable to get their practical experience in order to complete their qualifications.


All the facts and figures can be obtained from our website:



We look forward to your early response to our letter,


Yours Sincerely,


The Society of Professional Engineers.




by  Ing. P.Eur. Michael Hosking


There is no current shortage of engineers, however there is an acute shortage of engineers currently qualifying. 

The perceived shortage of engineers in SA is a direct result of the Government’s persistence in forcing the Affirmative Action Bill and the Gender Bill without applying their minds to the ramifications and long term damage these Bills can do to the Engineering profession. 

We currently have thousands of engineers who find themselves unemployed and/or retrenched as a direct result of Companies being forced to apply the various Bills to

balance their  quotas to obtain contracts, which has been a contributing factor in destroying the engineering profession. 

I alerted the authorities in 1995 to the fact that all the statistics that were available indicated that the age demographics of engineers was increasing and that young engineers were not qualifying.


In my report ‘Disaster in the Engineering Profession’, which was circulated to the State President, Minister of Education and the NSTF, I stated that the engineering profession would come to a complete collapse in the year 2007 if something was not done urgently. 

We have seen from the official statistics issued by ECSA, that the number of white engineers registering maintained a steady upward pattern and peaked at 680 in 1998, but has collapsed to a level of 71 in 2004. 

Once again from the official statistics issued by ECSA the number of black engineers registering peaked at 107 in 2000, but has since collapsed to a level of 24 in 2004. 

The statistics clearly indicate the following: 

The current legislation has prevented white students from obtaining Bursaries, and further Legislation has prevented those students who did not require Bursaries from obtaining employment when they graduated.  The few white engineers who qualify, are then hampered by the Affirmative Action Bill.  We have effectively destroyed this source of competent white youngsters from graduating as engineers. We have forced them to leave the country, never to return.

For Political correctness Bursaries have now been earmarked for the previously disadvantaged group, who have failed to graduate because of their inability to grasp Mathematics and Science. 

We refer to an article in The Star on the 17 June 2005, written by Mgwandile Faniso, stating that SA should look overseas to recruit engineers.  He indicates in his article that ECSA has stated that there are 26,300 professional engineers registered with the organization. 

This clearly indicates he and the persons whom he interviewed clearly know nothing about the engineering profession, as the officially published figure of the number of professional engineers in SA (whilst over inflated), gives the figure of 14,754. 

Registration Category










International Professional Engineers










Professional Engineers





Professional Engineering Technologists





Professional Certificated Engineers





Professional Engineering Technicians










Candidate Engineers





Candidate Engineering Technologists





Candidate Certificated Engineers





Candidate Engineering Technicians





Specified Category





Registered Lift Inspectors





Dormant (since 28 August 2001)





Registered Engineering Technicians





Reg. Eng. Technicians (Master)















 If you study the table above, you will see that we have a further problem in South Africa, as regards the low number of  Qualified technical support each engineer has.  

In most Countries around the World, Professional or Charted Engineers are supported by 4-16 Technologists or Technicians.  

In South Africa 14,754 Professional Engineers are supported by 3,711 Technologists and Technicians. Therefore every 4 qualified Engineers have to share, one Technologist or Technician.  

We have thousands of previously disadvantaged Learners who have finished at Technikon and are unable to obtain their final diplomas, because nobody is prepared to hire them so that they can do their practicals. This is because of the high risk imbedded in the Labour Laws to employers hiring staff, especially young black female students because of the high incidence of pregnancy. 

The Chief Executive of ESKOM has stated that he might have to look beyond our borders to employ competent staff. He made these comments, when in his own organization they have deliberately retrenched competent white engineers and replaced them with less qualified and inexperienced black engineers, because it is politically correct to do so.

They have also forced companies to comply with the Professional Procurement Bill, knowing full well that this could destroy the smaller and family owned companies. Many companies have closed their doors, and dismissed their staff.

He would be practicing double standards, by importing non South Africans, mostly white, when he has retrenched South African whites.

In the same breath he has forgotten that the Affirmative Action Bill also requires that the person should be born in SA!  The same Affirmative Bill will apply to imported engineers. 

Are we going to now apply double standards here as well? 

We have a number of Qualified Black Engineers currently working for ESKOM

who feel that there is no future at ESKOM or South Africa and asked us to find them employment outside South Africa.

The Editor of The Star comments: “Halt the Engineering Brain Drain”. 

The Editor, in his article, is absolutely correct, but the Government will have to remove the Affirmative Action Bill from the Technical disciplines, which currently restrict the employment of our locally born qualified white engineers because of the colour of their skin.  

The Editor has stated that The Engineering Council of South Africa says there are 26,300 Registered Professional Engineers. As shown above, the correct figure is 14,745 which is over inflated as shown in my previous report “ The Engineering Profession in South Africa” 

Whilst we in the engineering profession are on a collision course, we may well be able to save the little that is left before complete collapse, therefore the answer can never be to import engineers as the very laws which are in place preventing qualified engineers work also applies to the engineers that you think you will employ.  










-----Original Message-----
From: ISPE []
Sent: 04 July 2005 01:11 PM
To: Paul Roux
Subject: FW: Number of Engineers in South Africa
Dear Paul,
Re: Number of Professional Engineers in South Africa.
On the 17-6-2005, an article appeared in Business Report stating that " The Engineering Council of SA said there were about 26,300 professional engineers registered with the Organisation". 
A similar comment was highlighted by the Editor of The Star on Monday 20-6-2005.  "The Engineering Council of South Africa says there are 26,300 professional engineers registered with the Organisation".
We did not respond immediately to the articles as we assumed that ECSA would immediately correct this statement distancing themselves from this misinformation.
As you know, we have queried the statistics for many years, and John Burdes has admitted that the figures from ECSA were suspect.  We are suddenly faced with an artificial increase of more than 12,000 registered professional engineers with ECSA. ( In fact more than 150% of the true level of live engineers or paying engineers with ECSA ).
We have been inundated with phone calls and emails and requests from all over South Africa, since these articles appeared linking our name to this misinformation.
We have been asked officially by the authorities to comment on the huge increase of Registered Professional Engineers, in relation to our reports written for many years.
Please therefore advise me officially of how many Registered Professional Engineers there are, how many of them are paying members and give an age demographic breakdown of the ECSA Professional Engineers Membership? If this is not available, then how many of the ECSA registered Engineers are over the age of 60?
We have been approached officially to give an independent comment on the Engineering Profession in South Africa.
With Kind Regards,
Michael D. Hosking B.Ing
Acting President & Executive Director


   Ing.P.Eur M.D.Hosking  July 2003

Engineers, compared with other professions, are net creators of wealth and employment, but unfortunately in South Africa, in many instances, they are prevented from fulfilling their duties because of various new Bills passed by the Government.

The facts and statistics on the Engineering profession speak for themselves.

• South Africa has 8.13% of the population of Europe and the UK

• SA only has 1.08% of the total number of engineers of the UK and Europe.

• Spain, a country with a similar population to SA, has 7.54% of the European and UK population.

• Spain has 4.72% of the total number of engineers




• South Africa has 15,044 registered Professional Engineers

• In South Africa, if one deducts the registered retired engineers included in the above figure (ie engineers who have given affidavits that they are no longer working in order not to pay subscription fees) the figure will drop down to 11,623.

• 672 engineers that have officially emigrated.

• 2100 have left the country unofficially, leaving us with 8851 - being the total number of registered working engineers.

• Of the 8851 engineers, 5310 are between the ages of 55-60 and will be retiring within the next 3-5 years.

• This leaves 3541 engineers. We have not dealt with the possible duplication in statistics of Professional Engineers and Certificated engineers.

• The number of white engineers registering has dropped from a high in 1998 of 680 to a level of 164 in 2001.

Registration trends from 1990 to 30 June 2001

• Black, Asian and Coloured engineers, which peaked in 1997 at 116 have dropped to 64 in 2001

• 573 Black, Asian and Coloured engineers who registered from 1990-2001, 20% are no longer registered whilst 50% are not South Africans and do not comply with the requirements of the Affirmative Action Bill.

• If one projects the situation and predicts the consequences with the available information, the engineering profession in South Africa will cease in the year 2007.

The situation is critical, but unfortunately the alarm bells that we have been ringing for the last five years have fallen on deaf ears.

As far as we can see we only have a vague hope of correcting the situation. This will require drastic steps by the Government to restore the confidence that is required in the engineering profession.

Recent Bills introduced, which affect the engineering profession, appear prejudicial and even inimical to many Professional Engineers. Not only should these Bills be repealed, a moratorium on their enactment and introduction of further similar Bills should be affected and a modus vivendi entered into.

Furthermore, meaningful tax rebates should be granted to Professional Engineers in order to stem the outflow of engineering skills to other countries where, in some cases no tax is paid at all – Saudi Arabia for one – and in others where payment is in dollars or sterling; often paid offshore.

In this way we will be able to build up a culture, which will prove to be an incentive for our youth to educate themselves in mathematics, science and engineering. We appear to be trying to promote skills transfer, whilst at the same time restricting those with skills because of the various Acts promulgated by the Government.

Skills transfer can only take place if the person transferring the skills has greater knowledge and qualifications than the person receiving them.



E Mail to the Engineering Profession


We wish to thank you for your CV and comments which you sent to us a few weeks ago, and apologise for not responding sooner, but we have received Hundreds of CV'S as a result of the article which appeared in  "The Star " on the 17th June 2005. We have also received dozens of requests from companies looking for engineers.
This was a cheap publicity stunt by the person concerned, but it has given Professioonal Enginerring Placements  massive exposure to the South Africa public and to the South African Government and generated a number of new placements for Professional Engineering Placements. This kind of publicity is something we at PEP would not do.
We wish to distance ourselves totally from this type of misinformation made by Mr Reay and the Engineering Council ( ECSA ), that South Africa had 26,300 Registered Professional Engineers when in fact there are only 14,752 which in its self is totally inflated.See Report ( We invited ECSA to respond but to date they have failed to do so. Email can be viewed on )
It was also claimed that Mr Reay was the Chief Executive of Engineering Placements which is totally incorrect. He does not work for us.
Would you please log onto our Web Sites  or   to view the reports, obtain factual and correct information and to get professional help in any matters involving the Engineering Profession.
In view of the misinformation that has been circulated and the response of the CEO of ESCOM to import Engineers, please inform us and give us details if you or any of your engineering friends have been retrenched as a result of an AA appointment. This is in order to protect our South African Engineers from Imported Engineers.
This information is vital to us in order to block any " IMPORTED ENGINEERS " and will remain Confidential.
If you are looking for Engineers or Engineering staff we have them.
In Engineering yours,
Michael D Hosking.
Michael D. Hosking
Chairman and CEO
Professional Engineering Placements
Engineeing Placements





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