The Society for Graduate and Professional  Engineers




Please Keep this page book marked for future use.

Ukufunda Study Methods '' Improving SA one learner at a time

Since 1993, I have been ringing alarm bell concerning Technical Education in general and the engineering profession in particular.

I have published dozens of articles with graphs, showing the gradual collapse of the University/Technikon intakes and the registration of Engineers.

I have even tried to give solutions to the then MEC of Education, Mary Metcalf, to use older Engineers and retired engineers to teach maths and Science.

We as a professional body, had secured £ 10 M funding from the UK to transform the AS & TS facility at Observatory as a teaching Academy for Maths and Science using Older Engineers as Mentors.

Naturally this was turned down for Political reasons by the MEC, as our Engineers did not comply with the Affimative Action Bill and were not Qualified Teachers. 

What a lost opportunity to improve matters. 

We have always maintained that up to 30% of a learner's qualifications are received from the parents before they go to school, and without this a large number of our learners are placed in a disadvantaged position. 

We have a tried and Trusted method of assisting and equipping the learner in the best way to study all subjects. 

Without this 3 day course our very poor Matric results will continue to escalate at an alarming rate. 

We believe that Large Corporates in South Africa have a Social Responsibility to the children of their employees, by offering this course to them if they wish to see any future prospects of continuing to operate in South Africa.  

A discussion Document is attached below.



Study Methods Letter

“Improving South Africa one learner at a time’’.


This discussion document is intended to highlight the critical state of education in South Africa, the social and economic impact on our youth and our country’s future. How the Ukufunda Study Methods course can make a positive contribution to changing the status quo by empowering all learners with a practical program of self development, giving them the necessary skills required to achieve their goals. 

South Africa’s future

One of the biggest challenges facing our country is education.  Without adequate education designed to meet the needs of a technologically advanced world, a competitive business environment and the knowledge that school leavers are adequately equipped to face these challenges; the future of South Africa looks bleak. South Africa currently has 26,292 schools, 385 860 teachers and approximately 12 million learners at any one time. This document is not designed  to offer solutions for the appalling infrastructure and lack of facilities at the majority of our schools. To highlight a few :  61% or 16 038 schools use bucket or pit latrines, 17% or 4 470 schools have no electricity, 76% or 19 940 schools have no libraries and 68% or 17 879 schools have no computers.  Many schools with computers have no teachers qualified to teach computer studies. 

The majority of our children attend rural schools (a large portion of these schools are dysfunctional) and live in poor economic conditions. Rural and township schools students suffer from a sense of inferiority and a lack of confidence and efficacy, brought about by the perception that students attending formerly ‘ white’ or other city schools get better ‘education’ (they are probably right), are cleverer and will get all the good jobs and opportunities when they matriculate.  

Many of our children work very hard and diligently at school with the anticipation of finishing Matric. They hope blindly that they will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate in our democracy and make something of their lives, a meaningful contribution to society. Most have the aspirations of a better life, to wealth, health and happiness, to own a car, to live in a nice house in the suburbs, to be employed or self employed, to raise a family and  to have a life they can be proud of.  Is this too much to ask? Unfortunately the harsh reality is that these aspirations are reserved for very few. 

 Around +- 35% of the  +- 600,000 learners who write Matric every year will fail, that’s 210 000 learners and the 65% or 390 000 that do pass, do so without the foundation skills or grades needed to benefit from further education to secure anything but the most menial jobs. More disturbing is that dysfunctional schools are unable to socialize our young people into attitudes of mind required for citizenship in a democracy .  School leavers and dropouts are easy prey to a life of crime, poverty, corruption and inefficiency. What do they do when they leave school or matriculate? Walk the streets looking for “jobs”? Wait for better days? How long can someone wait? What choices do they have? The answer is, they don’t have many.  Millions of our young people are doing nothing constructive every day of their lives. People want to have a purpose, feel self confident, self assured, feel like they belong, but without adequate education or skills doing nothing becomes their daily routine.  

The South African government spent R105,5 billion on education in 2007/8 budget . With 65% or 368 078 matrics passing and  35% or 196 697 matrics failing with only 15% or 84 716 learners passing with endorsements, surely not a good investment. Something is wrong. Not to mention the billions of rands invested in previous years with equally poor results for Matric and every other grade evaluated, see statistics and Table 1 below .

Pouring money into a dysfunctional education system without making meaningful changes will only see similar results year after year and wave after wave of unskilled, illiterate school leavers without a future.  

International and Local Evaluations

·       1999 Grade 4 Monitoring Learning Achievement by UNESCO & UNICEF Numeracy/Literacy. Countries included: Mali, Niger, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana. South Africa came last.

·       2002 HSRC administered the International Maths & Science Study (TIMSS) Grade 8 level. South Africa came last.

·       2003 Southern & East African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) (TIMSS) Maths 2003 incl 43 countries. South Africa came last.

·       Department of Education Systemic Evaluation Grade 6 Maths 2004 found that  62% formerly white school’s learners were at a Grade 6 maths level, with 4% of (Coloured) DEC school learners and a shocking 0.1% of Black (DET) school learners were at the required Grade 6 level.

·       Department of Education Systemic Evaluation saw 34 015 Grade 6 learners evaluated in 2005 with a mean score for Languages of 35%, Maths 27% and Science 41%. Further more only 12% of learners achieved the required level or higher and 81% were at the ‘not achieved’ level.


Table 1

 Tertiary Education

60% of South Africa’s University students fail to graduate.

66% of South Africa’s University of Technology students fail to graduate

83 % of white and only 33% of black students attending university graduate within 5 years.

These poor results are directly related to poor primary and secondary education levels, that have a direct impact on the number of qualified professionals graduating from our universities that are required by our country to offer world class service and professionalism within the education, health care, engineering, law,  sciences and government  sectors to name a few. 

Ukufunda Study Methods

Pilot: Short term goal 2010

·       To engage with the right people who can make this strategy a reality.

·       To teach South African’s 2010 Matrics practical study methods that will equip them with the necessary skills to succeed.

·       To empower between 186 and 372 unemployed black graduates in the Eastern Cape to teach the +- 64 000 Matrics as well as the deployment of competent managers, trainers, QA and administration personnel.  

Medium term goals 3-5 years

·       Engage with the right partners and training all of South Africa’s Grade 12s, resulting in the empowerment of over 2400 unemployed graduates as certified Ukufunda Study Methods lecturers/business owners.

·       To teach the Ukufunda Study Methods teacher course to all of South Africa’s 385 860 teachers, starting with those who teach Matrics and then Grade 8 teachers, so as to align the teachers with the students new found skills.

·       To  teaching the Ukufunda Study Methods course to all South Africa’s Grade 8 learners every year as a bridging course to high school.  

Outcomes for the learner

·       Increasing self-efficacy,  the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals.

·       Realization of one’s full potential.

·       Improved thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills.

·       Improved communication skills.

·       Read with speed and understanding.

·       Reduction in study time.

·       Indefinite retention of information.

·       Accurate recall of information.

·       Improved grades.

·       Better quality of life.


Outcomes for South Africa

·       An education system that delivers world class results.

·       The equipping and skilling of the next generation of leaders, pioneers, business people and entrepreneurs with the ability, knowledge and efficacy to contribute and build South Africa into a competitive growth economy, reduced crime, and a country united in purpose and prosperity not in despair and poverty.


The Ukufunda Study Methods course taught  to all Matrics and Grade 8s will result in waves of well equipped learners, improved school grades, improved pass rates at our tertiary institutions, more graduates, an increase in skilled qualified resources entering the job market, improved productivity and economic growth. The success of their future and our country is in our hands for such a short time, lets make a difference and leave it in theirs. 

I look to a future were the effort of an entire population is able to contribute in a meaningful way to our country, where there is no shortage of resources in critical service areas, were opportunity is abundant and the spirit of a winning productive nation prevails. I look forward to a great South Africa, anything else is unacceptable.

   Down Load Brochure


      Application Form




The SPE Director with Hundreds of letters asking for help


Article which appeared in ''The Star''  and the full article below.

Article which appeared in ''The Sunday Times''  and the full article below.

No shortage of Engineers and the Employment of Engineers 

We read articles daily in our Newspapers about the problem of skills shortages in South Africa and how these skills shortages should be addressed. We are a multi racial Engineering body whose only criteria is to register persons who are genuinely qualified. 

We as a Professional Body removed the racial and gender questions from our application forms more than 20 years ago, as the race and gender does not matter if he/she is legitimately qualified to do the work / job. 

We are saddened by the fact that we have dozens of Engineers who happen to be white with impeccable qualifications on our placement register.  Some have Hon or Masters degrees and they have not yet been able to obtain their first employment position in South Africa, because of the obsession of most companies in South Africa demanding BEE candidates only.

I was also appalled to overhear a conversation when an employee of ABSA Capital stated that a moratorium had been placed on the employing of any further white people by the Bank.

What do we expect our White Graduate Engineers to do other than to leave the country of their birth and seek employment elsewhere?

The situation becomes more ludicrous in that we are now receiving CV’s from genuinely qualified  Black Engineers ( from Eskom etc ) who are asking us for assistance to leave the Country. Not only do they feel that they are not gaining any further knowledge from older Engineers who have all been retrenched,  but they feel that there is no future in South Africa and are concerned for the safety of their children. 

Lastly over the last few years we have received thousands of applications from previously disadvantaged students who have not been able to obtain employment to complete their 6 months practicals in order to receive the final certification for their technical diplomas.

Nobody is prepared to hire them because of the poor teaching standards at the Technicons and the Labour Laws in South Africa. 

The only employment they can obtain is to work as waiters in Restaurants. 

When are we going to catch a wake up in South Africa and employ people because of their ability and Qualifications and not for some political Reasons. 

We have many Qualified Engineers in our placement company, looking for Positions, as shown below.   

Ref 2010 / M001  - 24 year old  Indian Male BSc ( Hon )  - Mechanical Engineer University of the Witwatersrand ( 18 months Exp ) 

Ref 2010 / E 001 -  30 year old  White Male B Eng -Electrical / Electronic University of Johannesburg ( RAU )  ( 5 years Exp UK and SA ) 

Ref 2010 / C001  -  27 year old  Indian Male BSc  -Chemical Engineer      University of KwaZulu – Natal  ( 5 years Exp ) 

Ref 2010 / M002 -  26 year old  White Male B.Eng  / B Eng (Hon) M.Eng   - Mechanical Engineer ) University of Pretoria ( Needs first position ) 

Ref 2010 / M003 -  26 year old White Male B.Eng  - Mechanical Engineer  University of Pretoria ( Needs First Full Time position ) 

Ref 2010 / E 002 -  44 year old Zim  Male B. Tech  ECSA Reg - Electrical Engineer University of Zim worked with Top Consulting Companies TOP MAN 

Ref 2010 / M 004 – 29 year old Zim Male BSc ( Zim )  MSc ( Wits ) - Mechanical Engineer University of Zim and Wits (5 years years Exp ) with SA permit 

Ref 2010 / M005 – 55 year old White Male BSc - Mechanical Engineer University of Natal seeks Top Position TOP MAN

Ref 2010 / S001  - 45 year old White Female BA BSc BSc ( Hon) MSc   Soft ware Engineer / University Northwest/ Johannesburg / Melbourne Australia  Top Person  

Ref 2010 / E 003 – 30 year old Black Male BSc PrEng  + Certificates           - Electrical Engineer ( Heavy Current) University of Durban Westville Currently Has Top  Position

Give me a call or email me at our placement Company if you require staff  





Dear Members of the Engineering Profession. 

Good news for you all.


Greetings to you all and may 2010 be a good year for you all. 



We have a large number of placements available and Companies looking for Engineers.

When sending CV’s please make sure that the CV is in MS Word format and includes your name and engineering discipline, making it easy for us to channel it to the right department.


We have in our Placement Company Professional Engineering Placements over 200 Engineers who require work in South Africa.


We have hundreds of Engineers who are looking for new positions. 


Much has been said of late about companies having Independent Directors. We have a number of people available.

From the Executive Director to many of our members, who could enhance your Company by acting as an Independent Director. You can obtain a High Profile Director on a part time basis.

Give me a call.


Facilitating the Immigration Process to Employ Foreign Engineers

( See Government Notice )

Please email us for further Information.



offer a special deal to all Candidates  - Get a free Membership from us on your successful Placement.

Click on Link

We have 200  Qualified Engineers on our Books, 75 % of whom are BEE ( See Sample List )




 Copyright © 2000 Owned and maintained by CISGROUP USA for The Society for Professional Engineers

Last modified: 08/03/2016