“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another,” Nelson Mandela. This quote by the world’s revered icon resonates well, with Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA)’s newly appointed CEO Lefadi Makibinyane. Born and bred in Kroonstad, in Free State Province, he regards himself as a ‘farm boy.’
“As a young boy, my ambition was to succeed against all odds. I was always top of my class and pushed hard to achieve greater heights. After a reality check, I discovered that chemical engineering was the only engineering field that will optimize my competence level and challenge me above my intelligence,” declares Makibinyane.
Makibinyane holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with Honors (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, in the United Kingdom, a post Graduate Certificate Management Development Programme Program (in Project Management) as well as Masters in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa School of Business Leadership, in Pretoria.
He sees expanding the market base of CESA members for the trading of their services, as one of his primary tasks as well as to invigorate the advocacy voice for CESA members in both public and private sector. This will help in bringing back the rational that consulting engineers are the front-end engineering loaders of every technical/infrastructure development as their service focal area lies in design, material selection. As well as specification, overseeing of construction against the design specifications towards quality and sustainable performance and after-care support during operation and maintenance.
On the issue of corruption, Makibinyane believes that it destroys value and compromises quality of service by denying the community delivery of service and efficient infrastructure. “It is crime against humanity and must be uprooted at all costs. The Engineering profession promotes ethical behavior and conduct as an integral principle of technological work and service. The work of an Engineer centres on harnessing the might of science for safe human use and benefit within the constraints of the natural environment. One cannot achieve any quality of service as an engineer if you are corruptly natured; hence fairness and equality is a prerequisite requirement for the development of an engineer”.
He cautions that any consulting engineering member firm caught participating in corrupt activities shall not only lose their membership of CESA but their work and existence as a firm. CESA will ensure that such a member gets blacklisted on the National Treasury database and gets removed as a vendor for Consulting Engineering Services from the databases of both public and private sector clients.
“It should therefore be the premise and commitment of CESA under my leadership to inculcate in members the proper and ethical conduct in discharging of their duties to our clients. This is the only way that we are going to succeed in promoting our work in a sustainable manner ensuring the continuity of the consulting engineering service to both
public and private sectors. We are going to strive to make membership of CESA the premier membership sought by any practicing engineering firm across the racial divide so that clients requiring consulting engineering services begin to associate astute quality, integrity, sustainability of service to the membership of CESA locally, in the continent and across the globe,” avers Makibinyane.
He argues that since CESA is a member of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), its members are not only the recipients of the best knowledge in the world, but are the creators of such knowledge. These best practices from South Africa will be shared at FIDIC on an equal footing because we need each other across the globe to fight poverty, inequality and ensure sustainability of the earth for future generations.
Makibinyane has worked for the City of Tshwane as a strategic executive director in the services infrastructure department, West LB AG as a director, Vice President of Fieldstone Africa and also held various senior positions at Sasol, Industrial Development Corporation, Engine Refinery, Anglo American Coal Division, Nampak, South African Breweries as well as the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa.
(Left to Right) Naren Bhojaram, President CESA, Lefadi Makibinyane, CEO CESA, Abe Thela, Deputy President CESA