Saki Macozoma and Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka for CESA Young Professionals Imbizo

Prominent South African businessman, Saki Macozoma and “A Hill of Fools” author and medical practitioner, Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka will be addressing the 2nd“Annual Young Professionals (YPs) Sustainability Imbizo” to be held on the 11th to 12th August at the Premier Hotel in Kempton Park.

The Sustainability Imbizo is the brain child of Consulting Engineers South Africa’s (CESA) YPs aimed at empowering YPs with the best leadership experience embracing general aspects of leadership, community activism and engineering professionalism.

The Imbizo provides a unique and dynamic platform for built environment and engineering YPs in the public and private sectors to discuss pertinent issues relating to all aspects of delivery and maintenance of infrastructure and engineering projects.

It also seeks to establish and maintain structures for YPs to become role-models for school learners as well as providing coaching and mentoring opportunities for YPs from senior infrastructure professionals. It provides a platform for YPs to discuss and propose sustainable solutions to skills development and retention of professionals by both the public and private sectors. Without engineering skills, the National Development Plan is a pipe dream.

Macozoma will discuss how business influences politics as well as the art of mastering the business of politics.Dr Nyoka will explore the scourge of corruption, greed and power.

CESA’s President, Abe Thela, will provide a motivational talk to the YPs, while CESA’s supply chain management chairperson, Arthur Taute, will deliver a presentation entitled: ‘If you are not at the table, you might be on the menu’. FIDIC Managing Director, Enrico Vink, will talk on global lobbying and Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Nyami Mandindi will discuss how to influence clients.

“YPs need a fair amount of time to be groomed and nurtured as engineers, and gain the necessary experience and be supported through this process by their companies,” proclaims CESA YP Chairperson, Likhaya Nkonki.
“He argues that there are certain aspects that can be fast-tracked when it comes to training of graduates but experience can never be fast-tracked. If a person with ten years’ experience is required for a particular task, companies must not expect graduates to fulfill that role after three years of experience.”

“Greater emphasis must be placed on mentoring and training of graduates; a more structured way needs to be put together by the Engineering Council of South Africa, with the help of industry... Employers need to be compelled to put engineering graduates through a ‘structured’ training programme before they can be registered as professionals”.

Nkonki adds that Government has a major role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for the country by investing more money into training of engineers, not only at tertiary level, but also pre-tertiary (including better education in rural & township schools) and post-graduate. Unfortunately, in general efforts by consulting engineering firms to train graduates have been frustrated by the fact that less time is allowed for planning of projects due to poor planning by clients, which has resulted in insufficient time to train graduates because projects are fast-tracked. The only solution to this is better planning from the clients’ side. 

“Any client that deals with engineering work must be compelled to have professionally registered engineers in their ranks to ensure proper planning and coordination of work, including ensuring that there is a budget in place to execute the work well in advance,” concludes Nkonki.