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CESA – ‘The Voice of Consulting Engineering’

We took advantage of the annual Engineering Excellence Awards function held at the Sandton Sun on the 6th August to launch our transformation from the South African Association of Consulting Engineers (SAACE) to Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA).  As CESA, the Organisation has been repositioned to better address the challenges and opportunities of the future as the ‘Voice of Consulting Engineering’ adding continued value and enhancing the business interests of our member firms. 

When the Association was first established in 1952 by a group of independent South African consulting engineers led by the visionary Gordon M Andreson AM(SA)ICE MI Struct E, the Association’s purpose was to serve the interests of engineers, as individuals, only. Besides the ‘professional social club’ aspect, the Association offered various benefits of membership, which all worked well and was enjoyed by an ever growing number of members. However, in 1996, given the changes in South Africa’s political, economic, social and technological landscape, it was realized that the interests of consulting engineering firms as juristic entities needed to be addressed. To fulfill this role more effectively the Association converted itself into a fully-fledged business organisation, namely the South African Association of Consulting Engineers (SAACE). The downside of this move, in a way, was a sense of personal emotional loss experienced by individual engineers. However, the upside was that it empowered the association to explore new horizons and implement new possibilities – such as the School of Consulting Engineering, whose purpose it is to build intellectual capital, and the International Business Development Section which has recently converted into a Section 21 non-profit organisation including architects and project managers, whose purpose it is to develop opportunities and lower the risk of doing business across borders, into Africa.
Now, after some introspection, and our need to differentiate our contribution to society, the need and time for change has come about yet again and we have rebranded the organisation as Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA). Instead of talking to ourselves, we need to talk to a broader audience. South Africa is in crisis. Our shortage of engineers is acute, with more leaving every month, falling sway to international attractions. We need to speak to government to find ways of retaining our intellectual capital. We need to be in the schools and universities creating a greater awareness of engineering and elevate public perceptions of engineering as being the career of choice. We need to improve on our existing services, be more environmentally conscious and actively support the fight against HIV/Aids. We need to take the lead against the threat of global warming. Through organisations such as the Green Building Council, engage every possible means of reducing our carbon footprint. We need to do this for our children, and their children, and so on. 

If we are to secure the future, CESA must further enhance its solution orientation and come alongside local government to facilitate greater service delivery. This is an urgent need. To this end, CESA, in conjunction with the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), has established the Project Development and Facilitation Alliance (PDFA), a Section 21 company, to enable CESA and its members to assist local government with their service delivery by making available desperately needed skills to ensure projects are implemented in accordance with best practices and against the highest international standards in engineering excellence. As such the PDFA has been appointed an official implementation agent for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF). The PDFA will require permanent capacity to execute its mandate and CESA’s participation in the PDFA will enable the organisation to build the necessary business and engineering capacity and help unlock project delivery.



Graham Pirie, CEO CESA; Felix Fongoqa, President CESA and Zulch Lötter, Deputy President CESA at the launch of the new brand.





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2008 CESA Glenrand MIB Engineering Excellence Awards


The annual CESA Glenrand MIB Engineering Excellence Awards ceremony was held at a gala banquet at the Sandton Sun on the 6th August this year.  The Awards with the theme ‘Engineers Make it Happen’ are a celebration of innovation, quality, outstanding workmanship and professionalism.  CESA is proud to host this annual event, sponsored by Glenrand MIB, as a platform to showcase the outstanding achievements of its member organisations. The event is the highlight of the year in the Organisation’s calendar and is a spectacular networking opportunity for leaders in industry as they celebrate the cream of South Africa’s Consulting Engineers.

Awards were handed out for nominations in the following categories: Engineering Excellence for projects both above and below a value of R5million; Business Excellence; Young Company of the Year; International Business Developer; Visionary Client of the Year; Young Engineer of the Year; Publisher of the Year and for the first time Mentor of the Year.

In the category of Engineering Excellence with a value less than R5 million, SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants won the award for the Environmental Control System for the Biovac Institute in Pinelands, Cape Town.  Stemele Bosch Africa received a commendation for the Erosion Protection of the Churchill Pipeline.

The category of Engineering Excellence with a value greater than R5 million was won by Berg River Consultants Joint Venture comprising Goba, Knight Piésold and Ninham Shand for the Berg River Project in Franschhoek. Africon in conjunction with Iliso received a commendation for the Fairlands Office Development.

Golder Associates Africa won the Business Excellence category and UWP Consulting SA received the award for International Business Developer of the Year. Ithembalethu received a commendation in the Young Company of the Year category. 

In the Visionary Client of the Year category, CESA nominates candidates for the award, who must then consent to their nomination.  Nominees in this category can be from the public, parastatal or private sectors, and are judged inter alia on their contribution to sustainable economic job creation in South Africa and or Africa.  Creating sustainable development in communities through skills and knowledge transfer is an equally important factor.  The judges also look at the opportunities provided for the growth and expression of professionals, including those from formerly disadvantaged communities.  Projects should also have embraced innovative designs that highlight the ability of South Africans in the technological field.  CESA, this year gave recognition, in the category of Visionary Client of the Year, to The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) for its work in financing, improving, managing and maintaining the national road network or ‘economic arteries’ of South Africa.

In addition to this in order to promote the Consulting Engineering industry to young professionals, CESA recognised the contribution young engineers make to the industry and to the future of the profession. Naturally the winner must be available to receive the award and attend the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) convention which this year took place in Quebec, Canada.  Furthermore, he or she must be available to serve on the organisation’s Young Professional’s Forum for a 12-month period.  Judges look for outstanding performance in areas like technical achievement on a project; educational achievement; recognition such as awards received; contributions to sustainable development – such as environmental initiatives, social responsibilities, and community involvement.  And finally, the winner in this category has leadership ability, and contributes the image of the firm and the industry as a whole.  This year the Built Environment Professionals Medical Scheme (BEPMEDS) sponsored the Young Engineer of the Year Award, that enabled the winner to attend the FIDIC convention held in Quebec, Canada during September this year. In addition to this a generous donation has been received from Kwezi V3 enabling Kieren Brown, chairperson of the Gauteng South branch of the YPF to also attend the FIDIC convention.

The winner in the category of Young Engineer of the Year was Andries van Wageningen from Kwezi V3. In addition to a B.Eng (Civil) from Stellenbosch University, he also obtained a MSc.Eng (Civil) Cum Laude (2006) from Stellenbosch University. This year CESA was excited to present a new category at the Awards – Mentor of the Year!  In an effort to promote mentorship of young engineers CESA recognised the contribution Mentors make to the industry and the future of the profession. The Award in the category of Mentor of the Year was made to Loest van Eeden from Africon.  In recognition of the role that the media plays in the industry, 3S Media received the award for Publisher of the Year.


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SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants

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Stemele Bosch Africa

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Berg River Consultants Joint Venture

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Africon in conjunction with Iliso

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Business Excellence: Golder Associates           

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International Business Developer: UWP Consulting Africa

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Visionary Client: SANRAL

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Publisher: 3S Media

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Young Company: Ithembalethu

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Young Engineer: Andries Van Wageningen





CESA’s President, Felix Fongoqa, accompanied by CEO, Graham Pirie recently completed visits to all of the organisation’s nationwide branches to present his presidential message for the year.  In July he visited Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga where he visited construction works at the Mbombela Stadium. During August visits were carried out to the Free State, Kimberley and the North West Province.


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Presidential visit to the Free State

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Presidential visit to Mbombela stadium in Mpumalanga

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Presidential visit to the Free State





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Winner: Ninham Shand


CESA’s Young Professionals Forum (YPF) supports the initiative of the Department of Public Works in promoting the image and profile of the construction sector by giving young learners the opportunity to experience a wide range of exciting opportunities available in today’s built environment.

The aim of the Job Shadow Day is to attract the attention of learners and encourage them to consider Engineering as a career of choice. Firms are encouraged to choose a school in their local community and invite pupils to spend a day with them during the CESA Construction Week experiencing  “ A day in the life of a Consulting Engineer”.

This year the YPF was inundated with entries from firms with the winning entry coming from Ninham Shand- entitling them to nominate a delegate to attend the CESA/SAFCEC Conference at no charge.  Due to the quality and effort companies have put into this years Job Shadow Day event,  the judges have decided to recognize the two runners-up.

  • Arup (Pty) Ltd and
  • Arcus Gibb (Pty) Ltd

CESA wishes to thank all member firms for their participation in the event.


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Runner Up: Arcus Gibb


Runner Up: Arup

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Henwood and Nxumalo

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Infra Consult

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Up-Coming Course for the School of Consulting Engineering

Course Date Venue
Accounts Assistants-Validated for 2 CPD Points-SAACE-060-01/2011 30-31 October 2008 Mushet Manor, Cape Town
  6-7 November 2008 SQDC, Durban
  18-19 November 2008 CESA Office, Bryanston
Introduction to Finance for Consultants- Validation for 2 CPD Points- SAACE-026-09/08 21-22 October 2008 CESA Office, Bryanston
  13-14 October 2008 Mushet Manor, Cape Town
  15-16 October 2008 SQDC, Durban
  4-5 November 2008 CESA Office, Bryanston
Managing Projects with MS Projects- Validation for 2 CPD Points-SAACE-019-09/06 8-9 October 2008 Bell Rosen Guest House, Welgemoed, Cape Town
Key Administrative and Business Skills for Secretaries and PA's 10 October 2008 Bell Rosen Guest House, Welgemoed, Cape Town
QMS/ISO 9001:2000 for SMMEs Workshop Course-Validated for 2 CPD Points-CESA-010-09/2011 6-7 November 2008 Mushet Manor, Vredekloof- Cape Town
Project Management Foundation For the Building & Construction, Engineering and Associated Industries-Validation for 5 CPD Points-SAACE -043-10/05 10-14 November 2008 CESA Office, Bryanston
Preparing Powerful Presentations with MS Powerpoint Course-Validation for 2 CPD Point--CESA-007-08/2011 20-21 November 2008 CESA Office, Bryanston

For on-line registration, course information, including other courses, dates, cost and venues please consult the CESA website or email us on






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The CESA’s Annual Consultant’s Relay was once again held at Fountains Valley Resort in Pretoria.  The Relay is a great opportunity for member firms to engage in some physical exercise, meet and mingle with other firms and enjoy a fun family day.  Once again a record number of teams entered the relay and CESA would like to applaud our member firms for their enthusiasm and participation in this great event.

CESA would like to extend its thanks to SSI-DHV and the committee for an excellent job in hosting and organising the event again this year.  Without sponsors the event would not be possible and the Association would like to thank this year’s sponsors:  Bepmeds; Profhealth Benefits Consulting; ABSA Bank, AutoCADTechnoCAD,


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The Annual Presidential Golf Challenge held at the Blue Valley Country Club in Midrand on the 15th August this year was once again a great success.  The event won by the team from GOBA, is a worthwhile opportunity for CESA to network with members and clients in a relaxed and informal environment. CESA would like to extend its thanks to the sponsors of the event that include Arcus Gibb, Bigen Africa, BKS, CESA, PBC, Sasfin and SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants; Iliso Consulting; Leads2Business; PD Naidoo & Associates; WSP Group Africa; ABSA; Semane Engineers and Jeffares & Green.


golf challenge

L to R: Joey Rasdien, Master of ceremonies; Gary Chapman, Roschcon;Adriaan Grobelaar, GOBA; Richard Warner, GOBA; James McMillan, Roschcon and Felix Fongoqa, President CESA


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Nearest to the pin on hole 2: Jeff Elsie ( Illiso Consulting)

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Nearest to the pin on hole 8: Max Stemele (Stemele Bosch)

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Longest drive on hole 13: Jason Gouws (WSP Group Africa)

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Most Accurate Approach on hole 3: Grouse Schoeman (Africon)

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Putting competition: Dieter Boschoff (PDNA)


Team Winners

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Team Winners:

Position Company Names


Kwezi V3
Semane Engineers
J Schutte, A Keuris, C Storm, J Kouns
N Aranjo, C Neves, D Cameron, J Blighnaut
C Simmers, E Archer, Trueman Goba
J Kieser, T van Rooyen, W Spies, S De Meillon
A Bosch, A Robins, R September, C Erasmus  
K Reynolds, G Els, B Rencken, E Ansell
H Hildenhagen, E Price, R Barnard, V Wilson-Taylor            T Vermeulen, S Serongwane, D Kekane, P Makana
A du Plooy, G Minaar, F Botes, F Heyns
J McMillan, G Chapman, A Grobelaar, R Warner         





CESA Welcomes Kuvashnee

CESA would like to extend a warm welcome to Kuvashnee Govender who has joined the team as Manager of Marketing and Communications.  Kuvashnee joined CESA on the 21st July just in time for a host of events including the Engineering Excellence Awards; the Presidential Golf Challenge and the Consultant’s Relay not to mention the CESA/SAFCEC Conference being held in Fancourt in the Eastern Cape as well as the IMESA Convention being held in Bloemfontein in October.  Kuvashnee has also taken over the management of the rebranding of the Organisation.  Coming from a strong background in event management with international experience, Kuvashnee is currently a studying member with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.





Date Description of Event Venue

28 to 31 October

23 Dec to 31 Dec

24 Feb

15 to 19 March

IMESA Conference

CESA Offices Closed

Presidential Media Breakfast

GAMA Conference



The Grace, Rosebank

Elangeni Hotel, Durban