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Architectural Professionals for Transformation -SAIBD

14 March 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Munetsi Chiunda
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Architectural Professionals for Transformation - Letter issued by the South African Institute of Building Design (SAIBD) in response to the petition entitled
https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-to-dissolve-current-sacap-boardcouncil

Statement of caution to SAIBD members

  1. Every South African has rights, one of which is freedom of expression which is enshrined in the South African Constitution.
  2. Every right has a corresponding term of reference in the form of legislation.
  3. SAIBD is concerned that its members may wilfully or unintentionally infringe upon the rights of others based on allegations contained in the “Architects for Change” petition that have not being tested in a court of law, commission of enquiry, disciplinary action, or a forensic audit.
  4. This cautionary statement is issued in the best interests of SAIBD members and any other registered person.
  5. Legal action may be taken against those who infringe on the constitutional rights of others by making defamatory statements.
  6. We ask that our members take the above into account when making comment and / or statements on any website or public forum.

STATEMENT OF CONCERN
The
National Board of SAIBD is concerned about the unsubstantiated allegations that the “Architects for Change” tabled in their petition. SAIBD seeks clarity from SACAP on behalf of its members, the registered architectural professionals and members of the public with reference to paragraph 2; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20.

EXECUTIVE STATEMENT
The
National Board of SAIBD is of the opinion that the unsubstantiated allegations do not warrant for the dissolution of the current SACAP Council. The National Board of SAIBD appeals to its members to engage in robust debates on matters affecting the profession and the registered architectural professional using the office of SAIBD.

SAIBD
is a recognised Voluntary Association, and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with SACAP. This MOU allows the Executive of SAIBD to engage with SACAP on matters affecting the profession at senior management level. SAIBD is in the process of inviting SACAP to engage with architectural professionals in matters that concern the architectural profession.

GENERIC STATEMENT
The
National Board of SAIBD has made critical comments on aspects of the “Architects for Change” petition for your information. The information is sourced from institutional memory in its engagement with the office of SACAP and has access to documents to validate its opinions.

 

The National Board of SAIBD affords SACAP the right to provide detailed narratives on its mandates and day to day operations including the right to clarify and or refute any unsubstantiated allegations:

 

  1. "Appointment of board members who have no relevant "qualifications" and some instances, experience"

    If this is to mean that Professional Draughtsmen, Technologist & Senior Technologist are unqualified to be board members, then the Architectural Professional Act 44 of 2000  then needs to be amended, as it is legislated in the Act 44 of 2000 that these categories be represented on the SACAP Council. This unsubstantiated claim could also mean the “missing Middle” that was denied access to education is now also not allowed to determine their future. Is this not a continuation of the oppressive apartheid rules?.

    The Architectural Professional Act 44 of 2000 is specific on the composition and representation with respect to how the SACAP council is constituted: two members from the public - legal or accounting background in most instances, two members from the state - built environment qualifications and seven members from the architectural profession. Three of whom must be from a private practice. The seven architectural professionals will be proportionally represented on the SACAP council based on the number of registered persons in each category of registration.

    The Architectural Professional Act 44 of 2000 allows for the registration of professionals based on academic or recognition of prior learning experience. Recognition of prior learning is a national imperative of Government to allow for the redress of the past injustices suffered by the historically disadvantaged individual. The concept of recognition of prior learning is an international system used throughout the world.

    In South Africa, recognition of prior learning is legislated into law. The National Board references the National Standards Bodies regulations (no 18787 of 28thMarch) issued in terms of the SAQA act 58 of 1995. This means that a draughtsperson, technologist or senior technologist with formal qualification or recognition of prior learning has the right to be considered for appointment as SACAP council member. The composition of the SACAP council is constituted with a mix of experience and newly elected council members who undergo an induction process to be familiarized with Corporate Governance - King 4.

  2. "Appointment of a Registrar without experience OR qualifications within the Built Environment.”

    In order to manage an organisation in the 21st century, the head of the organisation must have skills that range from strategic management, good corporate governance, leadership and an understanding of finances, education, regulation, human recourses, labour relations act, objectives of government including the national objectives of government, its developmental and the transformational vision of the country. The members and the National Board of SAIBD are of the opinion that the current Registrar is competent to head SACAP. 
    Unless these allegations are substantiated and due process followed thereafter, this statement is misleading the public & Architectural Professionals, which in our opinion is bringing the profession into disrepute.

  3. "Appointment of a board that is "unrepresentative" of demographics as required by the Act".

    The appointment of the SACAP board is by nomination, shortlisting by a nomination panel and the final decision made by the Minister. We request the writer to please provide evidence that the Minister erroneously appointed the current SACAP board and that the nomination and nomination panel was *unrepresentative* of the demographics. 

    The process of appointing the 4th term council was in accordance with a directive issued by the National Minister of Public Works to the third term SACAP council. The third term council drafted a policy document on the nomination procedure including appointment of a nomination panel. The nomination panel short listed the preferred candidates and made its recommendation to the third term council. The third term council submitted this recommendation to the National Minister of Public Works. The National Minister of Public Works having considered the recommendation made a substitution and then approved the composition of the 4th term SACAP council.

    The allegations is therefore baseless and misleading the public and the architectural professionals.

  4. "Repeated failure to obtain approval for "IDOW" from the Competition Commission and failure to put in place an interim measure, thereby endangering the public."

    We are in support of the SACAP President's statement that the "IDOW" would only make sense after the Recognition of Prior Learning is in place. The final IDOW framework document has its history routed prior 2000 and between the years 2000 and 2007. The IDOW framework document was submitted to Council for the Built Environment as per the Act.

    The IDOW framework document was withdrawn from the Council for the Built Environment around 2010-2011 by the third term SACAP council on the basis that certain council members were not privy to the IDOW framework document. The IDOW committee over the next four years deliberated and made two minor amendments and one major amendment to the IDOW framework document. The major amendment by the 3rd term council relates to the removal of the RPL process and replacing it with a special consent process, although this policy document was never defined.

    The recommendation to remove the RPL process is derived from recommendations of the third term SACAP council was against the spirit of transformation as this would exclude the vast majority of registered professional from advancing to a higher category. This is where the challenge of having the IDOW framework document approved by the Competitions Commissioner begins. The current IDOW framework document  is founded on architectural work reservation, which in  the opinion of the Competitions Commission is anti-competitive and restrictive. The current IDOW framework document has to align to skills and competencies rather than boxes of opportunities for the three categories of architectural professionals. The National board of SAIBD is of the understanding that the current 4thterm council is reviewing this document and aligning it to skills and competencies. The core component to the IDOW framework document is the re-introduction of the Recognition of Prior Learning policy. The National Board of SAIBD is aware that the Recognition of Prior Learning is in an advanced stage and ready for implementation. Therefore, the allegation is baseless and misleading to the public and the registered architectural professional.

  5. "Failure to obtain approval for "professional fees" from the Competition Commission"
    The current *professional fees* as propagated by the previous boards only takes a certain portion of the social demographics of South Africa into account. One needs to consider that the professional fees are only a recommendation and cannot be enforced, as that would then be seen as price fixing. The Professional fees framework document is an operational procedure and has its history of rejection by the Competitions Commission during the office of the third term council. In order to comply with the legislation that governs the environment of competition the SACAP third term council tabled an exemption application with the Council for the Built Environment. The Council for the Built Environment is mandated to undertake this function on behalf of the six built environment professional councils.

    The challenge is that historically, this was an architect driven process with respect to the drafting of annual professional fee guideline document. To our knowledge the third term council failed to reach consensus on the reviewing of the recommended guideline fee document to align itself with the reality of a democratic South Africa and the Built Environment taking into account community access to professional services from the built environment professionals that is affordable and at the same time balancing the sustainability of the architectural practice.

    The National Board of SAIBD understands that the office of the 4th term council is researching an alternative method of recommending professional fees that ensures the sustainability of the professional practice and communities have access to professional architectural services that is affordable and meets high standards of professionalism.

    The National Board of SAIBD seeks an explanation as to the lack of consultation with the architectural professionals and the reason why the current professional fees committee is architect represented only.

  6.  "Failure to engage government and "formulation of policies" affecting the profession especially in as far as transformation is concerned e.g. procurement system (pppfa)."
    SACAP is to explain its engagement with government on the formulation of policy or if this falls outside the scope of work mandated by the Architectural Act. It is well known that SACAP reports to Council for the Built Environment which in turn reports to the Department of Public Works and that there are state representatives on council that report back to the Department of Public Works.

  7.  "Dissolution of the Transformation Committee due to none deliverance"
    We are aware that the 4th term council of SACAP revised its mission transformation is the overarching principal & value of the SACAP council & therefore no transformation committee was formed. We are also aware that the 3rd term had a transformation committee; however there has been no result of transformation noted. It is also a fact that this transformation committee was by implication responsible for the abolishing the RPL.

    Acting upon a directive issued by the Council for the Built Environment the office of the 3rd term SACAP council formed a transformation committee to make recommendations that align to government’s transformation agenda. The final transformation policy document was approved by the 3rd Term council and minuted for recommendation to be adopted by the office of the 4th term Council.

    The
    National Board of SAIBD seeks clarity on the Status of this committee and the progress made thus far with implementation of a transformation strategy. The National Board of SAIBD understands that transformation covers a wide range of goals, some of which are short term and others are long term.

    The National Board of SAIBD highlights the one achievement of the 4th Term SACAP Council - the introduction of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to address the historical injustices of the education system
    and the job reservation policies of the previous government.

    The National Board of SAIBD using this platform appeals to the 4th term Council that its focused approach must include a dedicated commitment to address the informal learning and incomplete qualifications of the historical disadvantaged individual during the period 1970 and 2006 (2006 being the cut of date for compulsory registration legislated into law)

    The
    National Board of SAIBD reminds the 4th term SACAP Council that in view of the Rhodes must fall and fees must fall movement the 4th term SACAP Council has an obligation to address the "missing middle“ in architecture (the period 1970 to 2006).The National Board places on record that it is the only recognised Voluntary Association that championed the cause of the missing middle in architecture.

  8. “Dissolution of the "WiASA" Task Team which was also responsible for advancement of women's interests due to none deliverance"

    The National Board of SAIBD asks the question: what has WiASA done for the female registered person of all categories? SAIBD’S large female representation of registered persons have never been invited to an event or meeting with WiASA. We believe that WiASA task team has not fulfilled its mandate & therefore assume that this is the reason for its dissolution.

    WiASA is a SACAP initiative aligned to their transformation mission, this task team should have therefore interacted with all registered professional women namely all the Professional Draughtspersons, Professional Technologist & Professional Senior Technologist. This exclusion, by the 'dissolved task team' is contrary to the transformation in the agenda. We also seek further clarity from SACAP on the dissolution of the WiASA task team. We need clarity from SACAP regarding WiASA.

  9.  “Lack of "investment" into initiatives meant for the benefit of the profession"
    SAIBD National Board requests the writers to please substantiate this claim. It should be noted that one of the mandates of SACAP is public protection. Initiatives meant for the benefit of the profession are the mandate of the Voluntary Associations. We believe that SACAP has invested in initiatives meant for the benefit of the architectural profession. These are for example the RPL initiative, Bursaries and WiASA (now dissolved) and International Associations.
    The National Board of SAIBD is concerned that historically the SACAP councils over capitalised its financial invest for the benefit of one category of registered persons being Architects. The National Board of SAIBD acknowledges the financial incentive to provide capacity to the Voluntary Associations during the office of the 2nd Term SACAP council. The National Board of SAIBD requests that SACAP 4th term council remedy this by having an inclusive policy of beneficiation.

Yours sincerely
Videshkumar Boodu
SAIBD National Executive President

The above letter is endorsed and supported by the National Executive committee of SAIBD:
Mr S. Reddy (Vice President) 
Mr M. Pillay (Treasurer)
Mr P. Mkhonza                                                              
Miss E. Robinson
Mr M. Douglas                                                               
Ms N. Khan
Mr
R. Nanan