The architectural stakeholders meeting yesterday, 10 march 2016 at the Birchwood hotel, Boksberg was quite an interesting process. for the SACAP council individuals tasked with guiding the architectural profession in SA, it was apparent its not an easy task and for their efforts we must thank all of them.
Yesterdays meeting had a really strong referee who managed the proceedings with a no deviation from the designed script approach. everyone was invited to ask 1 question only at a time, and the questions where asked in batches of 4 questions at a time, before being answered. it was made very clear that Insecurities, speeches and opinions weren’t allowed during this forum. and questions not dealing with the topic where assigned to the end – however where never addressed at the end. it was a 4 different individuals questions at a time format. it did appear at times that the more difficult answers looked for by those attending where either skirted around, skipped or glossed over. whether this was intentional or just part of being barraged by many questions, is unclear.
However it was a friendly day and the food was good and to be amongst over 600 of SA’s architectural professionals was a rare privilege.
V cant ever help getting the feeling ….. (and he feels he must warn the reader at this stage, because V believes everybody has an agenda and everyone is generally looking for an angle. even himself – as conspiracy theory comes quite naturally to some. )
The concept of while we all watch the warm cuddly white rabbit , the tiger is waiting to bring us all back to reality. V has a problem as he constantly for most things, keeps seeing tigers eyes in the darkness. this could be more a reflection on him than this process.
if there is an alternative not yet clear agenda, its really up to everyone to explore what this could be. its up to all members and the public to try to figure out what the catch could be down the line. if their is none – no harm no foul, a proper due process was entertained and everyone will be happy they did research before agreeing to anything.
Here is the thing , Once the IDOW and fees structure is properly legislated and made law, it doesn’t matter about verbal conversations or promises or anything that happened before the fact – the law will simply stand and it will be all done – finished and kla. it has sadly appeared up until now that due process has not been followed and only now because its been mandated its a course being explored and taken. that is why its up to all, public and professional alike to look at these proposals from every angle before deciding to make it law.
This proposal hints at trying to change the “constitution” and the “competitions act” to align with the “architectural act”. The question to be asked is – why don’t we align the “architectural act” with the “constitution” and the “competitions act” instead? surely it would be far easier than trying to change 2 massive working entities that have been fairly set up and are completely fair and functional. it appears that this process is using one act to try and change another 2- if this is remotely correct (reader to use discretion , its just a question at this stage) the implications of this is very far reaching – by changing the 2 stronger acts to align with the lesser act, it does seem a very interesting approach . the knock on effect could radically change how every established profession in South Africa will go forward. which could be the tigers eyes in the dark i am seeing.
as the meeting progressed The architects where squabbling about the cake and pudding being taken from their tables, not really seeing that they where proposing to take the bread from the draughtspersons. Huge cheers went up when fees where discussed and everyone at the top of the food chain started to dream of the obscene amounts of money they would make if all this was locked up in an architectural fee structure.
it is a simple fact that draughtspersons are not architects. respect must go to those individuals who have earned their stripes and have done the hard yards. architects are incredibly important within the landscape of Africa,s future and no one should water down the difficult process they have taken to achieve this. however draughtspersons also offer a lesser but very necessary function within the built environment. to expect a low to middle income family to pay these exorbitant locked in architectural fees will absolutely cripple the building industry.
if artists who studied and worked under a master for 50 yrs wanted to create a locked in fee structure for their art, would that be feasible? one artist going to the gallery demanding that their work should be priced at the same price as this dead van gogh character or this picasso upstart. ones actual value is different to the locked in value professionals are demanding. what could happen is that the More design sensitive jobs that draughtspersons manage to net through their offices- should have an overseeing architect to help design advise and oversee – the overseeing architect with the design skill and knowledge can gain cpd credits and a respectable fee and the draughtsperson can learn – this will stop this professional xenophobia. work together – most architects love the design phase of the project and to be woven into this beginning process with the draughtsperson with a win win – will work.
with all due respect – South Africa is not really a top architectural world travel destination.(well not that V knows of) people travel to Barcelona , Sydney , Europe , America to look at the incredibly designed architecture. Not to many make the pilgrimage to look at the architecture in South Africa. Where’s South Africas version of Antoni Gaudi or FLW? heck I would if i could pay those type of architects millions to inject an incredible architecture into our African landscape and people would travel thousands of miles to come and see it.
yesterdays meeting was a step in the right direction – more dialogue , more open communication , more engagement between the role players in the architectural arena – its not an easy task but it looks like things are going forward.
it has come to vivaladraughts attention that the competions council of SA Currently is evaluating an exemption application?
so someone on behalf of the regulatory body has currently lodged an exemption application with the ccsa that all sacap members haven’t seen or are even aware of. this NB document is currently being evaluated after the ccsa rejected the board notice (154) 2011 . what does this current application consist of?
vivaladraught thought follow up documents to the ccsa and cbe could only be honorably submitted once Thursdays stakeholder meeting is entertained and finished . it appears someone is seriously jumping the gun – the time line seems to be seriously off . or am i incorrect?
Someone is going ahead with this IDOW, fees structuring application regardless of what the members or the public sais and Thursdays meeting is just a tick box process.
Is Thursdays stakeholder meeting a fait accompli?
is this exemption application document lodged with the ccsa allowed to be looked at by the public or is it legally private?
If the public can look at this document currently being evaluated by ccsa , Can the ccsa post the document to the public?
I have a few additional questions I feel need to be answered urgently. Up until now it does sadly appear to those on the outside (public and draughtspersons) that there has been a certain amount of subterfuge relating to the various applications around the IDOW and proposed fee structure documents. Very Fortunately the competitions board and the CBE have brought an immense measure of fairness and fair play to the process. I really love the values set out in SACAPS mission statement, as it embodies everything I would expect from a regulatory body looking out for the interests of all its professionals and most importantly the SA public.
SACAP will Transform, promote and regulate the architectural profession through collaborative engagement in the pursuit of excellence.
Responsibility: Being accountable for our decisions and actions
Excellence: promoting high standards
Integrity: ethical behaviour, honesty and trustworthiness
Respect: ethos of dignity, tolerance and collaboration
Transparency: appropriate disclosure of information and open debate
Cohesiveness: shared, coherent values and aspirations
vivaladraughts additional questions are as follows.
- Any questions that are not addressed in the stakeholders meeting on the 10th of march , will all these remaining questions then be addressed via the SACAP website afterwards? having a stakeholders meeting is really wonderful, however possibly just answering 20 cherry picked questions is great. Im just wondering about the questions not addressed on the day , will these be urgently addressed before any further steps forward are taken, re IDOW , RPL , fees structures and CPD.
- What documents relating to the IDOW and fees structures are currently lodged at the competitions board and CBE? Because I understand SACAPS future plans are honorable – however to be collaborative, we all need to know if there are any current applications already submitted in regards to IDOW and fee structures anywhere else other than SACAP. (collaboration and transparency)
- Will all the stakeholders be present at the meeting on the 10th of march. Will senior representatives from the dept of public works be attending , senior representatives from the CBE , competitions board and will SACAP furbish us the names of all the stakeholders attending the meeting?
- What is SACAP doing to encourage the education of architectural draughting in the various colleges , FET and private when it comes to architectural draughting courses. What courses are SACAP currently validating to further educate and train draughtspersons? ( a scarce skill in south Africa)
- Are SACAP currently going to colleges around SA and engaging with the lecturers and students, regulation starts at the seed and permeates through the growth of the tree?
- Is there going to be representation at the stakeholders meeting from the education dept?
- What is SACAPS future plans for all the VA’s within the SACAP framework?
- We have an immense scarce skills problem in SA and The IDOW document appears to radically marginalize one set of currently working architectural professionals, does the IDOW and the new proposed fee structures consider the poor , disenfranchised and marginalized within the public sector?
- Will the new proposed IDOW document be within my constitutional rights and will it be vetted by the competitions board and the CBE?
- It appears that SACAPS proposed IDOW document and proposed fee structures take the choice away from the public, whom SACAP has sworn to protect. What are SACAPS thoughts on this assumption?
- The board notice (154) 2011 was always only a draught document. it was never legal and therefore not ever binding, what will happen to all architectural professionals who were forced by SACAP and municipalities to adhere to it. Do these professionals get remunerated for being forced to key into a document that was not ever legally binding?
in the interests of our SACAP mission statement – I believe we are now creating something that aligns with the values put forward.
A simple letter to SACAP – architectural draughtspersons need to be asking many questions, BEFORE ITS TO LATE – here is a few that need to be clarified clearly.
vivaladraught has addressed these questions to via email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the website http://www.sacapsa.com/
Dear chairperson representing the architectural professional stakeholders and in the interests of the SA public.
Thank you for allowing me to comment and to ask questions regarding these proposed immense changes that are threatening to sweep across the architectural professional landscape. My questions and statements are possibly very naive – however the communication of these massive changes to the public and to me the architectural professional to my mind have been rather threadbare. an element of subterfuge has followed this IDOW process since its inception and hence my urgent email to you, to clarify my understanding.
My questions interspersed with my limited understanding of the impact of this proposal is as follows.
- What is the implication of this new legislation to the public (whom SACAP has vowed to protect) the public who are engaging with an existing qualified architectural draughtsperson doing work for them now, who will suddenly be rendered immediately unqualified after the IDOW bill is legislated?
- Will the architectural draughtsperson be immediately paid out for the architectural job he can no longer manage or is now suddenly not qualified to do. who will manage this delicate transition process between the public and the now legally unqualified architectural professional. The time between being qualified and suddenly not being qualified. This extremely important time after the architectural draughtsperson is deemed immediately unqualified to do the work they have been qualified to do for years? To my logic – Someone is either qualified and doing the work or not qualified and unable to do the work. its interesting to me to see how this problem is going to be addressed kindly and diplomatically.
- Has anyone thought out how taking away work from architectural draughtspersons and not replacing it with equal value is going to impact on the architectural draughtspersons ability to earn the living they are currently To feed the family currently being fed. Has SACAP thought about remuneration packages and early retirement payments to professionals effected by this stroke of an academic pen legislation.
- will the public have to now engage a new qualified architectural IDOW professional at new exorbitant costs to finish off the architectural draughting job under the new IDOW framework. (when it is suddenly legislated) or is there going to be a tailoring off period where suddenly qualified people are rendered unqualified, but at least paid out fairly.
- Has the controlling SACAP entities driving this new legislation thought about how they are going to remunerate architectural professionals earning a living now – who will be rendered immediately unemployed or fired after this IDOW bill is legislated. Surely the legal ramifications are massive – whats SACAPS take on this extremely important point?.
- How is this massive problem going to be addressed of architectural draughtspersons who are more than qualified to do the job under the 500m2 rule – however are not qualified under the to be legislated IDOW. My question – Is this new legislation taking away 500m2 and giving only back 5m2? What is actually being lost and gained by the architectural draughtsperson through this sleight of hand legislation maneuver? Surely they need to be offered more not significantly less?
- How will approving and legislating the IDOW precedent in the architectural field – translate into all work portfolios across the working environment in SA. surely if this IDOW precedent is created in the architectural environment – wont it start a very dangerous pyramid of IDOW across all the professional work environments in SA. Locking out currently qualified and working professionals to give work to the entitled few scenario.
- How is the public and the professionals being informed about these massive changes in the architectural field in all of the major city centers around South Africa. Or is something as important as this just being discussed at a very high level and the minions will just have to follow legislation when its instituted. Surely we can demand this stakeholders forum be put in front of all South Africans at a venue close to where they live.
And just 2 last questions
- As a certain few are so eager to lock out architectural draughtspersons from the SA architectural landscape – It would be simply interesting to know if these individuals are applying the same architectural energy towards SA’s informal settlements. What steps are being taken to control the informal settlement built environment? Surely the formal and informal built environments should be equally managed. Instead of seeking ways to fire qualified professionals in the formal sector , professionals who are adding value to our SA workforce – surely we should adopt a more inclusive work environment model – and stop this professional xenophobia from taking root and rendering currently qualified professionals out of work.
- Up until now architectural professionals are only finding out what’s happening in the architectural field at the local municipalities – when submission procedures suddenly change , when forms suddenly change, when zoning legislation suddenly changes immediately – what is SACAP doing to timorously inform us the professionals under its direction about these immense changes in the architectural industry. Obviously the public is effected by a workforce who does not know whats going on because everything at the moment is so vastly organic.
- Or is it up to the municipality to school the architectural professional as they change things every few minutes on a whim.
Just a word to the wise – To my mind this IDOW is completely unacceptable in a civilized society. It is pure greed that fuels a process that fires a currently qualified professional today but suddenly not qualified under new legislation tomorrow procedure.
an architectural system needs to protect the public, we definitely should not set up a procedure that is designed to fleece the public.
If your a member of the public in South Africa or you are currently practicing as an architectural draughtsperson or even an architectural technician. This SACAP meeting coming up on the 10th of march 2016 is incredibly important for your practice going forward. It is also incredibly important for the public to immediately understand the immense ramifications of this bill.
You simply have to attend , you simply have to start to understand the immense implications of this IDOW bill, in the architectural industry.
The public simply have to realize architectural fees are going to become absolutely exorbitant and the public’s choice of architectural professionals they can use will be severely limited. This in a country that has extreme poverty and immense wealth. This bill is doing no favors financially for the public using the services of an architectural draughtsperson and for the person trying to currently earn a living as an architectural draughtsperson. The reality by the stroke of a pen , People living in informal settlements will never ever be able to afford the services of the IDOW architectural elite. This architectural elite’s will benefit greatly from this bill being approved.
In an architectural nutshell – this identification of works bill (IDOW) is set to restrict professionals currently self employed or working for others from earning a living, which they currently are able to do.
An entire architectural working platform will immediately be cut off from their current client base, cut off from the public. They will by the stroke of a pen from greedy men, become unemployed by virtue of the fact they cannot sign off work they currently are registered professionally to do. They will be restricted from doing work they currently are earning a living doing.
From being able to accomplish certain architectural duties, from which they earn a living. They will be immediately rendered unemployed, the public will not have access to them professionally by virtue of this bureaucratic process.
THE WARNING IS VERY , VERY CLEAR – if this precedent is set within the architectural profession here in SA. What stops every single other profession creating an identification of works bill pyramid, that will then open the way for an elite few to have access to the public and access to life saving work.
This bill will immediately stop currently employed professional architectural draughtspersons from earning a living. They are basically firing the currently employed using bureaucratic red tape to achieve a sinister agenda.
The South African built environment landscape has 2 very clear systems that operate completely separately from each other. This does have a much broader impact socially and culturally, however that is a much more complex subject. This small essay is to try focus on the domestic built environment here in SA. Try and create some perspective and dialogue to allow some much needed level headed reasoning to prevail.
The tale of these two built environments needs to be told as a matter of urgency, because each has positives that can be gained from each other. Sadly and frustratingly the rate things are now going , each of these 2 built environment systems is doing its level best to completely ignore the other and grow in completely separate directions. To the complete detriment of everyone. Alarmingly at no point in the future do these 2 entities look like they will ever align, And this is very worrying
Without complicating this discussion, we need to separate public building works and the industrialized built environment. In this discussion its only the domestic built environments that need to be carefully looked at. and the process of plans regulation and planning submissions. The domestic built environment is a multi billion Rand industry and needs to be working smoothly for job creation and a sustainable economy. jobs are being held up by bureaucratic systems that are fanatically over regulating the building plans submission and approval process.
the two built environments are
1) the formal domestic built environment , which is completely over regulated by council bureaucratic red tape fanatics , who at municipal level find every reason why plans should not be approved. Its becoming completely ludicrous that the built environment planning system is holding up simple building jobs for well over a year or more. This is now costing the public billions in inflation costs and wasted time. To add to the complete frustration these municipal fanatics constantly fiddle with zoning scheme regulations , change submission procedures and change submission forms. Not to mention their new computer submission system going off line for days on end and also wiping submission flash drives completely clean of all information. forcing the professionals to rescan everything once again. (at a cost of course) The knock on effect of this insanity is that the architectural professional is left looking less than professional in front of a totally irate client. This over regulation and constant changing of regulation procedures and complete disregard for architectural professionals, public and builders waiting to build, is now completely out of control.
2) informal built environment in this system the rules and regulations are no where near as restrictive. building plans are not needed for building work within these communities , street committees decide on all matters within these communities and building work is happening faster than one can keep up. municipalities dont regulate these communities with the same vice like grip as they display in the formal sector. i would be surprised if a building inspector is able to control the full impact of the informal domestic work going up.
it appears that the municipalities here in cape town, inspect, regulate and monitor the first system fervently, whilst giving the second built environment a wave through of the hand. surely an equal medium should be reached between the two.
both systems have merit – if ones plans clearly have notes like, all building work to be in accordance with the relevant national building regulations and performed by qualified and registered contractors to meet with local authority regulations. and a structural engineer will be appointed by the owner of the property to check and approve structural integrity of design. etc etc. surely one doesn’t now still have to put every single note that is in the national building regs onto ones plans. their are plans examiners in cape town who spend days writing essays of notes that are found in the national building regs, for professionals to painstakingly add to documents , which takes a long time. – surely linking ones plans to this massive document is enough, surely making sure the owner knows that he needs to appoint suitably qualified contractors and a structural engineer will take care of the detail. once plans have passed zoning and scrutiny fees are paid , surely it should be a easy enough approval stamp.
so we have 1 system that is completely over regulated and getting worse and another system that completely is allowed to go forward largely unregulated. surely we can find a system that works down the middle somewhere.
hopefully the council for the built environment can start solving this massive issue which is bringing an entire industry to its knees. crippling job creation and holding up the economy. the SA economy needs work to be created – it cannot be created if the very building plans are being help up for years due to petty mindedness.
a solution and an equal way forward needs to be found asap – or we sink further in the red tape.