2010-2011 Annual Report

South African Academy of Engineering

13th Annual Report

1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011


R A Pullen





The year 2010/11 was one of consolidation and modest growth for the SA Academy of Engineering. In the first full year as the 26th member of CAETS the Academy engaged in somewhat more activities than in the past, both locally and in conjunction with sister Academies elsewhere in the world. While some progress has been made, there is still significant ground to be covered before the Academy really achieves its objectives according to its potential.


Membership of the Academy has grown slightly over the year as attention is focused on working towards a better representation of the various engineering disciplines and expertise, sectors of activity, geographical spread, race and gender. The focus during the year has been to strengthen relationships with our international associates while continuing to improve our relevance in South Africa.


Exco and AGM Meetings


Four Exco Meetings took place during the Financial Year 2010/2011 on the following dates:

19 May 2010

18 August 2010

17 November 2010 and

16 February 2011.


The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) University of Pretoria, has for many years kindly accommodated SAAE Exco meetings in the Faculty Board Room. This courtesy is greatly appreciated. The February 2011 Exco meeting took place in the ASSAf Committee Room, The Woods, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria.


The 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SAAE took place in the Post Graduate Centre, University of Pretoria, on 19 May 2010.





The following new Fellows were elected at the AGM held on 19 May 2010, bringing the membership to 163:


  • Trevor Balzer, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Director-General, Department of Water Affairs.

  • Bram de Klerk, Group General Manager, SASOL Limited.

  • Prof  Stephan  Heyns, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria.

  • Bryan Perrie,   Managing Director, Cement & Concrete Institute.

  • Prof Dick Stacey, Consultant and Visiting Professor, School of Mining Engineering, University of the  Witwatersrand.

  • Peter Van Niekerk, Water Resources Specialist, Department of Water Affairs.

  • Dr Allan Wijnberg,  Director and COO, Prestedge Retief Dresner and Wijnberg (PRDW) (Pty) Ltd. Consulting Engineers.

  • Willie Van Biljon,   CEO, Advanced Technologies and Engineering


The new Fellows were welcomed by the President at Induction Dinners held in Pretoria on 20 October 2010 and in Cape Town on 10 November 2010.




The Executive Committee elected for 2010-2012 was as follows:


  • Trueman Goba, Executive Chairman, Goba (Pty)Ltd.

  • Prof Fred Hugo, Emeritus Professor and Director ITT, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Stellenbosch.

  • Dr Bingle Kruger, Retired CEO, BKS (Pty)Ltd.

  • Braam le Roux, Retired CEO, Spoornet.

  • Prof Roy Marcus, Chairman, Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management.

  • Dempsey Naidoo, Executive Chairman, PD Naidoo and Associates.

  • Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Johannesburg.

  • Bob Pullen, Past President, ECSA and Retired Deputy CEO, BKS (Pty)Ltd.

  • Prof Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, University of Pretoria


These members of the Executive Committee were all members of the outgoing committee and agreed to serve for another term of office.


The Office Bearers during 2010-2012 are:

President : Fellow Bob Pullen

Vice Presidents : Fellow Roy Marcus

Fellow Trueman Goba

Fellow Roelf Sandenbergh

Treasurer : Fellow Braam le Roux


Gauteng Induction Dinner


On 20 October 2010 Aurecon Consulting Engineers hosted the Gauteng Induction Dinner at the Pretoria Country Club. Dr Gustav Rohde, Chief Executive, Africa Middle East, Aurecon, delivered an excellent illustrated presentation on a Vision for the future of Engineering to an appreciative audience of 69 people.


Western Cape Induction Dinner


Aurecon Consulting Engineers also hosted the Induction Dinner at Kelvin Grove in Cape Town on 10 November 2010. Dr Gustav Rohde, Chief Executive, Africa Middle East, Aurecon, delivered the same presentation that he delivered to the Gauteng Induction Dinner. The audience of 43 people greatly enjoyed the evening.


SAAE gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of both the Gauteng and Western Cape Induction Dinners by Aurecon.




Council of the Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS)

The 31st Annual Meeting of CAETS took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 29 and 30 June 2010. A Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems – Food for All Forever took place on 29 June 2010 in association with the meeting and lead to publication of a Statement by CAETS on this subject. The SAAE was not represented at the 2010 CAETS Annual Meeting, mainly because of lack of resources.


SAAE was invited by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) to participate as one of five corresponding member Academies in their project on Deployment of Low-emission Technologies for Electric Power Generation in Response to Climate Change. This project was endorsed by the CAETS Council at its Annual Meeting in Calgary in 2009. Fellow Willem du Preez represented the SAAE on the Working Group which met in Tokyo, Japan, and made a very well received contribution to the Report. An Executive Summary of the report was published by CAETS on 1 September 2010.


Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

Sound working relationships with ATSE have been in place for some years leading to reciprocal participation in the activities of the Academies from time to time. This relationship was significantly strengthened when our two Academies were requested by our Governments to arrange a Joint Workshop in South Africa on Energy Technologies for a Low Carbon Future. The Workshop was an important item in the action plan emanating from a Bilateral Agreement between the two Governments, administered by the SA Department of Science and Technology and the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR).


A most successful Workshop took place at the DBSA in Midrand on 6 to 8 September 2010. The Workshop was attended by 60 participants of whom 11 were from Australia.




Panel Discussion on the IRP2010

The SAAE is making a concerted effort to carry out its main mission of providing independent, evidence-based advice to Government. In order for such advice to really carry the backing of the Academy, and not simply be the view of one or more individual members, it is necessary for the advice to be distilled from structured, open discussion of the subject and for all points of view to be heard. Where conflicting information and opinions exist, these need to be noted. The Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP2010), being the vision of Government for the development of electric energy generating capacity up to about 2030, was adopted early in 2010. This created an opportunity for the SAAE to evaluate the Plan and to provide Government with an opinion.


A Panel Discussion was arranged for 8 April 2011 in Pretoria and all members were invited to participate together with a number of invited specialists.


Technology Top 100 Awards (TT100)

SAAE, as an official sponsor of the TT100 Program, supports this initiative for encouraging innovative technological development which is so necessary for South Africa to become more competitive in the global economy. SAAE Fellows assist in the adjudication process.




During Financial Year 2010/11 the total assets of the Academy increased from R26 986 to R40 970, all held as cash in the bank. The assets represent retained income and an amount of R2900 being membership fees paid in advance. There are no other liabilities.


Income during the year amounted to R135 363 (up from R76 581 in 2009/10), comprising membership fees of R83 150, donations of R51 574 and interest of R639. The main items of expense were Administration Fees, Functions and Conferences, and Printing and Stationery.


It is clear that the Academy is operating within a very modest budget and is heavily reliant on volunteer contributions of time and in kind. This severely limits the degree to which its mission can be achieved and a major change is necessary to ensure sustainability and success.





While the SA Academy of Engineering reached an important objective in being admitted as the 26th member of CAETS in 2009, which brings with it certain obligations, it is really important that it grows its relevance locally in South Africa. The Academy is focused on serving the public of South Africa and does not serve the needs of its members. It is the knowledge, experience and wisdom of its members that must be mobilized. Even the modest level of activity of the SAAE during recent years has put unsustainable strain on the limited resources available. This includes the valuable commodity of volunteer time.


This matter has received the constant attention of the Exco and concerted efforts were made to seek external financial and other support, without having to sacrifice independence. The President, Council and CEO of ASSAf have been most sympathetic in this matter and have facilitated discussions with the Department of Science and Technology from time to time. At present ASSAf kindly hosts the SAAE Executive meetings in their offices and further support could be forthcoming. With this level of cooperation having been established, opportunities for obtaining financial support from the DST for at least the minimum administrative costs of the Academy are being followed up. Only in this way can the Academy embark on really meaningful activities to achieve its objectives in the interest of the country and all of its people.




2011 Annual General Meeting,


1 June 2011

South African Academy of Engineering




Fellow RA Pullen PrEng