2012 – 2013 Annual Report





1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013


R A Pullen



South African Academy of Engineering

15th Annual Report

1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013


R A Pullen




2012/13 has been a year of increased activity in the SAAE, at the local level and internationally with CAETS and bi-laterally with other Academies of Engineering. This was made possible inter alia through financial support in the form of a grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Only with such resources at its disposal can the Academy embark on really meaningful activities on a sustainable basis to achieve its objectives in the interest of the country and of all its people.


Relationships with CAETS and with our sister Academies around the world have been further strengthened and there are possibilities for cooperation that would be to mutual benefit. The SA Academy of Engineering must now find ways to inform the debates on many aspects of the economic development of the country.


It was with deep sadness that we learned of the passing away of Fellow Ross Parry-Davies on 27 July 2012 and Fellow Arthur Clayton on 29 September 2012. Their substantial contributions to the engineering profession in South Africa and to the well-being of our society will long be remembered and appreciated.


Executive Committee (Exco)


The Executive Committee (Exco) of the SAAE for 2012/13 and 2013/14 comprises the following members:

Dr E Botha Mr DB Botha

Mr S Duma Mr T Goba

Prof S Heyns Dr J Maina

Mr PD Naidoo Prof C O’Connor

Mr RA Pullen Dr M Shand.


The SAAE Rules have for some years provided for a President, who is also the Chairman of the Executive Committee, and for three Vice Presidents as office bearers. The previous Exco recommended that this arrangement be reviewed and it was decided to revert to the earlier model of having only one Vice President. Fellow RA Pullen was elected President of the SAAE for the current two-year term and Fellow T Goba was elected Vice President.


Sincere thanks are due to Fellow M Shand and Fellow PD Naidoo who graciously stood down from the two Vice Chairman positions that were done away with. Fellow PD Naidoo maintained the Treasurer responsibility until January 2013 when he indicated that new circumstances in his consulting engineering firm, which are brought about by the recent merger with a major international company, make it difficult for him to continue as a member of the Exco. He resigned from the Exco and his position has just been filled by Fellow Kevin Wall. Fellow Liesbeth Botha agreed to take over the Treasurer portfolio.


Four Exco Meetings took place during the Financial Year 2012/13 on the following dates:

73rd Meeting – 16 May 2012

74th Meeting – 15 August 2012

75th Meeting – 14 November 2013, and

76th Meeting – 6 March 2013.


The 73rd and 74th Exco meetings took place in the ASSAf Committee Room at The Woods, Persequor Technopark, Pretoria, with the kind permission of the Chief Executive of ASSAf, Prof Roseanne Diab. Our Executive Secretary, Mrs Heleen Duffey, has been accommodated in the ASSAf offices at no direct cost to the SAAE for almost two years now. It is reassuring to have a fixed address for the Academy with access to many facilities and support not previously enjoyed. This gesture from the ASSAf Council is greatly appreciated.


In order to minimize meeting costs and to use the time of Exco Members more effectively, the 75th and 76th meetings took the form of Video conferences hosted in the offices of AECOM in Pretoria and Aurecon in Cape Town. Committee members who were unable to get to either of these two venues were linked in by a conference call.


The kind and generous assistance of AECOM and of Aurecon in this matter is appreciated.


15th Annual General Meeting


The 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SAAE took place in the Engineering 3 Building, University of Pretoria, on 30 May 2013. This was followed by a presentation on The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) that will attempt to improve the land speed record at Verneukpan in the Northern Cape in October 2013.




The following new Fellows were elected at the AGM held on 30 May 2012, bringing the membership to 165:


  • Badiali, Ricardo Adolfo, Consulting Engineer, RB Engineering (self employed).


  • Boje, Prof Edward, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal.


  • Collis, Vernon, Professional Structural Engineer and Architect (own consulting practice).


  • Furumele, Musa Stefane, Chief Executive, Gandlati Strategic Equity (Pty)Ltd.


  • Macleod, Neil Alastair, Head: Water and Sanitation, eThekwini Municipality.


  • Madikane, Thembinkosi Cedric, Managing Director, Igoda Projects (Pty)Ltd.


  • Press, Anton Joseph Colin, Project Executive, Algoa Project Services.


  • Pretorius, Prof Marthinus Willem, Head: Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria.


  • Roberts, Howard Lindsay, Consulting Engineer.


  • Slabber, Prof Johan, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria. .


  • Van Niekerk, Prof Johannes Lodewikus, Director, Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, University of Stellenbosch.


  • Van Zyl, Prof Arnold, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Stellenbosch.



The newly elected Fellows were welcomed by the President and by Members at Induction Dinners held in Johannesburg on 2 October 2012 and in Cape Town on 7 November 2012.


Western Cape Induction Dinner


The high technology company ffEMSS, which is a service provider to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, hosted the Induction Dinner at the Kelvin Grove Club on 7 November 2012. Frans Meyer and Isak Theron delivered a presentation on the development and application of technology by ffEMSS for the SKA. 52 Fellows and their guests attended the gathering.


Gauteng Induction Dinner


On 2 October 2012 GOBA Consulting Engineers hosted the Gauteng Induction Dinner at the Johannesburg Country Club. Mr Trueman Goba, Chief Executive of GOBA, made a presentation on the work of the National Planning Commission of which he is a member and outlined the main thrust of the Commission’s findings and recommendations. An appreciative gathering of 69 Fellows and guests attended the function.


SAAE gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of the Western Cape Induction Dinner by ffEMSS and the Gauteng Dinner by GOBA Consulting Engineers.





Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS)

The Swiss Academy of Engineering (SATW) hosted the 20th Council Meeting and Symposium at the Swissotel, Zurich, Switzerland, from 29 August 2012 to 31 August 2012. The SAAE was represented by Fellow Bob Pullen, President, and by Fellow Philip Lloyd. Fellow Pullen, who serves on the CAETS Audit Committee, was elected to the CAETS Board of Directors for a two-year term of office.


Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

In 2009 the SAAE was invited by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) to participate as one of five corresponding member Academies in their CAETS-endorsed project on Deployment of Low-emission Technologies for Electric Power Generation in Response to Climate Change. During 2012/13 Fellow Philip Lloyd continued to make highly appreciated contributions to this project. He attended a meeting of the Working Group in Zurich and has assisted in the preparation of a report to be submitted for adoption to the CAETS Council in Budapest in June 2013.


Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE)

On 10 December 2012 the Exco of SAAE hosted a visit from a CAE delegation led by Vice President PAN Yunhe. After a fruitful discussion with the visitors, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Academies was signed. The MoU envisages a range of joint activities for the next three years.


On 27 March 2013 Fellow Pullen and other Exco Members received Prof XIE Kechang, a Vice President of the CAE, and his delegation in Pretoria. Prof XIE, an expert on coal conversion and chemical engineering, and a group of Chinese academics were in South Africa to attend a conference in Cape Town.


German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)

During the CAETS meetings in Zurich in 2012 representatives of acatech suggested that relationships between their Academy and the SAAE be raised to a higher level through active cooperation and that this intention be documented in a MoU. A draft agreement has been compiled for consideration and acceptance.


In December 2012 the SAAE was invited by acatech to participate in a project, to be funded by the EU Commission, which is aimed at developing mobile telephone technology as a tool for enabling small businesses in Africa to access financial institutions and to conduct their activities. acatech and the SAAE are two Engineering Academies participating in this proposal together with four other organizations in Europe. A Proposal was submitted early in January 2013 for consideration by the EU Commission. No outcome has so far been reported.




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.


Annual Academy Lecture

The Exco initiated an Annual Academy Lecture as a means for developing activities in South Africa where members can actively participate and contribute their knowledge and experience for the benefit of society. The first lecture in this series was presented by Prof Philip Lloyd and is entitled Opportunities for Low Carbon Energy Technology for Power Generation. The lecture was delivered in Cape Town in November 2012 and will be repeated in Gauteng in May 2013.


A second lecture in this series is being prepared for presentation in 2013/14 at as many venues as possible.


Annual Hendrik van der Bijl Lecture

No Hendrik van der Bijl Lecture was presented 2012/13.




During the Financial Year 2011/12 the total assets of the Academy increased from R37 871 to R165 372, represented by cash in the bank, arrears membership fees and the depreciated value of computer equipment. The assets represent retained income and a nominal R1600 membership fees received in advance. There are no liabilities to be met.


Income during the year amounted to R342 518, up from R112 752 in 2011/12. The main sources of income were membership fees of R101 950, donations and sponsorships of R237 630, and interest of R2938.


In March 2012 the Academy received a grant of R200 000 from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), channeled through ASSAf. This grant was unexpected and was earmarked for covering the costs of being affiliated to CAETS, for participating in CAETS activities, and for basic administrative expenses as motivated in various applications to the DST for financial support. It was hoped that this would be an annual provision in support of the SAAE but there has so far been no indication that further support will be given to the SAAE in this way. The significant increase in retained income at the end of 2012/13 over the situation at the end of 2011/12 is a consequence of having access to this grant. These funds are committed to activities planned for the first two quarters of the 2013/14 financial year.


The Exco has renewed its efforts at securing an ongoing source of income to at least sustain the basic activities of the Academy in its mission to grow activities to a level of being self-sustaining.


The main items of expense were Administration Fees, Functions and Conferences, Travelling Expenses, and costs associated with being affiliated to CAETS (including attendance at annual CAETS Council meetings) and liaison with other Academies. The Academy enjoys generous support from sponsors for functions such as Induction Dinners and public lectures and the value of this support is now accounted for as income and against the relevant expense item to better reflect the level of activity in the organization. .

The Academy is making every effort to secure external sources of financial support so as to be able to undertake the kind of activities which are necessary to build a sustainable organization of value to South African society. This includes mobilizing the knowledge and experience of its members to formulate independent, evidence-based advice, usually on policy issues, for transmission to Government.




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 in the interest of the public.


The President, Council and CEO of ASSAf are thanked for their continued support in accommodating the Academy office in their facility. Sincere appreciation is due to the Department of Science and Technology which made it possible for the Academy to significantly raise its level of activity during the past year on the back of the grant received in March 2012. Every effort must be made to at least maintain this activity so as to fulfil the mission of the Academy. This will require a new funding model.


The Academy is now well placed to embark on really meaningful activities to achieve its objectives in the interest of the country and of all its people, i.e. to provide all spheres of Government with independent advice on matters where the engineering fraternity is best informed and can mobilize the contributions of others.



2013 Annual General Meeting,

South African Academy of Engineering


29 May 2013




Fellow RA Pullen PrEng