Cesa ‘dismayed’ at Cuban engineer recruitment in SA

20 February 2015

Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) has expressed dismay that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) had seconded 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract in the water sector.

The Cuban engineers include civil, electrical, mechanical and hydraulic engineers, as well as irrigation and drainage specialists.

Cesa president Abe Thela said the recruitment was worrying, as Cuban engineering skills were not recognised by the Engineering Council of South Africa, as they were not part of the Washington accord, which governs international engineering qualifications.

“Our member firms are only being 60% utilised and have 40% spare capacity while they are waiting for the government to bring projects on stream.

It has been a sore point for Cesa that the three levels of government have acute shortages in the area of technically qualified managers. Bringing in non-English speaking Cuban engineers is not a long-term solution,” cautioned Thela.

Cesa suggested that government use South African engineers and consulting engineering firms to tackle the skills shortage in the public sector.
SAICE has also criticised the DWS for importing skills when they were available locally.


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