Sipho Madonsela champions the path for budding engineers

Engineering Council of South Africa chief executive, Sipho Madonsela lauded Mangosuthu University of Technology for its efforts to advance engineering education in theory and in practice. Madonsela was honoured by MUT’s Faculty of Engineering at this year’s graduation ceremony held at MUT’s Dr Pixley ka Seme hall on Friday, 22 April.

The departments of Chemical and Electrical Engineering chose Madonsela for his vast experience in engineering spanning 16 years. He has a wealth of management experience in the engineering discipline, having served as president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) of South Africa for five years prior to joining ECSA in 2014.

Madonsela reminded graduands of the huge role that as engineers, they are going to play in society. He said: “The world needs engineers. Our country needs you. Engineers and engineering have made an enormous contribution to the growth and development of the global economy and society. If we list some of the great engineering achievements of the 20th century, we have to conclude that our world, without engineers, would be very different – certainly everyday life would be a lot more uncomfortable and less productive.

“In the current climate of a declining economy, low unemployment rate in our country, one is inclined to wonder as to how engineers, in a global scale, have achieved the space and budgets to innovate.”

Transformation is a subject that is close to Madonsela’s heart. After taking up the reigns at ECSA, he has introduced a number of initiatives that have changed the course of engineers in the country. He shared: “The strength of a nation lies in the hands of its people, and its success on their brains. The world has brought a significant change to your careers. Isn’t it time to bring a change to the world? Our country needs you at the vanguard of technical innovation and leadership.”

Madonsela continued: “The South African engineering landscape can’t remain the same after today because the statistics of engineers, technologists and technicians are also going to change. We can’t remain at the mercy of imported skills as long as days like this one are still reckoned in the passages of time.”