The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) recently became aware of an online petition initiated by Architects for Change (A4C) after being contacted by a producer at SABC2’s Morning Live programme. The producer gave both A4C and SACAP an opportunity to air their views on the television programme.

The television segment came about after the Cape Messenger published an article entitled ‘Architects’ bureaucrats strike it rich’ on 16 February 2017. According to SACAP, the article contained a number of false accusations, so it submitted a response, which was also published in the Cape Messenger.

SACAP has subsequently prepared and issued a detailed response to the allegations noted in the A4C petition. The council reaffirmed its commitment to its values of transparency and integrity and welcomes any prima facie evidence with regards to any of the issues raised in the petition. It also addressed a number of accusations made by A4C, including the following:

Appointment of SACAP board members
The A4C alleged that SACAP board members are appointed without relevant qualifications and in certain instances, without relevant experience. SACAP responded that Council members are appointed according to the Architectural Act, 2000 (Act No.44 of 2000). The Council consists of seven registered persons, of whom four are actively practising in the profession, two are in the service of the State and were nominated by the state, and two were nominated through public participation.

All Council members, appointed by the Minister meet all the requirements as set out in Section 3 of the Act. Council members are appointed by the Minister after following due nomination process as set out in section 4 of the Act.

With regards to the allegation of a registrar being appointed without experience nor qualifications within the built environment, SACAP responded by explaining that there is no requirement in the Act that the Registrar should be qualified in the built environment.

The Registrar holds the positions of both CEO and Registrar of SACAP. The CEO is the custodian of the full executive management role and the Registrar is custodian of the organisation’s mandate to serve the profession. SACAP stated that the Registrar is highly skilled and competent to undertake the role of SACAP’s Registrar/CEO. The Registrar/CEO has a number of years of experience at senior management and executive level and also leverages specialised knowledge of the education sector, including matters relating to the National Qualifications Framework, the Council for Higher Education, SAQA and Skills Development.

Failure to obtain approval for the Identification of Work Policy
A4C alleged that SACAP has repeatedly failed to obtain approval for the Identification of Work Policy from the Competitions Commission and failed to put an interim measure in place, thereby endangering the public. To this end, SACAP responded that the Identification of Work Policy, compiled and submitted by the previous Council the 3rd Term Council, was rejected by the Competition Commission.

The Competition Commission is of the opinion that the Policy infringes competition laws. The framework document is deemed to be founded on architectural work reservation, which the Competitions Commission sees as anti-competitive and restrictive. SACAP had withdrawn the IDoW and is pursuing an alternative method to ensure the protection of all the categories under the Act, which can only work with the RPL system in place.

These are only a few of the allegations that SACAP has addressed in detail. The full response prepared by SACAP can be viewed on their website: http://www.sacapsa.com/

Caption to image: President of SACAP – Mr Yashaen Luckan