SACAP recognises 12 Voluntary Associations in World Architecture Month

Johannesburg, 5 October 2016: The theme of this year’s World Architecture Month, celebrated every year in October, has been announced by the International Union of Architects (IUA) as “Design a better World”. At the start of this important month for the built environment, the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) has renewed and enhanced the collaborative relationship it fosters with its Forum of 12 Voluntary Associations (VAs) who are collectively pursuing the realisation of people-centred architecture in the country.

This is good news for South Africa’s built environment which desperately needs more transformation and unity in diversity in order to fully thrive and realise the goals of the National Development Plan.

At a specially convened Forum in Johannesburg on 30 September, two representatives from each VA met to raise issues of importance for their member base with SACAP’s President Yashaen Luckan and Registrar/CEO Marella O’Reilly. The last such Forum and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) took place in 2010.

Discussions with the VA representatives were characterised by a sense of collective determination to uplift the profession at large through positive, trusting relationships built on the solid foundations as provided for in the Architectural Profession Act (Act No. 44 of 2000).

President Yashaen Luckan, an architect himself, reiterated that it is legal requirement that any person who undertakes architectural work, whether within their individual capacity or within a practice, must be registered with SACAP. He stressed that VAs have a duty to explain to their members that while historic misinterpretations of the Architectural Act have muddied understanding of this, each registered person must be educated on the significant benefit of being registered for their own professional development and long-term prosperity.

SACAP is mandated by the Department of Public Works to regulate and guide the architectural profession. VAs are validated by SACAP, though they are autonomous. Each signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets out their tasks to promote, grow and develop at regional levels the various disciplines of architecture and the profession at large. Each VA abides by a Code of Conduct and formally reports to SACAP on an annual basis.

The largest of these VAs is the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) which has seven large regional affiliates comprising of members who are architectural professionals. The other recognised VAs are the SA Institute of Architectural Technologists (SAIAT), the SA Institute of Building Design (SAIBD) and the SA Institute of Draughting (SAID). SACAP is proud to have recognised a new VA, Freedom Architecture Consulting Empowerment (FACE). 

Through its VAs, SACAP promotes collaborative relationships of mutual co-operation and the maintenance of a sustainable skills base of high quality architectural professionals. It also relies on its VAs to grow the information and knowledge hub and embrace indigenous knowledge systems.

SACAP meanwhile continues in its duty and obligation to register all architectural professionals and liaise with the VA’s to ensure that through the MOU, their member base is in alignment with the objectives of SACAP.

The strong growth and development of the architectural profession is facilitated by SACAP’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programmes. VAs play the important role of providing, promoting, organising and validating CPD courses. CPD credits are a requirement for all registered professionals in order to be eligible for renewal of registration with SACAP. The VAs charge a fee for validating CPD Category one activities and ensure broader access and participation of the whole profession.

The RPL programme, which will soon be facilitated through an online system is currently undergoing a BETA testing phase and expected to make huge strides in redressing past imbalances and giving people with architectural skills the possibility of articulation within the profession, with its related benefits. RPL is SACAP’s key transformation driver.

“Sentiments were positive with a number of VAs advising SACAP’s leadership that its members were enjoying the benefits of their registration.

Following the Forum meeting, SAID Vice President Megum Reyneke remarked that her Association’s member base is finding that even the most difficult banks are now trusting that SACAP registered persons are able to carry out claims and documentation with regards to draws against building work complete.

Concludes Luckan, “We look forward to our continued successful working relationship with the VAs, and the vital role they play in inspiring transformation, growth and development of the profession through institutional excellence.”