Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) has called on the government to attract and retain municipal engineers.

Cesa argues that at the centre of service delivery protests was that municipal planning was currently done superficially and only a real municipal engineer and a competent team of visionary planners could remedy the situation.

Graham Pirie, Cesa’s chief executive, said municipal engineers must be incentivised and unqualified people discouraged from trying to do the job of the municipal engineer.

Pirie attributed the lack of engineering skills in the government to the management environment; the fact that engineers were on fixed-term contracts rather than in full-time employment, which resulted in the loss of corporate memory; and the policy of deployment and political interference in the decision-making process.

Corruption and tenderpreneurship were some of the challenges faced by municipal engineers. – Roy Cokayne