Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is a voluntary association and represents for its members a body that promotes their joint interests and because of its standing, provides quality assurance for clients.
Over 540 firms employing over 24 300 staff are members of CESA; these member firms range from large, multinational, multidisciplinary suppliers of a comprehensive range of planning, design and project delivery services, to many small- to medium-sized firms that tend to specialise in selected areas of the project delivery process.
CESA is committed to the promotion of excellence in the consulting engineering industry on behalf of its members and stakeholders.
Through its members, CESA seeks to continuously improve the quality of life of people by interpreting the environment and pioneering change in partnering with all key stakeholders. In so doing, CESA strives to enhance the industry and provide a credible impact on all South Africans.
The following extracts from our Memorandum of Incorporation and By-laws relate to the requirements for membership of CESA:
From the CESA Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI)
Consulting Engineers South Africa is a voluntary association of firms of consulting engineers and allied professionals which:
• are primarily in the business of offering independent technology-based intellectual services in the built, human and natural environment to clients for a fee
• are managed and have their operating policies determined by people whose professional qualifications and conduct are in keeping with the requirements of this MoI and its By-laws
• have high professional repute and ethical standards
A natural person or legal entity which provides primarily independent technology based intellectual services in the built, human and natural environment to clients for a fee and which may be any of the following:
• a Registered Principal who is a sole practitioner; or
• a partnership in which Registered Principals constitute at least 50 per cent of the partners; or
• a close corporation in which Registered Principals constitute at least 50 percent of the close corporation members; or
• a company in which Registered Principals constitute at least 50 percent of the directors of the company appointed in terms of the Act;
• a subsidiary or regional office or associate office in South Africa of a foreign firm, that:
o is appropriately registered in South Africa,
o is under full time control of a Registered Principal, and
o in which locally based Registered Principals constitute at least 50 percent of the principals of the locally registered entity;
Provided always that there shall be excluded from this definition any firm:
• which engages in or is a subsidiary or holding company of a company which engages in manufacturing or contracting such as would in the opinion of the Board tend to influence the exercise of independent judgement of a Principal in such firm in relation to the matters in which the firm provides service; or
• whose holding company has any other subsidiary which engages in manufacturing or contracting unless the Board is satisfied that the independent judgement of the Principals of the firm is not influenced by the interests of such other subsidiary; or
• which (in the opinion of the Board) is in substance owned by the State or a similar public body or is in substance the design department of a development, manufacturing or contracting enterprise; or
• the ownership of which (in the opinion of the Board) is such as would tend to influence a Principal in such firm in the exercise of independent judgement in relation to the technology-based intellectual services provided by such firm; or
• where any persons directly or indirectly participating in the management of the firm are considered unsuitable by the Board; or
• which engages in or is a subsidiary or holding company of a company which engages in manufacturing or contracting and whose clients are substantially its owners or any other subsidiary of its holding company;
A Principal of a Firm shall be any of the following who is in active practice in the firm:
• a sole practitioner; or
• where the Firm is a partnership, all the partners; or
• where the Firm is a close corporation, all the members; or
• where the Firm is a company, all the directors appointed in terms of the companies act or equivalent in the country of operation; or
• an appropriately professionally registered full-time employee of the Firm, designated as such by the Firm and whose designation is approved by the Company. Such a person must:
o have delegated authority to manage the technical assets and operations of the Firm; and
o carry technical liability for the actions of the Firm and therefore be able to determine the technical polices and direct and control the technical operations of the Firm. To this end, the Firm may be required to demonstrate this authority to the satisfaction of the Company;
A Principal who is professionally registered with a statutory body recognised by Council.
A Registered Principal who has retired from active practice as a Principal and has been accepted by Council as a Retired Principal.
From the CESA By-laws
A Firm shall not obtain or retain Membership unless it meets the following requirements for practice in fulfilment of Clause 3.1 of the MoI:
1. It shall be of such standing and experience as in the opinion of Council entitles it to practise as a firm of consulting engineers and allied professionals.
2. It shall conduct its activities in such a manner that its membership does not detract from the dignity or standing of the Association.
3. It shall not share fees nor be in association with any firm whose conduct, in the opinion of Council, conflicts with the Code of Conduct set out in the MoI and By-Laws save that, where a client requires the appointment of such firm as well as a Member on the same project, Council may, upon receipt of written application, give permission for the acceptance of such appointment on such terms and conditions as it may determine.
4. It shall carry professional indemnity insurance in accordance with Clause 12 hereof.
5. It shall obtain the signatures of a Proposer and Seconder who are both Mandated Principals of Members that do not hold any interest in the firm applying for membership. A Mandated Principal may designate an alternate for this purpose where appropriate, provided this delegation is in writing and is carried out separately in each and every instance.
6. It may, as an alternative to 1.5, request an interview with a member of Council and/or the Branch Chairman plus one other Registered Principal. Such member of Council and/or Branch Chairman and other Registered Principal may then testify in a format prescribed by Council, to the suitability of the applicant for membership.
7. It may, as an alternative to 1.5 or 1.6, request an interview with the Membership Committee of Council.
As a general rule all firms that apply for Membership should have been in practice for at least one year. This requirement may not necessarily apply to Principals who were formerly designated as such in an existing member firm.