SAGI AGM: president’s report, tariffs and access problems

May 14th, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT

Members of the South African Geomatics Institute’s (SAGI) Northern Provinces branch met in Roodepoort on 13 April 2018 for the branch’s annual general meeting. The role of the South African Geomatics Council (SAGC), professional tariffs and problems with the Surveyor General website were discussed, and the institute’s president delivered his annual report.

SACG’s Nape Mojapelo, who since June 2017 took over from Mmuso Riba as the acting chairperson of the council, told members of administrative developments at SAGC, including its move to new premises. He also said the council had streamlined its disciplinary procedures to address backlogged complaints about unregistered surveyors conducting survey work, which contravenes the Geomatics Profession Act of 2013 and Land Survey Act of 1997.

The SAGI Northern Provinces committee.

The SAGI Northern Provinces committee.

Confusion around set tariffs for survey work, to be determine by the SACG, stirred debate but remains unclear. According to Newmarch, a draft tariff has been drawn up and is being circulated before it will be presented to the minister of finance. SAGI members, who felt they should have input into the tariffs, were reminded by the SAGI president that the tariff structure is an industry initiative and that proposals will still be circulated to members for comment, even though a deadline for this remains unclear.

Members also expressed their dissatisfaction over the Chief Surveyor-General’s website which has been offline intermittently for several weeks now, leading to delays in obtaining cadastral data that underpins surveyors’ work. According to the Surveyor-Generals present at the meeting, outdated IT infrastructure due to budget cuts is to blame. It is unclear when the website will be functioning normally again.

Delivering his presidential report, Peter Newmarch went on to highlight the need for a new, younger and demographically representative membership. Having served as the institute’s president for the last eight years, he expressed a desire to move on and concentrate on youth developmental activities within SAGI. Newmarch suggested that the institute’s membership model might need change to draw new members and leadership if members are not willing to stand for leadership positions.

The day also included a talk by inspirational speaker, Dr Kobus Neethling, sponsored by Optron. Neethling spoke about “creating the extraordinary organisation”, which he described as one based on creativity and encouraging this in individuals in organisations. This, he said, calls for an organisational culture of appreciation and generosity. He also described such organisations as ones that don’t entertain negativity by constantly discussing problems, and he proposed that organisations create a database of success stories.

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