Transformation well underway

February 6th, 2014, Published in Articles: PositionIT


The Geomatics Profession Act, 19 of 2013, was promulgated in December 2013. This provides for a process of transformation of the geomatics profession and facilitation of accessibility to the geomatics profession, but this process has been well underway for the geospatial information science branch.

Adrian Roos

Adrian Roos

In 2013 GISSA placed emphasis on the strengthening of the regions, which saw exponential growth in the KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape Regions. The GISSA regional committees have done an outstanding job in arranging opportunities to gain CPD points that are accessible across South Africa. The addition of six regional assessors will help spread the workload of assessments of new applications for GISc registrations, and the development of a self-assessment tool will be furthered to make the application process more accessible.

Lobbying by GISSA National Council members has been instrumental in the reopening of the grandfather clause for the Professional Geoinformation Science Practitioner (PGP) category, to increase the pool of PGPs available to assist with the mentoring process, and the creation of further bursary and job opportunities within the spatial planning space.

In 2013 a GISSA Skills Survey was launched, with over 500 respondents from a representative sample of the public and private sector to date. According to a UN-GGIM report “In the next five to ten years an understanding of what skills are required and what training is needed will be an important component of ensuring the value of geospatial information is maximised.”

A European initiative, GI-N2K, is underway to answer the question on how the education and vocational training in the domain of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GI S&T) can match with the actual job requirements in the job market, and builds upon the existing US GI S&T Body of Knowledge (BoK). It is important for us to find African solutions for African challenges and contribute to these processes proactively as peers, as well as being ready to answer what we do and why it is important when addressing the identification of work component of the Geomatics Profession Act.

With the boat being pushed out in terms of bursaries available for GISc studies, a further nationwide initiative is underway to identify top talent at school level before they are swept up by other professions.

According to the 2013 GISSA Transformation report, the 42% female and 48% black representatives amongst GISSA members indicates a society where historically marginalised groups are no longer marginalised. The report highlighted that these numbers could be higher, especially in smaller regions with a challenge of black representatives not being released by their workplaces and government departments to attend GISSA meetings and to undertake volunteer work on GISSA committees.

This is a year to be active within GISSA and participate in the processes of identification of skills and work requirements. To participate proactively in government geospatial initiatives. The future of the geospatial information science profession is in our hands.

Contact Adrian Roos, GISSA, Tel 011 231-1400,

Footnote 1: (UN-GGIM) – Future trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision.

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