Frequently Asked Questions about SAIA membership
Despite having implemented the new constitution in 2015, some members have questions about SAIA membership. Here are some answers to those questions frequently asked by members.
1. Why dual membership?
According to SAIA’s Constitution, which came into effect on 1 July 2015, membership is recognised in two main categories: – individuals and SAIA practices.
- Individual membership of SAIA is voluntary and regionally based. Members of regional institutes, who are registered as Professional or Candidate Architects, are enrolled as SAIA members through their respective Regions. Individual subscriptions comprise a Regional component and a SAIA component. Regional Institutes issue tax invoices for individual membership subscriptions, which include the individual’s SAIA portion of the subscription.
- A SAIA practice is one that consists of at least one principal who is a member of SAIA. Status as a SAIA Practice is mandatory if an architect is a member of SAIA in their individual capacity. Such members should submit an annual declaration stating the architectural staff complement of the practice as at the 1st July in order for SAIA to calculate the applicable practice levy for the year. SAIA issues the relevant tax invoice.
2. What is my obligation towards SACAP if I have a practice?
- A person, or persons who operate a practice in their own name or as a partnership, a close corporation, a company or similar, must submit details of the practice name and address to SACAP within 30 days of establishing the practice.
- If, for business reasons, a person operates more than one firm or company from the same address, each practice must be recorded with SACAP.
- If a firm or company has more than one office, each branch office must be recorded with SACAP.
- Joint ventures set up by two or more practices for a specific venture do not necessarily constitute a practice, unless it is recorded with SACAP as a separate practice entity.
- This listing of architectural practices is updated on a continual basis by SACAP in accordance with the regulations.
3. What is a SAIA practice?
- Every SACAP recorded practice, and where at least one principal is an Architect Member of SAIA, is deemed to be a SAIA practice.
4. Who is an employee?
- An employee is a person employed by the practice and includes persons on performance-based term contracts and part-time staff.
- An employee is defined in the Income Tax Act (1962) and the Skills Development Levies Act in more detail but, simply put, it includes persons whose remuneration is subject to Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions.
5. What is the architectural staff complement?
- The total number of architectural staff in a practice is determined by the number of principals and architectural (architects, technologist and draughts persons) employees.
6. What are the annual subscriptions and levies for 2017/18?
6.1 The SAIA (SA Institute of Architects)component for individual membership is:(Regional Institutes issue tax invoices for individual membership subscriptions which include the individual’s SAIA portion of the subscription.)
|Subs per year||Subs per month|
|Category||VAT Excl.||VAT||VAT Incl.||VAT Excl.||VAT||VAT Incl.|
6.2 The SAIA practice levies for 2018 will be calculated on a sliding scale as per a practice levy calculator, starting at R1, 430-00 (Vat Excl.) per year for a single practitioner. (SAIA issues the relevant tax invoice.)
|Subs per Arch Staff||Subs per Practice|
|Category||VAT Excl.||VAT||VAT Incl.||VAT Excl.||VAT||VAT Incl.|
7. How should one calculate the SAIA Practice Levy if one operates more than one practice?
- It is recommended that the principal employer of the practice identifies each architectural staff member in its employ in order to calculate the size of a specific practice.
- Principals should be included in the calculation of each practice, but it is unlikely that staff will be employed by two practices at the same time.
- We rely on members to reflect the staff details in their annual declarations.
8. How should one calculate the subs of a practice which is formed during the year?
- Practices which are formed during the financial year must submit the particulars of the practice within 30 days and the practice will only be responsible for a pro rata portion of the annual subscriptions.
9. If membership is voluntary, why can’t members choose whether to join either as an individual or as a SAIA Practice?
- Individual membership of a regional institute and subsequently, that of SAIA is voluntary.
- Status as a SAIA Practice is mandatory when at least one principal is a member of SAIA.
- There is no provision in the Constitution for independent SAIA Practice Membership.
Esther van Tonder
Executive: Finance and Human Resources
President of PIA, a region of SAIA, shares information about his breakfast forums which has become a best practice in SAIA. Gerd Bolt sheds light.
Early on every first Friday of a new month, I host a gathering of members invited to share an early coffee and scrumptious breakfast. If you arrive early at our current venue, your first cuppa can be enjoyed on the veranda overlooking the watery goings-on of a variety of bird life in the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary in the Walkerspruit Open Space System, Nieuw Muckleneuk. Having had your Zen moment for the day, a second cup of your favourite beverage can be enjoyed while greeting colleagues and having a chat about this or that.
In having had the privilege of ‘chairing’ a number of PIA Presidents’ Breakfast meetings it has become obvious that not only the format but also the ‘occasion’ (Afr: gedoente) is hugely successful. The breakfast presents an opportunity for our institute members to enjoy a casual moment in a usually hectic work-month. All PIA members are invited and are regularly asked to propose a particular subject for discussion. Bookings are on a first-come-first-served basis; guests are welcome to book and participate. The president acts as chair and after a short welcome, introduces the subject, adding some deliberate cues to stimulate inclusive participation by all. The meeting is not intended as a workshop or lecture but is intentionally aimed at participation by all present. As is to be expected, the discussion sometimes heats up, requiring intervention to ensure free-flow and democratic values. This is where the value of our “talking stick method” becomes apparent. Only with the “talking stick” in your hand are you allowed to voice your opinion; the stick’s distribution around the long table being managed by consensus. Our present “talking stick” is a replica assegai, borrowed from the Blue Crane’s décor and replaced carefully after each meeting.
The subject of discussion is varied and often covers a topic of relevance to recent occurrences. During the first few Breakfast Meetings, it became clear that the BIG ISSUES raised by participants were related to fees, clients and local authorities. The issues largely remain, but with having had an opportunity to vent frustrations, it became apparent that architects have lots of other things to talk about. The field has opened up to new and fresh topics concerning SACAP matters; SAIA in its role as national VA, the influence of recent advances in technology on practicing architecture, the expectations of practicing architects towards recently graduated youngsters, and the architect as ‘potential’ developer.
Measured by the speed of reaching “fully-booked” status the PIA Breakfast has been established as a valued social event where professionals can engage informally. It is also increasing the awareness of participants on a wide variety of topics. For the PIA leadership, it has proven to be a valuable resource in the identification of relevant issues, and an indication of the temperature of practicing professionals’ attitudes to a challenging and changing environment. The value of the breakfast forum event is in the deliberate simplicity of its platform for exchange (ruled only by “the stick”). Plates are limited to approximately 35 early birders. We start at 08h00 and usually wrap up at 09h45.
Yvonne Bruinette receives prize from PIA President, Gerd Bolt
Jean-Pierre Desvaux De Marigny from the University of KwaZulu-Natal wins the 30th Corobrik Architectural Awards
Johannesburg, 10 May 2017.
New and distinctive ideas, a high standard of technical skill, creative flair, a good grasp of sustainability issues and a clear understanding of the complex role of built structures within an evolving urban environment were just some of the reasons why Jean-Pierre Desvaux De Marigny from the University of KwaZulu-Natal won first prize at the Corobrik Architectural Awards in Johannesburg this evening.
The competition, which has spanned three decades, has seen considerable changes in how young professionals in the architectural profession, approach the built environment. Today, technological advances and sustainability imperatives are driving creativity.
Innovation with a view to lightening the built environment’s environmental footprint, together with an innate understanding of social and cultural imperatives within South Africa, are just some of the reasons that this year’s judges singled out De Marigny’s dissertation.
After presenting De Marigny with a cheque for R50 000, Corobrik’s Managing Director, Dirk Meyer, thanked this year’s judges for their invaluable input. Among the judges were; Andre Eksteen, multi-award winning co-director at Earthworld Architects & Interiors; Tunde Oluwa, sustainable development guru and founder of Odyssey Architects S.A; and Tanzeem Razak, who is passionate about spatial transformation in South African cities and director and founding partner of Lemon Pebble Architects in Johannesburg.
De Marigny was one of eight regional winners from the country’s major universities chosen during 2016. Each winner became a finalist who competed for the national title.
His thesis, entitled ‘Design for [bio] diversity’, explored the potential of architecture for ecological conservation, proposing an environmental awareness and water research facility in the context of Springfield Industrial Park/uMgeni River catchment area in Durban.
Research revealed that human existence relies heavily on bio diverse ecosystems to survive, however as population increases, urbanisation and industrialisation occurs, resulting in natural areas often being exploited and degraded, most critically affecting the earth’s fresh water systems.
De Marigny’s proposed architectural solution aimed to draw an analogy between the machine-dominated environment of the Springfield Industrial Park and the natural ecosystems found within the uMgeni River. This was achieved through the concept of viewing architecture as similar to that of a mechanical prosthetic device, so that the architecture (industrial machine) could begin to act as rather a natural life support system in the context in which it exists (ecology).
Attaching to an existing 440m long pedestrian walkway bridge spanning the width of the river, the facility boasts minimal ecological footprint, in addition to providing direct access to the water body to ecologically filter both surface (plastics, rubbers, geo-polymers) and subsurface (human, industrial, agricultural) water pollutants that are accumulated as the watercourse passes through inhabited areas before reaching Durban’s coastline.
As a result, both the technological and ecological solutions used allowed the architecture to act as a positive hybrid energy contributor, provide space for rehabilitation processes and is able to consistently produce and provide the public, tourists and researchers with fresh fish, vegetables, plants, seeds, flowers, biogas, fertilisers and clean water, who then have the option to relax and enjoy an organic meal, while overlooking the river, or take part in the various educational, ecotourism and research programs facilitated on site.
Supervisor and Lecturer, Bridget Horner, said that the highlight of the winning thesis was the location of the site and its potential vista toward the sea and into Durban.
“The project impressively straddles one of Durban’s most beautiful rivers, the uMgeni River, as well as the existing pedestrian bridge. The architecture is a machine that filters dirt from the river and draws water up into its water purification plant – filtering water so that, in the process of moving over the infrastructure, the purification of water as a process is visible to the pedestrian,” she explained.
She noted that the project drew its architectural language from the cranes and containers that occupied the Durban harbour. This was in keeping with the architecture’s role as a mechanised prosthetic device supporting the river in flushing out its impurities before they meet the sea.
Meyer said that Corobrik’s range of high-quality brick and building products, together with its own technological advances, were what helped bring design ideas from young professionals to life.
“Technological advances had driven down the embodied energy of clay brick. New extrusion technology had reduced fuel use by up to 20 percent while the use of natural gas for the firing of products had nearly halved the carbon footprint of clay brick manufacture”, he said.
“The two factors driving change in our factories have been a need to achieve incremental reductions in energy consumption and hence lower greenhouse gas emissions, and a desire to innovate in order to provide our customers with even better products with concomitant productivity improvements,” he noted. The new 10 core holed brick that resulted from the introduction of Corobrik’s extrusion technology achieves the latter.
Meyer said that a lighter mass brick improved productivity. The National Productivity Institute had established that a bricklayer doing straight brickwork using bricks with an individual mass of 2.9kg would lay approximately 690 bricks in a day. The new 10 core process reduced brick mass to 300g, increasing productivity to 769 bricks per day. The lighter mass of the bricks also allows more bricks to be loaded onto vehicles for transport, lowering greenhouse gas emissions per 1,000 bricks delivered.
Meyer added that Corobrik had also introduced unique robotics’ technology at its Rietvlei and Lawley factories. Once again, this would reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gases whilst also giving their customers even better products.
“The consistent gaps in the setting pattern achieved by the robotics allow for the easy access of heat during the drying and firing processes which optimises the amount of energy required for brick production. Product quality is significantly improved owing to the precision handling of ‘green’ products by the robots, which eliminates handling damage resulting from manual setting. This minimises defects which mean fewer rejects and a better quality, uniform end product for our customers,” he concluded.
Jean-Pierre Desvaux De Marigny from the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Juan Solis-arias, Jean-Pierre Desvaux de Marigny, Allin Dangers
Corobrik Executives and Student Finalists
SAIA and Corobrik Executives at Corobrik Student Awards
(Front) Lana Bramley, Kim Geldenhuys, Yvonne Bruinette, Kathenne Dewar, (Back) Musa Shangase, Dirk Meyer, Kenneth Main, Darren Sampson, Thilo Sidambaram, Jean-Pierre Desvaux de Marigny, Mario van Wyk, Pete du Trevou
“I AM ARCHITECT”
Gender equality is lagging behind in the architectural profession. It is the South African Institute of Architects’ (SAIA) belief that as long as architects in the working environment are still being categorised by their gender (i.e. female or male architect), and not recognised as professional architects, then our job is far from complete.
Gone are the days of primitive beliefs, where men were deemed to be superior to their female counterparts, especially in the workplace. Today, as a result of all the barriers women have endured over the years, they have pushed boundaries and are excelling as professionals.
So, as we embark on the journey to achieve that goal, SAIA will continue to level the playing field and promote women architects. This is until women architects are addressed by peers primarily as qualified professional architects, and for achievements in the profession.
As Women’s Month draws nearer, SAIA and the Women in Architecture South Africa – KwaZulu-Natal (WiaSA – KZN) invites Women Architectural Professionals to participate collectively in expressing themselves in terms of their career choice and what in essence makes them an architect. The social media campaign will profile women each day, throughout the month of August 2017.
To support this initiative, kindly email the following:
- Your Name and Surname
- Where you work: Name of the practice or employer
- One photograph/portrait of yourself in full colour (JPEG between 2MB and 10 MB, minimum 300 dpi)
- One photograph of a project that you have done or were involved in (JPEG between 2MB and 10MB, minimum 300 dpi)
- A short creative statement of your expression on being a Professional Architect (maximum 25 words)
Executive Manager: Transformation
Executive Manager: Education
Education – Canberra Accord
The South African Council for the Architectural Profession has recently become the latest signatory to the Canberra Accord.
The Canberra Accord was first established in 2008. The accord recognises the substantial equivalency of accreditation/validation of systems in architectural education, i.e. architectural qualifications conferred by accredited/validated architectural learning sites (ALS).
“Substantial equivalency” identifies a programme as comparable in educational outcomes in all significant aspects and indicates that it provides an educational experience meeting acceptable standards, even though such program may differ in format or method of delivery. Substantial equivalence is not accreditation.
The Canberra Accord focuses exclusively on the substantial equivalency of accreditation systems for professional degree programmes in architecture. It does not address matters related to professional registration or “licence to practice”.
The other signatories to the Accord are currently:
- Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA)
- Canadian Architectural Certification Board/Conseil canadien de certification en architecture (CACB-CCCA)
- Mexico – Acreditadora Nacional de Programas de Arquitectura y Disciplinas del Espacio Habitable/Comite para la Practica Internacional de la Arquitectura (ANPADEH/COMPIAR)
- Korea Architecture Accrediting Board (KAAB)
- USA – National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB)
- Australia – The Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA)
CPD Update: Recent SAIA Validations
SAIA recently validated the following SACAP Category One activities:
|Activity Ref||Title of Activity||CPD Credit Value|
|17/21||Radiant Heating and Cooling Ceilings||0.2|
|17/22||Oxford College Road Construction Training Workshop||2.0|
|17/23||Oxford College NEC FIDIC JBCC and GCC Contracts||2.0|
|17/24||Oxford College NEC3 Engineering and C||2.0|
|17/25||Oxford College Construction Regulations 2014 O H S||1.0|
|17/26||Oxford College Estimating Costing and Pricing in Construction Tenders||2.0|
|17/27||Oxford College GCC2015||2.0|
|17/28||Autodesk University 2017||1.0|
|17/29||Alive2Green Sustainability Week||2.5|
|17/30||Walls and Roofs DAS 2017||0.7|
|17/31||The Paving Solution||0.2|
|17/32||What is a Brick?||0.2|
Executive Manager: Practice
News from SAIA Practice
Although the ongoing concerns relating to the regulation and administration of the profession continue to find expression in SAIA’s discussion forums and meetings, the Practice Committee remains focussed on delivering benefits for practitioners. Some of these initiatives are in an advanced stage of finalisation and good progress is being made with several others.
The Fee Calculator:
Members are reminded that only two weeks remain for testing the new fees calculation tool, as advised in Practice Advisory 2/2017 dated 15 May 2017. It is expected that the calculator will go live in a closed member section of the SAIA website during the first two weeks of July, at the start of the new financial year.
The Practice Manual:
The documentation, to replace the 2008 Practice Manual which was issued on CD, is in its final stages of review, and it is expected that the new Practice Guidelines will be available for online publication in an interactive ‘wiki’-based format towards the end of September. This is aimed at encouraging participation from the membership and will enable a simplified process for updates and revisions. It will also be easier to make new content available, and we trust that members will not be disappointed with what will become a ‘living’ library of reference works.
Revisions and new Agreements:
As a constituent of JBCC and PROCSA, the Institute’s representatives continue our participation in the current revision of these contracts. In addition, a real need exists for a very basic agreement between an architect and a client for work on simple domestic projects. A basic agreement is being compiled at present, and this should be available within a few weeks.
Work in Progress:
The hugely complex requirements around the procurement of professional services and the notion of tendering for fees remain high on the agenda. In addition, several concerns in connection with professional indemnity and liability, risk management and “Duty of Care” undertakings are being addressed, and more information will follow in due course.
Save the date for the next SAIA Conference: AZA 2018 from 3 – 5 May 2018
Architects and designers to set the pace for our cities’ future at the next SAIA Conference called ArchitectureZA 2018.
South Africa’s architecture and design fraternities will once again come together at one of Africa’s largest premier urban culture and design festivals. SAIA’s Conference, called Architecture ZA 2018 (AZA2018), will take place from 3-5 May 2018 at various venues in Tshwane. The three-day event will be co-hosted by the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA), as a region of SAIA, and the University of Pretoria (UP).
Under the theme “WeTheCity: Memory & Resilience”, the programmes will focus on issues of design and practice concerning environmental potential, cultural heritage and human settlement. South African architects and other cultural producers will share experiences and perspectives with cutting-edge international practices from around the world. Exhibitions will include the Corobrik SAIA Awards of Merit, the Corobrik Student of the Year, the Caesarstone Competition and the PPC Imaginarium. The event will end off with informative and interactive masterclasses and urban tours around the city and its surrounds. Architects, members of the public, students, designers, urban thinkers, economists, engineers, artists and planning specialists are encouraged to attend.
Giving SAIA a Make-Over
It’s agreed – a SAIA makeover is long overdue. That’s why Marcom together with a smaller Marcom working committee are working on refreshing our website and the SAIA brand. The objective is to make both our website and brand highly visual and contemporary, which will appeal to our creative members. This project is likely to take a few months, but the results will enhance and grow SAIA’s brand and brand appeal.
A Big Thank You to SAIA’s Regions
Thank you to all the Regional Offices for marketing the Regional Awards so effectively. Everyone I have spoken to has stated that they have received a record number of entries. This certainly adds to the gravitas and importance of this already highly acclaimed awards programme.
Executive Manager: Marketing, Communications
SAIA Reaches Out To Government
Given the continued dysfunction of the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), SAIA had to resort to engaging the National Department of Public Works, offering its expertise in resolving the SACAP impasse. Officials from the Department of Public Works have promised swift action in dealing with the SACAP challenges and we wait with bated breath regarding the extent of the anticipated government intervention.
Internally, the interim recruitment of the SAIA Previous Executive Officer, Su Lining to care take the Practice Portfolio is bearing fruit. Many long-standing actions and initiatives in the Practice Portfolio are progressing well and more detailed feedback will be communicated in due course. However, our members would be noticing a constant flow of important Practice Advisories being disseminated which will assist in effectively running our Architectural Practices. Meanwhile, the recruitment of the substantive Executive Manager: Practice is underway and an appointment should be made within the next few weeks.
The rest of the SAIA Portfolios (Marketing & Communication, Transformation, Finance & HR and CPD & Education) have also made tremendous efforts in concluding pending actions. The Management Committee (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer and CEO) have realised that there are numerous advocacy forays being undertaken by SAIA with different stakeholders, which are not being timeously communicated. To that end, there will be more regular President’s notes that will be distributed giving out updates in this regard.
The nomination and election process of the incoming Vice President and Deputy Treasurer is now underway and we encourage members to nominate persons who have the ability and gravitas to take our Institute forward in this increasingly difficult economic environment for the profession and country in general.
We, however, remain positive in our resolve that our efforts will continue to derive the expected results, which should result in creating a more conducive practicing environment for our members.
From the President’s Desk
Dear SAIA Colleagues
With the shortest day on the calendar behind us and as we look towards spring, I bring you an update of some of the current matters being addressed by SAIA.
Following a productive SAIA Board meeting and a Regional Stakeholders evening held in Port Elizabeth on 24/25 May, your Management Committee (Maryke Cronje, Jan Ras, Lauren Haiden, Obert Chakarisa, and myself), with the SAIA Practice Committee Chairperson (Simmy Peerutin), met in Durban on 13 June for a forward planning “think-tank”. We critically reviewed our performance over most of the areas in which we felt our membership would best value or support our engagement.
Under the banner of “Charter a Course for Excellence” we are aiming to focus on the issues most pressing to our profession. You will have received my response to the Mail and Guardian letter addressed to the President of SACAP. In essence, and being somewhat understanding of the some of the problems faced by the remaining Councillors, it is time that excuses were put away and actions implemented. We need a fully functional Council. We need Councillors that enact the law and fulfil their mandates. We need a profession that is full of opportunity, where SACAP values the qualifications, standards and experience of its registrants and informs the public of their accredited attributes. We also need meaningful consultation – the recent past seems fraught with directives!
Some other practice items being addressed are:
- Practice Guidelines – We are in the final stages of the production of this documentation, being driven by Ian Alexander and his team.
- The implementation of a practice query hotline.
- Further engagement with National Stakeholders.
- Greater interaction with JBCC, PROCSA, NBR and professional indemnity committees.
- Preparation of Industry documentation e.g. Duty of Care Letters.
- Representation on Tender issues.
- Practice support on BIM, etc.
We are also addressing our marketing, branding and media faces.
I believe that you will agree that we are aiming high. Please support us in our endeavours?
We have also expressed an intent to foster more meaningful links with the international architectural communities.
Architects Fanuel Motsepe and ‘Skura’ Mtembu are growing these linkages in the African Union of Architects, with continental benefits for practice, education and international collaboration.
Simmy Peerutin and I continue to offer support to the UIA Professional Practice Committee, and we commend the past years of representation by Rodney Harber on the UIA Education Committee.
You will have recently received the call for nominations for the SAIA Honorary positions of Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer. This is an annual call as the honorary posts are only one year in duration, with the Vice and Deputy succeeding the President and Treasurer respectively. Some may feel that one year is a very short time. However, brevity of time does foster action and I trust that you will be aware of the active stance that your SAIA representatives have been taking this year. I am a firm believer that we should all assist in making our Institute the successful entity that it should be. To achieve this we must all play our parts, and where possible, support those elected to the roles. We have many members well suited to various roles in SAIA and I encourage you to consider giving of your time and expertise, for the benefit of the collective.
I take this opportunity to thank our MarCom and SAIA Board for their guidance, and to the SAIA Office Staff and all Regional Staff members for their efforts in making our organisation effective.
As always, feel free to email me at email@example.com where I will attempt to address your comments as quickly as possible.
Scenes from Eastern Cape Stake-holders Engagement.