The South African institute of Architects (SAIA) is pleased to announce that Mr Sindile Ngonyama was elected as the new President of SAIA on 13th September 2012. Sindile was officially inaugurated and accepted the chain of office at the Corobrik-SAIA Awards Gala Dinner held in Cape Town on the 14th September 2012. He was received with a standing ovation after he likened the required team work to drive SAIA to the winning South African Rowing team at the 2012 Olympics. He presented an exciting view of at the future of SAIA and his Vision for the institute and its members.
The following topics were covered in his acceptance speech:
“I therefore accept the honour you have bestowed upon me, with deep humility and henceforth pledge my personal commitment and support to all the positive initiatives the Institute will continue to embark upon.”Sindile Ngonyama South African Institute Architects
When I visited the City of Cape for the first time, in 1975, as a high school student and a son of a migrant labourer, it never dawned to me that
Allow me to take this opportunity to recognise and acknowledge excellent work and massive strides taken by my predecessors, the Past Presidents of SAIA whose names are engraved on this chain, together with all their support teams:- nationally and regionally, some of which were eloquently spelt out earlier by the Immediate Past President Fanuel Motsepe, in his President Report. There is no doubt in my mind that all what SAIA has achieved to date under very trying circumstances, can only be attributed to the vision and leadership of these giants before me.
As a country, we need to recognise the fact that we are in a state of a crisis, therefore we cannot operate as if it is “business as usual”. We are faced with a situation whereby our economy is not performing well on a global stage, as a result of this, we are experiencing:-
Like everyone else in the globe, we are faced with challenges associated with the changes in the climatic and weather patterns, which will continue to affect our Built Environment.
Review of SAIA Engagements with other bodies.
Much as it is my vision and wish to carry through the historical and traditional professional engagements SAIA has had in the past, with various sister bodies, government departments and international structures, we need to pause and take stock of:
Acknowledging that the construction sector plays a crucial role in the economy of the country, and acknowledging the inherent value of our environment and the limited natural resources, it is my view that as SAIA we need to commit to engage in the economic activities happening within our space, promoting responsible utilization of financial, human and biophysical resources, with the view of attaining sustainable future. I make this commitment acknowledging the fact that :-
With respect to the transformation agenda, let me categorically state that this programme is meant to cut across all our activities as an Institute, therefore it is needless for me to spell out my intentions as my entire Presidential Agenda will directly or indirectly revolve around this issue.
However let me commit myself to ensuring that some of the strategies which our regional and national offices have been discussing and developing over the past four to five years, get operationalized immediately, so as to register immediate gains, whilst we continue to formulate strategies for the big picture.
Many of you may be aware of the debates around the proposed constitutional reforms. I personally endorse this initiative, as it will enable us to work closely as a collective, as opposed to the manner in which we currently operate. It will afford us opportunities of utilising our resources efficiently and further present opportunities of tapping into our varied skills and areas of speciality currently spread around the country. In crafting these reforms, the task team mandated with this work, has been very sensitive in dealing with matters directly affecting various regions, and my gratitude goes to people like Mr Eugene Barnard for working so relentlessly in getting this task to where it currently is.
I look forward to your positive contributions, as I will be leading a delegation to engage with individual regions, in finalising and operationalizing this aspect.
Let me also join the chorus led by Mr Hassan Asmal in recording the value the Institute attributes to the support which the National Department of Public Works and the City of Durban continue to provide towards the hosting of the UIA’s XXV World Congress in 2014. Of equal importance is the support we are getting from some of the private corporates which at this stage I am not at liberty to mention by names.
Colleagues we need to recognise that this event is going to be the Architects World Cup and all the eyes of the world will be cast on the continent of Africa and specifically to South Africa. I wish to invite all of us to participate and support this event. We need to capitalise on preparing for this event, with the view of creating a lasting legacy which could impact to the manner in which we train students and practise architecture in the future.
Apart for the aforementioned constitutional reform visits, to the regions, it is my intention to have strategic interactions with a variety of individual members, corporate members and alliance partners, to share views and ideas that can improve the manner in which we do our business, and to enhance relevance and effectiveness of our profession in the greater society.
I would have failed dismally if I do not recognise the support I have continued to enjoy from my wife Zanele and my three children over all these years of my involvement with the institute’s work. I am confident that this will even be more noticeable as I embark upon this mammoth task of presiding over SAIA’s activities. With the same breath I wish to thank my practice for allowing me time to serve the institute. Lastly I wish to thank members of the BKIA and all my colleagues in different regions for exposing me to this rare and golden opportunity.
I therefore accept the honour you have bestowed upon me, with deep humility and henceforth pledge my personal commitment and support to all the positive initiatives the Institute will continue to embark upon.