The Western Cape members of the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) recently enjoyed an opportunity to meet while heeding the Covid-19 safety protocols.

Neil de Villiers, the ITC-SA’s newly appointed Western Cape Regional Coordinator, chaired the well-attended Regional Meeting held in Cape Town on 27 May. It was a gathering of professionals from all membership categories and role players in the region.

The meeting allowed the delegates to meet the Institute’s General Manager Erik Söderlund face to face for the first time.

Söderlund’s focused presentation reminded members that the reasons for forming the Institute 49 years ago are still valid today. The timber roof trusses supporting South Africa’s roofs must comply with the “deemed to satisfy” requirement of the South African National Standards (SANS) 10400 part L,or have a “rational design by a competent person”. In addition, it must “be fabricated and erected by professionals in compliance with all applicable SANS standards”.

Söderlund spoke about the ITC-SA’s governance structure, the Code of Conduct, the Professional Body and Voluntary Association status of the organisation and its members, and the roles of the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and the Engineering Council of SA (ECSA) in granting such recognition.

Changes to the MOI

Söderlund informed the Western Cape members that a special resolution at the recently held Annual General Meeting (AGM) amended the ITC-SA Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).

The MOI is a cornerstone and sole governing document for any company. It describes the governance structure and includes details on directors’ rights, responsibilities, and duties. Every registered company must have an MOI filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Söderlund said the changing clauses include the categories of membership, directorships and the procedures for holding the AGM.

“Although the AGM approved the changes, they do not come into effect until all administrative requirements are met, and it is lodged with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC),” he emphasised.

Code of Conduct

Söderlund reminded the attendees that “it is the responsibility of every member to know and understand the ITC-SA’s Code of Conduct. The code is a crucial document and a requirement for recognition by SAQA as a Professional Body and ECSA as a Voluntary Association. Moreover, it is a living document that can be amended to ensure it meets the needs of all members”.

Professionals and CPD points

The ITC-SA is recognised by the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as a Professional Body with professional members.

“The Institute may only bestow the professional status to an individual and not to a company,” explained Söderlund. “It is a further legislated requirement that accredited, or certified professionals maintain their Professional Designations recognition by:

  1. Complying with the ITC-SA Code of Conduct,
  2. Completing the required CPD points according to the ITC-SA CPD Policy, and
  3. Paying the annual membership fee.

The recent audit of the ITC-SA by SAQA highlighted some confusion around certain ITC-SA Professional Designations.

“Amended Professional Designations have been submitted to SAQA to resolve the issues raised. Once approved, these revised Professional Designations will come into effect and uploaded to the respective SAQA and ITC-SA websites,” commented Söderlund.

Narrow focus

Fruitful discussions took place on all the topics raised by Söderlund. The meeting also discussed the decision to narrow the scope of the ITC-SA by focussing solely on engineered timber roof trusses. The timber frame building industry now once again falls outside the framework of the Institute.

Neil de Villiers said the members are highly concerned about the scarcity of competent roof erectors in the Western Cape. “We agreed to identify and facilitate skills development opportunities for the region’s roof erectors,” he said.