Consulting Engineers South Africa is calling on government to urgently revise its procurement practices for Consulting Engineering Services related to the development of Infrastructure.

In the wake of the 2019 Budget Speech Chris Campbell, CEO of CESA says the organisation would like Government to focus on ‘Value for Money’ when procuring the services of consulting engineering firms.

“We know we have less money available for infrastructure and we now need to make sure we get “more bang for our buck” in the long term,” he explains.

Poor scope definition and open tendering

According to Campbell the problem often lies between two parties, the Client, who provides poor scope definition and seeks out the cheapest service providers and the professional service providers who aggressively under-price their services simply to secure the project while compromising their ability to manage the design and construction supervision diligently enough to provide quality services.

“Open tendering for such professional services as well as the expectation from public sector clients for fees to be discounted exacerbates this problem and is counter-intuitive to ensuring that public sector entities ensure optimised total cost of ownership in such infrastructure investment,” he points out.

Technical competency

In order for Government to ensure that South Africans receive ‘Value for Money’ the personnel procuring professional services need to be technically competent to do so.

“Following on from the State of the Nation address it is heartening that technical competence in Government will be increased and that infrastructure promotion will be driven further through the Infrastructure Fund.  These are positive steps that CESA supports and is willing to become active participants in,” states Neresh Pather, CESA President.

CESA’s theme for 2019 includes Delivering Purpose and Engagement – Establishing Trust and there is a strong focus within the organisation on working with and supporting Government.


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