With only two weeks before the Engineers Registration Act to come into force, about 300 engineers have been registered with the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) so far. As from April 1 this year, engineers who operate without a practising certificate will be in contravention of Section 19 (7) of the Engineers Registration Act.
The Botswana Institution of Engineers (BIE) president, Oagile Kanyeto said the registration of engineers, which is carried out by ERB, is progressing well.
“We are anticipating a sharp increase of our membership this year as a result of the implementation of the Engineers Registration Act,” he revealed.
Over 1400 engineers are registered with the BIE.
The Engineers Registration Act is one of the legal instruments that the government has come up with, which are meant to regulate the construction industry.
The other instruments include the Architects Registration Act and the Quantity Surveyors Registration Act. The government also approved the formation of the Contractors Registration Board and the Construction Industry Board.
According to the Engineers Registration Act, those in contravention will be fined P15, 000. Also, any person, without an engineering certificate, who uses the prefix “Prof. Eng” (short for Professional Engineer) before their names, will be liable to a penalty of P20, 000.
The government came up with these legal instruments following concerns about the constant costs overruns, late delivery and poor quality of public infrastructure projects.
Kanyeto commended government for formulating laws meant to regulate the construction industry, stating that registration of engineers is the first step towards a professional career.
“Once somebody becomes a professional engineer, they will be expected to behave in a professional manner and satisfy the requirements of the regulator,” he said.
Kanyeto indicated that BIE would be the vehicle through which engineers will obtain such requirements, adding that without annual subscription to BIE, it will be very difficult for any engineer to comply with the ERB Act.
Kanyeto revealed that BIE is pondering an effective mechanism to deal with high volume subscription defaulters of its members. He said out of the almost 1400 members that the institution has, only about 400 members pay their annual subscriptions.
Kanyeto added that the BIE council is currently conducting a series of seminar meetings with its members and other engineers to enlighten them on the role the BIE will play once the engineering profession becomes regulated.