Hopefully, most of you have had some time to figure out all level 4 lockdown requirements and have made some steps towards opening your practices, even if only in part. Unfortunately, none of us can function in isolation. We can only do so much as long as our clients, councils and construction sites remain closed.
The PIA have been in communication with the Tshwane Building Control officials to get some clarity as to their strategies going forward. The answers remain unclear. It seems that the main obstacle to partial opening up of Building Control has been getting the offices Covid-ready and supplying PPE to their staff. Implementation of an electronic submission system, for which the PIA has been calling for some time now, has been raised but it seems that there is no likelihood that this will happen anytime soon, certainly not in time to alleviate the current situation. As to existing building plan and SDP applications, no definite answers have been received. We will share any information we receive in this regard as soon as we receive it.
On a more positive note, there has been some concerted effort from SACAP to raise awareness of the plight of our profession in the various government bodies. Most of these efforts require feedback from registered professionals to the various surveys sent out by SACAP. The latest survey was sent out on 13th May and deals with the impact of tendering for architectural work in the public sector. I encourage you all to participate in this very important survey SURVEY LINK. As the closing date is 21 May 2020 there is only a week to respond.
We have also received information that members may submit COVID-19 project proposals relating to infrastructure and/or offer expertise that might be beneficial, to DPWI Supply Chain Management or the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure office. The DPWI, in consultation with DOH (National Department of Health), is compiling a database of all the offers received from various service providers and may take these into account as needs arise. Offers may be sent to Mr Raymond Naidoo, Acting Deputy Director General Supply Chain Management, Department of Public Works and Infrastructure Email: Raymond.firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact details for the Minister are available on Department of Public Works website: http://www.publicworks.gov.za/
Last but not least, we want to implement a series of free CPD events for our members. Since we are not able to have our monthly Breakfast with the President, we decided to launch Member’s Café Forum See more and register. This will be held on a Zoom meeting platform and you will be required to bring your own coffee. The Forum will take a format of a discussion on topics of current relevance, with stress on positive suggestions. This meeting will be for FREE and 0.2 CPD Credits will be awarded to all attendees. PLEASE NOTE: THIS MEETING IS FOR PIA MEMBERS ONLY. You also have to register online: as for any other President’s/Professional breakfast. The link to the Zoom meeting will be forwarded to you once you have registered for this event. We look forward to see you there.
The PIA Office is still functioning well working from home, but we have started to implement having two staff members in the office per day – Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 until 13:00. Documents can be ordered and collected on an appointment basis. At the PIA we are keeping our ears close to the ground and we are exploring all avenues to assist our members and make this transition to normal as informative as we possibly can.
Stay safe and please also share with us any information, suggestions or ideas which could assist all within the architectural profession.