All South African Engineers have a fundamental duty to put Public and Country First, I have complied the following quotes to remind us all our obligations.


Proffessionals in general tend to believe that their obligations to their clients far outweigh their responsibility to others such as public Dr Githui Mathenge’s research titled: Ethical Issues in the Construction Industry in Kenya: A Critical Analysis of the Professional Conduct in Engineering Technology Management


“To be ethical and professional are terms that are synonymous with being an Engineer. Unlike most science, the work of engineers frequently directly affects public safety and health and can influence business and even politics” UNESCO Report – Engineering ethics and anti-corruption


"Despite the contributions of engineering to humanity, the profession remained the most culpable in aiding corruption in developing nations. Therefore, must take this profession away from people who do not have any business in it” Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria President, Mr. Ibikunle Ogunbayo,


” Corruption prevents many people from accessing what belongs to them and had made poverty to wax stronger.  If we can hold our own in a world that is drifting to the sea, we can stop the drift “Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria President, Mr. Ibikunle Ogunbayo


Given what is in the headlines currently in South Africa; corruption will concern us as South African Engineers but we should not think this is unique to us corruption is a worldwide problem, for an example, the guidelines for US Civil Engineers (who have battled with corruption for decades) states:


  • Engineers shall be scrupulously honest in their control and spending of monies intended for the projects on which they work. 
  • Engineers shall adopt a zero-tolerance approach for bribery, fraud, deception and corruption in any design or construction work in which they are engaged. 
  • Engineers should be especially vigilant in countries where payment of gratuities and/or bribery are tolerated and condoned practices. 
  • Engineers should include certifications in all contract documents specifying zero tolerance of bribery, extortion or other fraud during the procurement and execution of the project. 
  • Engineers must strive for complete transparency in the engagement of agents who facilitate projects and other work, to include the reporting of purposes, names, addresses, and gratuities and commissions paid for all agents in their employ. 


Extracts from the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) Rules of conduct


  • must discharge their duties to their employers, clients, associates and the public with integrity, fidelity and honesty; 
  • must not undertake work under conditions or terms that would compromise their ability to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with acceptable professional standards; 
  • must not engage in any act of dishonesty, corruption or bribery; 
  • must disclose to their employers and clients, or prospective employers or clients, in writing: 
  • (i) any interest, whether financial or otherwise, which they may have in any business undertaking, or with any person, and which is related to the work for which they may be or have been employed; and 
  • (ii) particulars of any royalty or other benefit which accrues or may accrue to them as a result of the work; with the client or employer concerned.

As we go about performing our duties as Engineers we must all remember the we all have a professional obligation to put our country South Africa and it citizens first before anything or anyone else.



About Mike Barker

Mike is a LEED Accredited Professional ( US Green Building Council ) and managed the accreditation of first LEED 2009 NC Gold Building in Africa. He has completed the BREEAM Training Course at the BRE in Watford, UK


Paul Kirui
Paul Kirui Thanks for the article.
Great insight and reminder to all professionals out there.
Friday, 12 January 2018 18:43
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