Chairpersons report SAPI Gauteng 2006 by monkey6


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									                       Chairperson’s report: SAPI Gauteng 2006

This has been a busy year for SAPI Gauteng. SAPI Gauteng is a slightly unwieldy
vehicle, led by volunteers with busy schedules and made up of members scattered across
the province. For this reason it hasn’t been possible to put in place all the ideas that the
committee had at the outset of the year, but in the process we have all learned a great

As you will remember the 2005 agenda was preceded by a concerted drive to achieve
transformation in Gauteng. This was partly responsible for an excellent injection of new
blood into the Committee, and into the membership.

Firstly, I would like to set out the specific achievements of the Region during 2006. Then
I will raise some of the difficulties, with some thoughts for the way ahead.

Achievements of 2006
   1. Probably our most high-profile event was the breakfast meeting addressed by the
      Minister for Provincial & Local Government, Mr Mufamadi. Although this event
      was plagued by last minute changes of dates by the Minister (as well as his rather
      unpunctual arrival!) it was well attended and provided our members with an
      opportunity to address their concerns to the Minister.
   2. Our second high-profile event was the address to SAPI Gauteng members by
      Julian Baskin on the Alexandra Renewal Project, which coincided with the
      National SAPI AGM in Johannesburg.
   3. In order to raise the profile of the profession within the province the Committee
      initiated formal contact with the Municipal Managers of each of the three metros.
      Although this only translated into an actual meeting in one case, the City of
      Tshwane, this meeting was highly productive and useful.. It will hopefully serve
      as the basis on which to build a stronger SAPI presence in Pretoria. In the new
      year we hope to extend these formal contacts to other major employers in the
      province, such as the Gauteng Provincial Government as well as some national
      government departments and research councils.
   4. Peter Ahmad from the City of Johannesburg provided members with a highly
      informative overview of Joburg’s SDF. This was widely attended and augurs
      well for further engagement with the City of Johannesburg.
   5. Li Pernegger from the National Treasury has agreed to address the AGM on the
      Neighbourhood Development Partnership Fund.
   6. A key role for an association such as SAPI is the promotion on ongoing learning
      by members. With this in mind SAPI Gauteng has initiated a network of
      Continuing Professional Development opportunities in partnership with the three
      tertiary institutions offering planning education in the province. The first of these
      partnerships was with the University of Pretoria. Together with the University we
      held a Spring School in September for practicing planners in the province. This
      was well attended and widely hailed as a great success. In the first half of next
       year we will be partnering with the Universities of the Witwatersrand and
       Johannesburg to host two further CPD opportunities.
   7. SAPI Gauteng established links with the planning departments in each of the
       province’s three planning schools and gave presentations to the student bodies in
       each one of them on the role of SAPI and other issues relating to the planning
   8. In his role as the Gauteng representative on the national board of SAPI the
       chairperson of SAPI Gauteng has actively participated in the work of the national
       board and the national President of SAPI, Ashraf Adam. Specifically, the
       Gauteng chairperson was deployed to guide SAPI’s engagements with national
       government and the SA Council for Planners, both of which were delicate
       processes. The national board is working well and thriving under Mr Adam’s
   9. The number of members in Gauteng has grown considerably during the past year,
       with nearly 50 new members. This has been very gratifying. The challenge
       however is to ensure that new members are informed of events and included in the
       various lines of communication within SAPI.
   10. The Gauteng Committee has worked extremely well. It has met every month,
       which is an achievement in itself!

Difficulties facing SAPI Gauteng
   1. Perhaps the most frustrating difficulty is that of the incomplete and sometimes
       incoherent database of members and their contact information. This has made it
       very difficult to communicate effectively with members and to inform them of
       events before they occur. It has also been difficult to ascertain what it is that
       members expect from SAPI: what can SAPI do to make your membership
   2. The Gauteng committee has effectively become the Johannesburg committee. It
       has simply proved too difficult to extend our activities properly into
       Tshwane/Pretoria or Ekurhuleni, let alone the district areas. It’s been quite a
       struggle to get SAPI operating reasonably well in Johannesburg; we simply
       haven’t had the energy or the time to support activities in the other centres.
   3. We didn’t manage to pull of the student day that we normally host for planning
       students from UP, Wits and UJ. This is a priority for early 2007.

The way ahead
      1. We must establish a workable system for keeping the membership database up
         to date and for keeping in contact with all members. This is a key priority.
         Without it the organization really struggles to establish momentum. With
         SAPI national now setting up home in the offices of the SA Institute of Civil
         Engineers and sharing their offices in Midrand it is hoped that professional
         resources will be directed to solve this problem. More effective use of the
         SAPI website and its Gauteng pages will be important here.
      2. We must resolve how to establish a SAPI presence through-out the province.
         This will require some leg-work at the beginning but it does need to be done if
         we are to be a legitimate Gauteng branch of SAPI.

       3. We need to find out from members what it is that they would like SAPI to
          provide. If we know what members perceive to be ‘value-add’ we can see if
          it’s feasible to provide that.
       4. During 2006 we tried to promote the idea of a monthly ‘Planners’ Drinks’ at
          the Sunnyside Park Hotel. This wasn’t sustainable once winter set in. We
          need to think how SAPI can promote ‘relaxed’ networking for our members
          and then to promote such events.
       5. There are clearly a number of critical public policy and legal developments
          that directly affect planners in Gauteng. We must identify ways in which
          SAPI can start to articulate the concerns and interests of our members in
          relation to these developments.
       6. The SAPI Planning Africa 2008 Conference is coming to Gauteng in two
          years time. This is obviously a major opportunity for our members to
          participate in this increasingly important national and international
          conference. To date the Gauteng Committee has not felt able to take on the
          full responsibility for organizing and hosting an event of this magnitude and
          that responsibility sits with SAPI National Board. It would however be a
          great opportunity for the new Committee to work at a new level of
          involvement, as well as raise much needed funds for SAPI Gauteng. Any
          members who are keen to participate in this very important event must put
          themselves forward for election to the committee.

In conclusion

The support from the committee has been exceptional, with everyone pulling his or her
weight at some time during the year. Thank you to Deputy Chairperson Yondela
Silimela, hard-working Secretary Kathy Kay who gets us our minutes almost before the
meetings have ended, super-efficient Treasurer Vishal Ramduny who has got our
finances into excellent shape, to Lauretta Teffo and Amanda Williamson who both
worked extremely hard to organize successful events during the year, to Collen Masango
for energetically promoting contact with the student bodies at the three universities in
Gauteng, and to Martin Lewis and Phil Harrison who both played active and valuable
roles in the committee meetings and events during the year. Thanks too to Steve Baylis
who kept the SAPI flag flying in Gauteng for many years; now I appreciate how difficult
that must have been!

I am standing down now as chairperson; I undertook last November to take over the reins
for one year, and that year has now passed. It’s been a fascinating and enriching time for
me and I wish my successor great success in the new year.

It’s trite but true that an organization like SAPI is only as strong as its members. To all
of you, please don’t hesitate to contact committee members to find out what’s going on
(or not going on!) Please get involved in SAPI activities and please help the committee
to help you raise the profile and image of the profession in the province while also
promoting a higher quality of planning work and a higher standard of planning ethics.

Stephen Berrisford
23 November 2006, Johannesburg


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