Economic changes and government policy on demand and supply of civil engineers in South Africa.
South Africa, still very young in its democracy, has undergone numerous changes, both in terms of government and its economy. The new government with its challenge of righting the wrongs that apartheid left behind has bought about sweeping policy changes. Amongst these changes, was the implementation of new strategies in government's expenditure regarding infrastructure development. In addition, to address the transformation issue of improving representation, job opportunities and income amongst the previously disadvantage people, government brought about the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and the Affirmative Action (AA) policies. These changes have arguably had more of a negative impact than a positive one, especially concerning civil engineering professionals in both the private and public sector. This dissertation discusses the above policies and the effects upon the demand and supply of civil engineers, technologists and technicians in South Africa. Since 1994 the South African government has steadily increased its budget towards infrastructure development. The recession during the seventies and eighties has created major problems with regards to secession planning which has resulted in the high skills shortage within this industry. The other factor that has contributed heavily to the skills shortage is the implementation of BEE and AA, as many civil professionals have left the industry or the country. The increase in infrastructure development in South Africa highlights the shortage of civil engineering professionals and the supply issues associated with perceptions within the industry coupled with the poor maths and science marks of matriculants not meeting the minimum university or technikon entry requirements. The trend at eThekwini municipality shows that there are more technicians and technologists than engineers. The municipality is finding it difficult to employ engineers as there are few in the industry and that, private firms are offering them much higher salaries. The results of the research show that both job satisfaction and salaries are important issues for civil engineering professionals that are currently in the industry. In addition, a small percentage indicated their willingness to leave the country due to the high crime rate, safety for their family and high salaries being offered abroad. -