The SA Institute of Architects (SAIA) has asked Public Works minister Nathi Nhleko to launch an immediate investigation into the activities of the SA Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) citing serious breaches of its mandate.

In the letter to Mr Nhleko on behalf of the organisation, SAIA president Kevin Bingham notes that its concerns lie primarily with SACAP's ineffectiveness in fulfilling its mandate under the Architectural Professions Act 44 of 2000.

Among SAIA’s concerns are:

  1. The operation of SACAP outside the parameters of the Architectural Professions Act which governs its operation;
  2. The uncertain legal standing of SACAP which we understand has been operating since June 2016 without being fully constituted, bringing to question the legal validity of its actions since that time;
  3. Failure by SACAP to promulgate critical instruments that are required in terms of the said Act, which include the Identification of Work (IDoW) and the Tariff of Professional Fees;
  4. Bullying of the Voluntary Associations into signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with threats of dis-association, without allowing for adequate consultation with the profession.

“Beyond this, a number of our Members have requested our action in support of their allegations of inefficiencies, mismanagement and maladministration at SACAP,” states Bingham. “Whilst the concerns brought to our attention have been in the profession for a while, matters have now come to a head, threating the continued survival of the profession itself.”

Additional charges that need to be investigated says Bingham include allegations of serious financial mismanagement; victimization of SACAP staff; nepotism in recruitment; and the discontinuation of critical programs in the profession such as the Women in Architecture initiative.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations, we are respectfully calling on the Minister to institute an investigation into the affairs of SACAP,” Bingham notes. “It is not a secret that the architectural profession is in a precarious state of affairs and Mr Nhleko’s intervention is urgently sought.”

SAIA has also requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss the matter.