ASAQS president warns of formidable challenges lying ahead
The quantity surveying profession is facing formidable challenges in future, Dr Stephan Ramabodu, the new president of the Association of SA Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), has warned.
Speaking at the recent ASAQS annual congress in Midrand, Dr Ramabodu said excessive fee discounting coupled with a drop in service standards from unscrupulous QSs were undermining the profession and made a career in quantity surveying less attractive to young South Africans. “Quantity surveyors need to appreciate the crucial nature of the service we offer to clients and realise that we play a vital role in South Africa’s economic growth through value-engineering and cost control. Quantity surveying is a profession of integrity and we have to entrench that philosophy for future generations.”
He said although ASAQS strongly believed in the concept of a free market and positively embraced competition and change, there were nevertheless important unwritten rules to observe to ensure fair play. Excessive discounting of professional fees would encourage the tendency to award quantity surveying contracts based on price and not performance, which could further undermine the status of the profession and the service it delivered.
To encourage more young people to enter the profession, Dr Ramabodu challenged quantity surveyors to mentor newcomers to the profession and assist with vocational training wherever possible. He said ASAQS was planning to create Student Chapters to involve more students in its operations and called on academic institutions in the built environment to assist in this mission.
“The University of the Witwatersrand has already embraced this great initiative and we need other universities to follow suit to create a legacy for the QS profession. ASAQS now has over 2,700 student members. It is essential that we convert these student members into full ASAQS members after completion of their studies to strengthen the united front ASAQS can present to the challenges we face.
“Our journey is not complete until there is stronger representation of male and female members at Chapter or Board levels. ASAQS is the livewire of the QS profession, so it is also essential that more black quantity surveyors participate in the structure of our association. This is your profession and you must be proud to be involved in driving it as well,” he concluded.
More information from Larry Feinberg, Tel: +27(0)11 315 4140 / www.asaqs.co.za