The quantity surveying profession faces formidable challenges into the future, warns Dr Stephan Ramabodu, the new President of the Association of SA Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS).
Speaking at the recent ASAQS annual congress in Midrand, Dr Ramabodu said excessive fee discounting coupled with a drop in service standards from unscrupulous quantity surveyors is undermining the profession and is making 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 to future generations.”
He said although ASAQS believes strongly 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.
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 quantity surveying 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 is presenting to the challenges we’re facing.”