Message from the SAGI President

February 23rd, 2012, Published in Articles: PositionIT

Peter Newmarch

SAGI held an Exco meeting on 16 February 2012 in East London, at which many items where discussed. I have reported on some these as follows:

SAGI SURE – PI Insurance

It is with great pleasure that SAGI announces the introduction of a voluntary SAGI PI Insurance scheme. PI Insurance is known to all of us, but how insurance companies and underwriters calculate the premiums is a closely guarded secret. We have been working on such a scheme and we are of the opinion that the rates on offer are reasonable. It must be pointed out that there are a couple of underwriters in South Africa, and rates vary from company to company each year. We hope that there will be a strong uptake on the SAGI PI insurance to be appropriately known as “SAGI SURE” and that over time we will be able to negotiate better rates.

The SAGI SURE PI scheme is entirely voluntary, and we would hope that members when renewing their existing PIs also seek a quotation from the SAGI PI Broker. In this regard, the details of the brokerage firm entrusted with running the PI scheme will shortly be available on the SAGI website and members will also be receiving a separate circular on this.

The benefits of this group scheme is that over time we can negotiate better premiums and greater benefits, additionally, the claim settlement (if any) is greater as a group as opposed to an individual fighting by themselves with an insurance company. Lastly, any claim by a member does not adversely effect the group scheme and members’ PI is still evaluated on an individual basis yearly.

The PI application form has been specifically designed around surveyors and is only open to SAGI members entitled to run their own practices.

In some cases, the SAGI SURE scheme will not always be the cheapest, but indications are that in most cases it will be. PI Insurance is part of the greater SAGI marketing campaign we are undertaking, and we would urge all practising members to have PI Insurance.

AfricaGeo – conferencing

Exco also discussed extensively issues around having the next AfricaGEO conference. There are many issues around this and SAGI will be approaching all the role players in South Africa with a view to having a conference on a regular basis. There is a desperate need for certainty around conferences in an environment that is both of an academic and technical nature as well as a practical nature. In addition to this, increasingly, South African surveyors are undertaking work in Africa and we need to have a wider conference audience.  AfricaGEO should encompass the wider participants and facilitate networking into Africa.

Branch meetings

The annual branch meetings will be taking place in March around the country and members will be kept abreast of many more initiatives that we are undertaking on their behalf. Aspects such as CPD points, marketing, delays in government departments, issues around unregistered surveyors and so on will be addressed in my report to members.

Project Vulindlela

SAGI has appointed a working group of five individuals that will work with the department and its IT partner on this project. We have very little information about this project other than the details in the article in PositionIT by Mmuso Riba, Chief Surveyor General. It is anticipated, from SAGI’s perspective, that the working group will have a say in much of the “nuts and bolts” of this envisioned eCadastre system.

The conveyancers have also established such a working committee to work with the department from a conveyancing perspective. We must always remember that the current cadastral system is in effect the largest “stock exchange” in South Africa and Africa for that matter. The project must be successful as the consequences of a problematic system to the land market could be disastrous.

Legislative issues

We are anticipating that 2012 and 2013 will be a very busy legislative time for surveyors. SPLUMS is imminent, the Coastal Management Bill, Land Reform policies and changes in government departments will keep SAGI very busy over the next two years.

SAGI has no news to report with regards the Geomatics Bill, in this regard, we will continue to make enquiries.

General items

  • The SAGI Facebook page is proving to be quite popular and very informative.

  • The SAGI conduct rules will be sent out to members along with their fee invoice for the coming year, members will be expected to sign such conduct rules (and pay their fees, naturally). The conduct rules will shortly be loaded onto the SAGI website.

I look forward to the upcoming branch AGMs in March and sharing a drink (or two) with members and discussing issues affecting the geomatics industry.

Contact Peter Newmarch, SAGI, Tel 031 564-2856,