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Call to table, review engineering guidelines

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As engineers are waiting for Parliament to table the Engineering Bill, South African-based engineer, Tione Mdina, has said engineering guidelines should be reviewed often to make the sector more vibrant.

The Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE) drafted the Bill seeking to regulate operations in the sector and, in the process boost the industry’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Last year, expectations were high that the draft proposal would be tabled in Parliament.

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Mdina, who is Managing Director of Mdina Engineering, said guidelines are important because they enhance standards.

He said the passing of the Bill is very critical as it will help in regulating the industry.

“Guidelines should be clear and reviewed every now and then. The guidelines can be reviewed every five years and, this will help boost the sector. The Bill should also look at contracts. A number of countries have surpassed us within the sector, and as a country, we can borrow a leaf from such countries and see how they have managed to make the sector vibrant while maintaining high quality standards for engineering works,” Mdina said.

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He further said there is need for a strong body to implement the Bill, once it is passed.

“We need very strong bodies to implement what is in the bill once it has been passed. In South Africa, they have Engineering Council of South Africa, which implements what is in the Bill. But above all else, we need to focus more on regulating the industry.

“If the Bill says anyone who practices as an engineer should be registered, it will be very important to enforce this. Some engineers are registered but, they do not practice regularly. There are also people who do a job once in five years, these should be scrapped off,” he said.

MIE Vice President, Wilson Chirwa, said the Bill, once passed into law, will help the institution to have a legal mandate.

Chirwa said through the Bill, the institute is expected to be involved in anything to do with engineering, whether on issues concerning seminars, projects and tendering.

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