Are there any areas of engineering that will be opened up through the recently promulgated land expropriation bill?
South Africa is a mineral rich country, just like most African countries. But it’s not only in richness of mineral resource that South Africa is like other African countries, but also in lack of ownership of land by the natives. This puts not only the natives (blacks) at a disadvantage, but the whole country. The imbalances caused by the former oppressive regimes allows partial development of our nation. There is a saying that goes like this, “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all” (Alexander the Great), and another one that says, “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs” (Patrick Henry).
The land expropriation bill will open more doors than ever, evening the land ownership amongst all people, balances the economy among the people, this means all sectors that contribute to the economy will also be expanded. Black South Africans constitute 79% of the population but, as individuals, they only directly own 1.2% of the country’s rural land and 7% of formally registered property in towns and cities. Meanwhile, white South Africans, who constitute 9% of the country’s population, directly own 23.6% of the country’s rural land and 11.4% of land in towns and cities.( Hlengiwe Nhlabathi And Dewald Van Rensburg, SA’s land audit makes case for land tax, https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sas-land-audit-makes-case-for-land-tax-20180204-2, date of access; 25 May 2018)
If the land is given back to the people, it means more people can get involved in the engineering sector. When the land issue is addressed, over engineering sector will be boosted greatly because instead of exporting our raw mineral resources, we can manufacture our own products and not import. South Africa’s primary import commodities include machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, and food materials. South Africa’s imports were worth $70.24 billion in 2009, down from $90.57 billion in 2008. South Africa’s primary export commodities include gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment. South Africa’s exports were worth $67.93 billion in 2009, down from $86.12 billion in 2008.
We can see that South Africa imports more than it exports, this is not good for our economy, since well it means we buy more than we sell. And if we observe the primary imports, we would find machinery, chemicals and others, these are the things our own engineers can manufacture. But one could ask why they don’t? This is because we do not have enough engineers. When the land bill is passed, doors will be opened to both black and white, everyone can finally get involved in the engineering sector.
When the doors of the engineering sectors are opened to everyone at a large scale, larger than the one in place now, we would not only manufacture our products, but also develop the engineering sector. There is power in numbers and I have reason to believe that the expropriation of land bill will allow more numbers of society to get involved in engineering and ultimately development.
The engineering sector is a very vast sector, but it is also integrated. One good example is the building of a power plant. South Africa needs nuclear powered plants for an eco-friendly electricity generation. If the land was to be allocated equally, the government could make enough capital to build ourselves many plants.
Nuclear energy falls under engineering, as of 2010 we have one nuclear power plant in Koeberg, Western Cape. The development in our engineering sector can boost our plan to build another in hartbeespoort. We would need all the engineers we have, from civil engineers to electrical engineers, chemical and mechanical engineers.
One of the engineering sectors that stand to benefit the most is the civil engineering part of engineering. Simply because if there is more land opened to the public, it means there is more land to develop. Since well civil engineers deal will construction, they are at an advantage. The land bill will open more opportunity to build malls, residence, schools and many more structures that require the aid of a civil engineer.
As I have stated earlier, engineering is vast and integrated. The building of new structure will need to be fitted with electricity, the land bill will perpetuate the expanding of electric networks to all areas previous disadvantaged, and for this job too, and engineer is needed. The machinery that will be used in all of these developments will need to be monitored and maintained by mechanical engineers. The list of jobs amongst jobs the engineers will have to do is endless. One discipline of engineering hands down the job to another, like a game of relay.
The land bill will also cause the military side of engineering to develop. South Africa is the 46th strongest country in military power out of 133 countries and also the 4th strongest in Africa. This can be changed by the chemical engineers and the electronic engineers. Our military power will be bettered as we advance in technology. (https://businesstech.co.za/news/general/196326/south-africas-military-strength-vs-the-world-in-2017/)
In conclusion, I believe there will be areas in engineering that will be opened from the land expropriation bill, in fact, the whole sector will be opened up. We will get to import less and export more, this will be because we will be manufacturing our own goods. We will also advance the industry at an accelerated rate.