UK: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) aims to significantly strengthen its membership in South Africa and is actively promoting international standards and best practice in the built environment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
RICS global president, See Lian Ong, is visiting South Africa from 23 to 27 June 2012 as RICS launches expert dispute resolution services there.
Founded in 1868, RICS is an independent professional body, currently with over 100 000 members who are property professionals working around the world, as well as over 80 000 RICS trainees and students. Setting the standards for surveying in land, property and construction globally, RICS is the oldest and largest professional organisation for the international land, property, construction and related sectors.
With staff based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, RICS is developing and growing its presence in South Africa, which also provides a gateway to the Southern African Development Community. It is forging links with the Council and Association of South African Quantity Surveyors, South African Geomatics Institute, South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession, the Fédération international des géomètres (FIG), leading South African universities and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
“Our focus on increasing our presence in this region is well-timed,” said Craig Hudson, RICS Business Development – Africa. “The South African Department of Justice is about to launch its Mandatory Court Mediation pilot, with new legislation being introduced which will make it mandatory for disputes to go through a mediation process before they can be set down for trial. In response to this, RICS is in the process of creating panels of fully trained and internationally accredited dispute resolvers who will play an important role in property related matters in the South African market. These are not only mediators, but also arbitrators, adjudicators and independent experts – who also bring years of experience in the built environment sector.
“In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand higher professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism. RICS members are active across the entire spectrum of land, construction and real estate activities, ranging from valuers, building surveyors, architects, engineers and commercial property agents to property asset managers, cost consultants, facilities managers, finance and investment professionals, lawyers, environmental experts, quantity surveyors to urban planners, planning and development managers and researchers, among others.”