The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
twitter1 facebook1 linkedin logo


While continuing to draw increasing student numbers, the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the
Witwatersrand (‘Wits’) is maintaining standards high as it retains its accreditation from the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

Associate Professor at the Wits School of Mining Engineering, Professor Cuthbert Musingwini, said the accreditation is a formal recognition awarded to each engineering programme, so that the profession can be assured of the quality being offered.

‘Renewal of ECSA accreditation is an important goal of the School’s strategic plan’ says Professor Fred Cawood, Head of the School of Mining Engineering at Wits. ‘Wits Mining is a student-centered school and programme relevance is important to ensure that our graduates qualify for good employment. Accreditation encourages regular programme review and curricula development in a complex, exciting and challenging economic sector’, he says.

Importantly, it allows the graduates of the school to register directly as candidate engineers and begin working towards becoming recognized as professional engineers (and boast the letters Pr Eng after their names).

‘All programmes must be regularly examined to ensure that they provide graduates with a range of attributes,’ said Professor Musingwini. ‘These include the ability to recognize and solve engineering problems, to apply the engineering sciences they’ve learnt to design solutions, and to assess the impact of engineering on the environment.’

As the field incorporates many disciplines, candidate mining engineers also need to show that they can interact professionally within an interdisciplinary environment.

Professor Musingwini stressed that, to be accredited by ECSA, the school also needed to have demonstrated the ability of its staff to deliver this high quality of teaching, and its capacity to sustain this delivery into the

‘We are proud of the growth we’ve seen in the school over the past five years, where we’ve expanded from 16 to 22 academics and reduced the staff-to-student ratio from 1:50 down to 1:35’, he said.

A mine design laboratory has been developed with sponsorship from Anglo American and Gold Fields, further building the school’s capacity to graduate more mining engineers. While about 30 used to complete the programme each year, the number set to graduate in 2014 is likely to reach 100.

Professor Musingwini also highlighted the importance of the Washington Accord, which makes it possible for the qualifications of Wits engineering graduates to have their academic qualifications recognized in other parts of the world – including major mining countries like Australia and the United States.

The Washington Accord was signed in 1989 as an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. Through its ECSA accreditation, Wits graduates can now be accredited by any of the other signatory bodies as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice
of engineering.

‘This allows our graduates to be more geographically mobile, and makes it easier for them to share their skills in a number of countries world-wide,’ he said.

Pages from v113n2 Wits Mining retains ECSA accreditationa

Cuthbert Musingwini, Associate Professor at the
Wits School of Mining Engineering, Professor

SAIMM Advert button072017inner

SAIMM on twitter

Other mining news

Mining Weekly | Africa

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa.
  • BHP second-quarter iron-ore output up 3%, maintains forecast
    Global miner BHP on Thursday reported a 3% rise in second-quarter iron-ore production year over year and said it expects to meet its full-year target as prices for the steelmaking ingredient outperform forecasts. BHP's iron-ore output climbed to 72-million tonnes for the three months ended December 31 versus 70-million tonnes a year ago.
  • Canadian miners welcome new federal business ethics ombudsman
    Canada’s Liberal government has introduced a new federally mandated Ombudsman for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) to investigate human rights complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies. The watchdog will investigate complaints, and if warranted, make recommendations to remedy any business ethics infractions found.
  • WoodMac urges automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’, secure energy metal supplies
    Auto manufacturers are ramping up strategies to cash in on the accelerating worldwide acceptance and demand for electric vehicles (EVs), prompting advice from research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie for automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’ and take stakes in mines or new mine projects to lock-in future supply. WoodMac issued a statement on Tuesday, following news that Ford will boost its investment in EVs to $11-billion between 2015 and 2022 – a sharply higher figure than a previously announced target of $4.5-billion by 2020.