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The history of the Certificated Engineer

In 1893 the "Association of Engineers and Architects" petitioned for the statutory recognition of engineers and architects. The "Volksraad" rejected this.

In 1903 an ordinance was passed requiring the appointment of engineers to take charge of machinery. The term "Engineer" was not defined, nor were the qualifications prescribed.

It was in 1906 that the Ordinance was amended giving birth to the "Engineers Certificate of Competency".

The responsibilities of the engineer were defined by the promulgation of the Mines and Works Act in 1911, which recognized only holders of certificates of competency. The first Certificate issues by examination, after the enactment of the SA Mines and Works Act of 1911, has pride of place on the wall of the Institution head office in Johannesburg. This was issued to mechanical engineer, Mr. Wesley Ernest John and is dated 2nd February 1912. It was designated as Mining Machinery. The late WE John was a life member of this Institution and President in 1939.

In 1912, with the increasing use of mechanical and electrical machinery on the Witwatersrand, it was decided to establish the "Association of Certificated Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. The aim of this Association was to establish a body, to care for and control the interests of engineers responsible for the installation and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment.

In the years following the formation of the Association, the dynamic growth of municipal, mining and industrial undertakings accentuated the use of and need for such an Engineering Body. The growth of the association rapidly exceeded the expectations of the founders, reaching over 450 members.

After careful deliberation it was decided to introduce various membership grades and to alter the name of the Association. In 1936 the name was changed to "Institute of Certificated Engineers, South Africa"

The required qualification for membership was raised in 1948 and again in 1957. It was in 1957 that another name change was made. This was to the now-familiar "The Institution of Certificated Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, South Africa."

In 1996 the constitution was amended to allow for additional grades of membership of Senior Member and Associate Member.

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) accepted the use of the title of Professional Certificated Engineer, which is now formally promulgated in law through the Engineering Profession Act of 2000 (Act No 46, 2000).

Click here to view the past presidents of the Institution.



 Mining and Factory Professionals

Certificated Mechanical or Electrical Engineers in mining and factory are the professional engineering practitioners recognised by law in South Africa to accept legal responsibility to improve health and safety in mines and works.  These Engineers need to provide solutions reliant on basic scientific, mathematical and engineering knowledge, supported by analysis and synthesis, and underpinned by sound techno-economic analysis.  Solutions must take into account the needs of society and the protection of the physical environment. 

The Certificated Engineer brings to an engineering problem leadership, management, and a technologically specific approach, supported by financial, commercial, statutory, safety, and environmental knowledge as required. The Certificated Engineer manages interactions within and at the boundaries of the industry context and technology domain.





The Institution of Certificated Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, South Africa, invites all students studying towards their Engineering Certificate of Competency, and not younger than 18 years of age, to apply.  It is also expected that upon completion of studies that students become Corporate Members of the Institution of Certificated Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, South Africa. 

The Institution of Certificated Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, South Africa, aids students with their studies in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering (Heavy current) with of a Bursary fund program.   To be considered for this Bursary, the student is studying at a recognised South African university as a full-time student in either Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering (Heavy current). The student is in his or her second year of studies. 

Complete the ICMEESA Bursary Questionnaire Click here to apply online or download the Bursary Application Form for 2020.

2019 bursary applications are closed. 2020 bursary applications will open from July 2019 till 30 Sept 2019. If the Bursary applicant has not received any written communication from our offices after 30 November 2018, then the application was unsuccessful.

Contact Us

Office Hours:
Weekdays 08:00 to 16:00
Office Number:
+27 (087) 822 2229
Mobile Number:
+27 (084) 775 8888
Email: info@icmeesa.org.za
Website: www.icmeesa.org.za
73 Fifth Avenue, Northmead, Benoni, 1501