Quantity Surveyors Profession

A ‘Q.S.’ is someone who works in the construction industry and built environment. Quantity Surveyors establish, monitor and control the costs of a project through its entire life cycle, from inception to completion.

The South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession was established in terms of the Quantity Surveying Profession Act 2000. The Act falls under the authority of the Minister for Public Works, but it is, effectively, administered by the Council.

The Council is mandated, in terms of the Act, to provide for the registration of professionals, candidates and specific categories in the profession,1 for regulating relationships between it and the Council for the Built Environment,2 and matters in these regards.

A. Registration

  1. No one may practise as a Professional Quantity Surveyor, Candidate Quantity Surveyor or Quantity Surveyor Technologist unless he is registered in that category with the Council.3 It is an offence to contravene this directive.4

  2. Any person whose registration has been cancelled must return his registration certificate to the Registrar (within 30 days of being directed to do so).5 If you fail to comply with this provision, you commit a criminal offence.6 7

B. Council Obligations

  1. The Council must, within six months from the close of each financial year or such other period as may be agreed to by the Minister, submit its audited statement and balance sheet, and must also provide a copy to the Council for the Built Environment.8 It commits an offence by failing to comply with this provision.9

C. Disciplinary Hearings

The Council can appoint a disciplinary tribunal to hear and determine charges of improper conduct against any registered person. The tribunal has a wide variety of powers relative to such a hearing.

  1. It is an offence10 for a witness who has been subpoenaed:
    • without sufficient cause, to fail to attend the hearing at the time and place specified in the subpoena;11
    • to refuse to be sworn in (or to be affirmed) as a witness;12
    • to fail to answer, fully and satisfactorily, all questions lawfully put to him;13
    • to fail to produce any book, document or object in his possession, custody or under his control which he has been required to produce.14
  2. A witness who has been subpoenaed must remain in attendance until excused by the chairperson of the disciplinary tribunal, and commits an offence by not doing so.15

  3. A witness may not knowingly give a false statement on any matter, and commits an offence if he does.16

  4. It is a crime to prevent another person from complying with a subpoena, or from giving evidence, or from producing a book, document or object which he is required to produce.17
  1. At present, the categories are quantity surveyor and quantity surveying technologist. 

  2. The Council for the Built Environment was established by its own Act. It is an overarching body coordinating 6 professional councils – architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, project and construction management, property valuation and quantity surveying. Its mandate, broadly speaking, is to promote, maintain and protect the interests of the public in the built and the natural environment. 

  3. Section 18(1) and 18(2). 

  4. Section 41(1). 

  5. Section 25(1). 

  6. Section 25(2). 

  7. The same applies to a voluntary association whose recognition by the Council has lapsed. Section 25(8) read with section 41(1). 

  8. Section 15(8). 

  9. Section 41(2). 

  10. Section 41(1). 

  11. Section 31(8)(a)(i). 

  12. Section 31(8)(a)(ii). 

  13. Section 31(8)(a)(iii). 

  14. Section 31(8)(a)(iv). 

  15. Section 41(1) read with section 31(8)(b). 

  16. Section 41(1) read with section 31(8)(e). 

  17. Section 41(1) read with section 31(8)(f).