The Institution of Fire Engineers South African Branch is pleased to announce the call for papers for our ‘2020 IFE AGM & Conference’ to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Papers will be presented on the 19th and 20th of March, 2020.

IFE South Africa invites high quality papers and presentations from across the fields of engineering, operations and academia that clearly address the topic of fire.

  • Deadline for abstracts and author biographies: 1 December 2019 and need to be emailed to the administrator at
  • Acceptance of abstracts:  15th January 2020
  • Full Papers for peer review:  15th February 2020

Results for MARCH 2019 Examinations

The March 2019 examinations took place on Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March 2019.

Results letters will be posted to all candidates.  The IFE is not able to give results over the telephone.   The timetable for the IFE to put letters in the post to candidates containing results for the March 2019 examinations is as follows:

Qualification (and Units)

Results to be posted to candidates by:

Level 2 Certificate

24 June 2019

Level 3 Certificate

24 June 2019

Level 4 Certificate

1 July 2019

Level 3 Diploma

8 July 2019


IFE South Africa is happy to announce our new Facebook page on

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Fire Safety Seminar – 100 years on …. are we any safer?

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) held its annual professional development seminar and workshop at the Wanderers Protea Hotel in Johannesburg on 4 and 5 April 2019. The event was preceded by the IFE’s 66th Annual General Meeting on 3 April 2019 during which IFE president, Mike Webber, was re-elected as president and will serve for a two-year period.

Andrew Greig presented the keynote address, Fire safety, 100 years on… are we any safer? Greig provided a historical overview of major structural fires such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 that resulted in 150 deaths, the Coconut Grove fire in 1942 that resulted in 492 deaths, the Bangladesh factory fire in 2012 that killed 112 people, the Lecrosse Towers fire in 2014 and the Grenfell fire in London in 2017, amongst others.

Greig also presented the ‘Recent large loss fires ie Grenfell Towers and the Liverpool car park fire in 2017 and locally the Durban Warehouse fire and the Overstrand wildfires.

Bevan Wolff provided an insightful presentation on the Bank of Lisbon fire in Johannesburg that claimed the lives of three fire fighters. Wolff provided an overview of the construction, fire engineering and fire safety aspects of the 1967 building.

Richard Fowler, IFE International president, provided a presentation on ‘Keeping fire fighters safe: a UK perspective’. Fowler shared an overview of the IFE’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) such as Fire Investigation and Research, Fire Modelling, Fire Resistance, Fire Fighter Safety, Heritage Buildings, Transport and Smoke Ventilation as well as the Fire Fighter Safety Database.  He also provided information on the UK’s incident command system, PPE, the safety officer, BA systems used, training and fitness, site-specific risk information and the responsibility and culture of UK fire fighters.

Kobus Strydom discussed ‘Building façade: construction and materials, fire safety testing and certification’ while Alex Gloster provided insight on standard operating procedures, policy and methodology during high-rise building fires.

Dr Susan Lamont of ARUP Fire Dubai shared her experience in ‘Safeguarding the fire strategy for the life of the building’ and provided examples of the latest technology used during the design of fire safety systems, saying that the most important aspect of systems design is coordination.

André de Beer  provided an interesting presentation on ‘Fire investigation evolution’ during which he shared many videos of post flash over studies performed in the USA showing the influence that NFPA 921 had on the process of the determining the origin and cause of the fires.

During the workshop on Thursday, Neil Gibbins gave a brief overview of Dame Judith Hackett’s findings on the Grenfell Towers fire via Skype. The delegates workshopped the enquiry’s main findings in small groups (grouped at different tables as fire services, insurers, engineers, risk assessors and others) as to how they saw the findings of being of relevance to South Africa. The different groups had different takes on the findings:

  • Needs to be change in culture regarding fire safety
  • Current regulatory system is not fit for purpose
  • Problems regarding culture in building industry
  • Life cycle of the building problematic and
  • Industry needs to take responsibility for maintaining integrity of buildings once they’re in use.

Emerging themes
Regulations unclear
Clarity of roles and responsibilities unclear
Means of assessing competence unclear
Compliance and enforcement is weak
Routes for tenants to escalate concerns is weak
Product testing is not clear.

Richard Fowler also provided a brief presentation on professionalisation in fire engineering, which was discussed in groups. Again different viewpoints were offered from local government fire services, the engineering fraternity and insurance assessors as to how to make these role-players more ‘professional’.

The event also included the IFE Long Service Awards and top examination certificates. The following were present to receive their awards:
5 years continuous membership
Marius Atterbury
Cross Fire Management
Abdus Peer

10 years continuous membership
Anton Kriel
Sechaba Moorosi
John Netherlands
Catherine Stewart

15 years continuous membership
Roger Ingram
Dawood Jappie
Given Mgiba
Andries Ramotso
Pieter van Heerden
Bevan Wolff

20 years continuous membership
Oabile Kebitseope
SFP Security and Fire (Pty) Ltd

25 years continuous membership
Malefetsane Ramalebo
Joseph Phalalo
Michael Webber

Level 2 Certificate Examination 2018 Top South African Candidate: Arius Fockema

The following people were not present to receive their awards:
Level 2 Certificate Examination 2018 Top South African Candidate: Maphuti Ramahuta
Level 3 Certificate Examination 2018 Top South African Candidate: Shaun Boshoff
Level 4 Certificate Examination 2018 Top South African Candidate and Godiva Award: Albert Wustenhagen
Level 3 Certificate Examination 2018 Top South African Candidate for the unit Management and Administration in Fire and Rescue Service: Matthew Schnetler

5 years continuous membership
Michael Clarke
Belinda Dempers
Christiaan Erasmus
Neil Esprey
Peter Lipschitz
Sean Mester
Peter Nzimande
Markus Swart
Brian Tugwete
Gabriel van der Westhuizen
Gideon van Niekerk

10 years continuous membership
Brengur Britz
Christian Gilbert
Peter Johnson
Daniel Johnstone
Raymond Kapia
Barend Kotze
Richard Muir
Karien Steyn
Marcel Wood

15 years continuous membership
Hamilton Clarke
Matthew Collier

20 years continuous membership
Jacques Davie
Thavapragasen Govender

25 years continuous membership
Nigel Fenwick
Andries Seymour

50 years continuous membership (Life Member)
Donald Sparks

Congratulations to all for their commitment and dedication!

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