The Institution of Structural Engineers, South African division was created by a group of  enthusiastic engineers in 1937.  A lot has changed since then.  At that time, and up to the end of WW II, it was accepted that the sign of a competent structural engineer was membership of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

The situation changed after the election of a Nationalist Government when it created the South African Council of Professional Engineers (SACPE).  Partly because of the fact that a university degree was not a requirement for membersip of the British Institutions at that time, and partly because the Institutions did not recognise degrees awarded my non-English speakng universitites, MIStructE was not recognised as a qualification for registration.  Because registration as a Professional Engineer was a statutory requirement for engineers in  private practice, numbers applying for membership reduced.  Nevertheless, over 450 engineers in South Africa are now members of the 'Structurals'.

Right from the start of the Division, there was close collaboration between the Strucural Division of SAISC and the (then) South AFrican Branch of IStructE.  It was a requirement that at least four members of the committee be members of the brand and there was liaison on Codes, Standards,  and continuing education.  After the creation of the Hong Kong Joint Division in 1979 the Institution became aware of the advantages of  Joint Division, and discussions were held with a number of Presidents of their visits to South Africa.  This led to an agreement between IStructE and SAICE, signed in 1992. 

The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), the successor to SACPE has had many discusions with the relevant UK and USA authorities to secure mutual degree and professional recognition.These are now recognised in the Washington accord amongst others.