What is ILASA?

ILASA logo

 If you are working in the green industry in South Africa you will most likely have heard of ILASA (Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa). ILASA  is a voluntary organisation that is mandated to grow and promote the profession and concept of landscape architecture in the South African environment.

 Goals of ILASA (taken from their website)

·         Advance dignity and competence of the profession

·         Uplift previously disadvantaged societies

·         Advancement of professional competence through education

·         Support sustainable ecological planning and management

·         Support of public involvement in planning and design process

·         Promotion of excellence through peer review recognition

·         Increase visibility of the profession to government and society

·         Promotion of the landscape architecture profession

ILASA shares information to its members that is relevant to the landscape architecture profession as well as highlighting national and regional events that are of interest. There is also a page on their website where companies post job vacancies so if you are looking for employment as a landscape architect this would be a good place to start.

I love ILASA because it is a means of holding the landscape architecture community together. It provides opportunities to acquire CPD points through various events which are educational and enjoyable. Events are often an opportunity for old friends and ex-colleagues to see each other and catch up. All the events are arranged by the regional organizing committees (Gauteng, KZN and Cape) and this includes the conference and awards function.

I volunteered on the Gauteng committee for a number of years and really enjoyed the interaction with other landscape architects as well as growing relationships with the other committee members. I encourage other landscape architects to become involved and volunteer their time towards the ILASA committee so the load can be shared and the benefits can be enjoyed by all.

ILASA provides valuable opportunities for networking, business connections and experiences that are enriching and educational and it is worthwhile to be a member.

 Visit for further information.

What is a Professional Landscape Architect and How do I become one?

i want to be a landscape architect

Firstly, let’s clarify what Landscape Architecture is: According the University of Pretoria’s description, “Landscape architecture is the science and art of the design of outside areas for the use and enjoyment of people. Parks, game reserves, recreational areas and marinas are only a few of the environments which the landscape architect designs. They create urban oases in the form of plazas and pedestrian routes, and design environments around shopping centres and residential developments. The landscape architect can join a private firm, start an own business, or accept employment in central, provincial or local government in departments that handle water usage and research, forestry, environmental matters, sport, recreational and fishing areas, and nature conservation.” ( accessed on 4 February 2019)


The first step to becoming a landscape architect is to study a course in landscape architecture at an accredited institution. At the moment in South Africa there are only two institutions that offer this course: the University of Pretoria offers a three year undergraduate programme (BSc LArch) and two year post graduate programme (BLHons and ML(Prof)) and the University of Cape Town offers a two year postgraduate programme (BLHons and ML(Prof)). Sadly, there is talk that the University of Pretoria is planning to close the undergraduate programme down.

Once you have completed the course you need to register as a candidate with SACLAP (South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession). SACLAP is the governing council that oversees the Landscape Architectural Profession. A candidate will then work under a mentor (registered professional landscape architect) for a number of years learning and gaining experience until they feel competent enough to write the professional exams. A portfolio also needs to be submitted and SACLAP will grade individuals and promote them from candidate landscape architects to professional landscape architects according to this assessment and their exam grades.

Once registered, a professional landscape architect is required to pay professional fees and submit CPD documentation on an annual basis. Certain projects can only be carried out by professional landscape architects.


Institutions to contact for further information:




  • University of Pretoria

  • University of Cape Town